Reduce the amount of gear you're packing to and from the lake by carrying the Kombo Fish Tool ($30). This fisherman's multi-tool works as a fish "bonker", a scooper, and a sharpener, and hides a high-quality stainless steel filet knife inside its plastic body, using a patent-pending locking mechanism to keep it from sliding out accidentally. Of course, it's going to be around water an awful lot, so it's also a good thing to point out that it floats — so there'll be no need to go diving out of the boat on a tool rescue mission with this one.
Used to be that if you wanted to stay in touch outside of cell phone range, a gigantic satellite phone was your only option. The InReach SE ($300) promises to provide off-the-grid communications without the need for a bulky phone. The SE itself is waterproof, dustproof, and impact-resistant, with a color screen, GPS, and a battery that lasts for up to 100 hours. It can send and receive texts (sorry, no voice communication), trigger an SOS signal that goes to the company's 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center, and track your GPS coordinates and share them via Facebook and Twitter. It also pairs with your smartphone or tablet over Bluetooth, giving you even more features while letting you take advantage of the larger screen — but just remember that while the InReach is fairly rugged, your smartphone probably isn't. [Scouted by Scott]
If you're in a situation where you need to use binoculars, you might as well give yourself the option of taking some pictures or video while you're at it. These Sony DEV-50V DVR Binoculars ($2,000) can do so with aplomb. The splash- and dust-resistant digital binoculars offer a huge 0.8x to 25x magnification range, XGA OLED electronic viewfinders, Exmor R CMOS sensors, Bionz image processors, Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, the ability to grab 20.4 megapixel still photos and 2D or 3D video, HDMI output, and built-in GPS for geotagging. Arriving in June.
It's a tent in the literal sense of the word — its 16oz waterproof cotton canvas skin makes it so — but that doesn't mean you'll be dragging the Luminair Tree Tent (£6500 and up; roughly $10,000) around with you. Instead, think of the structure as a semi-permanent tree house. Thanks to a hybrid aluminum and steam-bent ash frame, the entire tent, including floor and bunks, weighs just 264 lbs., despite being able to handle an additional 550 lbs. of load. At 3 meters in diameter, it's not huge, but it's certainly big enough for two adults and provides an interesting option for above-ground shelter in the wilderness.
Whether you're preparing for the worst or just planning for an extra-long hiking trip, the Lifesaver Jerrycan ($450) is a handy thing to have around. Capable of holding five gallons of fluid, the Jerrycan incorporates the same filtration technology seen in the Lifesaver Bottle, allowing you to transform filthy, germ-ridden water into clean H2O with just a few pumps. And just in case the worst happens, it can filter enough water to sustain a family of 4 for nearly a year — which is way longer than that stash of bottled water in the basement is going to last.
Like a yacht for the stream, the McLellan Jacobs Kayak 1 ($TBA) is an absurdly luxurious vehicle that will undoubtedly draw attention. But unlike a yacht, the Kayak 1 — with its carbon fiber body crafted by America's Cup boat builders, teak and ash detailing, and gold-plated brass fittings — won't be drawing attention from other people, but rather from fish, birds, and perhaps the occasional otter. Still, it weighs 40 pounds or less depending on what options you select, so odds are you'll still look presentable after hauling its nearly 13-foot shell from your vehicle to the dock and back, where you might actually see other humans again.
Carry your favorite form of over-snow transportation with you with these Function Ultralight Ski & Snowboard Carry Systems ($40). Weighing in at a ridiculous 84 grams — that's less than an iPhone 5 — these carrying systems are made from Mil-spec Nylon webbing, with Hypalon edge protection, and offer the ability to carry your stuff in backpack (snowboard) or bandolier (skis) configuration. When they're not in use, just stuff them into the included Tyvek stuff sacks that measure just 3.5" by 4.5", or small enough to fit pretty much anywhere.
This isn't your typical backyard relaxation spot. The Blue Ridge Camping Hammock ($140) is instead made for use in rough terrain, with a nylon pack cloth bed, nylon rope, aluminum alloy poles, and no-see-um netting. It's also ready for bad weather, thanks to a nylon rain tarp and two interior pockets to keep your stuff dry, and it weighs just 4.25 pounds, so you won't need to stop for the night quite as early.
Why bring both a headlamp and a lantern with you when one item can do the job of both? The Mammut T-Trail Headlamp + Light Dry Bag ($33) functions as a super-lightweight, 30-meter headlamp when you're on the trail, and then attaches to the included ambient light dry bag to provide pleasant diffused light once you've reached your destination. As the name suggests, you can also use the dry bag to protect valuables on the go or in bad weather, making this camping/survival tool a three-birds-with-one-stone proposition.
No, you're not Batman. And you don't have a Utility Belt. But you can get close with the Bear Star ($85). This titanium line thrower makes sure that you'll get your bear bag (For non campers: a bag full of food and whatnot that you don't want near you while your sleeping in case Yogi comes calling) up and into an awarding winning height. The Bear Star also keeps your line tangle free (50 feet of highly-visible cable is included). Does not include a mask, a billionaire alter ego, or parental issues.
Set yourself up with a steam room pretty much anywhere you want with the Sauna Box ($41,000). Built into a shipping container, this semi-portable sauna is designed to be completely self-sufficient, with solar panels providing the power and a wood-burning stove. Features include a red cedar interior, integrated iPod stereo, electric guitar hookup, Castor stool, a magnetic truck light, and bronze antlers. [Scouted by Aaron]
Keep your electronics from the elements inside the SmithFly Digi Pouch ($60). Crafted from heavy-duty 18 oz. vinyl, the Digi Pouch features Molle webs on a welded patch in the back of the bag, allowing it to work with pretty much any Molle-webbed thing out there while leaving its roll-top design completely water tight. Perfect for DSLRs, phones, or any other mission-critical gadgets.