Survival gadgets that would impress MacGyver
Calling all Bear Grylls wannabes – you could try and “take on the wild” like the Chuck Norris of the outdoors, but you will probably only end up with frozen toes and a shattered ego.
Instead, kit yourself out with some super-cool adventure travel products; it’s not cheating, it’s winning.
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1. Scuba cam
Save the underwater cameras for snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. This Wide Angle Scuba Cam is for researchers or extreme divers who want to take stunning panoramas beneath icy deserts like the North Pole or close-ups of jaws during a too-close-for-comfort Shark Dive. This camera is embedded in the apex of the snorkel which is handy for anyone trying to swim for their life.
This Wide Angle Scuba HD dive mask records HD 720P video (1280x720) with 5-mega-pixel still images. It’s equipped with a micro SD card slot. The mask has lever-style buttons, which eases changing modes while wearing diving gloves.
2. Flint and knife bracelet
Unless you’re a Boy Scout, you’re going to need some basic survival tools. This “gadget” may seem like a jewelry accessory borrowed from a downtown metrosexual, but it’s actually a three-part survival kit. The size-adjusting toggle is a 2.5-centimeter flint fire starter, and within the cord is a concealed stainless steel sharp-eye knife with a unique 2-centimeter blade and circle handle. The paracord also unravels to 4.6 meters if you ever fancy a little extra rope.
3. Emergency inflatable snowshoes
Let’s say the heli-skiing trip in Siberia went wrong and you’re somewhere between a tree, a rock, and an endless stretch of sinking powder that can’t take the weight of your exhausted lump of a body. Now would be a good time to have a pack of 1) biscuits 2) snowshows.
Get to that mirage of a Burger King with the Airlite inflatable emergency snowshoes, which can be pumped up from their tiny portable package. They aren’t meant to replace snowshoes, and are for emergencies only. Tested in extreme Alaskan winters, these puncture-resistant shoes with traction pads can be blown up by mouth, and for best results, further pumped up with a quick shot of CO2 to give better firmness.
US$168; ead more or purchase at www.airlitesnowshoe.com
Unless you’re Bear Grylls, improvising a hammock out of bamboo and banana leaf will only end in failure. Plus, if you’re in a horsefly-infested jungle, you’re going to need some exterior protection. Go prepared with an all-in-one tent hammock. Tent Hammocks offer four-walled, elevated protection for winter sports, expeditions, wildlife filming or even safaris.
This UV proof, water resistant Tent Hammock by Tenstile has a collapsible frame with webbed straps that need to be hooked up to three anchoring locations at a high level. Learn more at www.tentsile.com.
Prices start at GBP5,500(US$8,782) per unit, order online www.tentsile.com
5. Water-based power
A highlight of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year was the fuel cell smartphone recharger, which can use any water-based liquid ( i.e. urine, stream water, tap water) to make hydrogen, which is run through a fuel cell to generate electricity. The portable device is about the size of a hard-shell sunglasses case and can charge mobile devices like GPS receivers, smartphones or radios.
US$299, not including Power Pukk US$12, product not yet available outside the United States; PowerTrekk will ship in the U.S. between May and June in 2012. Learn more at mashable.com.
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6. The ultimate satellite phone
This phone is for the commitment-phobe remote traveler. Its GSM and satellite function allows adventure-seekers to use just one phone between urban and far-reaching locations.
The casing is water-resistant, shock-, and dust-proof, yet remains light. The battery gives an 11-hour talk time, and a stand-by time of 160 hours in GSM mode (more than 700 roaming partners worldwide). And forget squinting, there is also an advanced outdoor display with a brightness sensor for better readability when you’re being blinded by snow or sunlight.
But for the loner who should have thought twice before going on this “soul-searching trip” he or she can get an Internet connection. The Thuraya XT-DUAL has a built-in Internet Micro Browser so you can browse through the phone or hook it to a laptop.
See the store locator for where to buy www.thuraya.com.
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7. Mosquito-repelling shirt
OK, this one might not be the most “adventurous” item since the material is made of American Apparel cotton and not some meshy flame retardant Gortex number, but you’ll want it on your back if you’ve just dropped out of an airplane and into a mosquito-infested Amazonian jungle. The shirt is made with an EPA-registered insect repellent material. It’s been proven to repel mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers and midges. The odorless repellent lasts 70 washes.
Learn more or purchase at 6leggedtees.com.
8. Updated hydration pack
Outdoorsy bloggers like www.wired.com and www.utahoutside.com have raved about this pack. Reason being, its ability to shoot water into your mouth, rather than having to suck it in -– which is the last thing you feel like doing while panting in the hot sun.
It’s also great for sharing, since you never want to swap spit with your sweat-drenched friend, even when he looks like he’d murder you for a drop. The bag also has strong heavy-duty, eight-coil zips and the exterior is made of 100 percent Ballistic Nylon, meaning you won’t worry about where it lands while tossing it over an icy river.
US$125, 11.47 liters dry capacity, learn more at www.geigerrig.com.
9. Pint-sized mountable HD camera
Another CES darling is the Ego Cam. With the ability to live-stream video footage live to a smartphone, computer or tablet, it’s allegedly for “extreme athletes” who feel like they haven’t really accomplished anything unless the world can see it. Less than six centimeters all-round, it has a 2-inch LCD with two control buttons, three meters of water resistance, a 136-degree lens and an HD video camera with built-in Wi-Fi.
US$150; the cam comes out in June 2012, www.liquidimageco.com
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