issue-22-gear-up-tops-knives-yacare-10

Make & Model
TOPS Knives Yacare 10.0

Overall Length
15.5 inches

MSRP
$250

URL
www.topsknives.com

Notes
The Yacare 10.0 is a beefy machete with an international origin of sorts. Though designed and made in the USA, it was inspired by the tools TOPS general manager Craig Powell saw while he visited Colombia and Costa Rica — with a bit of influence from the Philippine barong. The 10.25-inch, proud-bellied blade is made of tough-as-nails 1095 tool steel and features TOPS’ new Acid Rain finish. The canvas Micarta handle scales are ergonomic and give the right amount of grippyness without shredding your paws. While the nylon sheath leaves something to be desired, overall the Yacare is a cut above the rest.

issue-22-gear-up-sog-speciality-knives-and-tools-powergrab

Make & Model
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools Powergrab

Tools Included
19

MSRP
$120

URL
www.sogknives.com

Notes
SOG might be known for its tactical knives, but it has a remarkable lineup of multitools built on the company’s patented Compound Leverage mechanism. The gear-driven pliers system delivers about twice the power of conventional multitools, giving you greater power with less effort. Aptly named, the Powergrab is one of the newest models in this lineup and no less impressive. In addition to needle-nose pliers, it’s packed with almost 20 tools — two blades, scissors, hex bit driver, and flat screwdriver, just to name several. It also comes with a hard molded nylon sheath with belt clip. It’s 4.6 inches long when closed and weighs 9.9 ounces. For an extra $14, you can get the Powergrab with a soft nylon carry case with belt loop and a hex bit kit.

issue-22-gear-up-camillus-les-stroud-mentawai-slingshot

Make & Model
Camillus Les Stroud Mentawai Slingshot

MSRP
$35

URL
www.camillusknives.com

Notes
The slingshot is an ancient weapon, but modern images of it would have us believe it’s just a tool for anarchists, vandals, and kids without enough parental supervision. The Mentawai Slingshot — codesigned by Camillus and Les Stroud of Survivorman fame — takes this hand-powered projectile weapon back to its primal roots. It features foldable arms for easy storage, a strong tubular powerband, and an ergonomic handle that has an integrated compass, as well as a storage compartment that houses four stainless steel ammo balls and a firestarter. In a post-apocalyptic world (or on a hunting trip), the Mentawai can easily take down small game with nothing more than a bit of sweat equity and steady aim.

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Make & Model
OTAC Primus Trauma Kit

Dimensions
8 by 6.5 by 3.5 inches

MSRP
$157

URL
www.otacgyr.com

Notes
A first-aid kit is essential for any preparedness-minded individual who wants to be ready for anything. Whether it’s a puncture, a gunshot wound, or a laceration, the Primus Trauma Kit is packed with various life-saving items to treat serious injuries. You even get to choose the type of tourniquet: CAT, RATS, or SOFTT-W. There’s also a few other items that could be handy in dire times for non-injuries, such as a Sharpie and an emergency blanket. Everything comes in a rip-away pouch that opens into three compartments for easy access. There are PALS/MOLLE straps on the exterior so you can hook this to your range bag, bug-out pack, or vehicle’s emergency kit.

issue-22-gear-up-rite-in-the-rain-notebook

Make & Model
Rite in the Rain No. 435 3″ x 5″ Pocket Top-Spiral Notebook – Elements Series

Colors
Arctic, Earth, Storm

MSRP
$3.95 each

URL
www.riteintherain.com

Notes
When society collapses or the grid goes down, so too will your smartphone and tablet. Even your two-way radios will eventually run out of batteries. Posting a letter at your rendezvous point might be the only way to provide a coded message to your family explaining where to meet next — unless of course rain or snow washes out your handwriting. Fortunately, Rite in the Rain has been making all-weather paper for almost a century, serving everyone from troops and firefighters to the logging industry. The company recently released notepads as part of its new Elements color series. Each notepad we tested has 50 sheets, an impact-resistant spiral binding, and handy rulers and conversion charts on the inside covers. The notepads will endure rain, stains, snow, and everyday wear.

issue-22-gear-up-gsi-outdoors-bugaboo-camp-cup

Make & Model
GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camp Cup

Capacity
14 fluid ounces

MSRP
$9 each

URL
www.gsioutdoors.com

Notes
You’ve probably gone on more than a few camping trips with paper or plastic cups loaded with your food and beverage supplies. The problem with doing that is, if you’re going with a group, you’ll need to bring many cups, which take up cargo space. Then you’ll have to haul them all out (because trashing a campsite is just ignorant). Paper and plastic also don’t hold heat or cold for long. The Bugaboo Camp Cup can change that. These vessels are made of lightweight anodized aluminum to retain the warmth of fresh coffee or the chill of an iced beverage. Plus, the bail handles fold to save space and there are convenient measurements stamped on the side. In a pinch, they can be used to boil water.

issue-22-gear-up-live-fire-gear-ring-o-fire

Make & Model
Live Fire Gear Ring O Fire

MSRP
$24

URL
www.livefiregear.com

Notes
Any prepper worth their salt knows you have to have multiple means of starting a flame. The Ring O Fire kit from Live Fire Gear will certainly deliver on that concept. This kit consists of three fire-starting items. First is the FireCord, a 550 paracord with its eighth inner strand being a color-coded red tinder that’s waterproof and easy to ignite. Use the FireCord as neck lanyards, zipper pulls, or boot laces and you’ll always have a way to spark a flame wherever you go. Second is the Live Fire Original, essentially a firestarter made from mineral oil, polymer resin, and other material that’s waterproof, cedar scented, and can be relit again and again. It comes in a tiny tin with a slide-top lid, so you can limit its burn and even use it as a candle. Third is a ferro rod with striker. Together, they’ll provide you with much needed redundancy this coming winter.

issue-22-gear-up-as-helle-fabrikker-algonquin

Make & Model
A/S Helle Fabrikker Algonquin

Overall Length
6.34 inches

MSRP
$169

URL
www.helle.no

Notes
If the Yacare is a little too much blade for you, the Algonquin might be more to your liking. A collaboration between Helle and Laura Bombier (a globetrotting photographer and outdoor adventurer), this short but stout knife is great for survivalists, hikers, and recreational campers. The key is the Scandinavian grind. Its two wide, flat bevels run down the side of the blade until they meet to form the edge, resulting in a razor-thin cutting surface. This is ideal for precision slicing, whether skinning hides or making tinder. Capped by a brass pommel, the handle is made of darkened oak, cURLy birch, and red leather inserts. It comes with a plastic-lined leather sheath and worn around the neck or tied to your belt. While there isn’t much of a finger guard — be mindful when thrusting, lest your digits slide onto the stainless steel laminate blade — the Algonquin is a combination of elegance and robustness.

issue-22-gear-up-kicker-lifestyle-products-bf100

Make & Model
Kicker Lifestyle Products BF100

Dimensions
9 by 3.3 by 3.3 inches

MSRP
$200

URL
www.kicker.com

Notes
Blasting Metallica from a speaker probably wouldn’t be the wisest thing to do in a bug-out situation in which speed and stealth is needed, but it’s certainly good times if you’re having a tailgate party to kick off the NHL season or relaxing by a campfire after a long day of tracking whitetail in the snow. The BF100 will let you do either, come rain, sleet, or shine. This waterproof, Bluetooth-enabled music system has an IP67 rating, meaning it can withstand dust, dirt, and being submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. But submergence for that long is unlikely because the BF100 also floats. About the size of a large tumbler and weighing 1.8 pounds, this unit had a 12-hour battery life, a hands-free speakerphone, and a Bluetooth range of 100 feet.

issue-22-gear-up-western-rise-dry-weight-merino-henley

Make & Model
Western Rise DryWeight Merino Henley

Colors
Clay, Coal, Moss

MSRP
$98

URL
www.westernrise.com

Notes
Loyal readers know how much we love wool. It’s nature’s super fabric. Among other benefits, wool is naturally moisture-wicking, so it keeps you cool in the summer and dry in the winter — the latter being key to not freezing to death. The DryWeight Merino Henley is 50-percent merino wool and 50-percent TENCEL, which is derived from Eucalyptus trees and dries three times faster than pure wool, yet is incredibly soft. This combination provides superior temperature regulation in a strong, gentle fabric that’s also odor resistant. Wear it alone in mild climates or as a base layer when the mercury drops. In addition, it features durable rubber buttons and hidden thumbholes at the cuff (which helps keep your hands warm if you forgot your gloves).

issue-22-gear-up-outside-inside-gifts-backpack-bocce

Make & Model
Outside Inside Gifts Backpack Bocce

Carry Bag Dimensions
5.5 by 5.5 inches

MSRP
$17

URL
www.outsideinsidegifts.com

Notes
For those who have had to evacuate to an emergency shelter or endured the task of supervising unruly kids during a backcountry getaway, entertainment is up there on the list of things you miss the most. TV, apps, a good book, video games. In a post-crisis situation, mind-numbing boredom can zap your morale and lead to stray thoughts. On a vacation, bored kids can lead to incessant whining and much gnashing of teeth. So, it’s wise to pack a few games, preferably those that get the body moving. Backpack Bocce from Outside Inside Gifts is a portable version of the ancient game most associated these days with seniors. The set comes with nine lightweight PVC balls in a mesh pouch that takes up less room than an MRE. A simple yet fun game that can be played year-round in the backcountry, backyard, or back office.

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Make & Model
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion Kit

Dimensions
6.3 by 4.3 inches

MSRP
$60

URL
www.RSDLReady.com

Notes
If you read our primer on gas masks on page 70, you know they filter out toxins in the air but won’t protect you against chemical warfare agents that contact your skin. If that happens, soap and water might not be enough — and in some cases will make it worse. Fortunately, the Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion Kit can remove or neutralize a variety of chemical agents, including Sarin, VX, and mustard gas. The kit is simple to use: identify contamination on your skin, open the package to access the sponge, scrub the affected areas, and leave the RSDL ingredients on your skin for at least two minutes. Then rinse with water when it’s safe to do so. Procured by the U.S. military for a decade and deployed to more than 30 countries, the kits are slim, light, and have a five-year shelf life.

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