The Ben’s UltraNet from Adventure Medical Kits provides comprehensive protection to the face and neck from biting insects like mosquitoes and “no-see-ums.” Its under-arm design keeps the net in place despite movement and exercise while providing maximum coverage and ventilation. An elasticized crown keeps the net in place on either a bare head or a hat no matter your movement or windspeed. Biting insects can be a scourge in some places and, in addition to causing a wide variety of genuinely deadly diseases, these bugs can literally drive you mad in quantity. Ben’s UltraNet keeps these little monsters away from your eyes, nose and mouth when operating in the field.
The Itch Eraser is a spray-on compound of tea tree oil, vitamin E, oat complex and baking soda designed to soothe itches and help heal damaged skin. This product also includes zinc acetate and an antihistamine. Useful on insect bites, allergic reactions, poison oak and sumac, and sunburn as well as minor cuts and scrapes, the Itch Eraser can help take the edge off when life goes sideways in the field. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and when it isn’t happy, nobody is happy. A proper case of bug bites or poison ivy can quickly dominate your life if left untreated and having something in your kit bag to help with such eventualities can make a huge difference.
Brite-Strike’s All Purpose Adhesive Light Strips (APALS) were designed by military operators looking for a low-cost, ultra-reliable way to mark targets and signal friendlies in a tactical environment. With both visible light and IR options, APALS allows easy application of light anywhere. Each disposable APALS light comes with a heavy-duty adhesive backing and offers roughly 200 hours of run time. APALS lights are dustproof, waterproof and shockproof. These lights are visible for up to a mile and come with fast-strobe, slow-strobe, steady-on and off functions. A pack of 10 APALS lights weighs about 1.6 ounces and fits readily into a BDU pocket. Easy to use and effective, the applications of APALS lights are limited solely by your imagination.
The new Brite-Strike Rechargeable Lighted Dog Collar is solar powered and will run 2.5 hours on a full charge. The collar requires eight hours of full sunlight to charge, or it can be energized in three hours using a USB cable. The light can be set for constant on, strobe or off and can really enhance the visibility of a dog in either a hunting or survival situation or around busy streets. The collar is visible for up to 1 mile and all but indestructible.
The Jumbo Modular Field Pack from Fox Outdoor Products is a well-reasoned, robust pack designed for moderately extended forays into the wild. Available in a variety of colors and prints, this pack has a 3,744-cubic-inch storage capacity and weighs 4.7 pounds empty. There are main and secondary compartments along with a hydration/laptop pocket on the backside. This versatile pack readily converts into a briefcase for more civilized applications. Side compressions straps size the pack for the load it is carrying, while padded side and top handles make it easy to tote over short distances that might not warrant the use of shoulder straps. The pack also offers several MOLLE attachment points for additional gear.
The Garmin eTrex 30x is a handheld GPS navigation system with a built-in three-axis compass. A 240×320 display offers better resolution than previous units and the device’s internal memory has been expanded to hold more maps. The eTrex’s worldwide basemap has shaded relief and its 2.2-inch color display is readable even in bright sunlight. The eTrex also incorporates a built-in barometric altimeter. The compass is accurate regardless of the orientation of the unit and the barometric altimeter function tracks ambient changes in pressure to help you plot weather patterns in the absence of formal weather support. The eTrex has an expanded 3.7 GB of internal memory and includes a microSD card slot for easy expansion. Preloaded charts or BirdEye Satellite Imagery that is available via subscription let you download satellite images and integrate them with onboard maps.
The Garmin Oregon 650t satellite GPS navigation system includes a 3-inch, sunlight-readable touchscreen with both landscape and portrait orientation. Preloaded U.S. topographic maps include a shaded-relief basemap. The unit includes an 8-megapixel autofocus digital zoom camera with built-in flash/torch capability. An internal three-axis compass incorporates both an accelerometer as well as a barometric altimeter sensor. The Oregon 650t unit runs off of two standard AA batteries or an included rechargeable NiMH battery pack. An activity tracker helps you keep track of waypoints, geocaches and accumulated activities, and advanced waypoint management feature allows the operator to maintain all the pertinent data on a single screen.
The Aerolite Freelance is an exquisitely well-designed sling pack that carries all manner of equipment comfortably and easily within reach. There are compartments for sensitive equipment and ancillary gear that keep everything organized and accessible. A separate belly strap keeps the bag tight even while moving quickly. Hazard 4 packs, bags, watches, apparel and travel gear are all made for hard use while remaining attractive. The company offers gear that is professionally designed and well rendered for any sort of off-grid application.
The Kershaw Ration offers simplicity and utility all in one compact package. The Ration combines a fork, spoon, carabiner and bottle opener into a single, functional inexpensive tool. The Ration is at home in the field choking down boiled squirrel or at your workspace helping you nurse a mug of hot soup on a cold day. Small enough to drop into a pocket or snap onto your gear, the Ration goes literally anywhere. The Ration is made from rustproof steel for years of service.
The LazerBrite Modular LED Light System reinvents the flashlight. Traditional glowsticks glow and flashlights produce a beam, but the LazerBrite Modular LED Lighting System does both, as well as a whole lot more. These modular LED lights can emulate a glow stick, function as a wide-angle flashlight, split into two lights for sharing, produce a focused spot, and may be linked together to create a longer light baton in a variety of color combinations. Each LazerBrite is comprised of two LED heads and a translucent connecting tube. An applique sheath allows the tube to be adjusted so that the light output ranges from off to full with everything in between. The LazerBrite is waterproof, visible in darkness from over a mile away and made in the USA. Power comes from flat-button cells that are included while low-drain LEDs provide the unit with a long battery life.
There is little more important in a genuine cold-weather survival situation than a proper sleeping bag. A well-designed sleeping bag can help keep injured people from going into shock and can provide a bit of refuge from wretched wind and weather. The Snugpak Softie Elite 3 is a well-designed and reasonably priced sleeping bag that is easy to tote and effective. The Softie 3 packs tightly into its own stuff sack and weighs only 56 ounces. The bag is 87 inches long yet packs into a space that is only 9 by 10 inches. Rated from temperatures from 23 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, the Softie 3 is a great all-around utility sleeping bag. The bag even has the company’s unique Expanda Panel System, which expands the width of the bag by 5-10 inches and includes a layer of reflectatherm metalized material to help lock heat in.
Designed with outdoorsmen, hunters and backwoods guides in mind, the SOG Folding Saw employs two 8.25-inch blades made from hardened, tempered steel. One saw blade is optimized for wood, the other for bone. The wood saw incorporates deep gullets and a tooth configuration that cuts on both push and pull strokes for optimal efficiency. The bone saw has large numbers of small teeth to efficiently cut through bone and gristle. The saw locks closed when not in use and stores in its hard-use sheath that includes a pouch for the extra blade. The blade locks open and the tool includes a robust rubber handle for a firm grip in wet conditions.
The Ranger 12 pack is easy to pack and lightweight. With quick-adjust shoulder straps, a hip belt and sheet suspension, this pack is designed for protracted carry. The main compartment has an interior zippered pocket as well as a padded sleeve for a tablet device. The molded top contains a small organizing system for quick-access items and the hydration system will make sure you have a drink when you need it most. Extra or bulky gear can be cinched in place on the sides, or even attached to the pack’s MOLLE field.
Source Tactical Gear has as its forte the design and execution of the best portable hydration systems technology can provide. Its mission is to provide clean, healthy, readily accessible hydration solutions for people on the move. The company’s patented Widepac closure system allows access to the entirety of the top of the hydration bladder for insertion of ice or quick refills yet remains completely watertight when sealed. The 3L Rider Low Profile is designed for integration into a ballistic vest but quickly converts for back carriage or insertion into a rucksack. Contoured shoulder straps fold into a back storage pocket when not in use. Easy reservoir access allows the bladder to be quickly and easily removed and refilled without removing the entire carrier. The bladder can also be refilled directly through the drinking tube. GrungeGuard technology inhibits bacterial growth on the reservoir and drinking tube for the life of the system via an FDA-approved antimicrobial agent. As a result, water in the Source hydration systems will remain fresh for days to weeks.
The SPOT Gen3 Global Satellite Messenger is a tiny armored device that transmits tracking information to your designated contacts from most anywhere on the planet. Features include an emergency “SOS” button, the capacity to transmit pre-programmed custom messages, a check-in feature that lets contacts know you are well and a “request for help” feature. This device provides a critical, lifesaving line of communication regardless of cell coverage. SPOT has been responsible for more than 3,000 real-world rescues thus far. This technology is simple to use and it works. All SPOT devices require a monthly subscription fee.
The SPOT Trace allows theft-alert tracking of anything anywhere. A compact, inconspicuous design combined with a variety of mounting options allows this tiny device to be attached to most anything of value. The device reports motion and can be tracked via a phone or personal computer. Using all satellite technology, this device automatically sends text messages to update the user on the precise location of a critical item.
The SPOT Global Phone uses satellite technology to allow the user to make calls from most anywhere in the world. This device provides access to the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center by dialing 911. This phone includes voicemail capability as well as the capacity to send and receive 35-character text messages. With an optional data kit, SPOT phones allow you to follow email as well. The SPOT Global Phone is compact and handy while providing emergency contact around the globe.
Survivor Firestarters incorporate 20,000-strike flint and 99-percent pure magnesium components along with a nylon strap, striker, compass, signal mirror and thermometer. These devices are the perfect tools for starting a fire in any weather. Survivor Firestarters are safe, simple, durable and waterproof. Easy and safe to use, Survivor Firestarters can be used with propane stoves and lanterns, BBQ pits, gas grills, campfires and anything that might require a reliable source of fire. Making fire is typically the most critical aspect of a backwoods survival situation and the Survivor Firestarter makes it easy.
The Wildo Camp-A-Box includes everything you need to eat in the field, all in a soft, easy-to-pack package that is also easy to clean. The Camp-A-Box includes a plate with a lid, a Fold-A-Cup, a larger Fold-A-Cup, a robust cutting board and the ubiquitous Spork. Available in several colors, the Camp-A-Box weighs 6.8 ounces. Camp-A-Box components are made from a soft, pliable polymer that snaps open for use or collapses for storage. The compact, practical design is small enough to ride unobtrusively in a cargo pocket yet ample enough to manage a decent meal.
The Zippo 4-In-1 Woodsman is a robust, multi-function camp tool that can chop, saw, hammer and pull stakes. The Woodsman’s versatile functionalities are due in no small part to its multifunction design wrapped around a full steel shaft. A 15-inch blade is held tight by a locking cam and tension compensator, and it can saw wood up to 4 inches in diameter. When not in use, the blade can be safely stored within the Woodsman’s handle. The hatchet safety sheath doubles as a comfortable, non-slip hand grip for the saw, and a 5-inch blade makes chopping wood a breeze. Spin the Woodsman around and the integrated mallet and stake puller will help set up or tear down camp quickly.
Zippo has expanded its line of reusable hand warmers with the addition of a smaller, six-hour version. Like its original 12-hour counterpart, this new Hand Warmer fits easily into pockets while providing consistent and odorless heat. The 6-Hour Hand Warmer packs more heat than the original while offering a smaller size and shorter heating time more appropriate for brief excursions into the cold. Zippo’s hand warmers are flameless and convenient to use over and over again. Their easy-fill technology allows users to refill in seconds with either Zippo Hand Warmer Fuel or Zippo Lighter Fluid while reducing the risk of spills. Once activated, the heater is placed into the included fleece bag that provides gentle warmth.
The Zippo All-Terrain Grill is built from high-quality materials and designed to travel with you regardless of the terrain. The legs easily fold in and out for transport, and an insert pin locks the lid tightly in place, allowing it to fit easily into a trunk or tailgate. After you reach your destination, the All-Terrain Grill’s cast aluminum body rolls effortlessly over rough terrain and sprouts up in seconds. The All-Terrain grill is built around a cast aluminum firebox and includes a stainless steel cooking space. A push-button igniter cranks everything up and the grill runs off of common 1- or 20-pound gas cylinders. The grill folds into a remarkably flat package and is built for hard use.
There is an insatiable draw within the hearts of most folks to connect with the wilderness. Whether you are a rural forester, a suburban professional or a big city investment banker, most people yearn to at least taste the wilderness from time to time. While backwoods spaces are undeniably gorgeous, they can also be dangerous as well. We have come a long way since our forebears eked out an existence in the untamed wilderness. Technology provides us with some fascinating tools to make our forays out alongside Mother Nature safer, more comfortable and fun. Here are a few new tools to help keep you prepare when you venture off the grid.
For More Information
Adventure Medical Kits
Source Tactical Gear
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Travel safeguards to keep you prepared for disasters abroad!
by Donald J. Mihalek / Feb 18, 2016