Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Survival

The Tsunamiball is the sole work of designer Chris Robinson (Photo: Chris Robinson)

Following the tsunami that hit Japan in March, 2011, designer Chris Robinson was inspired to create an escape pod to ensure he and his family could survive if such a disaster were to occur in his home city of Palo Alto, California. After some two years of painstaking design and construction, his floating off-grid shelter, dubbed Tsunamiball, is nearing completion.  Read More

US Atomic Energy Commission 14 kT Bunker Charlie test - October 30, 1951 (Photo: USAEC)

The best advice for surviving a nuclear bomb is to be somewhere else when it goes off. If that doesn't work out for you, though, a recent study carried out at the USDOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) provides some simple guidance for maximizing your chances of survival.  Read More

It looks like a simple frisbee, but it's much more

Over the years, we've seen survival gear in all shapes and sizes – traditional kits, shovels, paracord bracelets, concept snowboards, winter jackets and more. A frisbee-like saucer is one format that we haven't seen ... up until today. The LifeDisc isn't focused on fire, cutlery or water purification, the way other survival kits and gizmos are. Its shape is designed for winding fishing line and paracord around a waterproof survival container.  Read More

The 5aver combines LED lantern and triple-filter mask

The thought of getting caught in a building fire is terrifying. Flames raging, smoke obscuring your vision and making it difficult to breathe, infrastructure crumbling, and you're trying desperately to remain calm and get out. The 5aver won't douse the flames, but the grab-and-go combination of lantern, alarm and mask is designed to help you find your way to safety in a hurry.  Read More

The Impromptu Tactical Pen is designed for danger, as a pen suitable for the police and ar...

While the chances of being caught up in a dangerous situation are thankfully low, having something about your person for such an eventuality isn't a bad idea. The Impromptu Tactical Pen from Gerber, with its glass-breaking steel tip, is one option for those who want to keep themselves safe. It is, as its name suggests, a simple writing implement with a hidden extra that could mean the difference between life and death.  Read More

Gear teeth of a juvenile Issus coleaptratus (Photo: University of Cambridge)

Among the mechanical components not found in nature is the spur gear. That is, until now. Zoologists of the University of Cambridge have discovered that the juvenile form of the leaf-hopper Issus coleoptratus has a set of gear-like linkages between the two jumping legs to synchronize the legs during a jump.  Read More

AceCamp Survival Multi-Tool Shovel

Multi-tools have come a long way. At one time they were simply pocket knives with a handful of other functions. Today they're tooled smartphone cases, multifunctional snowboards, bike-specific Swiss Army tools and bottle-opening wallets. The Survival Multi-Tool Shovel from AceCamp is advertised as a multi-tool on steroids thanks to a design that incorporates wilderness essentials like a hatchet, shovel, compass and bottle opener.  Read More

Vapur MicroFilter

Vapur has added a helpful feature to its line of soft, collapsible "Anti Bottles." Not one to get too fancy with names, Vapur calls it the MicroFilter and sells it in a package with its 1-L Eclipse Anti-Bottle. The system provides a light, convenient way of purifying, carrying and drinking water in the wild.  Read More

SPOT-assisted rescue map

Emergency rescue beacons from SPOT have been slowly but surely moving toward a satellite device that provides seamless real-time communication around the world – in other words, a satellite phone. The company has moved from pre-written messaging to custom type-and-send messaging, and with the new SPOT Global Phone, it now adds capabilities for real-time voice. The phone keeps you connected with friends, family and rescue agents even when you're standing in the middle of a roadless, fly-in wilderness in Alaska.  Read More

Design concept sketch of the ADAIA adventure phone being designed by BMW's design arm

In the future, there will be no excuse for becoming the next Aron Ralston. Within the past few months alone, we've seen survival watches, tablet computers and satellite phones built specifically for adventure use. Add to that the latest BMW, which isn't a car but a collaborative mobile phone project with mobile company Adaia. The phone will offer both business and adventure modes and will include advanced emergency communications capabilities.  Read More

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