Get the right gear to make your next adventure a success! Being prepared with proper equipment can make or break your day, but no one wants to spend hours combing through reviews. So let us do the work for you. Start here for tips and tricks that will save you time and money as you seek out what you need to make your next big outdoor goal happen.
Before you buy any adventure gear, check the following websites for phenomenal deals. You typically will not find the latest and greatest models, but these days, equipment is advanced enough that last year’s model will be more than sufficient. Look at the end of each season for the best deals!
The most important pieces of running gear are shoes, a running vest, poles, and performance clothes. In the grand scheme of adventure sports, it’s pretty simple! Yet somehow, you can spend hours and thousands of dollars on your running gear choices, especially before a race you’ve been training hard for and the last thing you want for gear to stand in the way of the finish.
Most races will give you a mandatory kit list that will have you running around for emergency blankets and elastic bandages that, let’s face it, none of us actually carry on our similar risk profile long runs. The trick is finding gear that works for most races that you’ll actually use on a day-to-day basis. Just because most people don’t carry it doesn’t mean it’s not worth carrying, especially when it comes to mountain runs. By keeping every ounce of your gear in check, you’ll build a kit that will keep you safe and save you precious time in the big race.
Let’s dig in:
Mountaineering gear is a bit more complicated than running gear – and by a bit, we mean a lot. Mountaineering trips are often expensive, so gear manufacturers assume their target market has a bit budget. Not to mention, mountaineering involves entering some of the most hostile environments on the planet, so it take high-end, ultra performance gear to survive it.
Similar to running races, most mountaineering expeditions will involve a kit list a mile long, and you’d better be sure to bring every piece, as compact and lightweight as you can find and afford. You’ll also want to test your gear extensively beforehand. You don’t want to be one of those unlucky people who have their boot zipper break at 20,000 feet, though with Scarpa this is a risk no matter how much testing you do. Some of the big items to check for are whether you stay warm enough, whether you get blisters, and how all of your gear packs up, as you’ll have to pack and repack frequently on most trips.
Here are a few key items you’ll likely find yourself shopping for if you take on a big mountaineering expedition:
An often forgotten element of a good adventure is what you’re going to listen to along the way! Sometimes it’s your friend or partner hinting that you should really turn back, in which case, you’re going to need something to tune them out. Or more commonly, you may be hiking or running solo and want to lose yourself in a good book. If you’ve never tried audiobooks in the outdoors, consider this your cue to try it. Not only will it enhance your experience, but you’ll associate the book with that place. Then every time you think of one, the other will come to mind. While there are a few different audiobook platforms out there now, Audible is one to try for its extensive library, plentiful reviews, and Audible Plus catalog, which gives you access to thousands of books for free with your subscription, rather than having to purchase each one individually. Think of it as the Netflix of the audiobook world.
When purchasing ski gear, there’s very little reason not to purchase from a discount site. Unless you’re buying new ski gear every year (which is just plain unnecessary), it’s better to start with last year’s model at half the price. If money is really burning a hole in your pocket, you can use the excess to buy a powder or touring ski or splitboard. The best sites to start with are Evo.com and Powder7, followed by Moosejaw, Steep & Cheap, and Outdoor Gear Exchange. Cripple Creek Backcountry and Bentgate Mountaineering are helpful for more specialized backcountry equipment, though don’t expect high discounts as the other sites offer. Backcountry gear is harder to come by and their prices often reflect that.
For hiking and camping gear, many of the resources you use for trail running and mountaineering will work just fine. But depending on the hike, they may leave you either under or over prepared for the conditions. Being overprepared doesn’t sound that bad until you’re carrying 60 pounds on your back for 15 miles, or sitting in a car overstuffed with down sleeping bags and jackets. So just take stock of what you have and decide if it’s fit for purpose for your trek. If not, REI is a great place to fill in the gaps.