Comfy paddling
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120

Remember when you were 5 and asked for whatever  your heart desired, cost be danged! This week, in our now’s-a-great-time-to-update-your-gear series, we take a similar tack. Ask for the sky, because you just never know.

Pampered paddler

There’s a wise adage in the outdoors world: If you don’t plan to buy it, don’t take it for a test drive. That certainly applies to the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120. If you’re on your first kayak and thinking about upgrading or increasing your fleet, don’t take a spin around the pond in this boat unless you’re prepared to commit. For one, the boat is comfy, it’s seat and backrest adjust to ward off the worst of the oh-my-achin’-back blues. It’s got a readily accessible small storage hatch (between your legs), a pair of even more handy storage pockets, the obligatory cupholder, a larger storage hatch in the bow and even more storage in the bungee-covered tankwell. (Whoever said you can’t take it with you wasn’t paddling this boat.) For a stable boat, it cuts through the water nicely, and its minimal displacement lets you paddle into those intimate nooks at the coast that accommodate the best wildlife watching. It’s easy to maneuver out of the water, as well.

Learn more here.

Documentary filmmaker

Channel your inner adventure filmmaker
GoPro 6

Face it, for years now you’ve watched others post “adventure” videos of their exploits and thought, “There but for the grace of a GoPro … .” Isn’t it time you shared with the world what  real adventure looks like? Over the years, GoPros have gotten easier to use and more versatile. Witness the Hero6 Black. Gone are the primitive GoPro days when you could only guess what it was you were shooting; the 6 not only has a screen on the back (a touch screen, no less), but you can pair it with your smartphone for a variety of uses, including quick editing into a post-worthy video. It goes slo-mo, it goes 33 feet under water without a special housing. It’s voice activated, records great in low light, and offers better stabilization than ever (meaning no one will know how much you’re trembling before launching down that Class V). Your screen time has arrived.

Learn more here.

Spreader of light

See the light
1,000 lumens!

Sure, 250 lumens is probably sufficient for most of your night-viewing needs. But sometimes you just want to see — well, how about the length of three and a half football fields? You can do that with the LED Lenser MT 10 1000 Lumen flashlight. Yup, 1,000 lumens, meaning that if you’re searching for your campsite, you’d be able to see it one-fifth of a mile away. And it’s just 5 inches long, so it tucks away nicely in your pack. Runs for 9 hours on a full 8-hour charge. Sounds like a solid stocking-stuffer to us.

Learn more here.

Ping Pong Picnicker

You get back to camp after a day of exploring. You could sit around and chat. Or, you could stand around and play ping pong and chat. That’s the idea with Freestyle Table Tennis from Outside Inside: string the mini-net across your picnic table, then go at it with the outdoor-friendly paddles and balls. Table tennis is great fun in its own right — but imagine playing it on a table of warped planks with quarter-inch gaps in between. Talk about quick reflexes!

Learn more here.  

Sleep well, even at home

Sleep well inside, too
Puffin Blanket

You know how well you sleep in a tent? Don’t you wish you could sleep that well at home? Part of the reason you don’t may be that when you’re at home, you don’t actually feel at home — in your tent, that is. That’s one reason we like the Nemo Puffin Blanket: it’s got the look and feel of a sleeping bag, encasing synthetic insulation in 40D Nylon Micro-ripstop with DWR (the same kinda material your beloved sleeping bag is likely made of). We like it, too, because wrap it around yourself and you can turn your heat way, way down on a winter’s night (even at 55 degrees, you’ll still be nice and warm, thanks in part to the foot nook, which keeps your tootsies extra toasty).

Learn more here.