The best outdoor gear in the world

The Best Tents and Sleeping Bags in the World!

Alaska is the ultimate testing ground for outdoor gear of any kind, but especially camping gear. Whether it’s the savage, hurricane force winds or monstrous waves and tides that rip through the southern coastal areas, the impenetrable forests and swamps of the interior, or the brutal, deadly cold of the Arctic, the Alaskan wilderness will chew up, spit out, and kick the living heck out of whatever gear you bring along on an adventure, or, for work. If camping gear can stand up to the punishment of the 49th state, you can bet your life that it will perform beyond expectation anywhere else in the world. 

During my years on Kodiak Island, and many other areas of Alaska, where I’ve spent a great deal of time working as a guide, exploring, and adventuring, I’ve seen, and personally experienced, things like tents, and entire camps, being literally blown off the side of mountains or washed away by torrential rain and flooding rivers. I’ve had gear freeze up in subzero temperatures and become totally inoperable. On top of all that, I’ve seen grizzly and black bears rip apart and destroy all sorts of things with ease…making chew toys out of heavy duty rafts, ATV’s, and a wide variety of camping gear. The Coast Guard has had to come to the rescue of more than a few ill-prepared or unfortunate outdoor enthusiasts when the gear they chose failed them and mother nature simply kicked them out of her domain.

The camping gear that I recommend here at Wild Revelation Outdoors is without question some of the highest quality and toughest on earth. It is gear that I either own and use myself, that I have used while on adventures with friends, or that legendary adventurers and other Alaskan guides have recommended. Like anything else regarding outdoor equipment, you get what you pay for. You can waste lots of money by investing in cheap, garbage gear that will break down and fail constantly…which may even result in you dying…or you can buy high-quality products the first time, take care of those items, and have them last a lifetime. Take my advice to heart, DO NOT SKIMP on the quality of essential camping gear! Again, your life can depend on the gear you choose, so choose and use the best!

Hunting on Kodiak Island, Alaska

   (Above photo) The beginning of a nasty storm that set in for several days during an adventure on Kodiak Island, Alaska.                                     Top-quality camping gear is a must when at the mercy of the remote wilderness!

Tents and Shelters

Death from exposure is the greatest killer of all in the outdoors. Choosing clothing (and a sleeping bag) that will keep you warm and dry, especially in adverse conditions, is critical. Likewise, the tent or shelter that you choose for an extended stay in the outdoors is of vital importance. Don’t forget the four sacred elements of survival: shelter, water, fire, food. The shelter/tent you choose is essential! A tent that is rated as a “four season” model will be able to handle most any situation when setting up on top of a good ground tarp for added insulation and protection. Four season tents generally have stronger poles and are constructed with much tougher materials than two or three season tents. Four season models are a bit heavier, but in my opinion, a little extra weight is worth a strong, secure shelter. Keep in mind, too, that a tent is not necessarily designed to keep you warm…that’s what your clothing and sleeping bag is for. A tent is designed to protect you from the elements: wind, precipitation, etc. A tent that can be well ventilated is also an important part of a good design, as condensation build up on the inside of a tent can produce a lot of unwanted moisture to deal with. Whether you need a super heavy duty, bomb-proof tent like the Arctic Oven, or a pack-able shelter/tent for a solo adventure, you’ll find the best below. Most are four season designs, but there are a few more lightweight designs as well. Click on the photos to learn more and order yours today.

Sleeping Bags and Pads

Sleeping bags come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, insulation materials, and temperature ratings. There are many things to consider when shopping for a worthy sleeping bag, which include the following:

  • Choose a bag that is rated for at least ten degrees or so colder than what you expect to experience…you can always unzip a bag to cool down if need be.
  • Whether you choose a mummy style bag, or more traditional shape, make sure a bag is long enough and wide enough to fit you properly, as being relatively comfortable is critical to getting a good night’s sleep.
  • While down and natural insulation materials are very warm, they are bulky and slow to try. Synthetic materials, while still being very warm, are much lighter and dry much faster when wet.

No matter what bag you decide on, the most important thing is to keep it dry at all times and protect it with your life…as it could very well save yours! I keep my bag in a waterproof stuff sack when out in the field, and then placed inside a heavy duty contractor bag for added protection.

In regard to sleeping pads/mattresses, this too is a critical decision. Sleeping right on the ground, on a bare tent floor, or worst of all, on top of one of those big, cheap air mattresses is a recipe for disaster! The ground, and especially the air inside those big air mattresses, cools down significantly at night…even in warm weather, and becomes a major source of conductive bodily heat loss. A foam sleeping pad, or small, heavily insulated inflatable pad are the best options. In my opinion, there is only brand to choose, and that is Therm-a-Rest. I have slept on my same one for over a decade and I love it!

Below are my top picks for bags and pads. Click on the photos for more info and to order yours.

More to come!