2006 SHOT Show Product Review — Part One

Okay, if you’ve come here looking for information on the newest, latest, greatest gun from Remington or perhaps a product review on Winchester’s new Supreme Elite Rifle Ammunition, you’re going to be disappointed.   It’s not that I didn’t traipse through 13 miles of SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show isles looking at all the new products offered by 1,800+ vendors…I just wasn’t inspired by many of their offerings to report it here.   In fact, in the weeks and months to come you will surely hear about many of the new products showcased in other reporting, but today I’m writing about the products that caught my eye at the show…and some of them might not even be brand new to the industry.

I’ll be honest.   When I attend the SHOT Show and I walk from booth to booth I’m a big skeptic.   Will this new camouflage pattern really allow me to hide more successfully to call in more ducks?   Will this new deer stand design really allow me to be more comfortable sitting 15’ up in a tree so I stay in the woods longer before getting antsy to move?   Will this new gun sling really make my rifle feel two pounds lighter?

In most cases, I stop…look at the offerings at most vendor booths…and then I move on.   If the new product doesn’t have some practical function in my sporting lifestyle it probably doesn’t matter how wonderful the product will be to other sportsmen.   I need to see some immediate value…and not always by enabling my outdoor experience to be more of a success…but to add more enjoyment to the time I spend outdoors celebrating that lifestyle…that’s the bottom line.

 WetFire™ Tinder

WetFireHere’s an incredible little product that every sportsman should own.   I was sucked into this booth by the president of the company who gave a captivating demonstration on how to start a survival fire under any circumstance or climate condition.   The product he was really pushing was the new Blastmatch Fire Starter…but the product that stole the show for me was the tinder material used during the demonstration.   The WetFire Tinder was a small marshmallow-like material that can be shaved off in little flakes…or it can be left whole.   Doesn’t matter.   All this stuff knows how to do is burn.   In fact, the demonstrator scraped a bunch of tiny flakes into a pan of water…struck a flint and steel to make some sparks…and it ignited and burned while floating on water.   They claim water even makes it burn better.   Each little piece will burn for about 1/2 hour making floating candle or burning however you need it.

Seems to me that this little tinder material should be carried in every sportsman’s pack, tackle box, or even vehicle glove box where someday it could be useful for a wide array of survival situations.   Check it out further by reading here.

The Rifle Cam™

The Rifle Cam is an interesting product that actually is the mount for attaching your own small video camera directly to your rifle.   It works in tandem with your rifle’s scope allowing the user to actually film the suspense leading up to the kill.   Awesome product for the tree stand hunter who has longed for taking the video camera out in the woods.   The big downside, most rifle hunting is not done at less than 50 yards which can mean the video camera may not be taking closeup shots of the game being hunted.   In any case, the mount allows a unique perspective to capture the action while not significantly interfering with the action leading up to the kill.   For more information or to purchase this product, contact our sponsor Sportsman’s Specialties for additional details (see right side-bar).

Gerber’s Carnivore™ Blood Tracking Light

Gerber Knives has expanded it’s offering of L.E.D. lights to include one that is specifically designed for detecting a blood trail in low or no light conditions.   It includes a careful calibration of red and blue L.E.D.s promoted to make after dark blood tracking substantially easier.   Not sure how well this product might work…but if you’re not opposed to doing some blood trailing after shooting hours…this just might be the type of light you would want to carry in your bag of equipment.   Watch for this light and other products using similar technology to arrive at the stores soon.

BuckEye Cam™

Okay, I’ve been considering the purchase of one or more trail cameras for the past few years now…but this might be the ultimate system.   In fact, I’m quite sure it is way out of my price league…nevertheless, I find the concept quite interesting.   Imagine a wildlife trail camera that can be observed remotely…from up to 5 miles away on your computer.   That’s precisely what the folks at BuckEye Cam are offering.   Check them out for additional details.

Hitch™ CrittersHitchCritter

Alright, yes…sometimes I am a sucker for gimmicks and novelties.   But when you see these little guys in action it can’t help but put a smile on your face.   If you like to have some fun…and you also need to have your hitch ball covered to protect it from the elements…you just might want to consider a Hitch Critter to do the job.   As cute as they are…I’m just not sure how practical and theft-proof they would be sitting attached to your unattended vehicle.   Still, they are almost guaranteed to make the folks traveling behind you laugh at the next stoplight.

Stay tuned for more products to be reviewed in the days to come….

© 2006 Jim Braaten.  All Rights Reserved.   No Reproduction without Prior Permission.