As a bonus, if you can locate a vehicle, the eTrex can provide turn-by-turn navigation, too.
How will it keep you alive? It will help you find your way back to civilization even when you have no idea of where you are or what direction you should take.
Portable camp stove
What is it? A small tank for burning wood and leaves. Attached to the side of the BioLite camp stove ($130) is a small oxygenation unit that pumps oxygen in to fan the flames.
The unit also has a thermoelectric converter that can create power for a USB port on its side, for powering up mobile devices. Word is that it you'll need about 3 hours of constant flame to charge your phone fully.
How will it keep you alive? If you have matches, the BioLite lets you quickly start a fire to warm your hands, dry your socks, and cook food. Those capabilities can be invaluable if you get lost, but the little stove weigh a couple of pounds—an additional load that you can really start to feel after about mile 15.
What is it? A device for converting the sun's energy into electricity. The Wagan Tech Solar E Charger ($95) will keep your electronic devices operational no matter how far you are from civilization. The built-in lithium-ion battery can fully recharge in 5 to 8 hours using nothing but solar radiation.
How will keep you alive? You can recharge your phone or other devices at night, after building up the Solar E Charger's charging during the day, extending your opportunities to contact rescuers. Alternatively, it gives you access to your favorite mobile games, to keep cabin fever at bay.
What is it? A multifaceted satellite communication device that lets you talk, text, and share GPS coordinates from anywhere in the world. In addition, the inReach SE ($300 + subscription fee) can trigger an automatic SOS and keep you in touch with a 24/7 emergency rescue team.
How will keep you alive? Whatever your situation, this device will connect you to the rest of the world. That's good news if you need help or just want to brag to your buddies when you reach the top of Mount Everest.
(Thanks to the Satellite Phone Store for providing a review unit.)
What is it? A hand-held laser pointer that can signal to rescue parties over a great distance. The RLL013-01 Rescue Laser Light from Greatland Laser ($100), for example, can produce a signal visible from over 20 miles away at night and from 1 to 3 miles away in daylight.
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