Last month, we profiled some of the more unusual adventure accoutrements in our piece on Unconventional Outdoor Survival Gear. Now we turn our focus toward equipment needed more for dire search and rescue operations than the everyday rigors of wilderness expeditions. From high priced to dirt cheap, Adrenalists would be wise to consider some variation of each and every item on this list because, in the great outdoors, you just never know when your fortune could change.
Mylar Space Cloth ($2)
You’ve probably seen these before. They’re ubiquitous in the world of first aid and rescue and for good reason. First, their price is hard to beat. Rock bottom sticker aside, Mylar Space Cloths wouldn’t be valuable if they weren’t highly effective. Developed decades ago for the Manned Space Program, Mylars serve a variety of key survival purposes. Aside from retaining 90% of wearers’ body heat (amazing considering blankets’ near paper thinness), they protect against moisture and serve as an excellent light reflector in case you find yourself in a situation where you need to mount an SOS call. An added bonus: heir expansive 84 x 52-inch span can be folded down into a neat 3.5 x 5 inches for simple storage.
SWAT Tourniquet ($10)
The SWAT Tourniquet is, quite frankly, something no adventure ever wants to use but would be wise to carry in his pack. Designed for SWAT teams conducting special combat missions, the multipurpose wound dressing (which, coincidentally, is an intentional double entendre acronym for Stretch, Wrap, And Tuck) may be used to stop severe arterial bleeding that threatens loss of life. The Tourniquet can be applied within seconds, with no training required, and has been confirmed to safely extend life for a minimum of two hours in most cases. In the event of a severe wilderness injury, the SWAT Tourniquet may be the saving grace you need until more advanced medical treatment becomes available.
SOL Thermal Bivvy ($30)
It looks like an ordinary sleeping bag, but it’s so not. Though the SOL Thermal Bivvy can be used by the casual weekend camper, this lightweight number doubles as a top-of-the-line survival bag for adventurers stranded in extreme weather climates. Don’t be fooled by its modest $30 price tag, the SOL’s 4-ply fabric is windproof and waterproof with specially-designed plastic that reflects up to 80% of your body heat back to you. Weighing just 8.9 ounces and flexible enough to pack down to 6.5 x 7 inches, the SOL is a highly versatile item and a must have for any prepared Adrenalist.
Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter ($85)
Whether standing by with an injured fellow traveler or all alone and in peril, one thing is for certain: You–and whoever you’re with–are going to need to stay hydrated. So what happens if your water runs out and you’ve got no access to a clean resupply? That’s where portable water filtration systems like the Katadyn Hiker Pro come in handy. For just $85, you can turn any water source into drinkable sustenance, almost instantly. The Katadyn comes equipped with a removable filter protector to better weather extreme terrain. It’s also got easily installable input and output hoses for situations in which there’s no time to spare.
Ferno Vacuum Splint Kit ($450)
In the event of dislocated shoulders or suspected fractures of arms, legs, and joints, stabilization of the afflicted extremity is both key and incredibly difficult to achieve. That’s because most people don’t have access to equipment like the Ferno Vacuum Splint Kit, an inflatable trio of splints crafted to restrict mobility and protect while maintaining a healthy flow of circulation to the region in question. Ferno products inflate quickly and are easily stored. Components of the pack are also sold individually if this price tag seems a bit daunting.
Ortovox Avalanche Transceiver S1+ ($450)
Just covered on The Adrenalist, the Ortovox Avalanche Transceiver S1+ is an essential for any adventurer with an affinity for snowy terrain. The S1+ provides more transmission range than almost any other locator on the market and includes a “deep burial” tracking mode helpful in locating victims trapped deep beneath the snow. Better yet, the device activates and sends transmission signals automatically if the wearer remains stationary for more than either 60 or 120 seconds; no manual “turn on” action is required so those suffering from severe injury never need to worry about not being able to alert their rescuers.
Con-Space Rescue Kit 1P ($8,295)
The best in extreme rescue equipment apparently does not come cheap. The Con-Space Rescue Kit 1P is designed for extractions from confined spaces because it allows for two-way hands-free communication between rescuer and victim in situations where traditional radio systems would fail. This is probably not a piece of equipment the average adventurer would carry as it’s not particularly light or compact, carrying case aside. But for seasoned adventurers who are stocking up for extended jaunts to highly isolated regions of the world, it might not be a bad thing to consider hauling a Con-Space along. If you’re part of this highest echelon of explorers, chances are you’re probably used to spending a fair bit of coin on your travels anyway.