Summer is here and spending time in the great outdoors, close to home, is the current modus operandi for many folks, especially due to safety concerns over the coronavirus. We all know that there are numerous health benefits for moving our bodies in the natural environment, while soaking up vitamin D from the sunlight and unplugging from smart phones, televisions, and lap tops. It’s vital, especially during a time where our health needs to be a priority, to find positive ways to relieve stress, strengthen our immunity, sharpen our minds, and break a sweat. When you decide to get up and get moving, here’s the best gear for adventuring in the outdoors.
The Best Sleeping Bag System
There are many options to consider when picking the best sleeping bag and often it depends on where you’re going, what the weather will be like, how long you’ll be gone, and if you’ll need the bag to be lightweight for long-distance trekking. You’ll need to put thought into temperature ratings, down versus synthetic insulation, the overall weight and packability of the sleep system, the shape of the bag (mummy, semi-rectangular, rectangular) and any extra features that speak to your needs like stash pockets, hood, pillow pocket, etc.
Big Agnes makes something for everyone: expandable mummy bags, kids’ bags, bags with a different cut for women’s bodies, and even a double-wide system built for two people (or two plus a dog). You can filter your search by gender, fill type, temperature rating, and weight to make an informed decision. The Big Agnes System bags utilize a sleeve on the bottom to hold a sleeping pad so that you won’t slide off the pad when you’re sleeping, which maximizes heat efficiency.
The Best Light Weight Kayak
If you are traveling without a roof rack and have little space to spare, yet are interested in a kayak that is super lightweight but also durable, then check out Oru Kayaks, the original origami kayak. These surprisingly comfortable kayaks, which come with a one-year warranty, are much like the white corrugated plastic postal service mail bins. They fold up incredibly small, start at just 20 pounds, and are hard-wearing. If you’ve never tried kayaking before, this would also be a great vessel to learn in as you’ll feel your movements easily and learn quickly how to control and efficiently maneuver the kayak on the water.
The Best Trekking Poles
Good gear really enhances your experience in the outdoors. If you’re hiking or backpacking somewhere with steep ascents and descents, or if the ground is somewhat uneven and unpredictable, trekking poles can be your best friend. Hiking poles assist with your balance, take the pressure off of your knees, and can act like an extra set of legs in many cases. For performance, adaptability, comfort, and grip, Leki makes some of the best designed poles around. Choose light weight folding poles with an ergonomic grip and breathable wrist strap.
The Best Athletic Swim Suit
Whether you’re surfing, paddling, bridge jumping, or white water rafting, you’ll need a suit that stays in place. Enter: Nike Swim. Performance suits come in a variety of colors, cuts, and styles, with different levels of support and coverage to accommodate a variety of needs. Suits and sun guards with UPF protection keep your skin safe so you can spend more time in the outdoors.
The Best Hiking Boots
When choosing a hiking boot, you’ll want to pay attention to construction, support, weight, and material. Utilizing the expertise of a long-standing brand in the outdoor industry is always a worthwhile endeavor. Vasque operates by listening to the needs of hikers and backpackers to create boots that inspire people to spend more time outside in wild landscapes. Perhaps you’re looking for an insulated boot or one that is waterproof, or maybe you have a wider foot and need a more comfortable fit. No matter what the elements are or what rugged terrain comes your way, you can be certain that Vasque has a boot that will make your adventure worth it.
The Best Water Bottle
Hydration is, of course, super important while adventuring in the outdoors. Since there are several water bottles to choose from, why not pick one that is a driving force behind helping our environment. Klean Kanteen is a Climate Neutral certified company and for over 10 years they’ve been taking action to reduce emissions. You can purchase a plastic free kit, a stainless steel insulated bottle, or colorful insulated tumblers with reusable straws. These bottles are great for short day hikes or for hanging out around the campfire.
The Best Hiking Socks
Taking care of your feet is super important if you want to be comfortable on the trail or while playing in the outdoors. Smartwool is just that: smart. Ideal for backpacking, biking, running, traveling, or getting from point A to point B, Smartwool Merino wool socks will protect your feet and keep them comfortable. The sock finder will help you choose the best pair for your needs depending on various styles, thicknesses, heights, and temperature ratings.
The Best Shoes for Recovery
When you’ve worked your feet and legs long enough, sometimes you just need to recuperate at home or at your camp site and put your feet up. And, no matter how comfortable and well-chosen your hiking boots are, chances are you’ll want to take them off at the end of the day and get Hygge around the campfire. Glerups, made from Gotland wool from Denmark and white wool from New Zealand, regulate temperature no matter what season it is. Choose a pair—shoe, boot, or slip-on—with either a leather or rubber sole, which come in a variety of colors like forest, cranberry, or charcoal, and let your feet relax in a stylish cocoon.