In the fall of 2021, I found myself meandering through the soaked timber of Alaska's Tongass National Forest. The air was filled with a heavy scent of wet timber, the sky hung low and the turf beneath felt slippery. A month later, I was sailing the choppy waters of a windy lake in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In both places, I heard a strong call to stop and camp. And in both places, I found my camping gear inadequate. I couldn’t last a week. After stalking elks and woodlands for over a decade and a half, I still needed to learn how to gear myself with proper equipment.
So, today I'm going to share what I learned over the years. I’ll take a break from camping tales and instead, talk about the best camping gear that you should consider adding to your outdoor gear arsenal. You'll find me talking about some gear that I haven't mentioned in the past. Some of them might not even seem essential for survival in the wild. But trust me, having them in your backpack will enhance your outdoor experience.
Bushcraft Fixed Knife And Automatic Knife
The first bushcraft tool you'll need to survive the wilderness is a capable fixed blade knife. You're going to need it every step of the way, from foraging, tracking, trapping, hunting, fishing to building your shelter, purifying water, and starting a campfire. Choosing a knife that your survival depends on is not always easy. I prefer carrying 2 knives on me - an automatic knife or OTF like the SWIFT and a beast of fixed blade knife like the TEKINA. I'm a big fan of Benchmade's fixed knives and OTF knives, but in the last couple of years, I've been using Tekto knives as my main drivers. The reason for the switch is reliability. When I'm in the Alaskan wilderness with contrasting beauty and harshness, I need something dependable. Tekto automatic and fixed knives seem to be a more natural fit for the nature I graze.
Quadcopter DJI Air 25
This is not an essential but if you're into recording your story like me - then this will help you paint the bigger picture to a wider audience. Sometimes we need to soar to see the real picture .... the landscape. A drone quadcopter equipped with capable image sensors and intelligent cameras will completely transform your story. It doesn't come cheap and will set you back almost $1000 on Amazon. But then, your story is worth a lot more.
Lifestraw Water Filter
The lifestraw has become essential for me. Back in the days, I would fill up an empty Coca-Cola with layers of pebbles, sand, foliage, etc to filter water. This is a real lifesaver. It's compact and allows me to instantly filter water on the run. I also know it removes 99.99% of waterborne parasites, bacteria, and micro-plastic. So, I can confidently scoop water from almost any source and rehydrate myself with clean drinking water. It's still a good idea to learn how to filter water with earth elements, just in case you forget to pack one.