SHOT Show 2018 Day 1
January 1, 2018
The show has officially opened and from what I understand, if you wanted to visit every booth you'd have just 22 seconds per booth. So we are trying to cherry pick, and concentrating on outdoor things not only for hunters, but also for campers, RV'ers, fishermen, and hikers. We've found plenty, and it's only lunch time!
Right off the bat we visited the HydraPak booth. They make collapsible water containers in many sizes, for everything from a day hike to a long hunting trip. Our granddaughters love the Stash flasks because they are so light and once they're empty, they can be folded up for storage – ideal for college students trying to stow gear in a dorm. New for this year is a big water storage container with a great spigot so you can fill your bottles or wash your hands. It holds 8 liters, and like all of their products it folds up compactly for storage once it's empty. These are so much better than having to buy a bunch of water bottles, then toss them into the landfill. They also make Bottle Bright tablets to clean your water reservoirs and flasks, and of course they make great reservoirs for those backpacks that hold a bladder. The best thing about the HyrdraPak reservoirs is that the end opens up so you can really get it clean and dry after each use. Check all their products out at hydrapak.com
DeSantis makes fantastic holsters, and this year they've added some great new products to their lineup. One we particularly liked is an ankle holster with snaps instead of Velcro ®. I don't know about you, but if I ever had to reach down to get a pistol off my ankle, I'd probably want to be as stealthy as possible about it. Snaps are a lot less noisy than Velcro ®. They also have a new Yukon hunter holster that allows you to carry a handgun out of the way of your backpack, even if the backpack has a waist belt. I know on our last hunt we both had trouble getting our packs on and off without tearing our hands and arms up on our pistols. The Yukon even has room for a spare mag, and they have a revolver model with a pouch for a speed loader and loops for extra rounds. They also added a very stylish and discrete women's carry purse this year – it's a simple black bag that definitely does not scream "gun". In fact, it looks nice enough to wear with just about anything. You can check out all of the DeSantis holsters and products at desantisholster.com.
We found some really cool camping and fishing gear at the Osage River booth. They've got a complete fly fishing introductory kit called the "Prospect" for just around $80 that includes absolutely everything you need to start fishing – even flies! It comes in a sturdy case that will easily fit just about anywhere, so you can be ready to fish wherever you go. This would also make a great gift for someone who is thinking about taking up fly fishing – it's a fairly inexpensive way to get started. They also have all-terrain trekking poles with interchangeable tips, dual fuel stoves (propane or butane), and an excellent little lightweight nylon sling pack that folds into its own pocket and costs just $15. This would be so great for stashing in the glove box or even putting in your regular back pack or your luggage. You never know when you're going to need to carry a little something around, and sling packs are comfortable and handy. See and buy any of their gear at osagerivergear.com.
We have always thought that if you carry a concealed weapon, you should try to fly under the radar. In other words, skip the tactical pants and the molle back packs and just blend in with the rest of the world. American Rebel gets it. They make a bunch of carry options that don't look at all tactical or military. Their packs and bags look like normal school or daypacks, their jackets are stylish, and their sling bags are awesome. The back packs and sling bags even have special little zippered pockets lined with soft fabric to cradle your sunglasses without scratching them. I love the little splashes of color they have on the packs and bags. They also have some women's jackets that aren't online yet, so watch for those. They're really cute and they look like jogging jackets – lightweight and stylish. Go to americanrebel.com.
UST always has great stuff at the show, and this year is no exception. These are the folks who make the TekFire flameless lighters and tons of other great camping and survival gear. They also make the Flexware line of collapsible gear like buckets and sinks, making it much easy to tote around the stuff you need for camping. One of the things I liked at their booth this year is the Flexware Coffee Drip. It collapses down flat like all their Flexware, and all you have to do is pop it up, put a paper filter and some coffee in it, set it over your cup, and pour some hot water in it. In no time you have a single delicious cup of drip coffee. This is perfect for camping, hotels, dorms – even at home if you just want one quick cup. It's as fast as boiling water. They also have an LED Lantern that will run for 60 days continuously on 6 D batteries. They have absolutely tons of reasonably priced gear that you really need to see. So log on to ustbrands.com and have a look around. Great stuff!
Good boots are a must for any outdoors person, and we saw lots at the show today. The ones at the Irish Setter booth are outstanding. They really understand what you need in a boot based on what you're doing – they've got good sturdy boots for hiking over rough terrain and rocky ground all day while hunting, and they've also got great incredibly lightweight but sturdy hiking boots that come just high enough to give you a bit of ankle support. It's impossible to do them justice in a single paragraph, so go to irishsetterboots.com and browse around.
We saw a lot more stuff today, especially optics and guns, but we'll save those for another day. We'll be back at the show tomorrow searching out the best new gear to tell you about, so stay tuned!