The summer brings out the sun and the heat, perfect for hiking or a trip to the beach. Winter brings snow and trips to the mountains. Spring and fall dazzle us with multitudes of colors and wild weather. There’s always an adventure out there waiting to happen, no matter the season, so you always want to be prepared for anything nature can throw your way.
Always be Prepared, For An Awesome Adventure
This list is loosely based off of The Ten Essentials as outlined by The Mountaineers, a famous outdoors adventure group that has been around for a long time. The purpose of all the items on this list is to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
This award winning tent is easy to set up and very weather resistant. Most importantly, it’s a great value at around $150, with features that easily beat tents more than double its price. Beginners and advanced users alike will find a lot to like in this tent.
You can spend quite a bit on a GPS unit for navigating the outdoors, but the ETrex 20 really hits the sweet spot between price and performance at around $200. It will keep you from getting lost out in the woods, while also helping you find that lake or trail that you swore was just over there.
Why bring a whole set of tools out with you when you can bring just one. Leatherman is probably the best-known name in this field, and for good reason. The TTI offers 19 different functions, and quite a few different screw driver tips. With a little creativity you can handle most situations you’ll encounter. The only downside is the price, at around $110, but when you consider that this tool can last you a lifetime, it’s a smart investment.
This hiking pack is very comfortable, can hold 60L, and offers great support for your back and shoulders. It weighs in at just under 5 pounds, which is nice considering that it isn’t a frameless pack. With front and top access, a special sleeping bag compartment, hydration support and excellent weather proofing, this pack is a great deal at around $190.
Staying hydrated is a basic human need, one that is often overlooked or neglected. If you’re not sufficiently hydrated, you’re not performing as well as you could be, and you’re setting yourself up for trouble down the road. This hydration bladder can be found for under $80, and it is one of the best on the market. It is easy to use, easy to find in a store or online, and best of all it fits easily into your backpack providing hands-free hydration.
Don’t get stuck navigating your way down a trail in the dark, it’s dangerous and wastes time. A good light is essential, and headlamps are the most convenient because of their hands-free nature. The Tikkina 2 is a great choice because at only $20, it performs nicely in most situations, and is very lightweight. To top it off, the battery life is very good, often even better than rated by the manufacturer.
While most people have a sleeping bag lying around somewhere, chances are it isn’t the best choice for an outdoor adventure. The Cosmic Down 20 is a great entry-level outdoors sleeping bag, rated to 20 degrees and weighing in at 42.5 ounces. The real draw though is the price, which is around $100, over three times cheaper than most other similar bags.
There’s nothing worse than cold, wet hands when you’re out playing in the snow or skiing/snowboarding. A good pair of gloves is essential, so here we have the Southback gloves. Combining Gore-Tex with goatskin leather, the materials work very well to keep out moisture, and they’ll also keep your hands warm down to around 15 degrees. Durable straps and a nose wipe on the back of the thumb round out this glove, which can be found for around $60-$70.
Not all gear has to be exciting. Without something to store all the cool stuff in, how will you bring it all with you? This bag loads easily and offers numerous carrying options, including backpack straps. Whether you’re heading onto a plane or riding a camel across the Sahara, the Base Camp will follow. Prices vary depending on the size you want, but they shouldn’t run more than $150 if you shop around.