Tech Talk

Your gear is going extinct.     Photo: Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock

The Endangered-Gear List

Seven products in your shed that are going extinct.

Do you remember the last time you pitched a canvas tent, lit a gas lantern, or strapped on a beavertail snowshoe? Neither do I. Outdoor gear has changed a lot in the past 30 years—we now have tents made with aircraft-grade aluminum poles, high-tech LED headlamps, and carbon snowshoes. And all these items in our gear shed are poised to keep evolving over the next three decades.

Take smartphones, which are rendering basic point-and-shoots obsolete, and new synthetic insulation materials, which are competing with traditional down. Products that were once prevalent are going extinct, getting replaced by newer and (we hope) better designs.

Here’s our list of seven endangered species of gear. We predict they might disappear from shelves in the next few decades. But fear not: some pretty great innovations are starting to fill any voids.

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