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THE GREAT OUTDOORS — The simplest, most effective products are often the least expensive. Here’s a look at several outdoor products that all cost less than most monthly internet bills.
Clean water is a must for any outdoor activity. You can use tablets or even boil water if you’re in a pinch, but one of the easiest routes is to just attach LifeStraw’s Universal Filter to your favorite water bottle.
There have been lots of other two-stage filters hit the market in years past, but this is the first one that adapts to whatever bottle you prefer to use. It comes with two different sized caps that will fit just about anything. And the filter is legit, using a replaceable activated carbon capsule that reduces chlorine, reduces organic chemical matter and improves taste.
Never underestimate the value of hands-free lighting. Whether you’re setting up a tent, preparing a meal or just out for a midnight hike, a headlamp can be a game-changer.
The Claro is quite sleek and lightweight (2.12 ounces), yet still puts out 170 lumens. It has a variable beam, with spotlight and floodlight settings. It’s powered by a USB-rechargeable lithium ion battery that can give you up to 20 hours of power.
While these socks are ultra-lights, they still manage to be quite durable. They deliver targeted compression, offering support where you need it most. The thin construction provides a snug fit, without bulky nuisances you find on most socks (like a toe seam).
If you’ve got larger-than-average feet, you’ll appreciate that these socks come in a true XL size. Many other companies advertise XL socks that only fit up to a men’s size 13 or 14. But the Uptown XL comfortably fits up to a size 16. And, whatever size you wear, the left- and right-specific fit gives you a better fit and less chance of blisters.
Do you remember the old-school headlamps of yesteryear? They basically resembled a can of soup strapped to your head. The AIR represents a nice evolution of the product, with an ultra-comfortable strap and tipping the scales at only 1.6 ounces.
This headlamp puts out up to 150 lumens, as well as a red, night-vision mode. It’s got an internal Li-Ion battery that can be recharged with a USB cord. The Infinity Dial lets you smoothly adjust the brightness, with a max projection of 154 feet.
A versatile, little knife can be a real lifesaver. The Eldris fits the bill, with its super sharp blade and compact design. The stainless-steel blade is 2 millimeters thick and a tad over 2 inches long, with the entire knife stretching 5.6 inches.
It may be puny, but the Eldris has a couple tricks up its sleeve. First, the spine has been ground at a 90-degree angle, making it compatible with a fire starter. And the Scandinavian grind of the blade gives plenty of surface area, making it easier to keep it sharp. The knife locks into the sheath for safety, and can be worn around your neck with the paracord loop.
Matches are great, but they have their limitations. When you’re trying to get a fire started in the higher elevations and temperatures are dropping, it’s hard to be patient as your matches peter out before you can ignite the tinder. What you need is a sustainable flame.
Sweetfire Strikeable Fire Starters solve this problem because they burn up to 7 minutes each. The secret ingredient is a sugarcane by-product called bagasse, which is a super-efficient biofuel. These fire starters have striking tips, so you just start it up on the box like you would with normal matches. There are 20 fire starters in each box, so you’ll be set up for a long time.
Named for the small Virginia town that is sometimes referred to as "Trail Town, USA," these midweight socks are lean and mean. That’s not to say they’re not comfortable because they have ample cushioning where it’s needed. But they’re minimalistic everywhere else, ensuring good breathability and comfort.
Made with Merino wool, these socks are impressively soft and won’t cause itching like some wool does. Also, they’re naturally odor- and bacteria-resistant. And if sourcing is important to you, it should be noted that all the wool comes from sheep raised on American farms.