From navigation to charging your devices, field accessories and GPS communicators save lives and streamline your tasks.
These are the best field accessories and GPS devices for 2021
|Alaskan Gun Guard
One of the difficulties of hunting in wet conditions and dense vegetation is keeping your scope and action dry and clean. Enter the Alaskan Gun Guard. We tested the unit on our .300 Win Mag on three different hunts in 2020 and now endorse the product. The magnetic closures allow you to put the guard on (and take it off) quickly and quietly. Once you engage the closures, cinch down both ends and you are ready to go. It is available in a range of colors and patterns.
|SJK Outpost 4 Tipi Tarp
Weighing less than five pounds, this shelter allows you to quickly set up a tipi-style structure in minutes. This helps when you are trying to get out of the weather, which leans towards brutal in the fall. It comes with an aluminum center pole, guy lines and stakes so that you can pitch this in a variety of terrain conditions. The Kryptek Highlander camouflage pattern helps it blend into the willow and alder brush, particularly in the fall. Part of what we used this for was to set up a blind for the camera man during our 2020 moose hunt. It would make for a good, one-man shelter when going adventuring in the summer.
|Stanley Legacy QuadVac Thermal Bottle, 2 Quart
Stanley has upgraded its recognizable green vacuum bottle with a new look, thicker steel, better handle and much better insulation. It is dishwasher safe, which makes keeping it clean a breeze. Our tester, Editor George Krumm, is a coffee fiend. The two-quart capacity of this bottle means he can take a full pot of coffee (and then some) with him. That keeps everyone happy.
|Eagle Enterprises EBG Lite Kit Bear Fence
Contributing Editor Bjorn Dihle conveyed, “I spend a significant amount of each year in brown bear country—sometimes wandering, other times guiding wildlife film crews and viewers and, in the fall, hunting. If you’re thinking about buying a bear fence, I recommend checking out Eagle Enterprises and giving them a call. Eagle Enterprises’ UltraLite fence, which, at two pounds, is designed for the backcountry and is the lightest fence I know of. It’s easy to set up, protects an area of 400 square feet and runs for over 50 hours on two AA batteries. The fence pulses 40 times a minute with a max output of 9,500 volts, so it can double as electrotherapy if you get weathered in and start feeling bored and weird.”
|YETI TrailheadDog Bed
Contributing Editor Scott Haugen shared his thoughts: “By our standards this could be the perfect dog bed for Alaska! The Trailhead Dog Bed is durable, easy-to-clean, and features a two-in-one bed with a removable travel pad and a home base. The comfortable pillow bolster is made with those head-resting canines in mind. The sturdy, molded, waterproof bottom stands up to big dogs, and handles exposure to mud, snow, and rain if situated in a mudroom or garage. A high-density foam core delivers comfort that dogs crave.”
|BULL MAGNET Moose Call
This fiberglass call acts like a megaphone to allow you to magnify the volume of your calls. It can be used to scrape brush and accurately imitates the sound of a raking bull. We’ve used this call with success doing these two tasks and have drawn in many bulls. The manufacturer also asserts that the color of the call is similar to the color of moose antlers and can be used as a visual aid when approaching moose. They also suggest that you can scoop water and mimic the sound of a urinating cow. All of these useful tools are built into one sturdy, fiberglass call. We think every moose hunter should have one.
|Adventure Medical Kit Sportsman 300
A good first-aid kit, like the Adventure Medical Kit Sportsman Series, will have a wide range of supplies that could be useful in the field. We brought the Sportsman 300 with us on hunts in 2020. Since cuts are the most-common ailment, we added more Band-Aids to the kit. The manufacturer suggests this kit can service six people for up to a week; we believe it. There are supplies to treat fractures, knife cuts, and penetration wounds, as well as a wide range of medications, in addition to a basic wilderness and travel medicine manual. This is a handy kit that you can improve upon for your specific needs. Contributing Editor Bjorn Dihle also uses this kit and recommends the addition of a tourniquet.
This book by Bob Lacher encapsulates a great deal of the raw emotion that comes with hunting in the Great Land. During downtime huddling in your tent, consider reading the hard-core, extreme-hunting adventures found in the pages of this book. Pursuing big wolf, bear, sheep, caribou and more, author Bob Lacher takes you on an exhilarating ride from Alaska’s northern plains to the Aleutian Islands. By airplane, snowmachine or boat, the adrenaline-infused hunts in this best-selling book make you re-think what is possible at the edges of our sport. High risk and high reward, the vivid stories and color photos draw you into a world of relentless drive and determination, of uncontrollable elements and exotic locations, and the physical, mental, and emotional price to be paid when we challenge ourselves in the wilderness.
|BEDSLIDE 1500 Contractor
Nick Ploesser of Alaska Trophy Expediters offered the following recommendation: “If you are looking for that piece of gear to outfit your truck for the coming outdoor season, I highly recommend looking at a BEDSLIDE. This accessory helps make life easier when trying to organize your truck bed especially if you have a topper. I have personally had the meat and quarters from three moose in the back of my truck and was able to slide it in and out with ease. This accessory can even hold the weight of your 4-wheeler, so if you need to add a little length to your bed this will work.”
|MSR XGK-EX Stove
Contributing Editor Bjorn Dihle had this to say: “I’ve used this stove on trips from the Arctic Ocean to Cape Horn on Tierra del Fuego and can’t sing its praise highly enough. No other stove I’ve used has lasted longer and been more faithful during numerous subzero expeditions I’ve made across the north. Plain and simple, it’s the best cold-weather camp stove on the market that I know of. It puts out more BTUs than other stoves and, most importantly when it’s -50ºF, it is easy to clean. It burns just about any type of fuel—which is great when you’re traveling in places where you can’t purchase white gas.”
|Atlas Serrate 35 Snowshoes
Contributing Editor Jim McCann, our resident upland-bird expert, had this to share: “If you plan on hunting for winter or spring ptarmigan, you’re going to need a good pair of snowshoes. Traditional wood-and-rawhide ‘shoes are effective in deep snow down low in the valleys. I carried wooden snowshoes tied to the struts of my airplane for many years; still, when up high upon wind-blown slopes where my Brittanys and I hunt for rock ptarmigan, you’ll always find me wearing my 35-inch-long Atlas aluminum snowshoes complete with metal crampons. As I grow older and less flexible, I find the Atlas bindings quick and easy to get into and out of, and they wrap snugly and comfortably around my boots and allow for increased stability. My aluminum snowshoes are lighter than the old wood ‘shoes, and after several hours of traversing steep slopes, I think they have allowed me to hunt further and longer, and at 71 years of age, that’s a big deal.”
|MyMedic MyFAK First Aid Kit
From minor cuts and injuries to life-saving equipment, the MyFAK is a compact, well-stocked, well-organized first aid kit. Even the bag in which the items come is thoughtfully designed with MOLLE straps and Velcro to facilitate packing and accessorizing the kit. The bag is available in several colors from subdued to bright. The kit weighs from 2.1- to 2.8 pounds depending on whether you get the standard or advanced kit. Dimensions are 7.5” high x 6.5” wide x 5” deep. With over 100 quality items included, this kit has you covered for a variety of injuries you might sustain in the field. The advanced kit includes the usual assortment of basic first-aid items, plus advanced first-aid items such as a tourniquet, chest seal, and other items for life-threatening injuries. The items within are organized in a specific manner. We recommend you familiarize yourself with the location and use of each item so that when an injury happens, you’re able to quickly access the items you need to treat it.
|Big Agnes Ptarmigan Tarp Large
A good tarp is an essential and multi-purpose item. We carry them in our boats, bring them to basecamp and put them in our packs on remote adventures. This one is large (14’x14’), waterproof and designed to let you pitch it in a variety of configurations. It comes with pre-cut guy lines and tensioners already attached to the tarp. In 2020 we used it on our moose hunt to protect the meat from rain. In 2021 we will take this tarp as a waterproof layer to pitch over our tents during a fly-out caribou hunt.
|Yeti Trailhead Camp Chair
How many folding camp chairs wind up in a landfill every year? Too many! If you want a camp chair that will live as long as you will, consider the Trailhead Camp Chair. At 13 pounds, it’s not as light as some cheap chairs, but it is definitely tough. It has a built-in beverage holder and armrests, the heavy-duty carry bag can be slung over a shoulder or worn like a backpack. The design makes it easy to get into and out of, and the chair can support up to 500 pounds of weight. The mesh, FlexGrid fabric (the same fabric used in mountain climbing harnesses) is durable and supportive, breathes well and is resistant to UV rays, ensuring long life.
|Big Agnes Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad
Contributing Editor Larry Bartlett spends a lot of time in the backcountry and had this to say, “I can’t tell you how many patches I’ve made to other sleeping-pad models and finally got tired of the hassles when I bought the Big Agnes last year. Rugged, durable fabric with easy closures and simple, fast inflation, this is hands down the best sleeping pad I’ve ever used and will ever use.”