My head is still spinning from my recent visit to Las Vegas for the 2013 SHOT Show. And no, my head isn’t spinning from a “Hangover” ending to my trip. I didn’t irritate Mike Tyson, and I didn’t wake up with a tiger in my bathroom; however, I think a couple of my friends came close.
I did have the opportunity to see some cool, new gear that could make your next outdoor adventure more successful. I wish I had room to bring you the entire lineup of new firearms, ammunition, clothing and gizmos, but North American Hunter doesn’t allow me to write a bible’s worth of content in a blog, so I'll share four of my favorites.
Are you tired of losing your iPhone or whatever electronic gizmo you're toting these days? I’m tired of digging under the seats of my Ram truck for lost phones and backtracking to trailhead locations for a second look. Stop the insanity now by purchasing a T-Reign. This device is sold as a protective case for your electronic devices, but includes an integrated Kevlar tether that attaches to your clothing. It has an 80-pound breaking strength. If you leave the phone lying around it automatically retracts and stays with you. Weather-resistant cases are also available in a variety of colors and soon in larger sizes for items such as binoculars. They also have a sheath for multi-tools. Have you priced a smartphone lately? Invest $35 and make sure your investment is permanently attached to you.
The T-Reign electronic device tether.
Industrial Revolution Arka LED Lantern
The problem these days, if you don’t lose your smartphone, is keeping it charged. The Arka portable, collapsible LED lantern illuminates and charges your devices with up to 180 lumens of light. It’s powered by a 4 amp-hour Li-lon battery that is charged via a simple wall outlet. A USB port on the side allows you to charge phones, cameras, GPS units and other devices while in the field. The lantern light can be focused for flashlight applications and a red light mode preserves night vision. You can expect up to 8 hours of light on high usage or nearly 50 on low. An LED light tells you the battery and charging status, plus a split ring on top allows you to hang the 7.5-ounce device. Stay charged and stay in touch for $69.99.
The Arka portable LED lantern and electronic device charger.
I’m a loner much of the year, and that means I have to rely on myself to get in and out of the backcountry. My dog, Sage, is just too small to drag me out and doesn’t quite have the vocabulary of Lassie (yet), although I did purchase her Rosetta Stone. She’s trying. That said I always take enough gear to cover any emergency, and the Survivor Firestarter is a must-have item. This fire-starting tool consists of a flint striker and magnesium to combine for 20,000-strike confidence when you absolutely need to start a fire. The starter kit is packaged in an orange or black handle complete with a compass and thermometer. The magnesium is 99-percent pure and can ignite in seconds under dry or wet conditions. Plus, you can use the starter for emergencies or even to fire your backyard grill. Don’t rely on Lassie, but rely on the Survivor Firestarter for $25.
Watch this video to see a Survivor Firestarter demo.
Nikon Prostaff 7 Laser Rangefinder
Bigger isn’t always better, and the new Nikon Prostaff 7 Laser Rangefinder illustrates that point perfectly. The 6x21 unit includes the bowhunter-approved 5-yard minimum distance for those in-your-face shots, plus it measures distances in .1-yard increments when accuracy counts, especially at long range. It has true 600-yard ranging capability so it can be used for archery or firearm hunts, especially those combining the use of Nikon’s Spot-On Ballistic Match Technology married to the BDC reticle. Because everyone encounters radical elevation changes during hunts, the Prostaff 7 also sports Nikon’s advanced incline/decline technology or ID. You’ll get exact readings even when encountering up or down shooting angles plus or minus 89 degrees. The ergonomically contoured rangefinder fits nicely in your hand and is ultracompact, waterproof and fogproof. It performs like a heavyweight, but hits the ring as a lightweight, and for me, smaller is better. Enjoy this for a retail price of $299.95.
The Nikon Prostaff 7 Laser Rangefinder.