Here’s some stuff that I used this summer and found to be awesome and well worth investing in.
MSR WindPro camp stove – Unlike most MSR isopro stoves, where the stove screws on top of the squat fuel canister, in this one, there is a little hose that connects the two, side by side. This means it’s MUCH more stable. Having a campstove that’s not tippy is super important — getting scalded by a pot of boiling water is no fun, especially when you’re camped in the backcountry or some other site far from a hospital. Highly recommended. Cheap and lightweight, too!
GSI Pinnacle dualist cook set – A backpacking cook set designed by clever folks who also go backpacking. Everything is high-quality and nests together, with thought given to insulation on the bowls, a dependable handle for manipulating hot pots, and a lid that doubles as a strainer. I was really impressed with this. There is even a rubberized carrying case that can double as a “sink” (or a dog dish, if you take the pooch camping with you?). GSI also offers a “soloist” (smaller cook set) if you go camping by yourself. Highly recommended. The only thing that doesn’t quite measure up are the “sporks” that come with it. I stuck with my Nalgene spoon and fork, and my Swiss Army knife instead.
Belomo 10x triplet hand lens – A huge improvement over the hand lenses I grew up with. It’s bigger and clearer, and if you buy it from geo-tools.com, they include a brilliant neck strap that has a detachable clip. We’ve all been on field trips where people don’t bring their hand lens — this makes the sharing of a lens so much easier — just unclip and pass it over! I also prefer it to my 30x hand lens — which achieves high magnification at the expense of distortion of the image everywhere except the middle. Go get one; you won’t ever look back. Highly recommended.
Have you discovered any new gear lately that you would recommend to others? Let’s hear about it!