GearPods

By STEPHEN REGENOLD

Take a watertight polycarbonate container and cram it full with gear. That’s the gist of a GearPod, the namesake new product from GearPods Corporation of Polson, Mont.

The company offers a line of readymade adventure and survival kits. Each one uses screw-shut polycarbonate vessels about the size and shape of a water bottle. They fit unobtrusively in a backpack and protect the gear and small items inside until needed in the outdoors.

A customer can pick from more than a dozen premade kits, including collections assembled for first-aid, survival, cooking, and shelter. Inside, the company packs bandages, matches, cord, fire starters, water-purification tablets, whistles, blades, and other small items for a task.

GearPod Wilderness kit

The larger kits, including the GearPods Wilderness, which I tested out, offer a stock of essentials for first aid, survival and shelter. The Wilderness package costs about $165 and lets you “effortlessly carry the gear and tools you need to manage contingencies and stay prepared — even during unplanned nights out,” as the company puts it.

Total weight of the GearPods Wilderness kit is 1.8 pounds. It measures about 14 inches long, and the screw-together tubes are about three inches in diameter.

But inside that small package is an amazing amount of gear. The components are of high-quality, including name-brand first-aid implements, tightly packed fire-starting tools, survival items like fishing line, a thermal blanket, a small saw, a mini compass, and a signal mirror.

For making an ad hoc shelter, the kit comes with a thin rip-stop nylon tarp that weighs scant ounces. There’s even a small stove inside the Wilderness kit. It burns chemical tablets and boils water in an included thin-wall metal mug.

continued on next page. . .

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Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.

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