Adventure. What a word. The lengths that this one medium size word can travel, both in our minds and in the wild, is nothing less than impressive. It describes so flawlessly a state of being, a journey, a mindset, and a destination in so many forms. While this word may encompass more than we could ever describe in one article, at least we can attempt to outline the most helpful, innovative, cool, and noteworthy gear for 2021, that should make it on your list of lust-worthy items for your adventuring seasons to come. And while we’ll skip the very necessary basics, such as a functioning lighter or extra batteries for that camping flashlight, we hope you’ll consider these items excellent upgrades to your basic gear as new essentials or splurges to elevate your adventuring experiences.
We put water at the top of the list, as it’s pretty hard to go without, but can be quite cumbersome if you are exploring and need a light pack. This water filter is extremely compact and gets extra points for its ability to reach awkward or super shallow water sources such as small streams or waterfalls. The cartridge life lasts up to 2000 liters and is perfect to bring along on a day hike or short trip where you won’t require a lot of water. Compared to other filters on the market, it’s a great price, and scores high on reviews online. It also seems to be extremely well-made and durable, to stand up to rough and tumble conditions of outdoor life.
A camp stove is an important investment if you plan to cook in the great outdoors consistently. With the right equipment, cooking outdoors is a great joy, which is why it’s much better to be able to enjoy the experience, rather than have to fiddle with flimsy or unpredictable accessories. This camp stove is versatile, lightweight and does well what it is supposed to do, plus it is thoughtfully designed with extra features.It is ideal for backpackers or campers since you can boil, grill, cook, and even charge your devices with it.
To generate electricity to power or recharge things like flashlights, radios and phones, you simply use sticks, wood scraps, or small wood pellets to capture the wasted heat from the fire through a heat probe in the power pack. Heat is then converted into usable electricity via a thermoelectric generator. This powers the fan and sends that surplus electricity to a USB charging port so you can charge anything. How cool is that? Some users report it can take a bit to get used to the functionality of it, but most say that it’s not an issue and is a joy to use.
When it comes to selecting your warm pieces for any trip, you need to choose carefully. These items take up precious space and need to serve their purpose in multiple scenarios. Something to keep you warm camping, boating, in the water or near the ocean. Enter the Vivida Neptune Hoodie. At 2mm thick and created from the innovative EcoCarbon Black Neoprene, which is made of recycled rubber tyres and recycled plastic bottles, this is the ultimate insulating layer for pretty much any scenario. While it’s main use is intended for waterside or water-based activities, neoprene is going to keep you warm anywhere. This hoodie in particular boasts a plush hood and luxurious features that give you that premium feel. Since it’s made with sustainable materials, you can also feel good about how it’s made of and where it comes from. Those who have scored one for themselves report that it’s extremely warm, but also very comfortable and versatile. We would have to agree, and point out that the design and colors chosen are much more appealing than any average neoprene piece we’ve seen.
The Yeti range of coolers are known for having incredible insulation and being extremely sturdy. While they come at a higher cost than most coolers, these are certainly a ‘get what you pay for’ product. This particular size is perfect for 1-2 people on short trips and conveniently compact and easy to carry. Generally, this cooler can keep your items under 40 degrees for around 3 days, and likely longer in colder temps. It’s got a handy latch seal to prevent spillage, and sits at a height conducive for holding taller items, such as wine bottles - always a plus! Everything about this cooler oozes durability and long-life appeal. Yeti has also been sure to innovate and improve upon this model over the years, upgrading in areas where needed, such as sturdier handles and a rubber seal to ensure the closure is air tight. Many find the capacity to be ‘just right’ for several-day trips, with a not too small, but not too large size that fits easily in a small car and easily transported to a walk-in campsite or short hike-to locations.
Like most things on this list - efficiency wins the day when it comes to adventure gear. This particular coffee maker is no slack in that department, with its three-part, retractable design. The result? A delicious coffee that would impress the most discerning of coffee snobs. This is an easy morning or any time of day essential that packs down small and does not require anything more than placing grinds onto your filter, pouring water over, and then removing the funnel to drink. The stainless steel vacuum insulated bottle ensures that your coffee stays hot for hours.
If you’ve ever found yourself hauling pieces and parts from your kitchen into your car or luggage, you’ll know well the annoyance of having items not made for portability as staples of a travel or camping trip. This 24-piece set gives you all the basics you need in a small package, from spatulas to knives, and even salt and pepper shakers. This kit is a great way to keep your cooking kit portable. It’s made to accommodate 4 people and scores great reviews from people across the internet, reporting that it’s well designed and perfectly equipped, except for maybe a set of tongs, which is not included in the set.
It may be time to upgrade that old sleeping bag when you see the latest tech from The North Face. The One Sleeping Bag is a 3-in-1 sleeping system, which features interchangeable layers to configure to 5, 20 or 40°F temps. Perfect for road tripping, camping or backpacking in any season, it’s nice to know one bag can go anywhere without worrying about extra insulation or staying warm. While it’s a little heavier than some other bags on the market, that’s a tradeoff many are willing to take for the extra warmth and versatility. It’s filled with 800-fill goose down and its zippers are well designed to allow for easy transition between the 3 systems. This design is so good, The North Face has a patent pending on it, and we’re betting they’re onto something.
If you’ve never used a poncho towel before, let us unveil this wonderful world to you. While to some this item may seem superfluous, we can assure you, it is anything but. A cold dip in a river or the ocean, a less-than-warm camping shower… the many times you reach for a towel and you are wet and cold… an average towel is somewhat of a disappointment when you think about it. The moment you put on a poncho towel you are dryer, warmer, and suddenly covered up effortlessly. And did we mention the fact that you can change INSIDE the poncho towel? Remove your wet swimsuit or that sticky wetsuit without trying to simultaneously hide behind a car door or keep a towel up while you change. It’s simple, yet life-changing. Once you experience a poncho towel, you won’t want to return to the days of scrawny, poorly absorbing beach towels. The quick-dry microfibre fabric and roomie design ensures comfort and ideal utility when it’s needed most….adventuring.
Have you ever considered the option of sleeping mid-air in your tent? Now that we think about it more, that cold, hard ground is seeming less inviting in comparison. Initially designed for kids as a treehouse like setup, the TreePod creators have found a way to keep 2 adults hoisted in the air in comfort, all with one single length rope. While this tent, of course, is dependent upon a strong tree or structure to hold you securely, we think it’s enough fun to feature it in this adventure gear list, as what’s more adventurous than sleeping mid-air in the woods? It’s important to note that this is not a light or extremely easy setup, so it will be more suited to trips where your car is nearby and you don’t have to lug around this 20+ pound floating tent. Novelty or necessity? Depends on your adventure style...
When hiking, backpacking, or just out in the wilderness for any length of time, sometimes you just need something more than a rock to sit on. We found this stool to be the most compact, durable, and handy stool that is actually made well and should stand up to years of use, wherever you take it. For these reasons, it’s been featured on many ‘must-have’ lists for outdoor must-haves, and we agree that this is one simple seat that is worth the attention. It is ultra-light and also features a bungee cord to easily attach to a backpack. Made of strong aluminium alloy, this stool holds up to around 240 pounds and it comes in both a 14 inch and 17 inch version, so you can customize your fit.
This new brand just created something we’d never considered, a pair of sunglasses without ‘side-arms’. While this may seem strange, consider how many times you’ve been doing something active and your glasses slide down your nose, fall off, or you need to take them off but have nowhere to put them. These sunglasses allow you to secure your sunnies on your head by adjusting a sliding knot in the back. People who have tried these report they feel really nice on, since they can fit them to their exact head size. They also can conveniently hang from the neck when not in use. Another plus we hadn’t thought of? They are pretty much impervious to crushing and super easy to pack away without the sidearms. No disappointing crooked glasses that have been sat on or smashed inside a backpack. Because of their design, there is no bouncing or movement when doing a high impact activity, and they also have a nice unisex design that will be flattering on most faces without being too trendy. Our only comment of concern would be if they are a better fit for people with short hair versus longer hair, as they basically need to go over any hair to fit correctly. Other than that, they seem worth a try if you’re ready to try something new in the sunglasses arena.
The Garmin Instinct Solar is incredibly tough, practical, and a useful watch for everyday use, but especially when out adventuring. This new model is of the sun-worshipping kind, which gives it incredible battery life and power. It’s especially well suited to cycling, hiking, running, and exploring via land or water. It’s got excellent navigation features, as well as a heart rate monitor, pulse oximeter, and stress tracking. It even has what they call a “body battery”, which measures your body’s energy reserves based on heart rate variability, stress, sleep and other data to gauge when you’re ready to be active or when you may need to rest. Another cool feature is its “trackback” functionality that takes the guesswork out of your return journey by navigating the same route back to your starting point - so forget about getting lost in the woods with this on. Also important are its safety functions, such as satellite communication capabilities, as well as more functional things like calendar views and smart notifications. It’s basically a rugged smartwatch for the outdoor set. While the watch may appear “no frills” in the looks department, we like that it’s got a humble appearance with the impressive stuff under the hood, powering your journey and assisting in all the ways you need it to.
Unlike standard gravity camp showers that require overhead placement and generally produce dismal water pressure, this pressurized shower provides the pressure you need to wash hair, do the dishes, and rinse off gear - with a 2.9 gallon tank that can be pressurized with a foot pump. Pressure will last for about 5-7 minutes and you never have to worry about over inflating the tank. Like other camp showers, you can warm up your water by setting it out in the sun, and it’s easy to refill anywhere with a water source. This shower comes with a nice long neoprene hose to be able to hold it overhead to shower, or to reach all angles of dirty gear, salty wetsuits, or muddy dogs. All in all, we like the versatility and ease of use of this particular portable shower, and think the upgrade is well worth the price.
Going on a longer trip but want to minimize the clothes you bring? Scrubba has created a really cool wash bag that makes it extra easy to clean your items anywhere...literally. They call it a “washboard in a bag” system, and we are loving the simplicity of their creation. Simply add water and a cleaning liquid (preferably ocean safe/ non-toxic), then deflate the bag, secure the closure, and roll the bag around for 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Then, all you have to do is rinse and hang your clothes and, voila, your clothes, towels, or linens are back to sparkling clean. The company estimates that each bag saves an average of 1000 litres and 7.5 grams of carbon each year. The patented design also comes in various styles and with different optional accessories, such as special hangers and drying towels. For those on camping trips or enjoying van life, we think this bag is a great invention with the benefit of being eco-friendly and super useful.
Unlike the familiar headlamps we all know well - with the massive light (and batteries) protruding from the front of our forehead, this headlamp imparts a fresh take on design and functionality. Instead of batteries, they’ve slimmed down the fit by making it rechargeable, and also paid attention to things like moisture wicking fabric and lightweight parts. The result is a much cooler looking, highly effective headlamp that lasts up to 40 hours on a charge. We appreciate that they offer a few different colors, and also that they included red night vision in its functionality. Plenty of reviews on their site prove that this item is likely worth the upgrade, and worthy of coming along in all sorts of adventure scenarios.
Maybe your adventures involve a precarious hike, a mountain bike ride, or a long surf session in uncharted territory. Wherever you find yourself, it might be a good idea to have a ‘go anywhere, do anything’ type of helmet on hand for activities both planned and unplanned. This helmet by Vivida is a great all-around option with excellent CE safety certifications - made for water, but also suitable for land. It’s got a low-profile look while still appearing sleek and stylish rather than clunky. The adjustable BOA ratchet wheel fitting on the back ensures you can customize the fit perfectly to you, and the easy fasten and release makes it a breeze to get in and out of. It’s been tested for superior shock absorbance and impact resistance, with some superior breathability and drainage features. If there’s anything worth investing in, it’s protecting your head and it’s precious cargo - especially when on the road in places with little access to emergency services.
The Sheewee is the secret that some women have discovered as the solution to needing to wee in unusual places. While men have a little more flexibility in this arena, for women it can be difficult to pee discreetly in certain situations, such as long car rides, festivals, camping trips, cycling, and the list goes on. This contraption allows women to “have a wee whenever, and wherever you need to, without removing your clothing or underwear”. It’s small and easy to pack away, whilst being very lightweight as well. With this product, women can wee standing behind a tree or anywhere really, without having to squat and hope for the best. Since we know women adventure just as hard and far as their male counterparts, we think they should be able to relieve themselves with the same ease too!
Thoughtfully built with heavy duty construction, this water resistant duffel can withstand extreme conditions and take abuse while keeping your belongings safe. We love that this back was designed to be worn over one shoulder or as a backpack, which makes it extra versatile for different kinds of adventures. The heavy duty material, while also being extremely lightweight, means that this bag can really be the ultimate companion on trips where you want a tough yet light load to carry. Some bag designers also seem to overthink pockets and extra features, which usually results in a heavier bag. This one is ultra spacious with just the right amount of minimal pockets, and a seemingly bomb-proof zipper. Reinforced straps and seams, as well as padded handles ensure it is easy to handle in any condition. Still, the winning element of this bag is its water resistance. Throw it in a boat, in the back of a truck, or outside the camp tent, and you know your items will stay safe and dry - that’s pretty much all you can ask for and all you need out in the wild.
The LuminAID PackLite Max may just become your new best friend in the back-country or on your next surf camping trip. Whether on long treks or backpacking trips, this lantern will serve you well because of its lightweight, collapsible nature. While we had never considered an inflatable light was even a ‘thing’, prior to discovering this product, we now see its many applications and how easy it would be to travel with. This light can be hung off of a backpack or neatly packed away in the right receptacle. It also comes with a built-in solar panel but can also be charged quickly via micro USB. Even better, it has a USB charge out port, which can be a potential lifesaver in the event your phone or other small device requires a battery boost. Overall, we can see this was designed by people who love the outdoors as much as we do, and aim to design truly helpful, innovative products.