Super Survival Kit: 18 Deer-Camp Essentials

Everything needed to survive Mother Nature—and boredom.

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The Deer-Camp CompanionJim Golden

You’re snowed in or Hurricaned up. the nights are about to get really long—and a few of you are going to grate on the others’ nerves. When you’re suddenly off the grid, here’s what you need to pass the time in style.

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Pack It In
Get a footlocker that will fit under a bunk and start packing (bestmadeco.com).
Jim Golden
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1. A cross between a Bowie knife and a machete, the Benchmade Clip Point Jungle 154BK has a 5mm-thick tool-steel blade with a sharp tip that will open anything, from the skull of a bear to a No. 10 bean can ­(benchmade.com).Jim Golden
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2. The Kestrel Drop D3 environmental logger will tell you just how bad it is out, and how bad it’s likely to get ­(kestrel​meters.com).Jim Golden
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3. You think you're tough until the sun goes down. ThermaCell's 50-hour camp lantern burns the new 12-hour insect repellent mats.Jim Golden
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4. Charge the backwoods-worthy Ivation Rainproof Emergency Radio via wall socket, solar panels, or hand crank. It’s a one-stop information clearinghouse: AM/FM–NOAA radio, SOS alerts, Bluetooth audio, a USB port, and headphone jacks (my​ivation.com).Jim Golden
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5. A blue tarp will patch a leaky roof, serve as a makeshift gear sled, and perform admirably as a room divider when there’s a bit too much closeness in camp.Jim Golden
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6. Why a crowbar? Because five days of snow will cave in the shed where Billy is re­fueling the backup generator and if you don’t get that 4x4 post off his leg, he could lose his foot. The Stanley Fatmax wrecking bar sports a wide prying edge for maximum leverage ­(stanley​tools.com).Jim Golden
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7. Power-Up Tip
No reason to arm-wrestle over the last dim bars of camp power. The EnerPlex Generatr 1200 packs 1,231 watt-hours of juice and doesn't take up much more room than a truck battery. That's enough to power phones, GPS, a mini fridge, and even a flat-screen TV so you can keep up with the Kardashians even in the midst of the zombie apocalypse (goenerplex.com).
Jim Golden
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8. If the stream freezes and the well won't pump, the LifeStraw Mission high-​­capacity gravity-fed water purifier will slake the thirst of a crowd ­(life​straw.com).Jim Golden
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9. Think you've got it rough? Dig into Allan W. Eckert's 600-page The Frontiersmen and stop your whining. A few pages a night will last half of eternity.Jim Golden
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10. The Camp Chef Stryker 150 boils 1⁄2 liter of water in two minutes, but it's a perfect soup and stew heater as well.Jim Golden
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11. A baby wipe draped over the warm handle of a camp lantern will bring a restora­tive sense of civility to those challenging moments after nature calls.Jim Golden
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12. Night after night of chain-saw snoring will turn a deer camp mutinous. Cheap earplugs will help, but stop the ruckus at its source with customizable Pure Sleep snore guards. They are miraculous (pure​sleep.com).Jim Golden
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13. Keep some canned goods in the kit just in case no one in camp kills a deer.Jim Golden
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14. A manual can opener. Yeah. You laugh now, but wait till you’re sawing through a can of beef stew with your folding tree saw.Jim Golden
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15. Dominoes and Pick-Up Sticks are games of great skill and consequence—at least when played with lots of beer. Pack a deck of cards, too.Jim Golden
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16. When the power goes down for 15 days, old technology might be better. The UST 60-Day Duro lantern runs for two full months (on low) on six D batteries. And you could literally drop-kick it across the floor (ust​brands.com).Jim Golden
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17. Plain household bleach has a ton of survival uses. Eight drops will disinfect a gallon of water. A teaspoon will turn that gallon into a surface sanitizer after cleaning game or if a camper comes down with the flu. Flooded produce and fruits can be cleaned with a weak bleach solution.Jim Golden
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18. Pass the time and fill the pot with the Jungle Hunter II slingshot. The high-powered bands and bull-hide pouch mark this as no mere toy ­(extreme​­slingshots.com).Jim Golden

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