These are my favorite pieces of outdoor gear – and I only review products I feel are especially well made and function as designed…
KLEEN KANTEEN 64 oz GROWLER
Joining the growth number of environmentally-conscious products (functionally re-usable), Kleen Kanteen’s stainless steel Growler lets you bring tap beer and other dispensed beverages out to the campsite or cabin. Available in several large ounce capacities making it a durable, break-proof storage container in your camp kitchen – – or your favorite brew from the tap.
The ‘upside’ is fresh, draft beer around the campfire. The ‘downside’ is a huge metal container to be stowed or lugged around – unless, of course, it then doubles as a water jug!
DETAILS: High quality food grade 18/8 stainless steel, food grade silicone. Swing Lok® Cap; threadless for a tight, leak proof seal ensuring carbonation retention for beer. Electropolished interior, rounded corners easy to clean and maintain.
MICROLITE 500 FLIP LOCKING, FLIP-TOP VACUUM BOTTLE
Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle by GSIOutdoors – I filled it with boiling water, put it outside at -3F; after three hours it was still hot enough to blister the roof of my mouth. That’s heat retention at its best!
DETAILS: Vacuum-insulated bottle provides 8 hrs. heat and 16 hrs. cold retention; 1/3rd lighter than traditional designs; Weight- 7.9 oz.; thin, 2mm walls; 18/8 stainless steel, Push-button, flip top cap locks closed for transport-locks open for easy drinking.
1 LITER INFINITY DUKJUG
GSI-Outdoors’ backcountry water bottle has a unique design feature – a recessed area under that mesh collar, for wrapping up to 2 meters of emergency duct tape. The silicone grip easily rolls over the wrapped tape to protect it from damage so it’s always ready to use whenever you need it; Cam-Profile lid makes opening frozen bottles easy – even with mittens or gloves. Flex drinking straw folds under cap when sealed.
DETAILS: BPA-Free, fully recyclable, crush-resistant, clear polypropylene; tether-Cord Industry standard wide-mouth fits water filters and other bottle accessories; Tether-Cord iIndustry standard wide-mouth fits water filters and other bottle accessories; Cam-Profile lid opens frozen bottles easy- even with mittens or gloves.
BIGFOOT TRIPLE INSULATED STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLE –
Another great thermal bottle that keeps liquids hot for a very long time! The strainer cap insert holds back ice, tea leaves and such when drinking or pour. The narrow spout coupled with the wide-mouth opening makes it an all purpose beverage/food vessel.
DETAILS: 45 oz/ 1.3 liter -TriMax® triple insulation technology, vacuum insulate; tested to keep liquids cold 36 hours/hot up to 8 hours; dual use leak proof top wide opening/easy filling and small opening/easy drinking; interchangeable tops available; 18/8 premium stainless steel; no BPA, no phthalates, no liners; dual use top – interchangeable with flip spout lid; sturdy carrying strap; never sweats; recyclable.
VINE TRIPLE INSULATED STAINLESS STEEL WINE BOTTLE –
Simply stated, the VINE by Eco Vessel is a stainless steel 750 ml wine bottle! Carry a full bottle of wine insulated to maintain stable temperatures in a non-breakable bottle. It even comes with bottle brush cleaner and a funnel for easy filing. Eco Vessel offers bottles, vessels and other cool containers.
It comes with a funnel and bottle brush, so it can be used for other liquids once the wine is gone, but again, it’s a space-taking item that should be made to serve in multiple capacities on a weight-space-conscious adventurer.
DETAILS: TriMax Triple Insulation Technology maintains ideal temperature for 36 hours; premium 18/8 stainless steel, BPA and liner free, maintains true taste of wine; secure, leakproof top; recyclable; 3 inches wide x 12.25 inches high.
FOLDING BOTTLES – VAPUR’S “ANTI BOTTLE”
Part of the growing family of foldable/collapsible containers and vessels, VAPUR’s folding “anti bottle” comes with a screw top with a snap-lock spout, wide-mouth opening and carabiner clip loop – fully functional, reusable, flexible vessel that rolls, folds and flattens easily stowed when empty! The widemouth options makes filling easy and the stowing is as simple as folding it up and putting it in a pocket.
Although I haven’t tried it for such, I suppose you could store dry foods in these as well – the main advantage being a more secure container than a zip-lox, yet compatible once empty. Something to think about – especially when they come in several sizes.
DETAILS: dishwasher safe; can be frozen; integrated carabiner; weight: 1 ounce (87% lighter than rigid bottles), ultra durable bpa-free 3-ply material.
You can cook over open, glowing coals or place a small stove under the grill and cook up the daintiest pot of tea or the beefiest buck of buffalo stew in a Dutch oven. When you are finished, pull it apart and stash it flat away in a small, bomb-proof Cordura pouch that then slides easily into a side pocket of a pack – or in a glove box – or under the deck bungi on a kayak. Small accessory clips slip in easily at each corner to enable you to double stack the grill for taller stoves or to raise the cooking above the fire.
DETAILS: Available in three materials: lightweight Titanium ( L9”xW9“xH4”) / midweight Aluminum ( L18” x W12“ xH4”) / heavyweight Stainless Steel L9”xW9“xH4”). The aluminum and stainless steel are non-corrosive; the carbon steel is 1/4” thick; the titanium offers strength and durability. Includes “Leave No Trace” fire blanket and fire pan.
LOWFAT “MILK MAN” –
Made by Marron Foods’ this is the BEST POWERED MILK EVER! In all my years of backcountry camping, it has been a cold glass of milk that I’ve craved throughout the adventure – and a nearly insurmountable challenge to find a palatable sip of moo juice in powder form. Well, I’m here to confess, Marron Food’s “Low Fat Milkman with the kiss of cream.” is everything all other dry milk products aren’t and more! The secret is the cream added back into the dry formula – creating a much tastier milk.
DETAILS: Milkman® contains 5 percent milk fat before adding water, which reduces it to 1/2 percent milk fat once mixed. 3.44-ounce packets of mix are proportioned to be mixed with one quart of water; then served chilled for best taste.
TROPHY ANGLER’S Livewell –
The Trophy Anglers’ Livewell® keeps fish alive longer. At only around 2.5 lbs, it is truly the most versatile fish keeping device on the market. It fishes with you alongside your boat or you can submerge it to keep colder water fish such as walleye and trout at their preferred depth or temperature in the oxygen-rich thermocline. The Livewell can also be used to keep bait, especially sensitive baitfish, alive; too; and works
as a hospital for recovering fish, in that they areput straight back into their own environment. The top ring floats, and the bottom ring sinks, thus suspending the “basket” open enabling the fish to swim in the 22′ diameter and 22′ deep chamber.
The assisted-opening top allows the Trophy Anglers’ Livewell® to be opened with one hand, while you control your fish with the other and cinch the top closed. The depth adjustment cords on the side allow it to be towed with you in shallower water or to change the lead side for a faster troll, in order to keep the bottom down. It’s ideally handy for keeping it alongside your boat as well as right under your dock.
MPOWERD’S LUCI OUTDOOR-INFLATABLE SONAR LANTERN
It’s basically a blow-up, sun-powered, waterproof utility light that can be used by a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts – anywhere a soft and reliable light may come in handy. It’s a quick charge and can be stowed with the solar panels exposed for constant re-powering throughout your trek. Even when compressed it can be attached to your kayak deck and used as a running light. It’s a bright, diffused glow that provides ample light around camp or in your tent.
DETAILS: Weight: 4 ounces; diameter: 5”; standing fully inflated at 4.5” tall; Ten LED lights = 65 lumens of light covering a ten square foot area. Solar panels- 8 hours at full charge; up to 12 on the lowest (bright) setting. ON/OFF button is bull’s eyed in center of the solar panel side (opposite the inflation nozzle side). Completely waterproof (and it floats); it can be stowed on the deck of a kayak solar panel side up thereby keeping it charged and serving as a deck running light when turned on.
SEA-TO-SUMMIT X-POT / KETTLE
It’s a versatile tea-pot of a water boiler and mini pot (it’s wide top enables you to use it
for cooking, too!). Like other compressing cookware by SEATOSUMMIT, the X-pot is a space saver when packed away. One note of caution, because of the silicon material used on the sides/body of the pot (the bottom is heatable metal) you need to use it on a stove with a burner smaller than the diameter of the pot – otherwise it’s going to melt. A serious, but avoidable, problem for this type of gear.
DETAILS: Collapses to 1 3/8″ (35mm); 1-liter safe boiling capacity; Two glass-reinforced Nylon 66 handles support the upper rim and improve control when pouring. Two X-Mugs will nest inside, while the X-Pot / Kettle itself fits inside the X-Pots to create an exceptionally compact cook system. Dimensions 6 in. (dia.) X 3.5 in.; Weight 6.5 oz/186g; Volume 1.3L