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When it comes to outdoor adventure gear, it’s no secret that having the right equipment can make all the difference. There’s a popular quote by Alfred Wainright in the hiking world, “There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” We’d argue this can apply to just about any piece of outdoor kit.
To help better prepare you for your next adventure, we reached out to a few rad couples to get the scoop on what outdoor essentials they can’t live without (peppered with a couple of our own “must-haves”).
Our Favorite Ultralight Tent for Couples
Big Agnes Flycreek HV UL2 Review
Our Big Agnes tent has been all over the world as we’ve backpacked through the Wyoming Wilderness and camped at the foot of the Eiger in Switzerland. It’s one item we just can’t imagine living without! What we love most about the Big Agnes Flycreek tent is that not only is it incredibly lightweight at only 2lb. 5 oz (packed weight), but it takes under five minutes to set up. After using this tent for well over 100 nights in the desert, snow, torrential rain, and everything in between, it still is as good as new. Do yourself a favor and buy this tent ASAP!
The Best Backpack for Day-Trips
The Mountainsmith Tanuck 40L Backpack Review
“This backpack is incredible. On our website, we say we are "part pack mules" along with being photographers and this backpack allows us to schlep a lot of gear up the mountains! Bottles of champagne and cans of beer fit easily in the huge elastic side pouches, essential for those mountaintop celebrations. It has tons of D-rings for easily bungeeing dresses and garment bags. It's designed like a climbing haul bag, so it can stand upright when set on the ground with a weatherproof base. The 40L size can fit bulky blankets, extra layers, and anything else we want to bring on the adventure. We even hauled a cold pupper down a snowy mountain one time! The zippered access pouch makes extracting items buried in the backpack easy. And the amazing suspension carrying system is super comfy too, especially nice for those longer treks. We could go on, but suffice it to say this backpack is an essential piece of our gear!”
The Perfect Layers for Any Adventure
Arc’teryx Atom LT Jacket and Patagonia Nano Air Jacket Review
Layering is key for adventure elopements in winter! If you’re hiking or ski touring, you’ll be working up a sweat and will need something light but still keeps you warm while moving.
Our favourite midlayer pieces for winter activities are the Arc’teryx Atom LT jacket and the Patagonia Nano Air jacket. These jackets are super lightweight, so you can easily throw more layers on overtop when you get cold. Plus, they pack down easily for warmer spring days in the mountains. We never go skiing without them!
Patagonia Nano Puff Vest Review
We are HUGE fans of Patagonia's 'Nano Puff Vests'. Firstly, we LOVE how versatile they are: in summer they are the perfect lightweight layer for putting over a t-shirt if the wind picks up, and in winter they're an awesome cozy addition under a heavier jacket. Secondly, they're so easy to pack! They actually just fold up inside their own pocket, creating a tiny lightweight packet you can stuff in any corner of your backpack. Lastly, they're made from 100% recycled polyester and are fair trade certified! How cool is that?! We love Patagonia for their incredible ethics: it's so nice to know you're buying good-quality gear AND being a responsible consumer.
Essential Climbing Equipment
Petzl GRIGRI Review
As a couple, our favorite gear piece is our GriGri. Bill bought the grigri right before our first climb together which was also our third date. I had never climbed before and he wanted some extra protection and gear for the event. Since that climb we have used it a lot on climbs with friends and clients. This piece has been with us all over Arizona and Washington on our adventures. Bill really loves to teach people to climb and take people out that have never done it so we like the extra safety it adds. It is also the tool I used when belaying him as I am more comfortable with it than your average atc. We have many things that we use and take everywhere like ropes, backpacks, and things like that. It’s hard to narrow down a favorite between the hiking gear, camping gear, van life gear and everything else since our life is basically a forever going adventure. This one just stands out to me because it was purposefully bought for something that was so important to the start of our relationship and something we keep using that brings us joy and connects us with others.
Gear You Can't Leave Home Without
Kula Pee Cloth
Originally made for helping females wipe after peeing in the outdoors, Kula cloth is a must-have item for us on any adventure. We love it because it helps practice Leave No Trace principles better by not leaving toilet paper in the wilderness even if buried. Not only are the gals who started the company really amazing people, but they're also doing great things with their brand. It's really these types of companies we like to purchase our outdoor gear from because we know how powerful our purchases are in contributing to the global impacts. You can purchase the Kula pee Cloth online or at REI.
The Easiest Camp Kitchen Setup
Jetboil Zip Review
After a long day of hiking, the last thing we want to do is spend a lot of time prepping dinner. We’re hungry and ready to relax! That’s why we love our Jetboil Zip that gets water boiled in under two minutes. It’s easy to carry, and more compact than a Nalgene bottle. After heating up some water, we just dump it into our favorite gluten-free (and vegan!) Backpacker's Pantry meal, letting the food sit for twenty minutes to rehydrate. Bam! A tasty, filling meal without any hassle or cleanup! We love how much the Jetboil Zip has simplified our camp kitchen.
Choosing the Right Gear for Your Next Outdoor Adventure
As we said at the beginning of this post, choosing the right gear for your next adventure is key. A comfortable fitting backpack, warm layers, filling meals, and equipment that keeps you safe all contribute to creating a great trip. We highly recommend visiting a local outdoor retailer and getting fitted by an expert. They will be able to give you the best recommendations based on your needs, body type, and trip plans. Depending on where you live, REI is one of our favorite places to shop and their customer service is top-notch!
Do you have any gear essentials you just can’t live without? We’d love to hear about it!