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The best gear that’s “made in America”
By Zoey Sky // Jan 17, 2018

While the Fourth of July is still a long way off, you don't need to wait too long to show your patriotism. Check out this list of top four gear "made in America." Each high-quality item is perfect for outdoor use. (h/t to OutsideOnline.com)


  1. CRKT No Time Off Knife – This handy knife from CRKT features a razor-sharp blade and a solid handle design. The No Time Off Knife weighs nicely and despite the short blade, it is sharp enough to cut through material like carpet. CRKT makes the blades for the knives in Tualatin, Oregon. The knife's blade can remain sharp even after two years of heavy use, and it is small enough to keep in a purse or in your pocket.
  2. DPS Alchemist Wailer 112 Skis – This pair of skis from Salt Lake City-based DPS, which has an "ample width and just-right rocker profile," also lets you float over backcountry pow. The new Alchemist Wailer 112 construction ensures that the skis are light enough to be used for long skin-track slogs and "when the going gets fast and rough."
  3. Watershed Drybag Colorado Dry Duffel – The handles and duffel design of Watershed's Colorado Dry Duffel complement its drybag construction. The bag is versatile, and it can be used whether you're going canoeing or traveling by plane. The Colorado Dry Duffel comes with a "patented zipper system" that looks similar to a giant Ziploc. Once the watertight zipper is closed, you can simply roll the top down like a normal drybag to prevent any water from getting in. Boating circles swear by the level of protection offered by the Colorado Dry Duffel, and it's all thanks to Watershed, which is based in Asheville, North Carolina. (Related: Putting together a three-day survival kit: What you’ll need in an emergency.)
  4.  Voormi Drift Jacket – Voormi is based in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and the company has garnered high praise from buyers because of the River Run hoodie and Inversion jacket. Another product to consider is the "less-technical" Drift Jacket. This simple jacket boasts of a bomber full-zip wool midlayer which is suitable for skiing since it breathes better, unlike other synthetic materials. This Voormi jacket can also keep you warm during light snowfall because of its DWR coating. The jacket can also be worn during summer, especially when you're camping windy mountaintop ridges.

Packing tips for backpackers

If you're just about to go on your first backpacking trip, consider getting some of the gear discussed above and  check out the packing tips listed below:

  • Make a list of everything in your pack. Write down each item and its weight so it's easier to decide when you need to leave behind or replace something. This also makes it easier to remember all of your gear.
  • Pack your gear the same way. This can save time and help you keep track of your belongings.
  • Store bulky gear outside your pack. Use the straps outside your pack or the side compression straps or cord with some cord locks that can be rigged to the pack’s external attachment points.
  • Don't cram everything in a stuff sack. Keep a tent body or rain gear near the bottom of your backpack or fill voids between round stuff sacks with them.
  • Use an inexpensive plastic trash bag to line your backpack and keep it waterproof. This is lighter and easier to handle than a pack cover.
  • Group items by frequency of use instead of category.
  • Your sleeping bag should be in the bottom of the pack with medium weight items on top of it. Keep heavy items near your spine and the lighter items should go on top and at the perimeters.
  • Bring a second and smaller stuff sack for food when going on longer trips. This smaller stuff sack minimizes the need to pack and unpack so you don't waste prime walking time.

You can learn more about prepping and survival at Bugout.news.


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