10 Things You Need to Become the Ultimate Mountain Man

10 Things You Need to Become the Ultimate Mountain Man

#1
Paracord Knife with Built-In Firestarter
#2
Steripen Adventurer Opti
Best GPS Watch for Outdoorsmen
#3
Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Watch
  • Incredibly versatile, suitable for all outdoor activities
  • Rugged, well-built, long-lasting
  • Highly accurate GPS, compass, altimeter, barometer, and thermometer
#4
The North Face Carto Triclimate Men's Jacket

What would you do if you found yourself alone in the mountains? Think you've got what it takes to survive? (We're not talking 127 Hours or anything like that - you know better now, don't you?)

It's important to prepare for anything. You never know what kind of emergency you'll find yourself in. Whether you're planning a weekend hike or a two-month escape into the foothills and forests around your home, you'll need everything here to survive like a champ.

Just what tops our faves? It's soon to be one of your faves - the Paracord Knife. Sharp, useful for just about everything, and uber-strong, it comes with paracord (for building tents and rafts) as well as a fire striker. It's your new best friend in the mountains (or canyons, or the woods, or... well, you get the picture).


Editorial staff

10 Things You Need to Become the Ultimate Mountain Man

10 Things You Need to Become the Ultimate Mountain Man

Read Video Infographic Tips

What would you do if you found yourself alone in the mountains? Think you've got what it takes to survive? (We're not talking 127 Hours or anything like that - you know better now, don't you?)

It's important to prepare for anything. You never know what kind of emergency you'll find yourself in. Whether you're planning a weekend hike or a two-month escape into the foothills and forests around your home, you'll need everything here to survive like a champ.

Just what tops our faves? It's soon to be one of your faves - the Paracord Knife. Sharp, useful for just about everything, and uber-strong, it comes with paracord (for building tents and rafts) as well as a fire striker. It's your new best friend in the mountains (or canyons, or the woods, or... well, you get the picture).


Editorial staff

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78
Score 78

Details

When on any outdoor adventure - better safe than sorry! Here's the thing, leaving any injury to fester is just plain stupid. It always makes sense to clean it up and care for any wound as best as you can. And this small pack offers a lot of assistance in that regard.

What Reviewers Say:

  • This kit is wonderful. It has so many useful items in it, which I believe, on what you must have at least, in every First Aid kit! I have noticed most injuries do happen outside. Maybe it's a cut, scrape, sting from an insect, etc. The kit also has contents that also apply to in-door "accidents" as well.
  • I've come to realize that there is no such thing as the "perfect" first-aid kit, with absolutely everything one needs in it. However, this is a very good kit as a "starting point". Other reviewers have documented what is included in the kit, so I won't rehash that. What's included is of good quality- be sure to check the expiration dates, when applicable, and replace as needed. I check monthly to make sure all is up-to-date & not used up.
  • This is exactly the kit I was looking for to keep in my ATV. It contains a generous supply of the basics for injuries and minor wounds that might occur in remote areas. Although it contains two small rolls of medical tape, I've found that a large roll of tape sufficient to wrap sprained ankles, wrists or to bandage a puncture wound always comes in handy. Add that item. This kit is light-weight and fits perfectly into an ATV saddle bag. The flexible nylon container allows for extra items that might be desired - and the bright-orange color keeps it easily visible in the woods if you are working an emergency away from the vehicle, so you will not lose it in the leaves.

 

92
Score 92
$25
1,425 Bought | Save: $35 (58% OFF)

Why People Love it

  • 100% Polyester
  • 1 exterior pocket
  • Holds 2 liters 

You never want to run out of water. It's as simple as that. And with the High Sierra Wave, you can be sure you never will.

Some users have experienced leakage around the mouth piece.

Details

Details: This is one nifty water carrier. It's basic, but that also means it's about as light as it's going to get. And, it will keep that water cool for a long time in the sun. Now that's handy.

What Reviewers Say:

  • "As an occasional raver and a more frequent hiker/runner, this hydration pack is perfect for quality and value!"
  • "It is a great buy! The water flows well and it stays cool for a good 2-3 hours in the hot sun."
  • "I sing in a band, and I've found this to be waaaaaaaaay more convenient than reaching for a bottle of water on stage.
    I especially love that it doesn't get knocked over by our drummer, haha. It's got a nice, slim profile, and while it's not the *most* comfortable hydration pack I've ever worn, the low-profile keeps it from bouncing around too much on stage when I jump around."

 

67
Score 67

Details

The SOTO Pocket Torch can reach temperatures of up to 2300F. This is all done with a disposable lighter, the kind you get at any liquor store. When using the Pocket Torch you increase the lifespan of your disposable lighter by 60%.

What Reviewers Say:

  • I recently picked up one of the Soto Pocket Torches and I am amazed how it can generate so much heat from a simple disposable lighter. The design is simple; you slide in a Scripto disposable lighter, put the top back on and click - instant mini blowtorch. The lighter is made from the same tough polycarbonate used on Nalgene bottles, so the lighter is totally protected. I've had several expensive cigar and "windproof" lighters that you have to refill with butane. Those lighters have all failed me when I got out in the woods and really needed them. I am a wilderness gadget freak, so I'm sure I will be buying more to put in my vehicles and bug out bag
  • As an avid outdoor enthusiast, I highly recommend adding this tool to one's gear. The size and weight are ideal for stowing in a pants or shirt pocket, or perhaps the pouch of a backpack. Having tried many torch type lighters before, I was pleased that the Soto Pocket Torch was far more reliable than anything I have ever used in the past. Refilling the torch is simplicity itself because it takes inexpensive square type pocket lighters as the fuel source (note that it does NOT take the round body disposable lighter type such as Bic.) I received this tool as a stocking stuffer for Christmas and after regular use both in the field and around the house (good for lighting the grill and occasional cigars too) I had to change the lighter refill after a little over six months.
  • I'm an Alaska backcountry guide. This thing rocks. No more burned thumbs lighting your stove with a regular lighter. Also works great in wind. Recommended.

 

85
Score 85
$53
383 Bought | Save: $37 (41% OFF)

Details

There are no plugs out in the middle of nowhere, but thanks to this portable solar panel, you can keep all of your devices charged no matter where you are. It's light, very inexpensive, and is one of the most reliable solar chargers on the market. You'll find it's supremely easy to carry with you wherever you go.

What Reviewers Say:

Most people can't get enough of this gadget. Here's what they say:

  • works fine. great for camping.
  • loveing it, got it for backpacking and now im using it daily, can charge a phone easy, charged my gpad decently, if you want the battery to charge gotta turn of unit or just plug in and use it for extended life, it does take 10 hrs to charge but since you can just hang it off you pack while on the move its not bad
  • Small, compact, charged with sunlight right away. Nicer than I Imagined and stores the power so you can charge phone without sunlight.

 

86
Score 86

Details

This is so much more than just a shovel. It functions as a hammer, hatchet, wrench, bottle opener, compass, knife, and nail puller, and it comes with fishing line, a hook, and even matches. (Crazy, right?) If you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and need to survive, this is the tool you want.

What Reviewers Say:

  • I used this as an addition to a 3-day emergency kit in my car. Don't underestimate the presence of a shovel tool in your car kit. Every get stuck in snow or mud??? Has some nice features for the price. Compact, around 14" total length. Include this with a REAL survival kit that YOU construct yourself (not the junk pre-made kits that are so popular nowadays, so expect to spend around $250 or so on a complete setup -- do you really want to trust a survival/emergency situation on stuff that someone ELSE thinks you need?), a small outdoor knife, and a hatchet, and you're good.
  • Love mine. even wrapped the handle in micro cord. May add some more to the core of the handle...but overall a great tool to add to my supplies.

 

77
Score 77

Details

It's filled with 850+ down. This sleeping bag has the traditional mummy shape that has been around for a long time and works very well. You can get this in 3 different sizes, long, regular and short. It has a wide shoulder girth that makes this an ideal bag for harsh winters because it allows you to add an extra layer of clothing without stretching out the bag too much. This would be a little too warm for camping in summer climates.

What Reviewers Say:

  • This is one of the best pieces of gear one could own in the lower 48. Its temp rating is honest and was well planned in its design. I tested this during a polar vortex. It was 12F with a wind chill that made it down to negative 22 and woke up warm. Granted, my girlfriend does call me her little heater and it is true, I can handle cold temps better than most (part Norwegian) but this sleeping bag comes highly recommended to any outdoor enthusiast.
  • I went back and forth trying to decide between the Alpinlite, Ultralite, and Versalite. When it came down to it, I decided based on the girth dimensions. I was afraid I'd be too cramped (can't roll inside the bag) in the Ultralite. I also tried the Alpinlite on a few trips and there was way too much open space (I'm 6'1", 170, slim build) and thus cold spots. Versalite was just the right width in the shoulders and torso. This bag has kept me warm in temps down to about 20 degrees, but I'm a cold sleeper. I paired it with an REI camp sack (55 degree blanket basically) in -6 degree weather last winter and I survived the night, though not particularly warm (I should have had more layers on and a warmer bag probably). Honestly though, highest quality materials and craftsmanship and the down is so light there is no pressure on you when you are sleeping. The collar and hood are top notch and this thing has incredible loft. This bag is light! 2 lbs is great for a bag that can take you through three seasons comfortably. Only downside is that it's more bag than I need in the summer. I think I'll get a 20-30 degree EE revelation quilt for the summer backpacking season.
  • I just received it but my impressions are that it is an Alpinlite without the cold spots and the down on me instead of on the side.

 

87
Score 87

Details

It's as simple of being able to adjust to whatever the weather (and the day) throw at you. Stay as warm or as cool as you need and without the heaviness of older coats. You're going to fall in love with this winter jacket... it's everything you've ever wanted.

What Reviewers Say:

  • Although general rule of thumb is to order one size up for North Face jackets, I think that in this style, keep with your regular size. I purchased this for my husband who usually wears size large in tops-- and he most likely could have kept with this jacket in a large. Sleeve length is good. If you stretch your arms out straight, the sleeves are at wrist length. The neck zips up to provide soft warmth without being too rigid. And the hood amazingly fits nicely to cover the head, providing protection from the wind and keeping the ears from being exposed. The style of the hood looks great, too!. Washing instructions are to machine wash on delicate and then preferably air dry. My husband loves this jacket since it is waterproof, doesn't show stains, and has an inner jacket that can be unzipped to wear alone if desired. Great jacket for rain, snow, and chilly fall/ winter!
  • I bought this jacket to replace a not-so-warm jacket that I had worn for years. This coat is VERY comfortable, it fits as you'd expect given your size, and it's warm enough to wear skiing (which was not my intent). It's also nice that this jacket has a shell and a removable down liner that can be worn separately if it's not blistery cold outside. Highly recommended!
  • Great Looking Coat. I own a lot of winter Jackets (about 8-10) and this one is great. Warm, fits great (XL - I'm 6'2, 205-210lbs.). Definitely looks great as well.

Best GPS Watch for Outdoorsmen

96
Score 96

Why People Love it

  • Incredibly versatile, suitable for all outdoor activities
  • Rugged, well-built, long-lasting
  • Highly accurate GPS, compass, altimeter, barometer, and thermometer

Contains all the tools you need to never get lost while hiking or camping, durable stainless steel bezel, sapphire glass, resistant to abrason, long-lasting, reliable, excellent GPS functionality, ConnectIQ personalization, multi-functional, easy to program the way you want it. 

Mobile app iffy, connectivity and syncing issues.

Details

Functionality: If you want a killer watch for outdoor use, this is your top pick. It comes with a 3-axis compass, barometer, altimeter, thermometer, and GPS functionality that will make it impossible to get lost. The software and app can be a tad buggy, but you'll find the multiple built-in programs are compatible with every outdoor activity--from hiking to mountaineering to climbing to cycling to camping to running to backpacking. It's also suitable for everyday use, but it's designed with outdoorsmen in mind. 

The GPS functionality keeps the time and date always updated and accurate, and the built-in fitness features--like VO2 estimator, recovery advisor, activity tracker, calorie counter, route planner, and so on--will make this an amazing tool to help you keep up with your fitness efforts. It's compatible with both Android and iOS, plus it can be connected to Garmin's ConnectIQ app for all the features and upgrades that offers.

Durability: The watch bezel is built of stainless steel that's fairly damage-resistant, though some users complain it scratches easily. The sapphire glass (of the 5x Sapphire) won't break for anything, and it's fully water-resisatnt up to 100 meters. The band is prone to breaking, however, so you may need to be prepared to buy a replacement watch band if you plan hardcoure outdoor activities.

Price: At $650, this is on the pricier side, but absolutely worth it if you plan on spending time in the great outdoors. It comes in 3 different sizes to choose from, and you'll find its rich functionality and reliability make it a top-dog pick for a GPS watch.

 

96
Score 96

Details

The Steripen is handheld and ultracompact so you can carry this in your pack when you head out on a long hike. You can purify water as it destroys over 99.9% of harmful bacteria, viruses and protozoa. This device is certified by the Water Quality Association. It does not alter the taste of the water either. You simply use your plastic water bottle, preferably with a wide mouth opening, and collect some water like from a stream. You turn the Steripen on and stir the water with it for about 90 seconds or until the little light on the device shuts off. It can purify 1L of water at a time. 

What Reviewers Say:

  • I had the old model Adventurer that frequently turned itself off in the middle of a purification cycle or wouldn't start at all. This model fixes all those problems, plus it works as a backup flashlight. It's been absolutely reliable on four trips now and I love it. Sure beats carrying a 1 lb. filter.
  • This little steripen allowed me to drink dozens of gallons of tap water... in India. `nuff said!
  • It gives you a small blinking green light that lasts for about 20 seconds that'll tell you if the water is good to drink after it's finished purifying, but if you're talking to your friends or caught up in a sunrise or sunset or something worth seeing when out in the wilderness, it'd be nice for the system to vibrate to your hand to tell you it purified the water instead of being glued to watching the device the whole time.

 

91
Score 91
$15
333 Bought | Save: $4 (21% OFF)

Details

It comes with a paracord handle, and the string can be removed to tie all sorts of things. There is even a firestarter built into it, ensuring you can get that blaze going in a matter of seconds.

What Reviewers Say:

  • A good, inexpensive utilitarian knife to keep in your toolbox, glovebox, survival bag, or bug out bag. Not as a main survival knife, mind you, but as a back-up/fire steel/lash to a pole as a spear point type of knife.
  • Good inexpensive knife. I got these for my go bags to keep in the trunk for a backup knife to what we carry. The sheath is cheap, If you are going to use it to carry get a better sheath. Good knife for the tackle box or toolbox. Came sharp and touched it up a little.
  • I fine the Rothco para knife to be everything I expected it to be. It holds a fine edge blade is strong and handle is very comfortable.

Editor: Health & Active, Food & Drink, Entertainment

Fitness has come hard for Andy; he's had to work for it. But, his trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, a NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise and healthy living. That’s why he’s our resident fitness expert.

His favorite food is lettuce-leaf steak tacos – though he’ll admit to a love of hot wings if you leverage the right pressure.

We know him as the guy who understands British humor and wishes everyone was as passionate about life as he is. His previous forays into the worlds of international business and education have left him wildly optimistic. And, if that wasn’t enough, he also writes comic books. Can you say renaissance?

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