As the temperatures start to dip and leaves begin to turn, we look forward to spending time camping, hiking, hunting and pursuing other outdoor fun. Evenings are seemingly tailor-made for laughing around campfires and noshing on s’mores. At the same time, we’re in the last stages of winter prep, getting the house and outbuildings in order and finishing up those last few projects.
Believe it or not, it won’t be long before we’re putting up holiday decorations. For now, however, enjoy the fall and all the wonders it brings.
Slightly smaller than the company’s standard PocKit, the Pico is just right for keeping the necessities organized as you go about your day. The three slot pockets will fit sub-3-inch pocket knives, AAA-sized flashlights and small pens. The zippered pouch on the back will hold identification, credit cards, cash and such. With 1000D Cordura nylon construction, this is a pocket organizer that’s built to last. It measures approximately 3.5×4.5 inches and is available in tan, gray or black.
Sijo Waysun Johnny Tsai designed the C.U.M.A. Kage as an homage to a hero from his childhood—Snake Eyes, from Hasbro’s “GI Joe Classified Series.” But make no mistake—this is a fully functional tool and weapon. It measures 23.75 inches from end to end, making it perfect for close combat as well as clearing brush. The 15.5-inch, 1095 steel blade has a nonreflective Black Traction finish. The handle scales are canvas Micarta and leave the striking Punyo tip and lanyard hole exposed. The C.U.M.A. Kage comes with a black Kydex belt sheath that’s equipped with a dangler.
This might be the most versatile light in your toolbox. The head swivels a full 270 degrees, putting the light exactly where you need it. The base is magnetic—perfect for working under the hood—and also has a hook for hanging the light. The cool-white LEDs put out 500 lumens for 2.5 hours on “high” and 250 lumens for six hours on “low.” The FlipMate also has Streamlight’s Color-Rite Technology, another group of LEDs that output either 200 or 400 lumens and are used for identifying colors in wires or paint. The lithium-ion battery charges via USB.
These 6×6-inch bandanas have a 1-micron, nominal non-woven filter inside, making them useful as air contaminant masks, as well as water pre-filters. They can even be used as an improvised field dressing for wounds. Baby Bandanas are sold as a three-pack. As a particulate face-piece, each bandana filters out numerous chemicals, including formaldehyde, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and other toxins. It also works as a physical barrier against droplets and can be reused with proper care and cleaning.
MSRP: $77 (3-pack)
Tactical knives can be fun, but sometimes, the old-fashioned, tried-and-true knives work even better. The Brandywine is a classically designed slip-joint folding knife. It features a clip point, Wharncliffe and spey blades—all in 7CR17MoV stainless steel. The handle is G10 that’s been polished and shaped and then complemented perfectly by brass rivets and liners. The blades are satin finished for a very traditional look. Closed, it measures 3.5 inches, and it opens (with the longest blade) to 6.2 inches.
If you’re looking for a rugged pair of pants that doesn’t have the traditional cargo design, this might be the ticket. With clean lines, the Raider is made for real-world use in all four seasons. There are 11 pockets—plenty of storage space for all your regular EDC gear, and then some. The MIL-SPEC-type NYCO ripstop fabric has an added stretch fiber that provides comfort and mobility. The Raider is available in green, brown or gray.
This kit is great for home, office or vehicle; and, at 7.5x6x3 inches, it can fit in a backpack. It has everything you’ll need for common issues, including a CPR mask, saline, numerous bandages, shears and nitrile gloves. There’s even a small first aid booklet, along with a CPR card to help you remember what to do when the time comes. The bag has a small, zippered pouch specifically for your personal additions to the kit. Everything’s labeled and organized so you can find a specific item when you need it.
LOKSAK has a tremendous line of proven products that are designed to protect your gear from the elements. This neck lanyard pouch measures 3.9×7.0 inches and is perfect for cell phones and similar items. It’s waterproof down to 200 feet and provides 100 percent protection from water, wind, sand and more. It’s also touch-screen compatible. It comes one to a pack and includes the lanyard. It’s even made right here, in the U.S.A.
This emergency preparedness kit is a good option for those looking for something to toss into the car, just in case. It has a 2,400-calorie food bar and eight water pouches, keeping you fed and hydrated for a short duration. The emergency blanket and poncho will help in inclement weather, while the hand warmers and fire starter will work to stave off hypothermia. Also included are an emergency whistle, glow stick and “Call 911” flag, all of which can be used to signal for help. Everything stores in a handsome canvas bag.
Let’s face it: While we often turn to our pocketknife for cutting chores, sometimes, scissors will do the job better. These shears go way beyond the typical scissors. There’s a built-in jar opener, cap lifter, bone notch, nutcracker and even two screwdriver tips. It also comes apart for easy cleaning. You’ll find uses for it in the kitchen, cutting vegetables and herbs, as well as around the house, opening packages, cutting cordage and more. The high-quality, stainless steel construction has comfortable, overmolded handles and is built to last. Its overall length is 8.9 inches, and the blades are 3.5 inches long.
Carry 120 feet of multi-use, flat-braided nylon rope in a container about the size of a large water bottle. Rapid Rope is perfect for any vehicle, and it even includes a cutter insert that’s integrated into the container’s lid—in case you forget your knife. The rope is rated at 1,100 pounds tensile strength and is available in white, orange and green. No tangles, no knots—just pull out what you need, cut it to length, and you’re ready to go.
In its new, two-handed versions of the Lancer, Boker offers stonewash-finished, D2 steel blades with four handle options. Lightweight, compact and flat for easy carry, these rugged gent’s knives have a framelock, and the blades are accessed with a simple nail nick. Their overall length is 6.5 inches, and their blades are 2.76 inches long. Handle scale options include stainless steel, G10, carbon-fiber and cocobolo wood.
MSRP: Starting at $89.95
This jacket doesn’t just look great, it’s also absolutely loaded with features. Its body and lining are both 100 percent polyester that covers down insulation. It can pack down into a removeable stuff sack, making it great for tossing into your backpack in case the weather turns when you’re out and about. The jacket has an inner pocket on the right chest that has a media port, as well as a zipper closure. There’s also a concealed left chest zipper pocket and two handwarmer zipper pockets with internal pass-throughs. The hem is adjustable via an internal shock cord.
This pistol-grip spotlight blasts out 1,000 lumens that reach up to 678 meters. The trigger switch can be used for momentary or constant-on operation. A secondary switch adjusts the illumination among high, medium and low modes. The lithium-ion battery fully recharges in four hours, with an LED indicator that changes from red to green when it’s ready to go. There’s also an integrated stand for hands-free use. The Waypoint is available in yellow or black.
The Nightstick is a modern take on the standard boot knife. Despite appearances, it’s single-edged, which makes it more “legal-friendly” in most areas. The CPM S30V stainless steel blade still has the symmetrical bevels of the classic dagger. G10 scales are used for the handle and attached via tubular rivets. The blade stretches a hair more than 4 inches, and the knife has an overall length of 8.37 inches. It comes with a custom-molded Boltaron sheath with a G-Clip mount.
A multi-tool need not take up a ton of real estate on your belt or in your pocket. The Armbar can handle a wide range of chores, yet it’s about the size of an average pocketknife. It includes a pry bar, bottle opener, bit driver and awl. Of course, it also has a fine-edge knife blade, as well as sharp scissors. Closed, it measures 6.5 inches and weighs 3.1 ounces. The Armbar Drive is a great option for anyone looking for a multi-purpose tool in a very compact size.
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the October, 2020 print issue of American Survival Guide.