The outdoor industry has seen tremendous growth in the past year. After coming to a screeching halt, international travel has still not recovered so folks are looking for closer-to-home getaway solutions. Whether it’s a week-long road trip, a weekend overnight backpacking trip, or a day trip to lounge by a creek and fish, more people have been getting out and exploring the wilder side of life.
We’ve compiled some of the best outdoor gear to help you prepare for a summer full of adventures. This year, we’ve split the guide into three sections, providing you with ideas for basic survival tools, lightweight options for backpacking or bikepacking, and to sum it up, some products to heighten your basecamp or glamping experiences.
More people are heading towards the mountains to embrace their inner John Muir or Heather Anderson (she hiked the PCT in 59 days), and that means more people driving on the roads, trying to get spots at campgrounds, and more traffic on the trails. Do your part to ensure that these wild places are left better than you found them, even if that means carrying out that seemingly forgotten doggie bag that was so graciously left in the middle of that path so it couldn’t possibly be left behind.
Please remember to always practice Leave No Trace principles.
• Plan Ahead & Prepare
• Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
• Dispose of Waste Properly
• Leave What You Find
• Minimize Campfire Impacts
• Respect Wildlife
• Be Considerate of Other Visitors
“Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance, Pain, and Punishment”
Spot Gen 4
$149.95 at REI
Spot has been trusted by adventurers far and wide. When you’re in a pinch and need help, press the SOS button to get you out. You can also use it to notify loved ones of your GPS positions so they can follow along.
Garmin Montana 700i
$700 at REI
A high tech backcountry GPS system featuring color bird’s eye view maps to help you navigate your way along even the most rugged terrain. Garmin has been leading the world in high-grade GPS devices to keep you safe. The Montana is the pinnacle.
EST Survival Shovel
$119.99 on Amazon
Eighteen tools in one. This tool is great for overlanders, basecampers, or even just folks hanging out at home. With enough tools to keep up with your survival skills, the EST Shovel is a fully loaded all you can need survival tool.
$99.95 at REI
Made in the U.S.A., Leatherman has paired its ever popular Wave Multi Tool with a repair kit to make sure you’re ready to fix your gear when they break.
Victorinox Mini Champ
$42.99 at Victorinox.com
Lightweight, small, and full of potential, this tiny tool is perfect for backpacking or everyday carry. It’s great for making some lunch and other smaller less serious tasks that come up while in the wild.
Artilect A/SYS-1 Base Layer
Attempting to build a full configuration of A/SYS layers, from base to polar, Artilect is creating innovative clothing using Nuyarn Merino to ensure your safety by maximizing your ability to stay dry, move with ease, look good, and stay warm in even the harshest of conditions.
Benchmade Steep Country
$130.00 at REI
Made in the U.S.A., this fixed blade is made of CPM-S30V steel and a Santoprene handle and comes with a Boltaron sheath. A sturdy and robust all-around knife that will surely prove itself worthy in the wild.
VSSL Camp Supplies
$135.00 on Amazon
VSSL makes lightweight tubular wilderness gear sets, this one comes with 70 different accessories to make sure you’re prepared whenever you go out in the wild. Examples include an LED light, a beeswax candle, a wire saw, water purification, and so much more.
Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series – Hiker Medical Kit
$25.00 at REI
Absolutely mandatory. First aid is the first thing to consider when going in the backcountry, but more importantly you need to know how to use it. So take that first aid or wilderness first aid course to gain the skills you need.
SOL Emergency Blanket
$5.00 at Neptune Mountaineering
When sh** hits the fan, you need to be ready. It’s not going to be a comfortable night, but these emergency blankets will radiate your body heat and hopefully prevent you from entering a hypothermic state. They’re lightweight and cheap.
Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier
$24.47 on Amazon
Hydration matters. Liquid I.V. produces high quality hydration products to amplify your water and get you hydrated quicker. With several different flavors and high quality ingredients, Liquid I.V. is a go-to for on the go hydration.
Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Hiking Sock
$23.00 at Neptune Mountaineering
Made in the U.S.A., Darn Tough makes awesome socks that last and stands by it with their fantastic warranty program. Lots of different styles and colors, the Hiker Micro Crew are great for long treks or simply walking around the block.
“The more you know, the less you have to carry. The less you know, the more you have to carry.” – Mors Kochanski
Western Mountaineering Cloudrest Down Pillow
$70.00 at Neptune Mountaineering
Made in the U.S.A., Western Mountaineering brings some of the finest sleeping bags and down gear to the outdoor industry. Their pillows, containing 3.5 oz 800 fill goose down, are a game changer whether backpacking or car camping.
$19.99 on Amazon
Has no one thought of this yet?! If you hate tripping over guy lines or want a little help to find your way back to your tent at night, these fun little LED tent stakes are for you.
Hennessy Hammock Scout
$99.95 at hennessyhammock.com
Get up off of that ground. Hammocks have evolved to include bug nets, rain flys, and even down underquilts to provide you a floating backcountry haven to gently rock you to sleep.
Alpine Start Coffee With Benefits
$19.99 at alpinestartfoods.com
Boulder local, Alpine Start has taken the industry by storm, providing people of all walks instant coffee goodness. This one contains mushrooms that help activate peak brain function. Cool!
$338.00 at slingfin.com
Founded by the co-founder of Mountain Hardwear, SlingFin is changing the tent and pack game. The 2Lite is a lightweight option for those trying to hit a lower base weight when backpacking.
Gossamer Gear The Two
$375.00 at gossamergear.com
Trekking pole tents require more set-up but they sure do weigh less. The Two is one of the best ultralight weight backpacking tents, with durable materials, and decent volume, you and another can easily share this space for weeks on end.
Ursack Allmitey or Major
$89.95 – $139.95 at REI
Protect. Your. Food. Because you don’t want to be without it and because animals shouldn’t be eating it. If you don’t want to carry a bear vault, these Ursacks are a great alternative using kevlar to protect.
RTD Recreational Services
$5.25 at RTD
RTD will take you to find lots of access to local hotspots to spend the day. Whether hiking around town, or a stroll through the woods, Nederland is a great place to spend the day.
$11.49 (set of 2) at Mountain People’s Co-op, Nederland, CO.
It’s a fork! It’s chopsticks! It’s FusionStix. Whether you’re forking it, spooning it, or eating sushi in style, the FusionStix are a great and fun way to get rid of that old spoon and eat in style.
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles
$129.95 at REI
I didn’t think trekking poles were necessary. I was wrong. They’re amazing. They help keep balance, keep your hands from swelling, and they can even be used with some tents!
Osprey Exos/Eja 38
$99.50-$180 at REI
Colorado local, Osprey’s mid-sized day pack for a day at the crag, or a hike up Mt. Sanitas. With 38 liters, you’ll always have enough room for food, water, and some layers to make sure you’re always prepared.
“Home is where you park it.”
TemboTusk Adjustable Leg Skottle
$395.00 at tembotusk.com
Made in the U.S.A., a skottle is a large cook plate with a single burner beneath it. Great for large meals, stir fry, steak, whatever you can imagine and clean up is super easy.
Primus Campfire Prep Set
$79.95 at primus.us
Prepare your meals with high quality good-looking kitchen tools. Primus is renowned for their cookware, now they’re providing the prep set we’ve all been looking for.
Stable Goods Pint
$32.00 at stablegoods.co
Take the lid off the canteen, flip it and voila, you have a sleek and stylish pint glass for all your camping beverage needs. Bring something with you on a hike or make cocktails at basecamp.
Helinox Sunset Chair
$149.95 at REI
Helinox has been known for creating fairly lightweight chairs for backpacking. Now they’ve produced the basecamp sunset chair. It’s 5lbs, backed by an awesome 5 year warranty, and it’s carrying case can be used as a headrest.
Coghlans’s Pop-up Recycle/Trash Bin
$31.82 on Amazon
Forget about that nasty garbage back lying in the dirt or hanging off the side of your car, having a dedicated trash can keeps things clean, protects the animals, and looks a whole lot nicer than this morning’s spam and eggs smeared on the side.
Igloo IMX 70 Qt Cooler
$219.99 t McGuckin Hardware
Coolers don’t need to be absurdly expensive. The cooler industry is fierce these days and Igloo has been stepping up their game to provide high quality, lighter weight options that look and work great.
Dometic CFX3 45
$959.99 at dometic.com
The way we camp is changing, and many of us have turned our vehicles into mobile living units. Getting a fridge (that also makes ice) is an expensive and yet completely awesome solution to that melted water that gathers at the bottom of your cooler.
Helko Werk Germany Vario 2000 Universal Hatchet
$135.00 at helkonorthamerica.com
Beautiful hatchet made of American Hickory to help you split those logs into kindling for the best campfire you’ve ever had. They aren’t the cheapest axes, but they sure are one of the best in class.
ARB Series III Simpson Roof Top Tent & Annex
$1507.00 at Slee Offroad
We’ve all seen them driving around, but we’re never quite sure if that person ever actually uses it. Nonetheless, they’re rad and are super popular with good reason. They’re easy, comfortable, and basically floating seven feet off the ground.
Goal Zero Yeti 200X Portable Power Station
$299.95 at Jax Outdoor Gear
If you’re setting up basecamp for a while, road tripping, or overlanding, you want a reliable solution to power your electronics along the way. Goal Zero is there for us making high quality batteries that last. Please note larger batteries are required for larger electronics.
Goal Zero Boulder 100 Solar Panel Briefcase
$299.95 at Jax Outdoor Gear
Pair this with a Goal Zero Battery to make sure you never run out (sun required!). Please note that the smaller the panel the longer it will take to charge. They make several options, and all are compatible.
Tentsile Safari Stringray 3-Person Tree Tent (3.0)
$949.00 at tentsile.com
If you can handle the set up, you deserve the reward. A floating three-point tent with enough space for three. Forget about those roots and weird ground lumps that bother you will you sleep, how can you be bothered when you’re floating?
$1049.00 at kokopelli.com
Packrafting has become an ever popular way to travel. Bike half, then take the river back, or just take the river the whole time. Whether you’re riding rapids, fishing, or just floating along, Kokopelli has a packraft for you.
Nemo Helio LX Pressure Shower – 22 Liters
$149.95 at Moosejaw
We like to be clean. If you’re heading to the mountains or the desert for the next two weeks to climb or to mountain bike, what’s better than a nice shower to end the day? Nemo’s shower provides 22 liters of water to make sure you don’t get stuck soapy.
Gravity Haus Pass
$50-$640 per month at gravityhaus.com
Gravity Haus Pass is an all-encompassing stay, eat, play, and work experience providing unlimited gear access (free), hotel discounts, food discounts, and even a fully loaded travel van in addition to member events. Their plans range to fit your needs. It’s a membership like we’ve never seen before.