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Knives and Multitools

Weekly Obsession: This Compact Flask Could Save Your Life (and Not Just Metaphorically)

Because whiskey and safe hiking go hand-in-hand.

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Find more of our favorite gear aimed at helping you stay safe and comfortable in the backcountry in our 2022 Winter Gear Guide.

In August, a group of my friends and I had a fully vaxxed reunion to the Smoky Mountains after a long social drought. We spent four days catching up on the misty trails around the Smokies, and on our last day, we decided to collect some miles on the Appalachian Trail. When we were nearing the end of our hike, my friend pulled something out of his backpack that looked like a stainless steel flashlight.

But the VSSL Flask is much more than just a flashlight. It’s also a compass and a flask, complete with two collapsible stainless steel shot glasses. The 4-mode, SOS-capable LED flashlight shines for 20 hours at 200 lumens and for 40 on the low power setting. The oil-filled compass is easy to read. The flask holds 8 ounces, and the shot glasses hold 1.5 ounces. It’s not just a good flashlight with two mediocre side features. It’s a good flashlight that comes with an equally good compass and flask. That’s rare for multipurpose products.

The VSSL Flask is efficiently designed. The shot glasses nest at the base where the flashlight is, and the compass lid easily unscrews on the other end to pour your drink of choice. At 9 by 2 inches, this flashlight-flask-compass slid into our packs easily. We were able to cheers to the end of a successful reunion without taking up extra space in our daypacks.

The only downside is the weight: 1.31 pounds (without liquid). But, the Flask makes great use of every ounce. Durability is key here, too. If you drop the Flask, you don’t have to worry about damaging the flashlight or compromising the other features. The exterior is made of military-grade aluminum, and a shatterproof, non-permeable glass lines the interior chamber.

Since my trip to the Smokies, I’ve been looking for excuses to tell people about this hard-partying multitool. It’s ideal for day hiking, car camping, or any time you want to celebrate with a festive drink on the trails.


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