YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


New Supplies to Ease the Rigors and Risks of Hiking

May 07, 2000|JUDI DASH

If you're going hiking, you'll find plenty of new products to assist you in the outdoors. The following items may be available in area stores. Price does not include shipping.

Mobile medic: Serious trekkers never hit the trail without a well-stocked first-aid kit. One of the best on the market is the aptly named Comprehensive bag from Adventure Medical Kits--3 1/3 pounds of emergency relief. Unzip the bright blue 11-by-7-by-4 1/2-inch deep bag and find enough supplies (more than 50 items) to handle everything but major surgery on the go. Besides a range of bandages, blister and burn materials and medications to combat ailments from headaches to dehydration, diarrhea, indigestion, snake and insect bites and sunburn, you will find a complete CPR kit with protective mask, a 200-page guide to wilderness and travel medicine, scissors, forceps, a scalpel, examination gloves, irrigation syringes, splints, thermometers, waterproof matches, a dental kit and several empty plastic containers for additional medications. Built-in loops make the kit easy to carry on a belt or mount to a backpack--or hoist by the two sturdy nylon mesh handles.

Comprehensive Medical Kit is $153. Smaller, less comprehensive kits are $19 at outdoors stores and from Adventure Medical Kits; telephone (800) 324-3517, Internet

Time travel: When you are scrambling up rocks and warding off wayward branches, your wrist may not be the best place for a timepiece. Victorinox, makers of Swiss Army knives and watches, safeguards your time on the trail with the Original Pack Watch. The watch has a water-resistant leather and nylon mesh strap/clasp that attaches to a backpack or waist pack. The analog face has large numerals, luminous hands and hour markers and a sweep second hand. Very swank.

Victorinox Original Pack Watch (24723) is $95 at stores or from Victorinox; tel. (800) 243-4057, Internet

Hard cell: I hate to see cell phones going into the woods, but since they invariably will--and can come in handy in emergencies--they might as well be protected from the elements. Cell Safe is a bright yellow shock-absorbing plastic phone carrier with a foam lining and waterproof O-ring that keeps the phone dry without sealing in the sound of the ring. Belt and clip loops make for easy toting, and the case is designed to fit snugly in a bike's water-bottle holder as well. The unit floats with up to 1 1/2 pounds inside (so it can intrude on your fishing trip as well) and has extra space for stashing keys, cash and other small essentials.

Cell Safe (LB637) is $24.85 from Magellan's; tel. (800) 962-4943, Internet

Glow on the go: For reading in your tent at night, consider the new Bonfire Tent Light from CMG Equipment. The 4-inch-high, 4-ounce light can be hung from the tent ceiling (or a tree branch) via the included lanyard, and provides up to 18 hours of amber light on two AA batteries (not included). Unlike incandescent bulbs used in most flashlights--which typically burn out in less than 40 hours--the Bonfire's light-emitting diode (LED) bulb will not burn out, so it never needs replacing. The light can be used on high or low beam (for more subtle illumination), is water resistant and has no glass filament to break.

Bonfire Tent Light is $25 at stores. For information, contact CMG Equipment; tel. (888) 699-0622, Internet

Memories to go: It's hard to believe a camera carrying system this compact can hold so much equipment. The Off Road from Lowepro is a shoulder bag/belt pack that can carry an SLR camera plus four or five lenses, a flash, film and accessories. Two removable padded lens cases can be used instead for water bottles. A foam lumbar pad and padded shoulder strap reduce back and shoulder fatigue, and adjustable straps can hold a jacket or small tripod. I especially like the hinged drop-down zippered pocket at the front of the case, which provides a working platform for changing film or lenses on the go.

Off Road pack is $134. For information, call Lowepro; tel. (800) 800-5693, Internet

Gear & Gadgets appears once a month.

Los Angeles Times Articles