Category Archives: Survival

TaskOne case turns your iPhone into a virtual Swiss Army knife


We’ve noted before that with the number of useful camping and outdoor-centric apps these days, your iPhone is becoming a digital Swiss Army knife. Now it’s becoming a physical one too, thanks to an innovative new case from a company called The Task Lab.

The case is no thicker than many other fashionable iPhone cases, but ingeniously housed inside is a plethora of tools for the seriously geeky outdoorsman. In fact, the TaskOne sports no fewer than 21 tools in a case that weighs just 96 grams (for the iPhone 5 version; the 4/4S is an even slimmer 89 grams.)

Scouting magazine lists ‘eight winter gear items to help keep you warm’


We’ve often said that winter is the best season for camping — except for all the other ones. Most of the time, we’re kidding; but head out into that cold night with the wrong gear and you’re in for a rough time. Bring the right stuff along, however, and you can be not only comfortable but downright cozy. And of course, you get to enjoy all things only winter camping can bring: the clearest night skies of the year, the still quiet of a snow-covered wood and perhaps best of all — no bugs.

The folks at Scouting magazine love winter camping too. That’s why they teamed up with Gear Junkie to come up with a list of eight items that will keep you warm and snug on your next winter trek. They range from a down-filled jacket to a sleeping bag rated to 20 degrees below zero to an insulated water bottle.

San Jose Mercury News: ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get techier’

TrailCamper's Chuck La Tournous demonstrates the hi-Fun Bluetooth gloves for the San Jose Mercury News (Photo Credit: Karl Mondon)

The San Jose Mercury News went on a tour of the “urban wild” of San Francisco with TrailCamper chief Chuck La Tournous. Reporter Pat May came to cover Chuck’s “Tech vs. Wild” seminar at Macworld/iWorld conference and wondered how the gear and techniques would apply to the mean streets of Skid Row.

May’s feature on Chuck is available on the Mercury News website.

SPOT Connect delivers peace of mind — via satellite


They say it’s harder than ever to get away from it all, but as any cellphone owner will tell you, there are still plenty of places in the world where it’s all but impossible to get a signal. While that may be an inconvenience for those who want to find out if they should pick up eggs on their way home, it literally can mean life or death for a hiker lost or injured in the backcountry.

But while cell towers may be scarce in the wilderness, you’re almost always under the watchful eye of an orbiting satellite. That’s where SPOT comes in. The company makes a line of satellite communication products including the SPOT Connect — a compact, rugged device that links your smartphone to those satellites and by extension, to the rest of the world. On its own, the SPOT Connect can serve in an emergency even without a phone. Pressing the SOS button will send the device’s current location to the International Emergency Response Coordination Center so a rescue team can be dispatched. (A flip-off cover over the button prevents accidental calls for help.)

Yahoo Sports lists five ‘must have’ items for winter camping

Winter Camping by Ron Cole (used under Creative Commons)

It wasn’t much of a winter for most of the U.S. (yet, anyway), but Kileen Gonzalez at Yahoo Sports penned her list of “must-have” items for winter camping.

At the top of Gonzalez’ list is a four-season tent. “You will want to look for a winter tent that has wide diameter poles, multiple areas to fasten guylines, ample ventilation, and plenty of room to store your bulkier winter gear,” she writes, adding that a ground tarp and wisk broom (to brush the snow off your clothes before entering the tent) are two good accessories. (We’d consider a ground tarp a must-have in any season.)

Gonzalez also lists insulated sleeping bags and pads and a portable heater/cook oven. A winter backpack rounds out her top five.

The entire list — and her rationale behind her picks — are in the article on the Yahoo Sports website.