The Gear Junkie Scoop: GearPods
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, Montana.
The company (gearpods.com) offers a line of ready-made 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 pre-made 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.
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 such as fishing line, a thermal blanket, small saw, 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.
Overall, I am impressed with the GearPod idea. The cases might seem bulky at first to the ultra-light crowd. But on a scale, you can see that they are indeed light. When empty, the larger polycarbonate case tube weighed 3.5 ounces on my scale.
The Wilderness kit has more than I would bring for a backpacking trip. There are a few items I would consider extras in the case. But they are minuscule things that weigh mere grams and almost don't warrant taking out.
As a concept, GearPods offers the convenience to buy one product–they start at less than $20 for the most basic kits–and have all or most of what you need for an activity. They keep gear safe from moisture and rain in a watertight case. They are stout and protective, stowing all your small items away, safe and ready until the day you need them in the field.
–Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear atwww.gearjunkie.com.