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Adventures for All

Tag Archives: Camping

What Gear Do I Need in My Daypack?

Outside magazine claims that a reader wrote in to ask “What Gear Do I Need in My Daypack?” It’s answer shocked me, and reaffirmed why I don’t read Outside magazine.

Go look. OK, you don’t feel like giving Outside magazine the click? Fair enough. To adapt a phrase from Joan Jett, I hate myself for clicking them, too. I’ll just list some of the more egregiously ludicrous items:

  • $50 underwear – Because adventures are born from overpriced undies.
  • $140 sunglasses – They’ll save your life. OK, maybe not. Scratch that: Definitely not.
  • Ultra-light quarter socks – Anything less than Darn Tough socks are foolish. These flimsy things will have holes in them inside of three months.
  • $40 sandals – Oh, just cross the stream barefoot. You’ll be fine. (What’s that, Outside? “The Therm-a-Rest footbeds feel like they’re massaging your feet?”)

Here are the fairly legit items:

  • A handful of Kind bars – Everybody needs food. But you’re better off cranking out homemade batches of pemmican. Or just getting some nuts and dried fruit.
  • A Bic lighter with duct tape wrapped around it – Better yet, wrap your duct tape around a Nalgene bottle. And skip the lighter … get yourself some flint and learn how to use it.

Here are the only items I agree with, no strings attached:

  • A decent day pack – Fairly obvious, right?
  • A Petzl headland – Always a must.
  • Sunscreen – Well, yeah.

Outside magazine, in its rush to load expensive items from its advertisers into its “What Gear Do I Need in My Daypack?” list, left out some potential life-savers.

  • A high-quality fixed-blade knife – Too many uses to list.
  • Tincture of iodine 2% – Good for disinfecting water and treating wounds.
  • Something to cover your head – Hat, bandana, shemagh, whatever. All have multiple uses.
  • At least a small first-aid kit.
  • I already mentioned flint and a Nalgene bottle.
  • Some knowledge – You can’t really put it in your pack. Learn before you go.

Look, this stuff is important. How many stories have you heard about people being unprepared when a “simple day hike” turns pear-shaped? You need warmth. You need shelter. You need calories. The items in your pack should give you a fighting chance to create some of these on the fly. Fifty-dollar underwear can’t do that; get caught unprepared, and your ass will be just as dead in it as someone wearing used Fruit of the Looms from a Goodwill store.

In a future post, I’ll break down everything in my pack for my own solution to the “What Gear Do I Need in My Daypack?” question.

Scandinavia – My Travel Packing List

My Scandinavia trip is less than a month away. Well, same for Finland, which is really a Nordic country. No matter what you call this trip, it’s time to mentally pack my bags for a trip through Sweden, Finland, Norway and possibly a bit of Estonia.Continue Reading

Camping adds Natural Flavor to International Travel

Ever since my trip to New Zealand, I’ve tried to work camping into my travel itinerary. Find out how bringing a tent and sleeping bag can make your next trip even better. Continue Reading

IcelandAir and its New Link to Denver: Great for US Travelers

IcelandAir will soon start service between Denver and Keflavik, Iceland. Here’s what that means for outdoor-oriented travelers.Continue Reading

Gear Review – The North Face Rock 22 Tent

True love came between me and my tent. And forced me to shell out for a Rock 22 by The North Face. Here’s my review of this 2-person, 3-season tent.Continue Reading