Gear of the Future

This custom indoor bike system, invented by Paul Krumrich, melds home-theater components with a computerized resistance hub and bike-training software to allow a rider to become ensconced in a virtual experience. Image credit Stephen Regenold

Outdoors equipment has come a long way from the days of hemp ropes, rain slickers, and hobnail mountain boots. But despite the leaps, I often find my gear lacking when truly pushed in the outdoors. As such, I offer below a fantasy wish list, a made-up line of upgraded products that would satisfy my wilderness wants and needs like nothing before ever seen.

> Biodegradable Food Packaging
This new type of earth-friendly packaging will make litter (and the
inconvenience of hauling garbage out of the woods!) a thing of the
past. Open an energy bar, a gel, or a bag of dehydrated camp food, and
simply crumple up the packaging and toss it into the trees. Within
minutes, the magic material will fade, dissolve, melt and decay,
unseen even by the next hikers coming behind you on the trail.

> Instant Water Purification
Drop this omni-purifying pill in your H20 and within seconds all
microorganisms, viruses, plankton, slime, and any other bad juju will
be dissipated and rendered useless against the mal effect it may have
otherwise put upon your gastrointestinal track. Use on streams,
rivers, lakes, and swamp water alike. Be sure to pre-filter out any
big chunks.

> Waterproof-Breathable Jacket
Ah, you say this already exists? Not so fast. For years, jacket
membrane technologies like GORE-TEX and its ilk have been touted as
both waterproof and breathable. The truth is these jackets are often
clammy when your heart-rate is high or you’re working hard. My fantasy
outerwear will wick away all sweat the second it touches the fabric
inside, creating an ultimately breathable — but still waterproof! —
shell jacket for year-round, rain or shine outdoors use.

> Wicking Base Layers
Working in tandem with the jacket above, this fantasy base layer
clothing (tops and bottoms) will suck sweat off your skin. Hydrophobic
fibers in the fabric will not allow a micro-drop of moisture to soak
in or survive next to your body, filtering away the excess sweat and
whisking it to the magic layers above for dissipation into the air.

> Fog-Less Sunglasses/Goggles
Huff and puff your hot breath on these optics. Fog cannot stick to the
glass. Rain beads and rolls off. They are ice-proof, and never again
will you need to wipe your glasses with a cloth. These magic eye
shields eschew moisture like an enemy, keeping your vision clear and
100 percent unencumbered no matter the conditions outside.

> Anti-Gravity Backpack
Not available until 2055, the Gravi-Packer NX is an expedition-ready
backpack that includes copious capacity for hauling huge loads into
the wilderness. But the real bonus is its zero-gravity field emitter,
a device that hums out a localized bubble of outer space to aid in
ferrying a floating load on your back. Ultra-light backpacking is a
thing of the past with the Gravi-Packer, which easily carts your
double-wide cot, mattress, expedition tent, pre-made food, gallons of
liquid, sleeping booties, pillows, and all the other luxuries you used
to leave behind. Batteries not included.

–Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.
Connect with Regenold at Facebook.com/TheGearJunkie or on Twitter via
@TheGearJunkie.

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