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You Are My Sunshine

Design Spotlight: AE Light SolarMine Emergency Lantern

The Boy Scouts of America’s motto is simply “Be prepared”. They’re spot on: failing to do so can lead to some seriously bad outcomes when true disaster strikes. The AE Light SolarMine Emergency Lantern ($115) is made to give you light in exactly that unfortunate occasion, and having proved itself during Japan’s horrific 2011 earthquake…

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Leather legacy

Danner Mountain Trail Left Bank Boot

Boot technology has come a long way since the days of Sir Edmund Hillary, but some things, like a vintage-style hiking boot, should never change. Danner, in collaboration with Tanner Goods, has made an exemplary modern classic in the Danner Mountain Trail Left Bank boot ($350). Made in the Portland, Oregon Danner factory, this special…

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Pin a Tail on Your Donkey

Dinoot Modular Camping Trailers

Unless you’re fastpacking, any trip involving more than two people (kids, especially) maxes out vehicle cubic space before you run out of things you need to bring. Dinoot Modular Camping Trailers ($789+) let you take everything on your list, plus everything on your wife’s list, too. With modular, build-as-you-go setup, each trailer is customizable to…

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Porta-chopper

Best Made Co. Duck Canvas Axe Case

A list of locales that are not axe-friendly: your kid’s preschool; any school, for that matter; certain churches, chapels, mosques, temples and cathedrals; Apple stores. For everywhere (ok, not everywhere) else, there’s the Best Made Co. Duck Canvas Axe Case ($110+). This perfect answer for card-carrying axemen is designed with safety and protection in mind,…

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Don't bury this one

Hardcore Hatchet

Often, when you’re a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. So good on Hardcore Hammers for busting their own paradigm with the Hardcore Hatchet ($45). The move is a natural one for the hammer makers — from one artful, useful expression of wood and metal to another. Like their hammers, every hatchet is individually…

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Style Pick: Diemme Roccia Vet Vesuvio Suede boot

Italian shoemaker Diemme has been crafting fine footwear for mountaineering, trekking, military, safety applications and hunting since 1992. But a tradition of practicality doesn’t mean their products aren’t stylish. The Diemme Roccia Vet Vesuvio Suede boot ($400) is evidence to that effect. Originally created as part of their hunting line, the Roccia Vet Vesuvio is…

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Zen lighting

Snow Peak Mini Hozuki Lantern

The Japanese are known for minimalist design and intelligent engineering; Snow Peak embraces those values in its new Mini Hozuki Lantern ($40). Styled after a traditional Japanese paper lantern just like its larger sibling, the Hozuki Lantern, the mini Hozuki is an elegantly simple battery-powered camping light that weighs all of 2.4 ounces, lasts up…

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Pull the wool over your eyes, and everything else

OFS Limited Edition Military Blanket by Faribault Woolen Mills

A good blanket is an unsung hero both at home and in the field. The OFS Limited Edition Military Blanket by Faribault Woolen Mills ($170) is the latest addition to our Linus-like arsenal. Faribault Mills is the oldest manufacturing facility in Minnesota (we hear it gets pretty cold up there), having been around since 1865….

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These boots were made for walkin'

Danner Tektite Plain Toe Boots

Danner, the famed Portland, Oregon bootmaker, has been manufacturing some of the finest boots made for hunting, hiking, work and law enforcement since 1932, but their new Tektite Plain Toe 3″ Boots ($115+) throw pomp and tradition aside. In the pursuit of melding sneaker fit with work boot toughness, Tektites use both a lighter platform…

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It's hip to be square

Kickstarter: Square by CleanBottle

When was the last time you thought about your water bottle? When it leaked? When your water started tasting funky? Well, the Square by CleanBottle may be the first bottle you not only think about, but covet. Developed by a Red Dot award-winning designer and a team of former Apple engineers, the SQUARE is a…

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Roughing it just got easier

In-Depth: BioLite CampStove

Earlier this year, we told you about the innovative new BioLite CampStove, which promised to not only cook your wieners but also charge your smartphone using only firewood. This summer, I had a chance to take one camping to see how it worked in the wild. I took it on a road trip to northern…

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Knife Light

SOG Blade Light

Cut down on your EDC bulk by combining a couple of items into one. No, the smartphone/cigar lighter hasn’t been invented yet. Until it is, you can occupy your time with the SOG Blade Light, a combination 3.9 inch 9Cr18MoV Stainless Steel folding knife and LED flashlight that cuts through the darkness and other evil…

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Whittle me this

L.L. Bean 100th Anniversary Swiss Army Knife

The heralded Freeport, Maine outdoor retailer has been in the business since 1912, and their line of 100th Anniversary products now includes the L.L. Bean 100th Anniversary Swiss Army Knife. Created in partnership with Swiss Army Knife maker Wenger, the heirloom knife is made of simple but attractive reclaimed walnut wood, and each model’s woodgrain…

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Ditch the canteen, break out the stein.

Pat’s Backcountry Beverages

It’s not exactly practical to lug bottles of beer or soda when you’re roughing it in the great outdoors, but if you can get your hands on something other than water and coffee, it’s a welcomed treat for your parched lips at the end of an active day. Pat’s Backcountry Beverages allows you to do…

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No assembly required

Kelty Mach 6 Air Pitch Tent

Camping is awesome. Simple as that. Where it does get a bit hairy, though, is in the construction of your own personal nature suite, the tent. Even at the best of times, getting one put together and upright is still a chore. It gets exponentially worse with every brew you consume — a number that…

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Sharpest tool(s) in the shed

Zippo 4-in-1 Woodsman

Growing up in the boonies teaches you lots of things: at a young age, you knew that field dressing was neither a female garment nor a salad accessory; your childhood memories were made possible by lax zoning laws; and educating coworkers on the finer points of raising livestock isn’t as difficult as you thought. If…

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Burn at both ends

Strike Match Holder

Can you believe the classic matchbook hasn’t been updated in over 100 years? That’s changed with the Strike match holder, a pocketable stainless steel match dispenser from product think tank Quirky that holds almost 50 matches. The modern fire-maker’s biggest trick is a strike-coated barrel that lights matches in one motion as they’re removed from…

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Art of the Grill

Snow Peak Baja Burner LI

Here’s a new twist on an old dictum: dissatisfaction is the mother of all invention. This illustrates well what set accomplished mountaineer Yukio Yamai on the path to a superior stove that could meet all his needs without unnecessary clunkiness. His Baja Burner LI ($160) is simplicity and humbleness made tangible. Composed of stainless steel,…

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Celebrating 100 years as working man's best friend

Stanley 100th Anniversary Vacuum Bottle

If you’ve ever ventured into a cold winter morning with your old man, there’s a good chance you’ve drunk coffee the best way it’s served: piping hot, with steam rising out of the top of an old Stanley Thermos’s cap cup. To celebrate 100 years of that stoic pea-green metal friend, Stanley is releasing its…

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Some good pot

Vargo Titanium BOT Bottle Pot

Light and compact is the mantra of anyone schlepping gear from a to b on their own two feet. You have to be able to cook, eat and drink without looking like you just raided a Williams-Sonoma store. Vargo’s Titanium BOT Bottle Pot does just that, despite having been named by a less-than-poet-laureate. Made of…

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Baggy brewin'

Grower’s Cup Coffee

We’ve covered plenty of solutions for drinking Barista-grade coffee out in the bush, but European brand Grower’s Cup should win the lazy bon vivant’s stamp of approval. Each of their Coffeebrewer bags are self-described as a disposable french press. Every bag contains a filter with 26 grams of specialty coffee — good for brewing up…

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This kind of space would run you around $1,800/month in the city

Stoic Arx XL 2 Tent

If you’ve avoided enjoying the great outdoors because you can’t stand being cramped into a stifling claustrophobic tent, check out Stoic’s Arx Xl2 ($188), a tall camper 2-person tent that’s as lightweight as it is spacious. Although the entire structure takes up just 28 square feet of ground, the long and wide dimensions allow for campers…

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Oh you fancy now

Buck Custom Knife Builder

Buck has been making knives since 1902. You’ve been making knives since, uh, never. That shouldn’t stop you from combining your extensive talent with Buck’s 100 years of experience to create a unique blade via their new Buck Custom Knife Builder ($62+). Using the online tool, buyers can choose between two knife models (the 500…

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Cool Out(doors)

BaseCamp Refrigerator & Freezer

Love camping but hate truly roughing it? BaseCamp’s monster 42-quart Refrigerator/Freezer ($860) plugs right into your car’s 12V DC power system and can keep food/beverages/fresh kills cold at a 0°–45°F in one of two storage bins — leaving you to sit by the fire imagining whether you’d make it as a cowboy in the old…

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Brunch. Anywhere.

Nau Luxe Cafe Kit

Camping requires plenty of tradeoffs, but your morning routine is one area where you shouldn’t have to sacrifice. Highly functional and highly stylish brand Nau felt your pain and collaborated with Snow Peak to create the Nau luxe cafe kit ($125). It’s a lightweight set that provides most of the comfort of a typical brunch…

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Leave it to Cleaver

Woodman’s Pal Military Premium 284

If you’re itching to reenact an episode of Lost, husk coconuts, or just clear brush, the Woodman’s Pal Military Premium 284 machete should come in handy. The made in the USA concave axe blade, forged in high carbon steel (hardened to Rockwell C47+2 for you knife aficionados), “catches” branches and vines, reducing the glancing blows…

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Flyweight

Timberland LiteTrace Hiker

Eschewing the goliath, steel-toed, curb-stomp readiness of hiking boots of yore, the LiteTrace Mid Waterproof Hiker ($150) are the funked-up kick you’ve been looking to hit your next trail with. Three-ply laminated waterproof membrane, durable upper mesh and climbing rubber overlays, Pebax midsole foam for durability and comfort; and Green Rubber lug soles for outstanding…

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Pigs too can fly

Flying Pig Fly Rods

When Larry Damore isn’t rocking audiences behind the mic touring with punk band Pegboy, you can usually find him somewhere upstream, in a calm and quiet section of the Mississippi. The Chicago based lead also happens to be an avid fly fisher and craftsman to boot. Flying Pig Performance Fly Rods are the result of…

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Knot Your Average Rope

ASR Tactical Kevlar Survival Cord

It’s a fact: technological improvements make simple survival tools more effective. There’s no shame in using a lighter rather than flint and steel, water purification tablets over straining through a sweat-soaked T-shirt, or spraying some deet versus smearing cool, putrid mud all over yourself. In the same vein, ASR Tactical Kevlar Survival Cord ($7) is…