Top Picks for Emergency Tool Kits

When choosing a backpack , you’ll want to take into consideration what kind of expedition you’ll be taking. Basically, backpacks fall into three types – day packs, internal frame packs and external frame packs.

Day Packs
Day packs are exactly what they’d seem, a pack for day hikes, climbs or bike rides. Normally soft-backed or frameless, these packs are lightweight and build for loads between 10 and 15 pounds.

Internal Frame Backpacks
Constructed for bigger, heavier loads of 15 pounds and up, these packs feature aluminum, plastic or polymer rods located within the backpack and should hug the contours of the back, transferring most weight to the hip area. These should come with a good, supportive hip belt and are useful for activities from climbing and skiing to rugged hiking. Pack properly to keep weight well-balanced and stable.

External Frame Backpacks
Made for the heavy loads necessary for lengthy wilderness trips, these packs hang off an external frame, taking the weight further from your back, offering the higher center of gravity that will allow more of an upright posture. Externals like sleeping bag, food and your tent are strapped to the frame.

Whether you’re headed out for an afternoon’s hike a week’s tough trek through the mountains, one of the backpack essentials you’ll need is a multi-purpose emergency tool kit, providing a compact assortment of camping and hiking necessities from screwdrivers and flashlights to fish hooks. Following are a few of the most popular kits.

1.Lifeline 26-Piece Ultralight Survival Kit
This lightweight, comprehensive survival kit has all the basics and weighs only 5.5 ounces. All rolled up in a sturdy, weatherproof bag you’ll find a dozen first aid and survival items including a surgical blade, emergency whistle, 10-foot survival cord, compass, fire starter, survival blanket, fishing hooks and 50 feet of 10-pound fishing line.

2. Gerber 31-001047 Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Pack with Multitool, Flashlight, and Fire Starter
Packing a punch at an amazing price, this top-of-the line workhorse has everything you’d need in a backwoods emergency. Sturdy multi-tool features 12 components, including wire cutters, wood saw and screw drivers, all of which lock for safety and dependability. With four hours of run time on just one AAA battery, high LED output tempo flashlight boasts rugged construction and an anodized aluminum body. Tuck it all in the six-inch long plastic sheath along with the fire starter rod and you’re ready for anything. There’s even a “Priorities of Survival Pocket Guide”.

3. Chafon New Mini Compact Multifunctional Emergency Shovel
With thirty vital emergency functions packed into one neat package, this top-selling survival kit includes a shovel head, flashlight, fire starter, wire cutter, hammers, ax, knife and screwdriver, all tucked into a waterproof hollow tube with high quality rings. Weighing just 3.3 pounds, the kit is 33.4 inches long.

4. Crazy Shopping Mini Camping Survival Tool Kit
Easy to carry and budget-priced, this mini tool kit is easy to tuck away in your backpack with its compact 3.7 x 2.6-inch measurements. A little over an inch deep, sturdy box contains a wire saw, compass, whistle, fire starter, pliers with flashlight and a multi-function card knife.

5. Ultimate Survival Technologies Micro Survival Kit
Small, lightweight and super portable, this little survival kit won’t take up much room in your efficiently packed backpack. Compact, highly effective micro-tools are tucked into a re-sealable waterproof bag and include a razor saw, fire starter, tinder cubes and button compass.

The Best Wristwatches For Camping

Wristwatches for camping are available in a mind-boggling array of styles and functionalities.

As with all camping and adventuring equipment, it’s important to identify your needs as well as how much you’re willing to spend. It’s possible to pick up a rugged, functional timepiece offering standard features like a compass, calendar and altimeter for a relatively reasonable price.

But if you love your gadgets, these watches are also available with an astonishing slate of extras from detailed weather functions to barometers. Most have at least some water resistance but you’ll want to check depth criteria if you’re planning to swim, snorkel or dive.

Weight and style are other considerations as many fashion-conscious outdoor enthusiasts like a timepiece that also wears well at the office.

 

Pyle Digital Multifunction Sports Watch

Pyle Digital Multifunction Sports Watch

Boasting a host of all-important extras including an altimeter, barometer, compass, chronograph and weather forecast function, the rugged Pyle Digital Multifunction Sports Watch is a must-have when you’re scaling those alpine peaks.

This reasonably priced time-keeper boasts a digital electro luminescent back light, an altitude display, a pre-programmed digital calendar, a sea level pressure display and a multitude of other extras.

Timex® Men’s Intelligent Quartz Watch

Timex® Men's Intelligent Quartz Watch

Featuring a compass, tide and temperature function, the Timex Men’s Intelligent Quartz Watch is a superior choice for outdoor adventures.

A silver case and black strap lend a classy look to a reliable time-keeper that also features an INDIGLO® Night-Light, tide tracker, digital thermometer and highly accurate digital compass.

Water resistant to 330 feet, this rugged sports watch is well suited to snorkeling and swimming but not for diving.

 SKMEI Outdoors Watch

SKMEI Outdoors Watch

Fashionable, functional and sturdy, the SKMEI Outdoors Watch is the perfect sports watch for outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for an energetic, youthful design.

Water resistant to 50 feet, the watch is perfect for surfing, snorkeling and swimming. Additional functions include date function, quartz movement and luminous face.

Lad Weather Outdoor Wrist Sports Watches

Lad Weather Outdoor Wrist Sports Watches

Boasting fine German engineering as well as a super choice of eight colors, the Lad Outdoor Wrist Sports Watch is a top choice among tech-savvy professionals with a love of the wilderness.

This rugged camping/hiking accessory boasts a broad range of functions including a digital  compass, altimeter, barometer, chronograph, weather forecast feature and alarm.

Power saving mode, electro-luminescent backlight and count down timer are just a few more of the extras that can keep you safe and informed on all your outdoor adventures.

Suunto Vector Watch

Suunto Vector Watch

Handsome enough to wear to the office, the Suunto Vector watch features solid construction, superior design and incredible versatility.

Big, bold and rugged, the Suunto is ideal for the serious backcountry skier, climber or hiker, boasting an outstanding timepiece, active barometer and a compass precise enough for orienteering.

Best Choices for Camping Radios

Whether you’re hunkered down at home awaiting an impending hurricane strike or out on a long backpacking expedition, you’ll want to stay tuned to what’s going on with the weather, and today’s emergency radios do so much more. Many feature convenient hand-cranking charging in addition to using batteries or even solar power, so no matter what the conditions, you can keep up with what’s going on in the outside world. Look for the features that are important to you, whether it’s portability, weight, two-way communications, an antenna for boosted reception or a USB port for keeping your phone and other devices charged.

ENHANCE Emergency Radio

ENHANCE Emergency Radio

Fully equipped with everything you could ever want in an emergency, this sturdy hand crank radio has a loud siren, a powerful flashlight with AM/FM/WB (Weather Band) modes and loads of radio capabilities. The highly efficient ENHANCE Weather Radio keeps you completely up to date on everything from hurricanes and tornadoes to major blizzards by providing access to FM, AM and WB frequencies. Compact design means easy storage and portability, so it’s handy whether you’re hunkered down in an emergency or listening to some tunes in your workshop. You can use the hand crank or charge using a USB charger or two AA batteries.

Ivation Water-Resistant Radio

Ivation Water-Resistant Radio
More than just your standard emergency radio, the sturdy Ivation water-resistant radio can also crank out some powerful tunes. The Ivation is both solar and dynamo-powered and offers AM/FM/NOAA radio frequencies for everything from tracking a hurricane to charging your phone or rocking out to some tunes on the amazing Bluetooth speakers at your campsite. This little multi-tasker features Bluetooth audio, SOS alerts and a handy alarm clock. A telescoping antenna gives optimum reception remote areas. Charge your mobile devices at camp or enjoy private listening with the convenient USB port and headphone jack.

 

Midland Two-Way Emergency Crank Radio

Midland Two-Way Emergency Crank Radio
With a powerful emergency featuring 22 GMRS/FRS channels as well as all ten of the NOAA weather channels, this popular two-way radio packs communication and emergency into one must-have package for emergencies in the wilderness, on the road or when the lights go out at home. Use with the microphone or hands-free with the VOX feature. Not just for emergency usage, the Midland also has an AM/FM radio, alarm clock and an LED flashlight. The rechargeable battery can be charged by hand crank or by AC or DC power adapters or AA batteries. Designed to be water resistant, this rugged radio is backed by a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.

 

American Red Cross Radio

American Red Cross Radio
Rugged, compact and reliable, the Red Cross Radio is easy to tote along on a backpacking trip or tuck away in the cupboard at home for emergencies. There are plenty of ways to charge up this little powerhouse. Use rechargeable batteries, the hand crank, solar power or AAA batteries to access AM/FM and Weather Band alerts or pull out the powerful LED flashlight and emergency beacon. You can even charge your smart phone on the trail or in the dark with the handy USB.

 

Kaito Portable Radio

Kaito Portable Radio
A powerhouse of functionality perfect for emergencies or just listening to the ball game at the campsite, the Kaito Portable Hand Crank Solar Weather Radio has AM/FM and NOAA capabilities as well as a cellphone charger and brilliant three-LED flashlight. Compact and portable, the Kaito is the perfect addition to a well-stocked backpack with its five-way powered emergency system. A standard five-volt DC USB output can charge your smart phone, tablet or other portable devices. When everyone else is asleep, plug in the earphone jack for private listening.

The Best Pillows for Camping

Gone are the days when you had to save weight and space in your backpack by letting your clothes double as a makeshift pillow. Today, you can choose from a dizzying array of special camp pillows, designed to save backpack room and minimize weight while providing the ultimate in comfort after a tough day on the trail. When choosing a camp pillow, keep in mind how much room you’ll have in your backpack, what sort of firmness you need to avoid a day of hiking with a stiff neck, durability, softness and ease of packing. Long expeditions may call for the ultimate space-saving quality of an inflatable pillow, while a tent trip in the car allows for more size and weight in your bedtime amenities.

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow
With several sizes including a new 16.5×27 inch XL, this soft, lofty compressible camp pillow squeezes into the size of a football when tucked away in its built-in drawstring pouch. Weighing just 9.5 ounces, the Therm-a-Rest has polyurethane foam filling and a smooth cotton cover that comes in a lively bunch of colors and patterns. Bring it along for everything from weekend camping getaways to backpacking expeditions and long car trips. For maximum fluff and softness, wash and dry before using.

ALPS Mountaineering MicroFiber Camp Pillow

ALPS Mountaineering MicroFiber Camp Pillow
With a super-soft microfiber cover and ultra-light TechLoft+ insulation, the ALPS MicroFiber camp pillow stuffs into its own drawstring stuff sack, allowing it to take up minimal space in your bag. Easy to squeeze into the sleeping bag compartment and very affordable, the ALPS pillow comes in 10”x20” and 16” x 24” sizes, compressing down to less than half the size. The pillow also provides superior neck support and traps head heat well.

TETON Sports Camp Pillow

TETON Sports Camp Pillow
Weighing only .80 pounds complete with case and stuffing sack, the comfy TETON Sports Camp Pillow comes in four stylish colors to match TETON Sports sleeping bag liners. Next best choice to a full size pillow for comfort, the TETON includes a no-shrink, envelope-style high-count cotton flannel pillowcase for ultimate softness against your face. Airy SuperLoft Elite four-channel fill means the fill stays in place rather than bunching up in one spot, providing superior comfort and neck support along with a great night’s sleep, The taffeta drawstring stuff sack with barrel-lock is easy to attach to your backpack and the cool mini-sleeping bag design is a big hit with kids.

Intex Camping Flocked Pillow

Intex Camping Flocked Pillow
Sometimes weight and bulk considerations mean you’ll be looking for the ultimate space saving quality of an inflatable pillow like the Intex Flocked Pillow. Weighing next to nothing, this easily inflated and deflated pillow has comfy I-beam construction and a cozy waterproofed flocked top that’s easy to keep clean. The pillow measures a roomy 17” x 11” when inflated and folds up smaller than a deck of cards.

Stansport Self-Inflating Pillow

Stansport Self-Inflating Pillow
Comfortable and sturdy for those rugged expeditions, this self-inflating pillow measures a generous 25” x 72” for an extra layer of comfort under your sleeping bag. The easy-grip valve cover makes self inflation a breeze, while the cross-woven oxford cloth shell keeps your sleeping bag firmly in place. A mesh stuff bag and clips on the two web straps ensure easy storage and transport, while the pillow’s high density foam core filling means you’ll slumber blissfully even on the roughest terrain.

Top Picks for Camping Chairs

Whether you’re camping out in the woods, enjoying a day at the beach or cheering on the kids at a soccer game; having cool, comfortable and convenient off-the-ground seating is a priority. A number of factors should be taken into consideration when buying a folding chair, including cost, weight and ease of transport. Most chairs can accommodate between 200 and 300 pounds and come with a carrying case. Think about whether you want built-in cup holders and how many, whether storage size and weight are important, and whether you want standard chair height or a low-slung style that lets you lean back and stretch out. The following are a few of the many models of folding camp chairs, offering comfort and ease on those hot summer beach days and cool nights around the campfire.

Coleman Camping Oversized Quad Chair with Cooler

Coleman Camping Oversized Quad Chair with Cooler
This comfy high-backed chair boasts a heavy-duty steel frame capable of supporting up to 300 pounds, yet folds up easily to fit inside most car trunks. With adjustable arm rests and a built-in soft arm rest cooler for up to four cans (mesh holder accommodates a fifth), this black nylon mesh chair has all the features to keep any camper comfortable and relaxed. Pack it up in its convenient carrying bag and sling it over your shoulder for easy transport and storage.

Quik Chair Folding Quad Chair

Quik Chair Folding Quad Chair
This sturdy, lightweight quad chair snaps open and closed in seconds, making it an easy, convenient addition to any camp site. Strong steel frame construction is built to hold up to 225 pounds of happy camper in the comfy, durable polyester seat. Just under 36 inches tall when collapsed, the chair takes up minimal room when stowed away in its carrying bag with included strap. Perfect for camp sites, sporting events or just a back yard barbecue, the seat has a built in cup holder and comes in a choice of red, green or blue.

Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair

Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair
Don’t worry about your chair collapsing under you when you pick up one of Kijaro’s dual lock folding chairs, designed to lock into both opened and closed positions. With an exquisitely comfy seat and superior posture support, this luxurious, breathable mesh-back chair keeps you cool and comfortable at camp sites or sporting events. Enjoy the convenience of two cup holders and an organizer with both zip and mesh pockets for those all-important items like keys and cell phones. Available in an astonishing choice of 13 colors, the dual lock folding chair is built to support up to 300 pounds and comes with a convenient storage case with a carrying strap.

Mac Sports Bazaar Highback Folding Chair

Mac Sports Bazaar Highback Folding Chair
Ideal for every outdoor event from camping trips to sporting events, this sturdy folding chair boasts a durable 600 denier polyester cover and heavy-duty powder-coated steel frame built to support up to 225 pounds. Sit back and relax with a drink tucked away in the mesh cup holder conveniently placed in one of the comfortable arm rests. If things get muddy, clean it up quickly with water and mild soap and you’re on your way. Comfortable, affordable and easy to transport, the Bazaar opens and folds in seconds and comes with a convenient carrying case.

Alps Mountaineering Rendezvous Chair

Alps Mountaineering Rendezvous Chair
Boasting a compact, sturdy design, the Rendezvous is slung low to the ground to allow you to stretch out and really relax, whether at the beach or camp site. Available in cool camp colors of khaki or rust, this ultra-comfy chair has a sturdy, attractive powder coated steel frame, weighs less than seven pounds and can accommodate up to 300 pounds. Airy mesh back keeps you cool and relaxed, while the convenient carrying bag makes transport and storage a breeze.

 
 
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