Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

SHOT Show 2018 Day 3

Day 3 is in the books and the energy hasn't abated at SHOT Show. The aisles are teeming with people eager to see everything, talk to everyone, and learn something new. At times you can barely squeeze through the aisles, and occasionally you have to stand in line for while to handle the newest guns. But the people who work the booths are unfailingly kind and helpful, even though you know their feet must be killing them and they must be dog tired. SHOT Show people are the best.

We spent a while in the Leupold booth today and learned a LOT about scopes. Leupold has a variety of rifle scopes (and other optics) with a wide range of features and prices. New late last year is their VX-5HD CDS-ZL2. This is an incredible scope. Not only is it made in the USA (all of their scopes are), but it also has high definition lenses and a tiny red light in the center of the crosshairs. A button on the side of the scope lets you make the light dimmer or brighter. The lower the light outside, the dimmer you should make the red dot. This scope runs $1000-$1500 depending on the magnification, but they also have the VX3i which also has the illuminated reticle but runs $500-$900. There's really no way to appreciate these scopes without looking through them, so after you go to leupold.com, head over to an outdoor store and try some of these out. You'll be blown away.

I'm a big fan of paper maps, because as far as I'm concerned, nothing will ever replace them. I can mark on them, jot notes, and keep them forever. The batteries in a paper map never die, and I never have to worry about the screen being too small. I can see a huge area on a paper map without having to scroll, and because I have some handy tools from mytopo.com and I know how to use them, I can pinpoint my location on a paper map and tell someone my coordinates. That being said, there are times when I really like maps on my phone as well. It's fun seeing the dot move along showing exactly where you are, and it is really easy to keep track of how many miles you've traveled too. It's also great to be able to drop a pin and label it, so when you're scouting you have a record of where you've seen deer, picked up sheds, etc. Also, electronic maps give you the option to add or subtract layers. Paper maps can get so busy that it makes them hard to read, but with an electronic map you can just get rid of stuff you don't need. Don't want private and public land differentiated? Don't add that layer. OnX Maps lets you customize layers and see not only if land is private, but also the name of the owner. It costs $29.99 a year for a single state, or $99 a year for all 50 states. You can see satellite, hybrid, or topo maps, and there a lot more tools as well. You can get a free 7-day trial to see if you like it enough to pay. Just go to onxmaps.com.

Seems like everyone these days is obsessed with sharing all of their adventures on social media, so GoPro camera mounts and phone mounts are extremely popular. There are smart phone mounts for bows, scopes, binoculars, and spotting scopes, among other things. These are great – instead of looking through the eyepiece you simply mount your phone on the optics and look at the screen. You can record videos or take photos, and easily share them online. Carson Hook Upz2.0 are light and easy to use, and the smart phone adapter is just under $60. It will fit just about any phone and mount to any kind of optics you want. We saw it mounted to a spotting scope and one on a microscope looking at a tick. Ew. Check them out at carson.com.

I don't know about you, but I absolutely must have my coffee first thing in the morning or I just drag around. We saw a really cool thing at the show called Cauldryn that lets you brew a cup of coffee even if you don't have an electrical outlet handy. It's a rechargeable brewer that will give you 9-10 brew cycles on a charge. It then takes 4 hours to recharge, but if you have an outlet available, you can brew with it plugged in. You can boil water, keep your beverage hot without plugging anything in, and it has USB ports for charging. The kettle/mug can be used with a variety of bases – rechargeable, AC, and even a blade base so you can grind coffee beans or make a smoothie. You can use it to heat water for those dehydrated meals, make a cup of tea, or whatever. Base price is $129. Go to cauldryn.com to see all the options and pricing.

Well tomorrow is the last day of the show. We've walked our legs off and looked at hundreds of booths, but I just know we've missed some awesome stuff. We'll keep our eyes out for more new products tomorrow so we can share one last update with you before we head for home. Then we'll have SHOT Show 2019 to look forward to!


Reader Comments(0)