Gear & Resources

OutdoorsRVingPhoto & VideoBlogging
Hiking Necessities

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 bike rides. But we’d suggest a much larger pack for long hikes.

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Granola Bars/Snacks
Don’t leave home without this. 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)!

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Comfortable Shoes or Boots
There are lots of high-quality options out there. But we have always had success with a basic, breathable 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.

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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 our photos. 🙂

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Sunscreen
Our favorites are the spray-on options for our bodies and the convenient sticks for our faces.

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Compass
Always have a compass while hiking. Even the best hikers with amazing directional sense get lost sometimes. They are lightweight and take up minimal space, so no excuses!

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Basic First-Aid Kit
We usually at least have some band-aids. Often, they are mainly used for blisters and we are always happy to have them.

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Rainy Day Explorations

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.

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Rain Jackets
There are a ton of options. But make sure that whichever jacket you go with is waterproof, not just resistant – especially if you will be in heavy rain.

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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. These Columbia pants aren’t overly fashionable, but they kept us dry and didn’t break the bank!

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Dry Bag
These are great for rainy hikes, boat tours, kayaking, and any other activities that may lead to you getting very wet. Our Aqua Quest bag is big enough to hold everything we need and it does its job of keeping everything dry. Just velcro the top, roll it and clip to keep your belongings safe!

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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!

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Winter Gear & Snowventures

Waterproof, Warm Jackets
Depending on how cold it will be, you may want to get a jacket rated for a certain temperature. Otherwise, most waterproof, padded jackets will be good for mild cold or snow.

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Under Armour 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.

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Warm Gloves
Make sure they are waterproof and ranked well for whatever temperature you plan to be in. For extreme cold, you will want to invest in something extra-warm.

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Warm 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 sweatier or letting water in.

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Balaclava Face Mask
Not to be confused with the flaky-treat, this mask is great to protect your face in super-cold weather. Or just use it to look like a ninja.

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Snowshoes
These aren’t always necessary, but great to have to hike in deep snow. They definitely helped us many times. Just make sure to get the right size!

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Helpful Hiking Extras

Trekking Poles
These are usually only necessary on long or steep hikes or while snowshoeing. But they are definitely great to have and can help keep you from falling on your face.

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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.

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Binoculars
Having a way to see what type of bird is flying above you or what that animal on the other side of the mountain is, makes for some added fun on any adventure.

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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 and some even have a strobe to disorient potential predators.

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Head Lamp
For longer night adventures, a head lamp is ideal. This is also good to have if you are into exploring random caves or want to dress up as one of the seven dwarfs.

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Bicycling

Helmets
This is a no-brainer. Make sure to get an adjustable strap for best fit.

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Padded Gloves
After many blisters, we finally invested in riding gloves. We use them every time!

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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 bike rides. But we’d suggest a much larger pack for long hikes.

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Small Hand-Held Bike Pump
Great to throw in your bag for rides. Make sure you get one that fits your valves. For us, we need one that fits both presta and Schrader valves.

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Floor Bike Pump
Easier to use if at home or to keep in your trunk. We generally check and adjust our tire inflation with this before each ride.

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Multifunctional Headwear
These versatile things are great for sun and bug protection. We love to ride with them to keep bugs out of our ears and out of Brooke’s hair. It also protects Buddy’s bald head!

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GoPro Bike Mount
If you have any interest in taking photos or videos with your GoPro while you bike, this is the mount to get.

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Handlebar Phone Mount
Buddy loves having his phone available to use it for navigation on our rides. Just don’t forget to remove it at the end of your ride.

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Bike Lock & Cable
A U-lock with a thick cable is supposed to be the hardest to break, but nothing is 100% safe.

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Bike Rack
This works well for keeping the bikes stable. The platform bike rack is extremely easy to load and unload the bikes without hassle. We suggest adding an additional lock because we did have someone cut the cable and try to steal a bike.

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Bike & Rack Cover
In order to keep our bikes from being targeted, we throw this cover on them when parked. It is a pain to get off, so someone couldn’t do it sneakily. It also helps prevent dirt, dust, sap and other things from getting on the bikes.

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Water Activities

Water Shoes
We’ve needed these for whitewater rafting, kayaking and even some hikes.

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Dry Bag
These are great for rainy hikes, boat tours, kayaking, and any other activities that may lead to you getting very wet. Our Aqua Quest bag is big enough to hold everything we need and it does its job of keeping everything dry. Just velcro the top, roll it and clip to keep your belongings safe!

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Scuba Mask and Snorkel
After getting scuba certified, we decided to get our own set to use in the future. They are also great to have for normal beach explorations!

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GoPro
A must if you love water activities. We use ours all the time!

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Our Favorite Adventure Resources

REI: Whether you end up making your purchase at their store or elsewhere, the employees have a ton of knowledge and can really help you figure out what you need. But if you buy there, it won’t be cheap.

When we are researching places to check out, these are our go-to sites:
The Outbound Collective: Great tips, inspirational stories and trail reports.
Outside Magazine: Great tips, inspirational stories and trail reports.
National Park Service: Maps & tips for 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

For our hiking tips, read about all the mistakes we made when hiking our first 14er and do the opposite!

Must-Have Basics

Long Sewer Hose with a Clear Elbow
You don’t want to have to get to the dump station and realize your hose won’t reach. And having the clear elbow helps show when you have gotten everything out.

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Hose for Drinking Water
Because you don’t want to use the same hose for spraying out your sewer hose to fill up water. Just eww.

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Filter for Drinking Water Hose
We have this filter as well as a filter under our sink which helps us avoid buying bottled water!

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Water Pressure Regulator
Sometimes water can be extra strong at some RV parks, this helps protect your pipes and seals.

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Surge Protector
Yes, you need one. If lightning strikes or the voltage is too low/high, it can fry your electronics!

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Plug Adapters
We use 30-amp service, but sometimes parks only have 20 or 50. So, we have a few adapters just in case.

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Leveling Blocks
Some people splurge on self-leveling jacks, but these usually work just fine.

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Cozy Outdoor Chairs
After much sitting and comparing, this was the most affordable, cozy option we found. And they fold up to fit easily in our outdoor storage.

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RV Toilet Paper
RV or one-ply toilet paper is key for not messing up your plumbing.

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Tank Treatment
There are multiple options for this, but it really does help to avoid clogs in your pipes.

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DEF
For diesel RVs, you will need to fill up on this regularly to reduce emissions

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Our Favorite Buys

Tire Pressure Monitoring System
If your RV is anything like our, it didn’t come with TPMS. While this isn’t a necessity, it is really nice to have. The EEZTire system allows you to buy as many sensors as you have wheels, and takes just a few minutes to setup. The monitor itself will display Tire Pressure and Temperature of each tire, with alerts you can set for high/low pressure, as well as a temperature alarm.

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Over-Sink Drying Rack
I’m not sure who recommended this, but they are a genius! I use this all the time. And when we are driving, I fold it in half and use it to secure my wine bottle in the sink while we drive.

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Two-Way Radios
These are useful in many ways. We often use them when Buddy goes adventuring on his own, so Brooke can radio him if needed. Extremely useful in places where we might not have signal.

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Foam Mattress Pad
We got the thickest one we could find and cut it to fit our bed. It makes a huge difference!

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Command Hooks
I’m the type of person that wants everything to have a place, so these are all over our house.

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Removable Mounting Putty
Another staple in our house. I put happy drawings, letters from our nephews and photos up and easily remove them to clean, etc. It also works well to stick lightweight things to counters and shelves.

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Back-of-Seat Organizer
In a small space, you have to make the most of area. This has been great to keep pens, chargers and other things we need easy access to.

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Seat Covers
We have beige leather seats and love the outdoors, plus we have a cat that doesn’t know how to appropriately use her claws. These have saved those seats!

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Big Laundry Bag
For people like us that do laundry once a month. It is also great to be able to wash the bag each time!

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Magic Erasers
These work wonders in the shower! And we love not having to have liquid chemicals bouncing down the road with us. We like the Extra Power ones because they don’t fall apart as easily.

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Bug-Removing Spray
This stuff is magic! It worked even after months of stuck-on bugs. And you don’t really need that much for it to work.

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Uno
Our go-to game for nights that we aren’t working on projects. It goes best with wine.

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For the Cat

Backpack Carrier
This is great for RV and adventure cats. It has been a life-saver for service appointments. And it doubles as a bed when we aren’t moving our fur baby in it.

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Bowls that Don’t Slide
Bowls with rubber or silicone bottoms work great. We even leave her water in it (just don’t fill it up too high).

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Resources

Amazon Prime
We love getting items so quickly and having free movies to stream when our internet is working well!

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial



Escapees
We use this mail forwarding service to get mail on the road and it is extremely convenient. We just call or email the address we want our mail sent to and pick it up a few days later. We often have our items delivered via general delivery to a local post office if we aren’t at one RV park. They also have an option to have all of your mail scanned.

Visit Escapees



Harvest Hosts
Sign up to stay for free at vineyards, farms, museums and other interesting properties. We love this for the great experiences we end up having! Tell them the Baums sent you and we’ll both get a month free!

Visit Harvest Hosts



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.

Visit WinnebagoLife



RV Mobile Internet
Great resource for getting internet on the road and updates on carrier changes.

Visit RV Mobile Internet



Heath & Alyssa Padgett
Through their blog and podcast, these two have a lot of knowledge to share about RV life. And they have some pretty hilarious stories to tell!

Visit Heath & Alyssa’s Blog



Finding RV Parks & Free Camping
Campendium – Short Description
FreeCampsites.net – Short Description
RV Parky – Short Description
Allstays – Short Description



Facebook Groups
Full-Time RVers
Make Money and RV
Solar Powered RV’s & Boondocking

There are also model-specific Facebook groups that are extremely helpful, such as the View/Navion Motorhomes group.

Digital Cameras & Accessories

Canon PowerShot G7 X
The tilt screen on this is great for taking selfies and doing vlog-style videos. But it has also become our go-to camera for when we don’t need any macro, wide-angle or extra zoomed-in photos. Unless you are going pro, this should work great for getting quality photos and videos. The WiFi on this makes it easy to upload photos to Facebook or Instagram as well.

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Nikon D810
Not a necessity for novice photographers, but this is what Buddy uses to get amazing shots! It is full-frame and gives him complete control of the camera.

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Tripod
We have a Benro Tripod. This is key for waterfall and night photos. But, we use it most often to get great photos of us together in epic places. If you get a tripod, make sure that it supports the weight of your camera and lens, and is sturdy enough that you trust thousands of $$ of gear sitting on top of it!

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Macro Flash
IF you are into macro photography, we strongly suggest this light. The flexible arms and individual control over each light really helps light up your macro shots beautifully without harsh shadows. On top of being a great light, it is an amazing conversation starter when out in public with it.

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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 and it doubles as an extra (really low) chair in the RV.

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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!

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DJI Mavic Pro Drone
Another non-necessity, but damn these things are fun! And they provide a beautiful perspective not often seen.

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GoPro & Accessories

GoPro Hero 4 Silver
We also have the Hero 3 Black, but we like the 4 Silver best because we like having the screen on the back, which makes it easy for aligning the camera when mounted during our adventures.

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Suction Cup Mount
Easy to put up and remove to get cool driving photos and videos.

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Helmet Mount
For biking, whitewater rafting, dune buggying, etc.

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Bike Mount
If you have any interest in taking photos or videos with your GoPro while you bike, this is the mount to get.

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Chest Mount
For first-person views where helmet isn’t an option.

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Selfie Stick
If you don’t have a long-armed spouse, or just to make sure you get the whole shot.

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Bobber
To use during water activities, so you don’t lose it when it falls in.

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USB Charger for Car
Key if taking long driving videos, so you don’t go through lots of batteries. This means the battery will charge while you record, so no gaps in these videos.

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Editing & Storage

Adobe CC Photographer Plan
We utilize the Adobe CC Photography Plan for a subscription to Lightroom and Photoshop. This has been a great tool as we are always using the most recent versions of both programs.

See All Adobe CC Plans



G-Technology G-DOCK ev with Thunderbolt
This has been a great system for us. On top of having Thunderbolt speeds, the individual evRaW drives have the capability of using the USB 3.0 interface. We can use a single drive without an additional power source, and then back up to a secondary drive when we are connected to shore power. Also, with removeable drives, it gives us the ability to buy more storage as needed.

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Resources

Creative Live
This is a really cool resource. When live, the videos are free. But they also give you an option to buy ones you want instant access to.

Free Upcoming Online Courses



Sky Map App
This is great for astrophotography, you can see where the stars and planets will be before setting up for the shot. Currently only available for Android, but many alternatives for iPhone.

Get from Google Play Store



PhotoPills App
While not a free app, it is fantastic. This will give you great details about the sky. It shows you where the sun will set, where the Milky Way will be at certain times, and other helpful tips. This is a great tool for planning, and offers an alternate reality view so you can plan shots for specific days/times.

Visit PhotoPills



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.


InMotion Hosting
InMotion has been great for us! I have contacted their customer support on a few occasions and all my questions were answered and very timely.

Previously we used BlueHost, which had us on a blacklisted shared IP address (most likely due to someone else on the IP doing questionable things). This prevented us from using many plugins, some including Google Analytics. Upon contacting BlueHost they REFUSED to move us to an unblacklisted IP, even after validating the IP was blacklisted in numerous locations. Instead, they tried to upsell us on a dedicated IP. InMotion tracks the usage on IP addresses, and if for some reason, one is blacklisted, they will move you. They also offered free site migration from BlueHost. We don’t regret this move at all.

Sign-up for InMotion Hosting


Warfare Plugins
Social Warfare (Social Plugin)
Social Warfare is a WordPress plugin that adds beautiful, lightning-fast social share buttons to your website or blog. But that’s only the beginning…

Sign-up for Social Warfare



Creative Live
This is a really cool resource. When live, the videos are free. But they also give you an option to buy ones you want instant access to.

Build a Successful Creative Blog Course at CreativeLive



MailChimp
This option for sending bulk emails is really easy to use and does a great job tracking our emails. Plus, it is free is you have a smaller email list!

Visit Mailchimp



JPEGmini
Photo size can really slow down site speed. Running photos through this will optimize them for web. It has a web interface, as well as one for Lightroom.

Visit JPEGmini



WP Rocket
We use this for caching (helps load speed) and file minimazation. It also gives you the ability to lazy load images per page (helps with speed as well).

Visit WP Rocket



WP Time Capsule
This backs up our site. It syncs with DRopBox, Amazon and Google Drive.

Visit WP Time Capsule



An Easy Way to Support Our Blog

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