Ask the Gear Guy

    • hammock-200x148Q. Dear Gear Guy, I have been looking for an affordable camping hammock that I can use in all seasons, preferably under $200. Any suggestions?

    • catfish-200x148.jpgWhat’s the best gear for fishing in rivers for catfish?

    • Q. Last summer at Cub Scout day camp, the temperature hit 106 degrees. I like to wear a wide brim hat on days like that, but sometimes they just get in the way and a ball cap works better, especially when I’m out doing a lot of active stuff like running around or jogging. I find that most ball caps make my head feel hot and just retain more heat. I try soaking them in water and letting evaporation cool my head down, which helps a little, but I was wondering if you’ve come across any good caps that might have some ventilation in them.

    • Q. Dear Gear Guy, I’m looking to buy a new fishing pole, but don’t know what qualities to look for in a rod. What do you recommend?

    • Q. I want to buy a pocketknife for my 8-year-old nephew. He has just started a pocketknife collection and has about 8 knives. Can you recommend a good knife for a boy that age?

    • Q. Dear Gear Guy. I love skateboarding but every winter it’s snowy and cold and icy where I live so skating outdoors isn’t an option. How do I make sure that I don’t lose all my skillz?

    • dutchoven-200x148Q. What's the best way to store Dutch ovens to keep them away from dirt and bugs and to stop rusting?

    • knife-200x148Q. Dear Gear Guy, I got a pocketknife from my grandfather, and it's all dirty and rusty. Can you tell me how to clean it, please?

    • Q. Dear Gear Guy, I’m going backpacking and need a first aid kit that’s small and lightweight because I don’t have a lot of room in my pack. What would you recommend?

    • Q. Hi Gear Guy, I’m into digital photography, but so far I’ve been using my cell phone or borrowing a camera. So, I want to get one of my own. I saw the Pentax Optio WG-1 in the May 2012 issue of Boys’ Life and thought it would be perfect, but the reviews are all over the place. Some people say it’s awesome and some people say it sucks. Is it a good camera or should I look at something else?

    • Q. I recently bought a backpacking stove. Now I need a pot for boiling water. What is a good lightweight option?

    • Q. Hey Gear Guy! I am moving to an 85-acre farm soon and I’m looking for a pair of boots for hiking, fishing, hunting and riding my dirt bike across the farm. What would you recommend?

    • powerbait-200x148My dad and I go fishing a lot. We used to use PowerBait but we just didn’t catch anything. So we started using mealworms and we caught much more. But the next time we went fishing and the other fishermen were saying the fish were biting the PowerBait! My dad and I love catching trout but we don’t know what bait is best for that?

    • The wheels on my skateboard aren't spinning well anymore. Is there anything I can do to fix them or do I have to buy new wheels?

    • boots.jpgMy hiking boots smell terrible. Is there anything I can do to take care of that?

    • Q. Where can I get a spare bladder for my hydration pack (straw included)?

    • Q. That BioLite stove seems like a neat idea. But does it really work?

    • Q. Hey Gear Guy, I prefer the game of Ultimate Frisbee. But nobody knows anything about ultimate. There is no one to tell you what type of shoes to get or what type of disc to use. Could you please help?

    • Q. Hey Gear Guy, I love rock climbing a lot! But I don’t have my own gear. I want good quality gear but would like it at the cheapest price. I was wondering what brand I should buy and where I should buy it?

    • Q. What's better: a hiking shoe or a hiking boot?

    • If you follow the Gear Guy, then you know I LOVE headlamps. They're definitely one of the handiest things you can carry in your pack. And I've really been digging a new one I've been testing called the LED Lenser H7.

    • Q. How do I keep my clothes dry whenever I am in the water?

    • Do you recommend a propane-canister or liquid-fuel backpacking stove? I've heard good things about both, and I'm unsure about which one I should bring to Philmont Scout Ranch.

    • Q. Dear Gear Guy, Whenever I get a new pair of shoes the stuffing in the backside of the ankle goes away. I just got a new pair of boots about a month ago, and it’s already happened. Why is that? I have no idea. Please help?

    • The Vapur Element has to be the coolest, handiest new water bottle we’ve tested. But, here’s the catch: It’s not actually a bottle.

    • Q. I like to go small-boat sailing. I think that it is fun and educational. What kind of boat do you recommend for use on a lake?

    • Q. Hi Gear Guy, I like skateboarding. I think it is fun. Do you have a skateboard? If you do, is it a longboard or a regular board? I live in Indiana; where could I get an inexpensive longboard? Thanks for your time.

    • Q. Hey Gear Guy, which devices (other than a traditional whetstone) can I use to sharpen my knife? How well do they work?

    • Q. I'd like to buy a mountain skateboard. What kind of board would you recommend for me?

    • Finally, there's a global positioning system receiver with a bright, full-color screen and an affordable price tag.