You never really know where life’s excursions are going to take you. From moose hunting in the Yukon and scuba diving in Bonaire to skiing Colorado’s backcountry and rock climbing in Yosemite, it’s nice to have gear that can trust to perform equally well on any, and all, of the adventures life throws your way. If you don’t have a set of essential equipment yet, here’s a list to help get you started.
Luminox Model A4241 Dive Watch
Although it was designed as a Navy dive watch, the A4241 is durable enough and practical enough to wear on every adventure. It’s water resistant to 200 meters and the stainless steel black brushed casing is as tough as anything else you could strap to your wrist. The watch is Swiss made and features a self-powered illumination system that gives you a clear view of the time and gauges regardless of how dark it gets. With an MSRP of $995 on luminox.com, it’s not going to fit into every adventurer’s budget, but when you consider it could possibly be the last watch you’ll ever need to buy, it’s not a bad investment.
Spyderco Aqua Salt Black Blade
No matter where life takes you, few pieces of equipment are more essential than a good knife. But as many of us have discovered, not all knives are created equal, and not all knives perform equally well in a variety of situations. The Aqua Salt Black Blade from Spyderco, however, is a knife that just might be able to handle any task you could throw at it. The fixed blade knife has an overall length of a little more than 9” and is made from H-1 steel that is 100% rustproof so you never have to worry about taking it in the ocean, snow, or rain. The Aqua Salt has a nylon handle that’s not only incredibly durable but provides a secure grip even if your hands are wet or muddy. The polymer sheath can be adjusted to easily clip on any backpack, belt, or BCD. At $179.95 at spyderco.com, it isn’t the cheapest knife you can find. But that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?
While most of us tend to take it for granted, clean drinking water isn’t always as readily available on our adventures as it is in the comfort of our own home. While there are many different options for purifying water, the SteriPEN Ultra might just be the simplest and easiest solution you can find. Weighing in at a shade less than 5 oz, the SteriPEN is easy to throw in any bag or pack and in less than a minute, its UV lamp can eliminate more than 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that cause water-borne illness. The SteriPEN is rechargeable with any USB outlet and the UV lamp is rated to last for up to 8,000 treatments. Simply submerge the lamp in a bottle of water, press the activation button, and the little happy face on the readout tells you when the water is safe to drink. At less than $100 at steripen.com, there is no reason why you can’t have clean drinking water no matter where you go.
Light and Motion GoBe S700 Spot Flashlight
If we’re really being honest, all of us are afraid of the dark. At least a little bit. C’mon, it’s okay to say it. Especially since the GoBe S700 Spot flashlight makes it easy to make that fear of the dark a thing of the past. At $150 at lightandmotion.com, the GoBe features high, medium, and low output modes and can shed a whopping 700 lumens on any darkness that threatens to encroach on your fun. With several different interchangeable heads and an assortment of mounting options, the GoBe really is a light for all activities. And because it’s waterproof to 120 meters, it can even protect you from the darkness when you’re diving into the depths. The light has a USB rechargeable battery and can run for up to 12 hours on low level. It also features an SOS mode for those “just in case” moments.
Brunton ReSync 3000
It’s hard to live without power anymore, even when we take trips specifically designed to get us off the grid. Far too many of the gadgets that we depend on require juice. The good news is that a little bit of power no longer takes up a lot of room. Available at brunton.com for $49.99, the ReSync 3000 can easily slide into any pocket or pack and has a USB port that can charge up your phone or other electronics when you’re away from an electrical outlet. It also has a .5 Watt solar panel built in that can deliver enough juice to let you phone home in an emergency. And because the ReSync is weatherproof and shockproof, you don’t have to worry about your rugged adventures rendering this little beauty inoperable.
Woolpower Survival Kit 200
Sometimes, staying warm can save your life, or at the very least, salvage the remainder of an adventure after unexpected weather threatens to cancel your plans. The Survival Kit 200 is a set of merino wool baselayers that are made with Woolpower’s 200g Ulfrotte material, which use tiny terry loops as a way to increase moisture regulation and insulation. The kit is available at woolpowerus.com for $250 and includes a crewneck long sleeve shirt, pants, and a neck gaiter designed to fit into an extremely packable carrying case that makes it easy for you to take extra insulation with you wherever you go. Think of it as a little insurance package to make sure you aren’t left out in the cold on any of your adventures.
Replay Prime X
Action cameras definitely aren’t new to adventurers, but action cams that can go nearly anywhere right out of the box certainly are. The Replay Prime X action cam is made out of aero-grade space materials, has a 140-degree wide angle lens that’s protected by an impact-resistant glass window, and is waterproof for up to 10 feet without any additional housing. The Prime X can shoot 1080p at 60fps and includes Wi-Fi capabilities that allow you to control the action with an app on your phone. One of the most attractive features, however, is its size. The Prime X is roughly the size of a roll of quarters but weighs next to nothing. It comes standard with several different mounting accessories, and there are many other options available at replayxd.com that allow you to mount the camera nearly anywhere without worrying about it getting in your way. And at $299, it’s a pretty inexpensive way to capture some of those priceless moments of your life.
Eddie Bauer Travex Expedition Duffel
When it comes to good go-anywhere gear, versatility is key, not to mention the ability to fit in the continuously shrinking overhead bins of an airplane. Eddie Bauer’s medium sized Travex Expedition Duffel nails both of those attributes and makes it look easy at the same time. Available at eddiebauer.com for $179, the Travex Expedition combines the best elements of a standard rollerboard and a heavy-duty duffel bag. The bottom section is made from a sturdy ballistic nylon that creates a hard shell to help protect the valuable gear inside, and the top section is made from a flexible ripstop nylon that gives you the freedom to overload it for extended trip or cinch it down to save space on short jaunts. The Travex Expedition has inline skate wheels to keep up with you during those inevitable times when you have to run and catch your flight, but the coolest feature just might be the way the bag is designed to stand upright and not tip over regardless of how full you pack it. Because you can’t very well maintain your world-class adventurer status if you’re constantly reaching down to pick up your top-heavy suitcase, now can you?