Thursday, September 12, 2013

2013 Summer Outdoor Retailer Show Report! (w/ Edged Tools Report)

It was a fun and exciting time at this year's Summer Outdoor Retailer Show. Technology just keeps pushing backpacking/camping products farther into the stratosphere, and edged tool manufacturers continue to vie for a piece of the expanding bushcraft and survival/prepper market.

Unlike my last trip to Salt Lake City during the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show, when I had to slip and slide my way to the Salt Palace Convention Center during a nasty, multi-day ice storm, the weather this time was quite beautiful. Warm, sunny days dominated, and the view outside the convention center was vibrant and colorful.

The view outside of the Salt Palace Convention Center

Gerber Gear's cool "Black Boar" 4x4 van:

Inside the show:

An owl handler giving an informational talk at the Clifbar Exhibit. Apparently, his owl spotted a ProBar rep walking by and tried to bite him!

What's new in Edged Tools!

Mora of Sweden to release larger Black Carbon Bushcraft model in December

Come December, Mora of Sweden is planning to release a larger version of its popular Black Carbon Bushcraft Knife called the "Pathfinder." The blade will be 6 5/8" long, and the thickness will be increased to a very robust 3.5mm. This is definitely looking to be the stoutest Mora ever, and it appears that they are taking aim at the large-bladed survival knife market.

Aside from the longer blade, the sheath is a new style cordura nylon sheath with loops to attach extra survival gear, etc. Hopefully Mora will still offer a plastic survival sheath as an option, since the cordura sheath, though seemingly well-made, didn't impress me like the well-executed dangler sheath on the existing Black Carbon.

Here is a sneak preview of the larger Black Carbon Knife and Sheath (second from top):


Mora's new US distributor, Industrial Revolution (Light My Fire, Esbit, UCO, etc) promised to get us a test sample just before consumer release, so keep checking back as December approaches for a full field test!

Steve Lorente of Industrial Revolution/Mora Knives USA:

"Made in the USA" Bear Grylls folding knife

Gerber Gerber is planning to release a US-made Bear Grylls folding knife within the next 4-5 months:

ESEE Knives will release 440C Stainless versions of their popular ESEE-3 and ESEE-4 knives this Fall:

While I was at the Benchmade Knives exhibit, I asked them to laser engrave my Benchmade Bushcrafter with our site name:


Me with the Benchmade Knives Team:

Buck Knives' new, made in the USA "Stowaway Kit" all-in-one camp cutting board/knife, "Splizzors" heavy duty fishing pliers, and Clearwater 5" Bait Knife:

The Zippo Outdoors crew demonstrating their new 4-in-1 Woodsman Axe/Saw:

They let me swing it a couple of times, but quickly snatched it away after chips from the notch I was chopping (with my usually vigorous chopping style) went flying right by the Zippo PR director's head!

Made in the USA Gear!

Woolrich has a limited edition wool poncho that might be of interest to bushcrafters, or for those wanting to fend off banditos ala' Clint Eastwood's "Fist Full of Dollars!"

I was also pleasantly surprised to find that Woolrich still makes their wool blankets in the USA:

Other cool stuff!

Bergan's of Norway breakdown canoe, which packs completely into a backpack (shown in the lower left-hand corner of the photo):

Rocky Mountain Bushcraft edition Liberty Bottles!

Liberty Bottleworks completely surprised me with a set of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft edition Liberty Bottles, complete with tips from our "Tips and Trips" section! Ryan Clark, co-president of Liberty Bottles, is a fan of RMB, and also wanted to thank us for our commitment to reviewing/bringing attention to made in the USA outdoor products.

"Next stop--- SHOT Show 2014 in Las Vegas!!!!