Everybody Has Their Favorite Ounces
Gear is rightfully a massive topic and making methodical decisions is a part of the game. Doing your due diligence beforehand can prevent your pack from forcing you to become the hulk. I wouldn’t classify myself as a gear enthusiast, but I recognize its importance. Rather than rattling off my entire gear arsenal, here are the personal favorites within my kit:
Fujifilm X-T20 + 27mm Prime Lens
People question why I’m bringing a camera considering the capabilities of modern smartphones and I completely understand. It seems unnecessary, but using a legitimate camera creates a sensation that my phone can’t. Turning the focus dial, adjusting settings manually, the audible of the shutter release, looking through the viewfinder, and the process of composition gives me joy. To me, a camera is a paintbrush, and life is a canvas.
Being a SoCal kid that’s entrenched in surf culture, sandals are a staple of my daily attire. I’ve never fancied footwear and even chalked up a few detentions in high school because of it (s/o TOMS). Sandals are a publically acceptable compromise and I milk them for all their worth. Whether it be at the DMV or on the trail, sandals are my co-pilot.
This thing is the bee’s knees. It protects my tent, prevents punctures, makes for a killer windscreen, yoga mat, road sign, and makes for less filthy naps. This thing sells itself. No need for Phil Swift to cut a Flex Seal esque promo for this magic carpet.
The trowel of all trowels, the Duece #2 is an absolute force. It cuts through the dirt like a speed round on Fruit Ninja. The trowel itself is a measuring stick so you can get the dimensions of your cathole on point. This is a multifaceted precision instrument that assists in the creation of mediocre sandcastles, an improv splint, and a solid back scratcher. Just be sure to keep it clean…
Music is a massive part of my life. Silent discos and karaoke are electric experiences and I utilize music to enhance my outdoor experiences too. We all have those tracks that put us in an untouchable zone. I enjoy the sounds of the outdoors, but sometimes a little flavor can level-up a view. Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield my flavor of choice.
When hiking, these super sticks can increase efficiency tremendously. They’re also responsible for pitching my tent, make for great roasting sticks, photo props, a depth gauge, emergency splint, laundry line, and channeling my inner Mulan when nobody is around. Yes, Mulan is the most elite princess and deservedly my first crush. Don’t @ me.
I bought a tent a few years ago and the included stakes are the best I’ve used to date. They’re lighter than the infamous MSR Groundhog and have an arguably better design. While I’ve broken a few Groundhog stakes, the Kotahi’s have never bent. I’m rocking a non-freestanding shelter so it’s great to have these ol’ trusties.
That’s it, folks! If you’d like to see my full list, you can find it here. Gear is a fun topic to chat about, but ultimately it’s the gear between your ears that matters most.
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