We found a mysterious island, full of romance, drenched in drama, where fear and danger unnerve the weak and where only the strongest survive. That exotic island has long been known to the natives as "Manhattan," and on it, the ideal locale: within a sprawling wildlife refuge they call "Central Park."
For days now, your intrepid gizmorologist has been preparing for our own wilderness adventure here: searching out the latest survival technology so we can rough it in the wild. But, for me, there is more than mere survival at stake: the challenge is to survive in style.
To that end, here are a few new wonders I humbly suggest the next team on "Survivor" might take along. Water purifiers from Katadyn and First Need; rechargeable flashlights and radios and even a power source that can keep your stuff from the big city powered in the wilderness. (Not to mention the mother-of-all-bug-zappers!)
Coleman Sentinel Flashlight
For $40, this hand-cranked, or battery-powered light is about all you need to help find your way.
Coleman Outrider AM/FM Radio
Same idea, different gadget. Now, you don't have to worry about batteries to get that last-minute (or should I say, "up to the minute") weather forecast. Crank this little puppy up, and there you go. This one costs $49.
Katadyn Water Filters
Even if you can live off of bugs, grubs, rats and whatever else crawls into your camp, you're gonna need something to wash them down. These filters, which operate by either your elbow grease, or by gravity, will make even the foulest water drinkable. Trust me. I put them both to the test by scooping up some liquid mud from the bottom of a Central Park pond and drank it down. And I'm still alive. Not bad. $189 and $197.
Applica Sonic Bug Killer
Bugs? Hate 'em. That's why when I rough it outdoors, I carry this little gadget. Actually, I set it next to my campsite, and that's about the last I think about bugs. This lures them in with a heartbeat sound that biting bugs love as well as a gas that they crave. When the get close enough to the unit itself… they're dead. So sorry… but that's how it goes. $199.
Brunton Solo Portable Power Plant
Hey… even when you head out into the great outdoors, sometimes ya gotta plug something in. Me? I like to have a little extra power handy. And this little baby is just right. It provides the power I need to charge a cell phone, play a radio.. even a portable television… all while you're sitting in the middle of the woods. $649. And you can charge it with…
Solaris 25 Tri-Fold Solar
For $399, you can fire up your generator or any other electronic gadget, just by setting this display in the sun. Not bad… and environmentally friendly!
Coleman 3 in 1 All Terrain Blanket
Bottom line on this blanket is: it'll keep you warm and dry. How sure am I of that? My producer, Bob, helped me test it by dumping an entire bucket of filthy, muddy water over my head while I was wearing this. End result? I was dry… except for my shoes… by hey, I coulda ducked a little lower.
I'm not really sure if "Survivor" will ever set 16 people loose for 39 days in Central Park. But if ever there were someone who is ready to handle that kind of challenge with the right gear, I am that man. Bring it on!
By Daniel Dubno and Bob Bicknell