Rope? Check. Knife? Check. Canteen/non-BPA plastic water bottle? Check.
There’s no doubt that you own the standard issue outdoor survival supplies, and you’ll get by in the great outdoors with just that. If you want to do more than just survive, however, then you should get with the times and stuff some of these absurdly useful cutting-edge supplies into your backpack. We’ve come a long way since flint. A long way indeed.
The BioLite CampStove - $129
Whoever invented the BioLite CampStove was an insane genius — insane, because you’d have to be nuts to think twigs would ever power your modern electrical device, and a genius because there are few things more pressing in the wild than checking fantasy scores. The BioLite CampStove turns twigs into heat into electricity all while it boils a pot of water or sautées a pan of insta-falafel. Expect one percent of charge for every minute or two of burning. And in case you were wondering, yes, the CampStove can be powered by pine cones.
SpareOne Emergency Phone - $69.99
The SpareOne Emergency Phone is advertised as a new disaster-kit staple for the 21st century. We can’t disagree, but this neat device also works in the woods, as long as it’s within range of a GSM cell tower, that is. What’s most remarkable is its life. Stick one lithium battery (included) into the phone, and it hold its charge if its unused for 15 years. Basically, keep this emergency phone in your camping kit and forget about it from now until your vision quest goes wrong and you really need it.
The Bergmonch BikePack - $1,499
“Bergmonch” is a German word which translates to “Mountain-monk.” The “mountain” part is pretty self-explanatory, as this “bike” is made for mountains. The Bergmonch BikePack folds up for hiking up and folds-out for riding down. Why “monk”? Check the video. The Bergmonch has no seat (also, no pedals). To romp down mountainsides, riders must kneel like a monk and let the holy force of gravity do its bidding. It’s the disciplined way to ride.
Aerobie AeroPress - $26
Of course you need coffee on the mountain. How else are you gonna catch that epic sunrise over Mount Rainier or hit the river while the rainbows are still hungry? The AeroPress isn’t just good for your kitchen (and it is), this simple but highbrow coffeemaker is light enough to pack in your backpack (weighing in at just 8 ounces). The real perk is the coffee it produces: coffeehouse quality espresso that might convince you to keep away from lesser beans forever more.
Smith’s I/O Recon - $650
This made the landing page of National Geographic’s Gear of the Year list, and for good reason. The Smith Recon I/O puts a HUD in a snow athlete’s face, displaying instant physics data in the bottom corner. These goggles can also track speed and jump time. You can even track your buddies on the mountain and tell them to get off the greens. This is the future but faceplants might be a little more painful.
Swedish FireSteel Army ($15)
When you think badass, you might not think the Swedish Army, but those Swedes know how to make an elegant fire starter. The Swedish FireSteel is the best flint-magnesium key-chain you can own. It’s small, simple and even works when its wet. It can light kindling, lighter fluid and a gas barbecue with just a swipe. They last long too. Strike anywhere 3,000 times (12,000 times for the “Army” version) before it flames out. Boom, you’ve got a fire.