Outdoor equipment can be expensive so it’s important to get the right stuff. We don’t love everything we own but a few pieces of our gear really shine.
- My hiking boots:
A few years ago I spent two hours at Sports Authority trying on different boots to find these guys . After I brought them home, Tricia tried and loved them, too. She bought a pair for herself off Amazon minutes later. Fruit of my labor, shared. We’ve since gone on many hikes around the world including trips to Chile (Patagonia) and Nepal. I can proudly say that these boots have carried me through rain, snow, ice and muddy jungle trails. For sure my favorite boots of all time.
- Our Four Season Tent
I put this tent on our wedding registry and a friend bought it for us as a gift. I searched around on Amazon for a good tent with reasonable price tag and am glad I chose this one. It protected us during many rainy nights in Patagonia. It’s easy and intuitive to set up and it weighs no more than our summer tent.
- Tricia’s Lobster Gloves
Another gem of a wedding gift that we received. Tricia had been complaining that her fingers getting icy cold while crossing country skin in eastern Washington. We thought these super heavy gloves could solve the problem. And they are perfect! We had a few sub-zero days in eastern Washington last winter and these gloves worked their magic.
- Camping Inflatable Pillow
My wife and I both love hiking and camping and we are blessed to be living in a place surrounded by lakes and mountains. Every time we go camping, though, my greatest complaint is that I miss my pillow. I used to bunch up my clothing into the head cradle of my sleeping bag, but that inevitably leads to a sore neck in next morning. I figured there must be an inflatable pillow out there but I didn’t bother to look for it until this year. Let me just say this pillow is a game changer for me. I love it so much that I even brought it with me in Nepal, all the way to Everest Base Camp.
- Sleeping Pads
My parents gave us a pair of these sleeping pads as a gift a few years back. They are superb! The segmented design reduces the amount of air you need to blow into the inflatable pad before use. It usually takes me about 7-8 deep breaths to fully inflate this pad. It’s soft and it provides a great thermal layer under you. Tricia and I have been using it every time we go on a camping trip, including our entire trip through Patagonia in Chile last year. I highly recommend it.
I think microspikes are a must have item when it comes to hiking in icy/snow conditions. It is amazing how much difference it makes to wear them while hiking up a snowy peak. We started out using Yaktrax, which are somewhat helpful when the conditions are just right. Microspikes weighs only ounces more but help in a far broader range of conditions. We’ve used them going up places like Mt Adams, Mt Dickerman, and the Enchantments in Washington. We also wore them on the slippery Cho La pass glacier in Nepal. I highly recommend it for your outdoor adventures.
- Foldable Water Bottle
Have you been carrying your empty water bottles in your backpack and resent the fact that it’s taking up all the space? Yes, I agree! Water bladders/ Camelbaks avoid that problem but they can be logistically difficult and don’t work well in a tent at night. I have always thought it’d be clever to design a bottle that I could fold up once I drink all the water. Well, someone beat me to it and I kind of love it. We brought this along with us on our hike to Spider Gap this summer. It become Tricia’s favorite water bottle (she has may water bottles). I think this is a clever item to keep among your outdoor gear.
- Pocket Rocket Camp Stove and Pot Pan
For all the outdoorsy people out there, this set probably looks pretty familiar. I think everyone has a preferred camping stove of some sort. I personally love this stove’s foldable prongs and its fold out legs on the tip. This “pocket rocket” stove also comes with a piezo ignition which means you don’t need to search for a lighter after taking a flight to your camping trip. It served us very well during our trip to Patagonia. We did pack a few matches in a dry bag just in case the piezo ignition failed. But it didn’t fail once, even after days of rain.