Ask the Gear Guy

    • Ever been scrambling before an outing for fresh flashlight batteries but never have the right kind on-hand? If you’re like me, the answer is a big fat yes. In fact, I have a great flashlight sitting in my drawer right now that requires a CR123 Lithium battery but I never remember to get one of those at the store and I definitely don’t have one just lying around the house. But that’s exactly the type of situation where the Gerber Omnivore Flashlight really shines -- pardon the pun.

    • Q. Dear Gear Guy, I’ve been searching everywhere for a reversible rain jacket, with one side to be waterproof, the other side just to keep me warm. Think you can help?

    • Q. Hey Gear Guy, I’ve been bass fishing for a couple years now but I really wanna get into fly fishing too. My friends say it’s really expensive—so can you recommend a simple, cheap fly rod and reel to get me started?

    • Q. Dear Gear Guy, I would like a good quality but inexpensive Buck knife. I saw the article in September 2008 about the fixed-blade knives, but my troop does not allow sheath or fixed-blade knives. What can you recommend?

    • Q. Dear Gear Guy, I need a good camping pillow that is not too expensive and can be used easily on backpacking trips.

    • One of the best ways to stay safe when bicycling is to make sure that you and your bike can be seen. This is especially important at night. Basic reflectors are a good start, but you really should have lights too.

    • Q. I have been looking for a pot, plate and bowl all for under $50. But I can’t find any?

    • Q. What equipment do you need to cook an oyster? I caught one on my fishing pole. Hope you write back!

    • Q. Hey Gear Guy, I have a problem: I’m getting a little too “old” for my BMX bike. I’ve had it for three years, but now I need a new one. My saddle is too low, and when I stand on the pedals for a while, my back begins to hurt. There’s one big problem: I’m kind of low on the green stuff (if you know what I mean). Any suggestions?

    • Q. Hi Gear Guy, I’m a swimmer and our coach has us time our laps with wristwatches, but every waterproof watch I try, the buttons don’t work underwater. What can I do?

    • Q. Yo Gear Guy, I’m about to go on a winter camp-out and I need some good warm gloves but my budget is just $15. What could I do?

    • Q. What skateboards are best for kickflips, grinds and ollies? Which board goes the fastest?

    • Q. Dear Gear Guy, Where can you find unbarbed fishing hooks? I keep on catching pumpkin seed fish, and they have sharp teeth. I think unbarbed hooks would help.

    • Q. I’m looking for an advanced first-aid kit that has everything I will ever need at a low cost with quality stuff for wilderness, desert, cave, boat, home, camper, car, etc.

    • If you’re like most guys I know, you’re tough on your stuff. Problem is, most electronics like cell phones can’t stand up to your kind of abuse. That’s why you’ll be stoked to hear about this super-durable mobile phone.

    • A hoodie with built-in headphones? No way.

    • Q. I have some old camping shoes, but they’re winter hunting shoes. I need a pair of warmer-weather shoes that can get wet and still be dry on the inside; and so my feet won't stink. Can you help me?

    • Q. I've had a lot of people tell me I should get a CamelBak for outings. Can you help me pick the right one? How much water should it hold and how much space should it have?

    • Waterproof dry sacks are among the most handy things to bring along on a backpacking trip. They are perfect for stuffing in your sleeping bag, clothes, a down jacket, whatever you want to keep dry.

    • Q. We went camping on the beach last weekend. It was fun, but the wind blew all night long and made our tents flap like crazy. It was so loud that it was really hard to sleep. Any advice?

    • While there are so many cool knives on the market, I was really excited to come across this unique wooden-handled one.

    • Q. I’ve heard some people talking about barefoot shoes lately. What are those? And what are they used for?

    • If you like capturing your outdoor adventures, this waterproof pocket high-definition camcorder might just be what you need. The Kodak Playsport is about the size and shape of a cell phone but it shoots great quality HD video and 5 megapixel JPEG photographs.

    • Q. Dear Gear Guy. My Scout leader says that when hiking in the winter you should always wear wool because it keeps you warm even when wet. But I am allergic to wool. Any ideas?

    • When it comes to buying cool clothes for school, shopping online is one of the best ways to save your parents some cash. And one of the best new sites we’ve found is axlscloset.com.

    • Q. When I was packing for summer camp, I had a hard time choosing the pocketknife to take. Almost all my knifes have wooden handles, and if they get wet, they rot and the blades rust. And the knife I took did rust. Can you tell me of a good rust-proof knife?

    • Q. On every camp-out, my boots always hurt my feet -- sometimes from wet socks but mainly for reasons unknown. Is there anything I can do?

    • Q. I have heard about the Hennessy Hammock and it sounds like it is a very good hammock, but is it as good as it sounds?

    • Q. I want to buy some hiking boots and I was looking at some different brands. What boot brands do you like and what else should I consider when shopping for hiking boots?

    • Q. Dear Gear Guy, I was on a hike last weekend with my troop and accidentally dropped my flashlight in a stream. By the time I fished it out of the water it was dead and still doesn’t work. I need a new one and am wondering if anyone makes waterproof headlamps?