Gear & Resources
We’ve compiled a big ol’ list of the gear and resources that are most helpful to us, so that you can get some use out of them also! Just click on the topic you are interested in below to jump ahead:
Hydration Pack: We each have a High Sierra Hydration Pack. These are great for shorter hikes and come with a 2L water bag. We bring these on hikes less than 5 miles round trip or on shorter bike rides.
Comfortable shoes or boots: There are lots of high-quality, may-even-make-your-morning-coffee options out there. But we have always had success with a basic, breathe-able shoe with good grip on the bottom. We usually only use boots if it is really slick out, there are a lot of ankle-twisting boulders or we will be going through lots of puddles.
Polarized Sunglasses: These are key if hiking in sunny areas or snow. They really protect your eyes from glare! We usually splurge for the anti-reflective coating as well. It is nice not to have to remove reflections from all of our photos. 🙂
Sunscreen: Our favorites are the spray-on _____ for our bodies and the convenient ____ stick for our faces.
Trekking Poles: These are usually only necessary on long or steep hikes or while snowshoeing. But they are definitely great to have!
Shade Hats: We jokingly call these our RVer hats, because we see many others at parks with them. But, they work! Ours have UV protection and a neck strap to keep them on when it is windy. We wear them all the time!
Neck/Head Wrap: These versatile things are great for sun and bug protection. We love to ride them when biking to keep bugs out of our ears and out of Brooke’s hair. It also protects Buddy’s bald head!
Compass: Always have a compass while hiking. Even the best hikers with amazing directional sense get lost sometimes.
Flashlights: After much research, we decided on a set of Fenix flashlights. These are great to have if there is any chance you will end up on a trail at night. They will light up your way perfectly.
Granola Bars/Snacks: Hanger is real, you guys! Our favorite snacks for the road are Larabars, Nutrigrain Bars and, of course, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (a staple in our home)!
For Rainy Days:
Waterproof Boots: Sometimes you need something a little more heavy-duty for hikes. We each have Columbia boots that we wear when we hike over big boulders or in wet conditions.
Rain Jackets: Brooke has a very comfortable Rain Jacket from The North Face. She bought it after going to Oregon for the first time and realizing her need for something lightweight during rainy summer hikes. Just make sure whichever jacket you go with that it is waterproof, not just resistant – especially if you will be in heavy rain.
Waterproof Pants: We searched for weeks for affordable waterproof pants! There are lots of water-resistant ones, but when you know you will be getting soaked, you don’t want to risk rain seeping through. We finally lucked out by finding these options: Columbia Women’s Storm Surge Pant & Columbia Men’s Rebel Roamer Pant. They aren’t going to be the most fashionable choice you make all year, but they kept us super dry!
Dry bag: These are great for rainy hikes, boat tours, kayaking, and any other activities that may lead to you getting very wet. We went with the Aqua Quest Stylin Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack. It is big enough to hold everything we need and it kept everything dry. Just velcro the top, roll it and clip to keep your belongings safe!
Camera Rainsleeve: You can completely ruin a camera by letting it get too wet. Even a constant drizzle can do major damage. So, protect your gear! We just use these inexpensive OP/TECH Rainsleeves, and they do the trick!
Waterproof, Warm Jackets: Buddy has a Spyder Men’s Leader Jacket that he loves. It is his go-to winter top layer and works great over an Underarmour shirt. Brooke has a puffy that she can wear under her rain jacket for extra protection from the cold and snow.
Underarmour Base Layers: These are important to have around if you are going to be hiking in very cold weather or in strong wind. However, we usually bring a lighter option if we are doing strenuous hiking in case we get too warm. Especially in Colorado, the sun can really heat things up on a cold day.
Warm Gloves: Buddy has Gordini Men’s Gloves and Brooke has a great pair from REI. Make sure they are waterproof and ranked well for whatever temperature you plan to be in. However, for extreme cold, you will want to invest in something extra-warm.
Warm, Waterproof Socks: You really want to protect your toesies when hiking in winter! Keeping your feet dry is much easier when your socks are helping, and not making them more sweaty or letting water in.
Balaclava Face Mask: Not to be confused with the flaky-treat, this mask is great to protect your face in super-cold weather. We have a light-weight ____.
Snowshoes: These aren’t always necessary, but great to have to hike in deep snow. They definitely helped us get through deep snow many times.
When we are researching which local trail to check out, these are our go-to sites:
- The Outbound Collective: www.theoutbound.com
- Outside Magazine: www.outsideonline.com
- National Park Service: www.nps.gov (when visiting NPS sites)
- Local Area State Parks (these are great under-used areas for hiking)
- Pinterest: We have tons of inspiration boards we are always adding to.
Mounts for GoPro: Car window mount, helmet mount (for biking, whitewater rafting, dune buggying, etc.), chest mount (for first-person views where helmet isn’t an option), selfie stick, bobber (when using during water activities so not to lose it)
Other GoPro Accessories: Batteries, USB charger for car (key if taking long driving videos)
Nikon D810: Not a necessity for novice photographers, but this is what we use and it helps Buddy get amazing shots!
Drone: Another non-necessity, but damn these things are fun! And they provide a beautiful perspective not often seen.
Pelican Case: If you are going to spend lots of money on camera equipment, you should definitely store it and move it safely. Our Pelican Case is the perfect size to bring as a carry-on as well.
Photoshop Creative Cloud Subscription:
Buddy uses these for continued learning and to make sure he gets the best shot!
- www.CreativeLive.com: The classes are FREE while they are live. Definitely great to stream on those boring days at the office! And they usually have very high-quality content.
- Sky Map App: This is great for astrophotography, you can see where the stars and planets will be before setting up for the shot.
- Photo Pills App: Shows you where the sun will set, where will the Milky Way will be at certain times, and other helpful tips.
- Instagram: This is a great place for inspiration and tips. If you see a photo you like, ask the photographer if they would mind telling you what settings they used. Most are happy to share tips. If you follow us (@trailingaway & @buddy_baum), we are always happy to share our secrets.
Surge Protector: Yes, you need one. If lightning strikes or the voltage is too low/high, it can fry your electronics!
Fresh Water Hose with Filter:
Leveling Blocks: Especially good for when boondocking, but even some RV parks are uneven.
Foam Bed Pad:
- WinnebagoLife: Bloggers who actually live in RVs share their insight, stories and tips. We also happen to be regular contributors – but we’d suggest this site either way.
- Full-Time RVers & Make Money and RV Facebook Groups: Great places to ask questions and find support.
- RV Mobile Internet: Great resource for getting internet on the road and updates on carrier changes.
- HarvestHosts: Sign up to stay on wine, farm, museum and other interesting properties. We love this for the great experiences we end up having through it!
- www.Campendium.com, www.Freecampsites.net & Allstays App: Our favorite ways to research free camping.
Other Adventure Gear:
Scuba Mask: After getting scuba certified, we decided we needed our own set of snorkeling gear for future underwater adventures. Our Aqua Lung Impression Dive Mask works great and gives a wide field of view. We also have our own snorkels, because germs.
Cat Backpack: The Petsfit 17″x13″x11″ Comfort Pet Carrier Backpack is perfect if you need to bring your favorite furry family member on your adventures. It is important to have something that will be comfortable for your pet and easy to carry. Our cat likes this one so much it doubles as her bed.
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