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 2020
|Garmin Rino 750
This unit is great! One of the best features of this 2-way radio/GPS navigator is the ability to see the location of the other people who are using Rinos on the same channel, and this works through all models of Rinos, so older Rinos can see newer ones. Garmin continues to add features to their units, and there are way too many to mention. Choose the ones that you use most and customize your home screen with icons for those applications. Next time you go on a remote trip in Alaska, we’d recommend that each member carries one of these units and then you’ll be able to see each other’s location, as well as talk to each other on the unit’s radio.
|Garmin inReach Explorer+
This unit allows you to access the global Iridium satellite network for two-way messaging and email. It also provides GPS navigation with preloaded TOPO maps, allows others to track your progress, receives weather forecasts, and allows you to send an interactive SOS. This is a very handy tool for use off the grid in Alaska and we highly recommend that you bring a device like this on any remote adventure.
|ZOLEO Global Messenger
We’ve been using this new product for the last few months and are impressed. It allows us to use an app on our smart phone to connect with the ZOLEO device that accesses Wi-Fi, cellular, and the Iridium satellite network and allows us to send texts and emails from anywhere. ZOLEO assigns you a unique email address and SMS number and you use the simple and intuitive app to text and email. It also includes a weather forecast and SOS alerting. We like using the functionality of our smart phone to text and email.
|Rural Energy Solar Charger 13W, Camouflage
We found this to be a great solution to allow us to recharge our portable devices like cell phone, laptop, GPS, etc. It recharges 5V batteries through the two external USB connections. It only weighs one pound, which makes it ultra-portable, and it has an ultra-high conversion rate of sunlight into power (22%). It can charge devices at up to 1% per minute. We like the book-style design, magnetic closures and built-in stand.
|Skinner Sights Express Scope Mount ’95 Stainless with Integrated Peep
This Skinner Sight is made for a variety of lever-action rifles including the Henry All-Weather Lever Actions. It is a high-quality peep sight grooved for Talley medium height Quick Detach rings. The standard aperture is .096 inches, but other apertures are available. We installed it on a Henry All-Weather .45-70 and used Talley rings to also attach a Skinner Optics 1-6×24 Riflescope. With this setup, we can hunt with the scope, or take it off and use the iron sights. Made in the USA.
|HatPoint Target Stand
Associate Editor and hunting expert Scott Haugen said the following: “I do a lot of shooting year-round with rifles, rimfires, and numerous shotguns. One of the biggest time eaters for me is making and setting up targets. I’ve pieced together target stands that have served their purpose over the years, but when I tried the new HatPoint Target Stand, things changed. The HatPoint Target Stand is versatile and easy to set up. The framework allows for easy anchoring, be it with the provided spikes, or by placing rocks, wood, or sandbags on the frame when shooting on hard ground. Wooden slats can be placed in the frame that offers multiple target widths, but what I really like is HatPoint’s polymer slats that take errant pellets from heavy shotgun loads, without compromise. HatPoint Target Stands save time, and if you do a lot of shooting, are a great investment that will save money in the long run. This stand is also easy and quick to assemble and disassemble, making it ideal for the public land hunter/shooter to carry afield and keep things clean.”
|Talley Quick Detachable Ring w/Levers
We used these rings to attach a Skinner Optics 1-6×24 Riflescope to a Henry All-Weather .45-70. These rings are thought by many to be the best quick-detach rings on the market. We mounted them to the rifle via Skinner Sights’ Express Scope Mount ’95 Stainless with Integrated Peep. In our limited testing to date, the scope/rings have maintained zero after detaching the scope a few times. These rings are available in 1 inch, 30 mm, 34 mm and 36 mm, in heights from low to extra high, and in a variety of finishes. These rings make it easy to hunt deer in open country with the scope, yet allow you to easily remove the scope and use iron sights while ghosting through the thickets or for situations where you prefer the iron sights.
|Weego Jump Starter 66
This multifunction tool is a portable power pack that allows you to jump start your vehicle; recharge phones, tablets, GPSs and laptops; powers 12V accessories; and functions as a 600-lumen flashlight that will run for up to 30 hours. It’s easy to use and comes with instructions. The jump-start function has multiple safety features built in including anti-spark, reverse-polarity recognition, overheating and power-surge protection.
|Switchview Throw Lever
Associate Editor Scott Haugen offered the following advice: “If looking to maximize the efficiency of your riflescope’s magnification dial, consider a throw lever. Popular with competition shooters and varmint hunters, quick-zoom levers are also nice for hunters when looking through the scope at animals on the move. Scope dials are supposed to move slowly, requiring considerable force to budge them, at times. This is normal, for these moving parts must also keep the scope waterproof and prohibit dust from penetrating the scope. The challenge of efficiently operating scope dials comes when a quick, big range of movement is required. In order to more easily and quickly move my .22’s scope magnification dial while tree-squirrel hunting, last fall I equipped it with a Switchview lever. Soon, I put Switchview levers on nearly all of my riflescopes, that’s how impressed I was with their performance. Made in the USA, Switchview levers are easy to install and made to fit a multitude of riflescopes.”
|Otis Technology 11” x 17” Cleaning Mat
This mat is small and portable, and provides a work area to clean your firearms. It’s got a rubber, non-slip backing so it won’t move and gun oil won’t penetrate the mat. It’s lightly padded, so it won’t mar the surface of your firearm and is gentle on gun components. We used it when cleaning our revolver, rifles and shotguns.
|Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff
The Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff provides comfortable, effective hearing protection with its noise-reduction rating of 22dB. Built in directional microphones amplify sounds to a safe 82dB so you can hear range commands and converse, yet they actively listen for sounds exceeding 82dB and stop amplification when it occurs. Other features include low-profile earcups, adjustable headband, and a compact, folding design for easy storage. The earmuffs have an AUX input and 3.5 mm cord to attach to your music or other audio source. Includes two AAA batteries. Expected battery life is 350 hours, and an automatic shut-off feature activates at four hours, preserving battery life.
|Novagrade Phone Adaptor
Associate Editor Scott Haugen shared these insights: “I’ve been digiscoping for years–using adaptors for cell phones to take photos and video through spotting scopes–but not until recently was I truly happy with my results, and all thanks to Novagrade. Novagrade is designed, machined, and assembled in my home state of Oregon, and is the most durable, rugged, reliable digiscope adapter I’ve ever used. The technology applied in the Novagrade allows it to quickly fit any cell phone, and a range of available adapters will fit any spotting scope or binocular eyepiece. When in place, the Novagrade is so secure you can grab the device and lift up any spotting scope and tripod setup, and it won’t budge. Whether you’re looking to take your field judging of big game to another level, survey fields being used by waterfowl from a safe distance, or simply want to photograph and video wildlife, the Novagrade will help. Thanks to its sturdy design and solid framework, every photo you take will be rock solid, optimizing the capability and clarity of what your cell phone is capable of doing.”
|Stealth Cam DS4K Ultra
Scott Haugen is an expert hunter and spends many days in the field each year. His hard-earned advice is worth listening to. “Last year I started using Stealth Cam’s new DS4K trail cameras. The quality of video this trail camera produced was unmatched, and I’ve been using trail cameras for many years. Recently, Stealth Cam released their latest version of the DS4K, with an impressive upgrade. The new and improved DS4K shoots ultra 4K HD video and 32-megapixel images. It also features a 100-foot infrared range and new adjustable-burst interval options. Personally, I learn a great deal about animal movement and behavior by capturing action on trail cameras set to video mode, not just pictures. Throughout this fall and winter I’ve been using the new DS4K exclusively in southeast Alaska’s rainforest. Here, heavy rain, intense fog, snow and freezing temperatures are the norm, yet this camera prevailed in every situation. It’s the best trail camera I’ve ever used.”
|Pacific Eyewear Shooter’s Edge OTG Shooting Glasses
These shooting glasses are very light, with high temples that allow them to be worn over your prescription glasses, or by themselves. The high temple also makes these glasses very comfortable to wear even with ear protection. The glasses have an anti-fog lens coating, provide 100% UV A & B protection and have an ANSI safety rating of Z87. Currently, these are only available at shooting ranges.