The 20 Best Adventure Essentials

Apr 16, 2020

Category: Gear

There’s something to be said for the concept of the best adventure gear being that which is immediately available to you. Of course, we’re in a unique time right now where adventuring isn’t really an option for those that want to be safe and responsible. As such, now seems like a pretty good time to restock your supplies and upgrade your kit to make it better than ever before.

Even if you have a solid collection of adventure-ready gear, it’s always a good idea to take a gander at your loadout and consider whether you’ve got any gaps that need filling or older items that require replacing. In order to figure out what those gaps and/or replacements are, we suggest taking a look at the following guide. The following collection of gear amounts to 20 pieces of essential adventure gear we think everyone should own in some form or another.

Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival

No matter what anyone tells you, the most valuable thing you can have out on the trails is knowledge. And few tomes are quite as informative and helpful in outdoor and/or survival situations than Bushcraft 101. Dave Canterbury’s field guide is almost without equal and contains some of the most helpful survival tips out there. Every adventurer should own a copy of this book.

Purchase: $16

Soto Pocket Torch

The ability to make fire is definitely a necessary survival skill everyone should manifest. But that doesn’t mean you have to solely rely on rubbing sticks together. Use your noggin and modern tech by pocketing the Soto Pocket Torch — which can turn a disposable gas station lighter into a windproof torch that lasts 60% longer than is typical (20 minutes straight) and burns at temperatures of up to 2,300-degrees Fahrenheit.

Purchase: $20

T.A.D. Alchemy Base Layer System

Even in springtime, there are days and nights where the weather can get pretty chilly. One of the best ways to keep warm while you’re out on the trails, especially when the mercury dips, is by bringing along a base layer set. Triple Aught Design’s Alchemy system was designed specifically for outdoor adventure, can keep you warm from the top of your head down to your ankles, and it’s still breathable and comfortable for all-day wear.

Purchase: $25+

Matador Droplet XL Dry Bag

In the off chance that you end up taking a dip in a river, lake, or ocean — or the weather takes an unfortunate turn — it’s always a good idea to keep a packable waterproof bag on hand. And you can’t do much better than the Matador Droplet XL you see here. This bag can fit up to 20L worth of gear, it’s submersible and airtight, and it collapses down to a pocket-friendly format or can be clipped to your backpack via an included carabiner clip for easy hauling.

Purchase: $40

Stanley Adventure Coffee Press

As much as we’d love to deny our reliance on coffee, we can’t rightly decry the black bean juice, as it definitely has the ability to give us some get-up-and-go when out in the wilderness. Of course, fresh coffee is always preferred, which is why we suggest bringing along the Stanley Adventure Coffee Press. This device lets you brew and drink your coffee with a single vessel, it’s easy to pack and clean, and it’s dishwasher-safe.

Purchase: $45

MSR TrailShot Water Filter

Of all the things you need to survive, the direst is, without a doubt, water. Of course, carrying a jug of it can be very heavy and, especially if you’re out for multiple days, it can empty pretty quickly. Thankfully, the folks at MSR have a suitable survival-focused alternative in their TrailShot Water Filter. Small enough to stash in a pack or even a larger pocket, this device can filter 99.9% of all waterborne particulates out of up to 2,000 liters of water — all without harmful chemicals. At worst, this is a superb backup plan.

Purchase: $50

CamelBak Crux Stoaway Insulated Hydration Reservoir

Even if you have a survival water filter, you will still want something in which to haul drinkable water. Enter the CamelBak Crux Stoaway Insulated Hydration Reservoir. This packable vessel holds up to 3L of liquid, it can stash away in your backpack, and it even has its own insulation for all-season use — meaning it won’t freeze when the temperature drops and you won’t get stuck sucking down hot water on warmer days.

Purchase: $55

Leatherman Skeletool RX Multi-Tool

Every adventurer — even those that prefer urban environments — should keep a folding multi-tool on-hand for on-the-spot DIY fixes. This one from Leatherman has a leg-up on many of its counterparts, at least in regards to outdoor adventure and survival use, as it was specifically designed to be lightweight and speedy for use by first responders and emergency personnel. It has an integrated carabiner clip for easy storage, alongside seven built-in tools ranging from a serrated blade to a carbide glass breaker. There’s even an integrated bottle opener for when the danger has passed.

Purchase: $80

Olight M2R Warrior Flashlight

If all goes according to plan, you’ll likely be sitting around your campfire long before the sun drops below the horizon. However, things rarely go as planned and even well-lit campsites have dark corners. For those instances, there’s the Olight M2R Warrior flashlight with its 1-1,500-lumen output range, battery life good for up to 25 days, multiple battery chemistry compatibilities, IPX8 waterproofing, and more.

Purchase: $90

RattlerStrap Survival Belt

When it comes to survival tools, there’s one single material that towers above the rest: paracord. From household projects to hardcore survivalist skills, knowing the versatility of paracord can make a world of difference in the ease and effectiveness of your experiences. The RattlerStrap Survival Belt you see here packs a whopping 80+ feet of the stuff into a handy and easy-to-carry format, perfect for extended adventures.

Purchase: $99

BioLite Campstove 2

Knowing how to build a campfire is an indispensable skill. However, not everywhere you adventure will be suitable for campfires and, even then, you might want more out of your warmth-giving flame. In that case, there’s the BioLite Campstove 2. This handy device uses pretty much any biomaterial to create a relatively smokeless flame, it can boil a liter of water in as little as 4.5 minutes, and it has the added bonus of converting flame heat into usable battery power.

Purchase: $150

SOG Bowie 2.0 Knife

A fixed blade knife is most definitely an essential tool everyone should have in their outdoor adventure kit. And the SOG Bowie 2.0 you see here is an extra-special option, as its a modern take on the knife that helped start the brand. It features a resilient full-tang AUS-8 steel blade with a TiNi coating for more durability, a leather-wrapped handle, and its own high-quality leather sheath. It’s a bit big at 11″ in total, but it’s a lifesaver in more ways than one.

Purchase: $181

Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite GORE-TEX Hiking Boots

For those who understand that your ideal outdoor adventure vehicle is your own body, you probably already know you need good footwear to get you where you want to go. And you could do far worse than the Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite GORE-TEX Hiking Boots. They’re handsome, lightweight, waterproof, grippy, and will keep your feet protected at every turn.

Purchase: $200

The North Face The One Sleeping Bag

If you like to adventure in every season, buying the right gear can get really expensive really fast — not to mention how much room all that equipment takes up. Of course, you can also try to pick up versatile, modular gear to make for more versatility and necessitate less storage space. Take, for instance, The North Face’s One Sleeping Bag — this three-in-one sleeper can be equipped to handle temperatures of 40, 20, and even 5-degrees Fahrenheit. And that makes it one of the best adventure sleeping bags ever made.

Purchase: $217+

My Medic MyFak First Aid Kit

Let us make this abundantly clear: every adventure kit should (at the very least) include a basic first-aid kid. My Medic’s MyFak First Aid Kit is anything but basic, however, boasting an ultra-tough MOLLE-compatible exterior that’s also waterproof, it’s loaded with a bevy of useful gear (including a CPR shield, burn aids, bandages, and much more), and it’s even offered in a number of colorways — so you can match it to your gear or pick something brighter so that it stands out when you need it most.

Purchase: $240

Arc’teryx Alpha FL Jacket

Originally made for alpinists and climbers, the Arc’teryx Alpha FL Jacket is one of the lightest, most packable waterproof jackets around — and that makes it stand out even amongst the Canadian outdoor brand’s superb suite of offerings. Weighing in at just 11.5 ounces, it features a waterproof GORE-TEX 3-layer membrane, a sleek minimalist exterior with a hood and single breast pocket, and the helmet is even helmet-compatible in case you really are taking it up a rock face.

Purchase: $315

Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest Pack

Especially for longer jaunts, a backpack is pretty much a compulsory piece of adventure gear. Even still, there are some that stand head-and-shoulders above the competition. The Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest Pack is one such offering with its weatherproof and ultra-tough Dyneema composite exterior, 40L capacity, hydration bladder compatibility, and wealth of internal and external organizational options.

Purchase: $330

Big Agnes Scout Platinum 1 Tent

There are actually a lot of really superb camping tents out there that are excellent for adventure. But few are as light and durable as the Big Agnes Scout Platinum 1. In fact, this is the lightest 3-season tent Big Agnes currently offers, making it ideal for backpacking and solo expeditions. At less than a pound, this packable tent is hardly an imposition and will give you security while you sleep out on the trails.

Purchase: $350

Vollebak 100-Year Pants

For the last time, denim jeans are not suitable for adventure. Neither are chinos, slacks, and even workout pants are often lacking in the resistance and durability department. By contrast, Vollebak’s 100-Year Pants were designed to be comfortable and tough enough to last for a century of wear. In fact, their weatherproof fabric was originally designed for the military and is also fire retardant, windproof, and breathable. Ditch the jeans and opt for these next adventure.

Purchase: $645

Luminox Bear Grylls Survival MASTER Series 3749 Watch

Every watch can be a survival watch if you know how to use it. However, the Luminox offering you see here was actually built for that express purpose with input from Mr. Man vs. Wild himself, Bear Grylls. This timepiece features an ultra-durable CARBONOX case, has a quick-reference for SOS in Morse Code, comes with a strap equipped with a compass, it’s water-resistant to 300m, and it boasts luminous markings for easy reading even in low light situations.

Purchase: $890

The 14 Best Outdoor Adventure Magazines

Being stuck inside for self-isolation and/or quarantine doesn’t have to be drab and depressing. Rather, you can use this time to plan your next big trip. And subscribing to one of the best outdoor adventure magazines can go a long way toward helping you figure out where you want to explore once this is all over.

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