When your heading out to explore the world you want to pack light. Aside from the essentials like food, water, a sleeping bag, tent, etc., there are certain items to splurge on. If you buy cheap equipment/products you’re going to waste money over the long term repurchasing when the shitty thing breaks or causes your life pain. Below are my five essentials to not buy cheap so when you’re out in the wilderness you feel like a freaking warrior.
A killer knife. Not just for self-protection but to actually open things, detach items or simply slice food. I’m not talking about a little $5.00 Swiss army knife you get in the girl/boy scouts. The idea to pack this item came from my co-pilot Jordan Sessions after witnessing her whip out her big girl knife while camping out one night. I’m talking about a knife that will do the job. I would recommend one like the Columbia River Ignitor AO Knife; it’s priced at $45.00, which is middle of the road as far as pricing.
A water bottle. Having quality water bottle will save you money; time and you’ll feel better drinking fluids throughout the day. I use it for not just water but lemonades, teas, beers, mixed drinks and water with a variety of fruits inside. I’d go with something like REI’s Nalgene Wide-Mouth Loop-Top Water Bottle in 32 oz. because the top is wide enough to add fruit pieces. I have this bottle and have dropped it close to 50 times and there isn’t a scratch on it. At about $10.00 it’s worth the investment.
A quality pair of flip-flops. Throw away all your cheap flip-flops you’ve been piling up in your over packed closet. Whether your walking in hiking boots, sneakers or water shoes … chances are you don’t want to wear them the whole day. Make the investment and purchase a good pair of flip-flops/sandals. Let your feet breath. Buying a pair at the Dollar Store will make you feel miserable come time you have to walk on rocks, bugs and even skeleton bones (if you’re lucky). I would recommend the Reef Chill Leather Sandal. Anything from Reef is going to last you.
A headlight. I bought my first headlight about two years ago and it’s still going strong. The best thing about headlights are they have a strap which makes it easy to wrap around sturdy objects other than your head. When I’m home I keep one near my bed in case I have to get up to save myself from a California earthquake and its great to have one with you at the beach at night. Its worth the $50.00. I recommend the Tikka XP Headlamp from Petzl.
Booze. That’s right, invest in quality-crafted booze. Everyone drinks. Don’t opp out for the cheap stuff because you’ll pay for it with a massive hangover the next morning. I’m a firm believer in spending a little more on anything that goes into your body, plus when you’re out in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a long day of hiking your going to appreciate the good stuff more. Makes life that much better.