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 as you troll the shorelines for bass. It is the perfect panfish basket, 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.

gr-live-well-profile-imagesThe Livewell can also be used to keep bait, especially sensitive baitfish, alive;  too; and works as a hospital for recovering fish, in that they are put straight back into their own environment.

The mesh netting “basket” does not harm the fish’s slime layer the way wire baskets do – crucial to the fish’s natural defense from disease and bacteria. It also shades the fish from the sun, leaving them calm in shaded cover. Thegr-live-well-1 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 as you place the fish and the basket back down into the water.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. 

You can attach an anchor to the mooring rings, or to the hand strap on the bottom and submerge your catch to the preferred depth and temperature. It’s ideally handy for keeping it alongside your boat as well as right under your dock.

For kayakers and canoers, this is a lightweight, deck-stowable, easy-to-operate piece of fishing gear every paddling angler should have. The Trophy Anglers’ Livewell® will keep anything that swims alive longer – and better!



MPOWERD’s Luci Outdoor-Inflatable Sonar Lantern

gear-luci-light-2I couldn’t wait to do a full field test to introduce you to the MPOWERD  Luci Outdoor -Inflatable Solar 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.

Weighing just 4 ounces, with a diameter of 5” and standing fully inflated at 4.5” tall, the very well-made LUCI has ten LED lights providing 65 lumens of light covering a ten square foot area. The solar panels carry a full  charge for 8 hours, up to 12 on the lowest (bright) setting. According to MPOWERD, the Luci Outdoor will be able to emit up to 4 hours of light after being stored for a year! The ON/OFF button is bull’s eyed right in the center of the solar panel side (opposite the inflation nozzle side) so you can pretty much turn it on without looking for the switch.

This will make a wonderful accessory for tents, cabins, vehicles, even stowed on the deck of a kayak  (could be used as an emergency running light if necessary). Two small straps attached to each end will enable you to loosely tie it onto decks or shelves or suspend it with the light shining up or down.gear-luci-light-3

Kayaker will appreciate the deflated size of this lantern that makes for easy storage, and
can also be secured on your deck and still emit light to let fellow paddlers see you at night. I encourage you to check out the Luci Outdoor at This would be the perfect Christmas gift for most any outdoor enthusiast – including yourself!


I love milk! In all my years of backcountry camping, it has been a cold glass of milk that I’ve craved throughout the adventure. So it has always been a nearly insurmountable challenge to get me to even insult my taste buds with a sip of moo juice in powder form.

Well, I’m here to confess, just like Sleeping Beauty, I’ve been awakened by a kiss – a kiss of cream! Marron Food’s “Low Fat Milkman with the kiss of cream… .” has won this milk junkie over. It’s everything all other dry milk products aren’t and more!



GEAR-SLATGRILL-1Grills, stoves, fireboxes – lots of names, lots of designs, lots of uses! Grills: a
rack-like grate used for either cooking foods such as steaks, fish, hotdogs right over an open flame or in the case of pots or foods in a container, over a stove. Stoves: a device that generates a concentration of heat usually through a fuel source contained there-in (gas) or externally (twigs, fuel cakes, etc.). It is usually only used in conjunction with food cooked in containers. Fireboxes: Used mostly as a stove but could be used to grill food as well. Fuel is usually introduced externally in the form of combustibles (twigs, chips, etc.).

And then there’s Slatgrills! It’s all of the above; it’s none of the above!  On aThe entire grill fits into a small bombproof nylon pouch. Easy to carry, easy to use!

Slatgrill you can barbeque a steak or fish fillet or a hotdog or anything you can grill on GEAR-SLATGRILL-3the old reliable Weber, or a grillwork stretching across a bed of coals. You can also 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.

And when you are finished,you can pull it apart and stash it flat away in a small stash it flat away in a small 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.

In relation to the above-mentioned cooking platforms, 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.

GR-SLATGRILL FULL SET-UPThe Slatgrill is much more handy than my cumbersome grill rack with its wobbly folding legs. And unlike the two “portable/folding” grills I have, the Slatgrill won’t tend to give or sag as soon as it bears the weight of the water pot. And it has a much larger surface than most fireboxes on the market. So it’s totally adaptable to both grilling over an open fire and heating a pan over a gas flame. Try grilling a ribeye steak over one of those tiny gas burners you brought along to cook with!

The specs on this conveniently versatile camp grill are as follows:

Material                     Dimensions                           Weight  –  (ideal use)

Titanium                    L9” x W9” x H4”                 1.0 lb. (lightweight camping)

Aluminum                 L18” x W12” x H4”               2-5 lbs. various configurations (trail)

Stainless Steel          L9” x W9” x H4”                 3 lbs. (affordable for scouts, etc.)

Carbon Steel             L36” x W 24” x H8”              75lbs. (home, patio, cabin)

Each Slatgrill is made in the USA and offers fully adjustable slat configurations.

SLATGRILLS should be used with “Leave No Trace” firemaking: Fire blanket and fire pan make for a clean fire.

You can cook with wood, charcoal, or gas. The aluminum and stainless steel are non-corrosive; the carbon steel is 1/4” thick; the titanium offers strength and durability. Suggested retail prices range from $89 – $199.

I used it with a single burner stove on a picnic table in a campground and over a bed of coals on a sandy Alaskan beach alongside a salmon stream – I love it!


GEAR-GSI OUTDOORS-COOK KITAs a kid growing up in the outdoors, one of my earliest prized possessions was a Palco cooking kit. You know the kind: fry pan/plate,cup and handle/latch all in one compact, stack-together kit with its own shoulder strap cloth case. Man, it was the coolest!

Image that kit, all grown up, college-edjeekated and classed up a notch or three – Voila! The GSI Pinnacle Camper!   A compact kit for a foursome who wants gourmet kitchenware out on the trail!

OK, it does require a camp stove as opposed to a fire pit and hot coals and it is a bit big for a bare-bones backpacker purest. For the rest of us who enjoy a good tasting, well-cooked meal out under the stars. This kit is the answer.

The Pinnacle Camper offers the essential stove top gear: frying pan, steaming/boiling pots; as well as cups with lids, bowls and plates for four.  The pots have strainer lids for easy draining. And if that weren’t enough, the whole thing packs together concisely and fits in its own carrying case that just happens to double as a soft-sided bucket or dishwashing basin.  Case (upper L) serves as dish pan/bucket, too. All pieces fit very nicely into each other for compact travel and storage.

Oh yes, the handle: it’s a small, hinged contraption that locks securely into the side of the pans. It stays in place while cooking and then folds down to fit inside a cup. The only drawback I can image is that it has several moving parts and a tension spring – if any of which fail, the handle is essentially worthless. Treat it properly and it should work just fine.

Here’s the techy stuff: “Crushproof” Strainer lids are made of BPA-Free Infinity polypropylene, The hard, anodized surface features a non-stick Dupont Teflon “Radiance” coating (technology which means it withstands abuse – you can use metal utensils!). The classic camp meal: bacon-onions-potatoes – in a shallow, but adequate frying pan. Handle (orange knob) stays on pan for cool cooking handling. The frying pan is rather shallow but cooks evenly, and fast (using a Coleman single burner camp stove).  It’s a great kit – would make a fine addition to any camp out kitchen. The triangular cup (which has a sipping lid, too) slips easily into slightly larger bowl of the same shape.