1. KUHL Free Rydr
One of the best constructed pants we’ve encountered, KUHL’s Free Rydr features a modern cut with a slimmed-down, tapered fit and a plethora of features perfect for any adventurer. KUHL pants are known for their comfort and ruggedness, which includes a gusseted crotch and articulated knees for freedom of movement without crowding your “crown jewels.” Reinforced pockets and bottom cuffs help reduce wear and tear.
2. BioLite BaseLantern XL
BioLite’s “flatpack” lantern combines variable brightness 500-lumen lighting with a 12,000 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery for a maximum of 78 hours of runtime. It is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity with your smartphone for complete lighting control, timer, proximity activation, lighting color change and real-time energy feedback. Its stainless steel legs fold for easy storage or to be hung from a tree branch or even your tent. It can also charge your other devices with its USB power port.
3. Stanley Adventure Prep + Eat Frying Pan System
Cooking is essential to living, even when you’re far from home. Stanley’s frying pan system allows you to pack the comforts of your kitchen into a space-saving package. This compact, nine-piece nesting set comes with a multilayered-base frying pan for even heating, place settings for two, a surface-protecting, heat-resistant silicone trivet, cutting board and a collapsible spatula.
4. SAM Splint (36”)
Getting injured while on the trail is no laughing matter. Immobilizing broken or fractured bones is one of the first steps for treatment. The SAM Splint is an aluminum splint covered with closed-cell foam that can be formed to almost any shape required for immobilizing a number of different injuries. It’s a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected; one way is to keep a SAM Splint available in your rig or backpack, just in case.
5. Keyport Pivot
Looking for a way to organize your unruly keychain? Combining a key holder with a Swiss Army Knife, the Pivot is a modular multi-tool that holds up to a combination of nine of your existing keys and Keyport’s tool inserts and tech modules. The optional inserts and modules include a USB flash drive, pen, knife, mini-flashlight and more. The Pivot also comes with a free, two-year subscription to KeyportID, an online lost-and-found service that can reunite you with your lost keys.
MSRP: Starts at $20
6. Lowa Innox Evo GTX Qc
A new quarter-cut version of Lowa’s popular Innox Evo trail shoes, this athletic-style, all-around activity shoe is suitable for exploring hiking trails. Yet, it is lightweight enough for comfortable everyday wear. The seamless upper construction is set on Lowa’s proprietary DynaPU midsole for lightweight cushioning, durability and comfort. It is equipped with Gore-Tex, ensuring it is waterproof and breathable.
7. MSR Dromedary Bag
Water is essential for survival, but how should you carry it? MSR’s completely collapsible Dromedary water storage bag is made with a tough, 1,000 Denier nylon exterior and is laminated with a BPA-free, food-grade lining for better-tasting water. It can handle freezing and abuse from just about any adventure and still come out unscathed. Available accessories, such as Shower and Hydration kits, add to its versatility. This bag comes in 4-, 6- and 10-liter sizes.
8. ROM Pack
Having a go-to backpack is important for any adventurer. Designed as a 3-in-1
system, the ROM Pack is a convertible backpack you can fully transform into either a wearable poncho with a hood or a blanket that’s soft on one side and water resistant on the other. Its many features include comfortable wide and padded shoulder straps for better weight distribution and a 3,000-cubic-inch load capacity.
9. Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Explorer Kit
Don’t let a minor boo-boo sideline you from exploring the trail up ahead. The Explorer medical kit is designed for families or smaller groups on weeklong adventures. Suited for extended camping or long stretches on the trail, the kit is outfitted with first aid supplies to take care of a variety of injuries and ailments—from cuts and sprains to allergies and dehydration. Comprehensive, yet compact, the Explorer can easily fit into your rig or even your daypack.
10. Ruko RUK0061BZ
Having an easy-to-spot, easy-to-grip knife within arm’s reach when you’re exploring the backwoods is always a good idea. Whether you need it for everyday tasks or an emergency, this folding knife in Blaze Orange would be hard to miss. Features include a 440A stainless steel blade, nonslip rubberized aluminum handle with grip tape inserts, reversible pocket clip, ambidextrous thumb stud and locking liner design. This knife measures 4.75 inches closed, and its blade length is 3.25 inches.
11. UCO Flatpack Grill and Fire Pit
Nothing beats the stainless steel Flatpack portable grill from UCO for convenience and versatility. It’s sturdy enough to cook a full meal on or for use as a fire pit that keeps your firewood clear of wet ground. Vented windbreaks on both ends protect your fire from gusts, helping to maintain a more uniform heat source. The grill unfolds from its compact 13 x 10 x 1.5-inch packed size and is ready to go in less than a minute. Weighing just 3.2 pounds, the Flatpack is as portable as it is durable.
12. Vargo Titanium Folding Spork
Solve your eating utensil dilemma with this ultra compact and lightweight titanium folding spork! It fits almost anywhere in your backpack, cooking pot or even a pocket. Features include folding for compact storage, a sliding lock for secure usage and pure titanium construction. This spork is available in four colors (natural [shown], blue, lavender and yellow) so that you will always know where it is and which one is yours.
13. Cauldryn Fyre Mobile
Cauldryn’s Fyre Mobile combines a vacuum bottle, heating element and a battery to provide you with the power to boil water or maintain your hot beverage’s ideal temperature. The 16-ounce, stainless steel vacuum bottle allows cold beverages to stay cold for long periods of time and hot beverages to stay hot—even without power to the unit. It has five heating modes: Boil (212 degrees F), Brew (195–205 degrees F), Extra Hot (160–170 degrees F) and two Hot modes (135–145/125–135 degrees F). Its rechargeable battery makes the platform a go-anywhere option for adventurers on the move.
14. Nanuk 330 Nano
Outdoor adventures mean exposure to the elements. Protect your gear with an impact-resistant, waterproof case. The Nano series cases are made to protect pocket-sized items such as smart phones, wallets and cameras. With three sizes and eight colors to choose from, the 330 is the largest in the series. Features include a Smart Strap for different carrying modes, a protective web to help hold gear in place and a PowerClaw latch system that helps keep it closed, even under stress.
15. SKB Cases Tackle Box 7100
A throwback to the tackle box your grandfather used, the Tackle Box 7100 uses vintage design with modern, state-of-the-art technology to create an efficient and rugged tackle box. The lid opens 90 or 180 degrees to access items through a clear acrylic door. There are four storage boxes with dividers, a hanging jig area that accommodates more than 40 jigs and four Rocket Launcher rod tubes. The unconditional lifetime warranty ensures this tackle box will stand the test of time.
16. Tenkara Rod Mini Sawtooth Package
Never again pass up an opportunity to fish! Small, lightweight and beautifully crafted from high-quality carbon fiber, the Mini Sawtooth fishing rod weighs only 1.1 ounces. When collapsed, it measures slightly less than 14 inches in length. However, when expanded, it is 8 feet, 8 inches long. This rod is recommended for catching fish weighing up to 1 pound. The Mini Sawtooth package comes with everything you need to fish: the rod, line, flies, line clips, 5x tippet, rod sock, rod tube—and a lifetime warranty.
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the March, 2018 print issue of American Survival Guide.