There’s a reason mankind invented tools. We can’t survive in the great outdoors all on our own — at least I can’t.
I couldn’t survive a camping trip without a backpack containing the essentials and then a couple of comforts from home. And I have no idea how yards were maintained in the days before the lawnmower was invented.
I get asked all the time for advice about lawn and gardening tools, camping equipment and devices, or what have you. Here 10 of my favorite items to use when I step out to say hi to Mother Nature:
I, like most human beings, could be considered legally blind in a dark forest. Armed with that knowledge, I never go on a camping trip without my trusty headlamp.
The headlamp is basically a flashlight I can strap to my head. It gives me the advantage of being able to use both my hands and see where I’m going at all times.
Despite my best efforts, I’m not very tall. Unfortunately, certain branches scratching my windows are very tall, and while I won’t admit to being afraid of heights, I will very adamantly proclaim my hesitance at climbing up a ladder with a pair of sharp clippers.
Instead of endangering myself, I just use my pole saw, which is exactly what it sounds like — a saw at the end of a long pole.
It may be super simple invention, but this device is a life saver. It allows me to cut down branches that seem miles above my head — all from the safety of having my two feet planted firmly on the ground.
If mosquitoes serve a positive function for this world, I haven’t been able to figure it out. Easily the most annoying creatures on the planet, I would shed no tears if I woke up tomorrow to a mosquito-less world.
That’s where a Mosquito Magnet trap comes into play. These nifty devices simulate human breath to lure mosquitos into a container, where they drown or die of dehydration.
My backyard is free of mosquitos, and my fear of grilling while a gazillion tiny vampires suck my blood is no more! Now my hands are always free to play games and eat food, instead of high-fiving mosquitos.
Sometimes, I just don’t feel like doing much in the middle of the day, even though my friends are begging me to join their game of ultimate Frisbee. It’s so hot! The only other option is to play closer to nighttime, when it’s much cooler.
It’s times like those that I’m glad I have a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee. Now all I have to worry about is running into another person. If only they made glow-in-the-dark friends.
I only had to sleep on the ground in a sleeping bag once before I decided it was time for an upgrade. My hammock keeps my back from feeling like it’s on fire, folds up neatly and fits right in my backpack — and it helps me along to the best naps ever.
Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re sleeping on a cloud?
Folding End Table
My mind was blown when I found out someone had the genius idea of inventing a lawn end table. The lawn chair had already been invented — why not complete the ensemble?
I love this item in particular because it provides so much more storage space than a regular lawn chair, but it only takes up the amount of space as a second folded up lawn chair.
Portable Water Purifier
I learned the hard way that drinking water out of streams in the woods isn’t always the best idea. No one has quite figured out how to get fish and animals (and hippies) from doing their business in them.
Rather than carry around the weight of 80 ounces of water in my backpack, I just bring along my portable water purifier. This amazing invention uses a filter press to purify the water in my bottle as I press it down.
The water I drink is crystal clear, and I only have to have the one bottle in my pack!
As a man, I like to burn things, which is why I use my weed torch instead of a regular weed eater. That’s right — I said weed torch.
It’s exactly what the name implies, and believe me, being able to watch those infectious weeds shrivel up in a small cloud of smoke is very satisfying.
I enjoy the occasional canoe trip, but I definitely don’t enjoy getting my phone, wallet, and watch soaking wet. I used to cram everything I had into Ziploc bags like a chump, but after a while, I decided it was better that I actually look like I have my life together.
I was introduced to the dry bag, an amazing pack that utilizes laminated fabric and welded seams  to keep water away and my possessions dry.
Cooling Bucket Hat
My biggest fear is dying of heat exhaustion. No really, it is, it’s a terrible way to go. After reading the symptoms, I went and invested in the best piece of clothing ever.
This awesome hat provides two essential cooling functions— it keeps the sun away from my face and neck, and cools instantly when I get it wet, I just wring it out and snap it into place.