9 of Our Favorite Things for Outdoor Adventure
I know. I know. A list of stuff is pretty contrary to all our talk about minimalism and letting go of things. However, even a minimalist needs some things and we’re big proponents of thoughtful purchasing. We research the crap out of outdoor gear before buying and expect it to last. See #3 below for an example…and see us totally date ourselves.
We use outdoor products on a daily basis and have found that many aren’t designed for such heavy use. The right outdoor gear can be the difference between a tranquil adventure or wishing you’d watched more survival videos on YouTube so you can whittle yourself a sanitation trowel. Seriously, have you ever tried digging a 6-inch hole in rocky soil with a stick? Easier said than done my friends.
Since it’s the time of year for making lists and buying gifts, we’ve rounded up our favorite outdoor gear. These are our go-to items. They’re versatile—great for everything from isolated backcountry trips to festival camping—and have withstood the test of time. There are links to each item. Most of our gear has been with us so long that the manufacturers have since upgraded it, so the links are to the currently available versions. Happy browsing!
We’ve had these for many years so the version available now has a few more bells and whistles (and by that I mean an extra bowl) than ours, but still breaks down into the same compact size. We like that the new version has a harness so everything stays snugly together. These are great for backpacking and camping and take up little space if you’re storing them between uses.
In lieu of plastic sporks (which tend to break), we prefer this titanium spork. It’s lightweight, durable, and fits right inside the Light My Fire Meal Kit.
This is probably our most prized outdoor gear item! Tom purchased our stove over 20 years ago (wow, that makes us feel old!) and it’s still going strong. We use it at least twice daily.
We have a 7-gallon water container to hold the bulk of our H2O but it’s nice to have something smaller that’s easy to access and pour from. We originally had a small bag with a fancier handle, but the plastic cracked and leaked. Then we picked up one of these bags and it’s withstood daily use for months.
TIP: You may be able to find this even cheaper at a local outdoor store. We picked ours up for 99₵. Yes, no dollar sign needed (well until you add sales tax…oh Oregon, we miss you.)
If you’ve ever wondered how one bathes in the desert? Here’s your answer. Oh yeah, it’s great for dishes too. Just of course give it a good scrub after your bath. I wasn’t kidding about that whole versatile uses thing.
Yes, we know most people call them puffer jackets, but we prefer puffy. We intended to use these mostly for backpacking because they’re super warm and pack down tiny. We’ve found ourselves wearing them pretty much all the time though. Since campfire sparks and nylon don’t mix (and being our budget-minded selves) we opted for these non-name brand versions which are a fraction of the brand name prices.
This is definitely a car camping tent, but we’ve packed it into walk-in sites on numerous occasions. It says 6-person, but 2-people with room to store gear inside or 4-people sleeping cozily is all we’d recommend. We love the quick easy set-up, hinged door, and interior light with a switch by the door. This is the tent we use when we’re glamping in comfort.
These are super-fast to inflate meaning you only get slightly light-headed filling them. They hold air tightly and are easily flattened and rolled-up so you can hit the backcountry trails early.
We love this portable version of Catan. We actually love it more than the board game because you can get through it in under an hour versus 3+ hours. Normal play on the board game is probably 2 hours but if you’ve ever played a game with Tom, you’ll understand why it takes us 3😉 Either way this dice game is super fun to play around the campfire and it’s small and light enough to take backpacking.
We hope you find something from this list for the outdoor enthusiast in your life, or yourself. Be sure to check-out next week’s post too as we’ll be sharing our top vanlife gear list.
Spoiler: There’s going to be even more awesome outdoor gear!
What are some of your favorite outdoor gear items? Anything you never head into the woods without?
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