Of late, I’ve gotten my gnarled and trembling fingers on some diverse and very good sporting equipment, so pucker your sphincters and grab your wallets.


Cabela’s/Kershaw Tiger-Stripe Blur
This Kershaw knife is sold exclusively through Cabela’s. It’s an assisted-opening liner-lock with an anodized aluminum handle, a Sandvik stainless drop point blade that’s 3 3/8-inch long, and a strange wavy camo pattern on the blade that will give you vertigo if you stare at it long enough.

Aside from that the Blur is damned near a perfect knife. Very light (under 4 ounces) with an excellent blade shape, strong hinge, and a handle that allows you to get some leverage. The assisted-opening feature means you give a slight push on the thumbstud and the blade snaps open faster than a presidential candidate grabbing a Super-PAC check. (Say, “Honest, officer, it’s not a switchblade.”) The stock number is 1670BLKTSX, and the MSRP is $99.95. A handier, better-made heavy-duty folder you will not find.

Nikon Monarch 7


This brand-new binocular costs $499 in a 10×42 version and $20 less in 8×42. I got a 10X model to fool with, and it is so good it leaves me somewhat unnerved. All the hardware is done right; the focusing is glassy smooth; the weight is only 23.6 ounces. I compared the Monarch 7 with four other binoculars whose prices ran from $700 on up to $2,400. The only binocular that was better, and not by a hell of a lot at that, was the one that cost $2K plus. It’s deeply distressing to me that people of ordinary means can afford something of this quality, but there you are.

Wiggy’s Insulated Head Cover


Wiggy is Harry Wigutow, who makes the best sleeping bags I’ve every used, plus much cold-weather clothing of note. The Insulated Helmet Cover was intended as a safety-helmet liner for oilfield workers on the North Slope pipeline. It covers your head, has two long flaps for the back and front of your neck, and a third flap can cover your face from chin to eyes or fold behind your head. It’s ideal for sitting on stands or wearing at night in a cold cabin or tent. This thing is warm, son.

Why bring it up now, even as people’s teeth are exploding in the heat? Because come autumn, Wiggy can’t keep up with the orders for some items, and having dealt with him for years, I advise you to get one in the off season. The price is $46.