Working as a forester and volunteering for search-and-rescue...
Kelty Big Shady
14 by 10.8 by 10.8 feet
Anyone who’s ever spent time at a picnic or farmer’s market will be familiar with pop-up canopies. But most only provide decent shade when the sun is high in the sky. That’s why the Big Shady is far more effective at blocking out the elements. Once erected, it kinda looks like a humongous flying squirrel that’s trying to shield you from the rain. That’s our odd way of saying it does a fantastic job of blocking out sun, rain, and wind from different angles. Peak height is 90 inches while the 151-square-foot floor area can house a foldable table and six chairs. Its fly is made of 68-denier polyester while the main pole is aluminum and the secondary poles are steel. While its 13-pound weight doesn’t make it a likely candidate for your bug-out gear, it can stow away in your off-road truck or see good use during a camping trip.
SIG SAUER P365 Air Pistol
One hundred bucks for a P365? Yep, we’re not joking. Of course, we’re talking about the BB version, and not the powder-burning model. Then, why get it? This air gun replicates its popular 9mm predecessor, allowing you to practice your concealed carry tactics safely at home or in a combatives class without freaking out your friends or loved ones. It’s also useful for dry-fire drills. This doppelganger weighs 12.8 ounces and is 5.75 inches long with a 3.25-inch barrel — a close approximation of its firearm counterpart. Powered by a CO2 cartridge, it features realistic blowback action, holds a 12-round magazine, and fires a 4.5mm premium steel BB up to 295 feet per second.
Prometheus Design Werx SHADO Pack 24L
All Terrain Brown, Universal Field Gray
There are daypacks and then there’s the latest iteration of the SHADO Pack. Prometheus Design Werx is now offering it in a 24L (1,465ci) capacity with upgraded features, quality materials, and top-of-the-line production. Where to begin? Firstly, its usability. Its dual-zipper-opening design gives you not only access to two main compartments but also helps you organize your goods in a logical manner. There’s a section for either a hydration bladder or dedicated EDC items, multiple zippered mesh pocket organizers, a three-stage modular belt, dual loops for ice axes, and so much more. The SHADO features materials like 500-denier Cordura, YKK reverse coil zippers, and custom-milled 500-denier nylon/spandex. It’s a wilderness-grade daypack that can handle everything from EDC duties to the rigors of an outdoor adventure.
Zenbivy Flex Mattress
72 by 20 inches; 77 by 25 inches; 80 by 30 inches
With the temperature dropping, it’s time to get your body off the ground when sleeping under the stars. While a winter-rated sleeping bag might be enough for you, it can’t hurt to consider some extra layers if you have the cargo capacity. The Zenbivy Flex Mattress can provide that extra layer of insulation from the cold earth, as well as some surprising comfort in a convenient package. It has a four-way stretch fabric made of 50-denier polyester knit that flexes with your shape and movements. Meanwhile, it’s urethane open-cell foam self-inflates the mattress to life once the large one-way valve hole is opened. Once it’s almost full, pop in the valve and top it off with a few breaths. To deflate, just flip the valve and the air stays out. Well-made and easy to use, the Flex Mattress lets you rest comfortably and warmly.
Danner Women’s Pub Garden Chelsea
5.5 through 10
So, you wanna get your spouse into prepping? Here’s some advice: Start slowly, start incrementally, but most of all start with something she’ll look good in. No really. Take the Women’s Pub Garden Chelsea. These are waterproof footwear with a slip-resistant outsole and the technical performance of workwear but disguised as casual Chelsea boots fit for a lady’s night out. The upper is made from durable water-resistant premium leather, and the Danner Dry technology provides a 100-percent waterproof barrier that lets moisture out but prevents water from getting in. Inside, the OrthoLite footbed keeps things cushy while also allowing for air circulation and heat dissipation. Outside, the multi-directional lugs are made of an oil-and-slip-resistant compound for maximum traction. It’s the kind of footwear that lets her look and feel good but also helps her take care of business if SHTF in the concrete jungle.
DMOS Collective Delta Shovel
3.5 pounds (aluminum); 6 pounds (steel)
Whether you’re a soldier, a survivalist, or snow-savvy driver, there’s a good chance you have an entrenching tool (e-tool). And there’s a good chance it’s almost nothing like the DMOS Collective Delta Shovel. This brilliant feat of engineering gives you (among other benefits) a 3mm-thick aluminum blade that’s 11 inches wide — almost twice as wide as a traditional e-tool. Its three-position connector lets you transform it into a hoe or collapse it completely for stowing. Above that is the three-part telescoping anodized aluminum shaft, which can extend to 51 inches — providing more length and leverage than most foldable shovels. The Delta is available with a cold-rolled steel blade for the same price, though that version clocks in at 6 pounds, 5 ounces. Whether you’re digging a foxhole, a poop hole, or a way to get your tires unstuck, the Delta Shovel can work wonders while in use and collapse to a manageable size when not in action.
Kershaw Knives Antic
Don’t get us wrong. We love a big burly blade to carry into the woods with us. But sometimes a smaller knife goes a longer way — especially if you pound pavement far more often than you do tent stakes. That’s why the Antic piqued our interest. This little folding knife features an integrated pry tip, screwdriver, and bottle opener — along with a 1.75-inch 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade (small enough that it’s legal in most regions). In the closed position, it’s only 3.75 inches long (taking up minimal pocket real estate) and weighs just barely over 3 ounces. This compact multi-tool is easy to carry, easy to use, and easy on the wallet.
DIMENSIONS (WHEN FULL)
15 by 9 by 6 inches
After a backyard barbecue, long road trip, or a weekend of camping, your cooler will no doubt look more like a swampy mix of water, wet food packages, and a ripped plastic bag that your frozen cubes came in. Not only is that a pain to deal with but also kinda unhygienic — especially if there’s still unconsumed food that you’d like to eat later. Fortunately, the NeatIce Bag offers a solution. This easy-to-use sack keeps your ice separate from your chow and drinks while keeping everything cold. Made of 420-denier nylon and lined with microbial-resistant TPU, the zippered bag is strong, BPA free, and potable-water safe. That means when the 10 pounds of ice it holds melts, you can use the included 10-inch drain hose to pour yourself a cup of cool water.