Never be stuck without a fire with Tinder On A Rope ($8). Made with all natural, high resin content Pino de Ocote fatwood pine, this stick measures roughly six inches long by one inch square, and promises to supply an extremely hot flame, with the ability to light even when wet. Simply scrape off enough to get your fire going, and keep the rest for the next time you need it — an action which is made easier thanks to the attached lanyard. If only all "On A Rope" products were this useful.
Few products that are truly useful in the great outdoors also offer utility back at home — but Looprope ($20-$50) is one of the happy exceptions. Made from 1/4" heavy duty shock cord, this flexible cargo tie down system features multiple built-in flexible attachment points, letting you use it for everything from securing cargo to hanging lights, supplies, or pretty much anything else you can think of. Each rope also comes with two stainless steel carabiners for securing the rope itself, and holds up just fine in a washing machine — letting you use it for even the dirtiest of jobs without hesitation.
Make life around the campsite just a little bit more comfortable with this Easy Camp Tipi Tent ($150). Built as a modern take on an old-school teepee, this tent features a single pole through the center for support, with plenty of guy lines all around adding structure. Its hexagonal design gives it additional strength, while allowing it to accommodate up to four sleepers (or a whole lot of gear). Taped seams keep things nice and dry, while mesh prevents unwanted bugs and other pests, and fire-retardant polyester construction keeps you safe in case of a mishap.
Not everyone needs (or even wants) a full-fledged RV when they take to the road, and for some, even a small towable trailer is overkill. For the guy who doesn't need much, but still wants the comfort and security of an enclosed space to rest his head, there's the Firefly Trailer ($TBA). Designed and built by a former NASA architect who specializes in small habitats (and being sold by the company behind the unique Cricket Trailer) , this lightweight aluminum living space drops easily into the bed of a pickup truck. It features a folding couch perfect for sleeping and sitting, plenty of storage space to hold your essentials, and lunar-lander-like legs to keep it safely off the ground.
Just because you're sleeping outdoors doesn't mean you have to live like some kind of wild animal — step up your campground game and become king of the wilderness in this gigantic Safari Tent ($2,000). At ten feet by twelve feet, this tent is so big you may never miss the comforts of home. You'll have plenty of space for your inflatable mattress, all the gear you could ever need, and even a few (or eight) of your closest friends. With a nylon cordura outer skin and an aluminum inner frame, it can handle nearly anything mother nature throws at it, while the massive interior space will let you stand up while you wait out the storm.
There's nothing quite like a nip of the good stuff to keep off the cold during a long Fall hike or run down the bunny hills — and there's no better way to discreetly stow it than the Stanley Adventure eCycle Flask ($20). It's leak proof, so you never have to worry about waste, or spilling on your expensive outdoor gear. A two-stage lid makes cleaning and filling a breeze, while still making it easy to take a quick pull. And with a 12-ounce capacity, you can forget about running out at inopportune times (like getting stuck on a chair lift).
At some point outdoor gear and menswear collided to form the sort of rustic aesthetic that simultaneously shouts stylish and rugged — and the byproduct of that meeting looks something like this Dick van Hoff x Thomas Eyck Lunch Set ($300). While it's a steep price to pay to be prepared for a day on the trail and to look damn good doing it, there's no doubt it will last for years to come thanks to its fine leather and aluminum construction. So pack up your Pendleton bed roll, throw on your rawest pair of selvage jeans, and get ready to be the best-dressed guy at the trailhead. Just don't forget to pack a lunch.
When the white death approaches, defy your strongest urges to hole up with a warm blanket, slippers, and a space heater and dig your way out into the world with the Snow Joe Ion Cordless Snow Blower ($400). It features a heavy-duty 2-blade rubber auger that's capable of clearing an 18-inch-wide path through snow up to ten inches deep. It's also cord and gas free, so you can run it for as long as 40 minutes on a single charge, without ever having to worry about priming, tune-ups, extension cords, or noisy two-stroke motors. So while everyone else is griping about what a pain winter weather is, you'll be out enjoying the simple beauty of a freshly-fallen snow.
We've all been there at least once. You're on a camping trip, or hanging out around a fire in a friend's backyard, and you want to cook something over those hot coals — whether it's a marshmallow, a hotdog, or a squirrel. In order to get it done you have to either already have a skewer on hand, or you need to find the perfect stick and whittle it down to a proper point. But with Grandpa's FireFork ($7), you can leave all that hassle in the past. This single piece of sharpened stainless steel wire securely fastens to nearly any stick, instantly making it the perfect cooking tool. Its convenient carrying case prevents poked fingers, comes in a range of colors, and features a hole at the top that's perfect for attaching a lanyard.
Wearable technology is becoming increasingly common, making our devices easier to use and the information we have access to more useful than ever. The Oakley Airwave 1.5 Goggle ($650) features a unique heads-up display, delivering data unobtrusively to your field of view every time you hit the slopes. With Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS integration, you can control your music, analyze your speed and distance, determine the temperature, and even find your next run while you're on the move. You'll perceive the data in your goggles as if you were looking at a 14-inch screen five feet away, so you won't need to refocus your vision as you're moving. It's the perfect way to access all the information you need when you ski or snowboard, without the need to ever touch your smartphone.
If you're serious about backpacking, camping, or disaster preparedness, and you just can't imagine going on without a functional smartphone or tablet, then the Brunton Hydrogen Reactor ($150) is the portable recharging solution for you. This device doesn't rely on energy from an outlet to get its juice. Instead the hydrogen from its removable and rechargeable cores combines with oxygen from the atmosphere to create power on the spot, producing no emissions other than a puff of water vapor. The reactor is just over five inches long, weighs only half a pound, and can charge an iPhone through its built in USB port up to six times without needing a replaced or recharged core.
Carry everything you need to cook a complete meal in one portable unit with the BioLite KettlePot ($50). Made to work in tandem with the BioLite camping stove, this combination kettle and pot lets you pour hot liquids and cook food. The BioLite stove collapses and fits inside the pot, saving space in your pack. A silicone seal keeps the pouring top on securely, while silicone-insulated folding handles make it safe to carry. It's also made from food-safe stainless steel that's easy to clean and won't contaminate your food.