Okay, I admit it. I'm a bit of a gear nut. However, survival is a pretty basic art and usually requires only a few simple tools. Still, a hunter can always find a way to make something faster, lighter, easier -- or all of the above. And I love doing that.
I like traveling light, and I also like the security of having an immediate, weatherproof shelter with me all the time for an unexpected night in the woods. The Montbell Ultralight Sleeping Bag Cover answers both of these desires. It weighs just over 7 oz. and, measuring roughly 3" x 6" in its stuff sack, fits in the palm of your hand. It is constructed of Gore-Tex fabric and the seams are taped, creating a completely waterproof, breathable, and warm cocoon for your sleeping bag (or just your body, depending on circumstances). I used it on a few cold, damp nights in the New Mexico high country last year, and it performed flawlessly. As a survival tool, it allows you to carry instant shelter in your pocket -- literally. Montbell also offers several weatherproof clothing items, made with the same lightweight and efficient mindset. The Ultralight Sleeping Bag Cover retails for about $160 (1-877-666-8235, www.montbell.com).