Q. When I go camping with my den I always forget some piece of my gear. How can I make sure I don't forget anything?
I’m sure you’ve heard the good advice about always having your emergency contact info on you when you’re playing in the great outdoors. But what do you do when you can't take your wallet? Xtreme Sports ID might be the answer.
Q. Hey Gear Guy, I went to a cabin in the snow a few weeks ago with my Scout troop. I wore my snow jacket and pants but I still got soaked. Can you recommend good waterproof clothing for the snow?
Q. I really like hiking but I don’t have anything for covering my backpack when it rains. What should I use?
It’s a jacket. Wait, it’s a sleeping bag. No, it’s a tent. Actually it’s a JakPak, an interesting new waterproof jacket with a built-in, deployable pack that converts the thing into a bivy sack (a tiny one-man tent).
Bigger isn’t always better. Especially when it comes to a heavy knife crammed in your pocket. That’s why we dig the new Gerber Curve.
Q. Dear Mr. Gear [Guy]: I’ve never had a good pair of winter gloves and I’m a real wimp when it comes to being cold. Do you have a certain pair I should get?
NEWS FLASH! Wearing a helmet while snowboarding and skiing is cool -- and mandatory. Whoever tells you otherwise is a total kook. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a first-timer, do yourself a favor and protect your melon.
Q. I have bought, used and received a lot of sleeping bags, and I just can't seem to find one that's warm enough. Please help.
Q. I’m having problems with packing for camping trips. I always pack too much or not enough. What can I do to not make those mistakes anymore?
Q. When our troop goes on a kayaking trips my kayak always sinks? How can I stop it from sinking?
Think you have what it takes to Go Cheap? Take the Gear Guy Challenge! Share some of your own money-saving tips and tricks, and we'll print some of the best tips in a future issue of Boys' Life.
Q. Dear Gear Guy. I’ve heard people talk about something called SUP -- I think it might have something to do with surfing but I’m not sure what it is. Can you fill me in?
Among the handiest accessories for backpacking are waterproof compression stuff sacks. They are great for compressing your clothes into a manageable size for easy packing or to make a bulky sleeping bag fit inside your pack.
Q. Hey Gear Guy, I am going cold-weather camping later this month, and I need a good new sleeping bag at a good price that I can use for a long time. It needs to be: Synthetic, at most 15 degrees, at most 4 pounds, and compact enough for backpacking. We are low on cash at the moment, so is there anything out there that I can get for around $100 that meets those requirements?
Q. What's up with those old Nalgene bottles? A friend of mine said they were made with stuff that's bad for you. Is that true? I still use one. Are they safe?
Q. I need to get a good sleeping bag that weighs two pounds at most and will keep me warm in at least 30-degree weather. What kind of bag should I look for?
Few things epitomize the Be Prepared motto more than the new Adventure Medical Kits S.O.L. 3 -- Survive Outdoors Longer.
This year is the Vasque Sundowner’s 25th anniversary. Over the years it has become one of the most popular hiking boots on the market -- and for good reason.
These jelly beans are designed to provide you energy when you’re really exercising or exerting yourself.
Q. I love mountain bikes but I never go on trails. I think road bikes are too delicate for my street and I never like going too fast. What should I do?
Q. Dear Gear Guy, which tent material better handles prolonged exposure to the sun—150-denier oxford polyester or canvas?
Okay, so this one isn’t exactly a piece of gear, but it is something we really, really like. AND it’s free! It’s an online music program called Pandora (www.pandora.com) which is basically like a radio station on the Web that plays only the music YOU like.
I actually don’t have a question. Just wanted to tell fellow Boys’ Life readers that Alps Mountaineering gives all Boy Scouts a 45 percent discount off list price on outdoor equipment on their website.
They look awfully silly, and the guys might laugh, but you'll be the one smiling at the end of the day after hiking or running in these toed socks.
What is the best lock-back pocketknife (3- to 4-inch blade) for the money?
I am looking for a nice backpacking stove that doesn't use too much gas or weigh too much. What can you recommend?
I mostly do warm-weather camping, but sometimes I go on winter camp-outs. I can only afford one sleeping bag, so can you recommend one that would work for both?
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Jetboil has announced a voluntary recall of certain Jetboil Personal and Group Cooking Systems.
Who says skate shoes aren’t for wearing in the wintertime? Whoever it was obviously has never seen the iPath Pro Reed."
What kind of light should I take if I'm going inside of a cave?
I've been having trouble finding a quality rain suit that does not cost an arm and a leg. Can you help, Gear Guy?
I need to know what you think about Gerber's Liquifusion Hydration line, specifically the Military Reserve Hydration Pack. I admire the size of the reservoir and the large Molle grid. I read that it is made here in the U.S. and it seems like the perfect summer camp daypack once I attach some Maxpedition pouches. All I need to know is your opinion on initial quality and your take on its usefulness for my chosen application.
I need a pair of good waterproof snow boots that don't cost a fortune. Can you help, Gear Guy?
I’m a first year Scout and this summer my troop went to Camp La-No-Che in Paisley, Fla. I took the Climbing merit badge and soon realized my tennis shoes were not suitable to scale the climbing wall. I left La-No-Che with a partial completion for that badge. I’d like to buy some climbing shoes before I attempt the climb again. Can you recommend good ones?
How can I make my first-aid kit small enough to fit inside a fanny pack but still have all the stuff I need?
I'm going on a camping trip with my troop, but my hunting knife broke. I see a lot of different hunting knives advertised. How do I know which one to buy?
Our family takes a vacation to the beach every summer. I've been boogie-boarding for the past several years, but now I want to try surfing. I know you can rent surfboards, but I want one of my own. Any advice?
My mountain bike is totally off gear. I put it on gear number 4 and it is on number 6. What do I do?
Where is the best place to get a bike?'
I want to get a Olympus SP-500 Ultra Zoom but whatever website that I look at they are always to expensive or I can’t find them.
Ever tried to write in the rain with a wet ballpoint pen? It's nearly impossible -- and that's exactly why there's Inka.
My tent leaks! Water runs through the rainfly! What should I do?
I need a hoodie for our next camp-out, and I was wondering what would be the best options?
This tiny, wrist-mounted 3-megapixel camera is one of the coolest things we've seen.
I have been saving up for a digital camera that I can bring on camp-outs. I have been looking for a while but am not sure what to buy and what I will really need. If I were to buy a camera it would need to be capable of going underwater and capable of falling and taking a beating. I am looking forward to doing more advanced things in Scouts but want to be able to show my family and friends. I have been struggling with this for a while and came to you since I know you will point me in the right direction.
How should I purify my drinking water when I’m on a backpacking trip? What’s the easiest and cheapest way?
This has to be one of the easiest and coolest ways to purify water we’ve seen. The SteriPEN is a high-tech gizmo that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to kill bacteria, viruses, protozoa and other things we can’t pronounce that hide in dirty water and make you sick.
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