As Spring is waning and Summer rears its scorching and unbearable head, it is important to note some of the essentials to make your outdoor experience all it can be and more. Being part of the First Ascent/Eddie Bauer Pro Deal program I am a little biased towards some of their gear but also being a poor college student I know sometimes it is also good to consider the cost. So my list will include items for under $100. As you will begin to see I mention a lot about water resistance, which I believe during Spring and early Summer should be a big concern among the outdoor enthusiast at that time. I hope to cover some essentials one would need to make some trip a success;
So let’s start
Sport Science: Smart T-shirt ($22)
These t-shirts are a must have layer that I use during the winter spring summer or fall, they are super breathable quick drying all purpose shirts that can handle anything and look great doing it.
First Ascent: Sandstone Soft Shell Hoodie ($99)
On my last trip I got the pleasure of wearing this hoodie and it lasted me from the car to the peak, three solid days of just wearing this hoodie. Wind and Water resistant, light and breathable, it is the perfect barrier for harsh winds and over-bearing sunlight, it’s a must have.
Prana: Brion Pant ($70)
Again a love story about this article of clothing (feel free to jump to the end of the paragraph). Growing up in high school I never owned a pair of jeans, I hated them, I believed there existed a pant that was just as versatile but way more comfortable which is where Prana came in. I stumbled upon their climbing/yoga centric company and the rest is history. These pants are pliable and maneuverable (did I mention this is a climbing/bouldering company?) along with water resistant material make these pants a necessity on and off the trail.
I am going to forgo suggesting specific footwear because some terrain someone may need a heavy weight hiking boot someone else may feel comfortable doing in a minimalist trail running shoe. Footwear is highly based on your comfort level and what trail you are doing. I can suggest a mid height Adidas Terrex shoe for just about everything, but again that is your call.
But one thing I can suggest is
These socks are super cheap and just as good as the $40 pair I got two summers ago, fun fact, the Cabela’s ones are still around.
Kelty: Dome 2, Classic 2, or REI Classic 2 person (about $100)
The reason why there are so many options here is because of limited pricing, and availability but also preference. I always hike with my Kelty Dome 2. It has never failed me in the strong rainstorms, or in gale-force winds, but I have had the pleasure of using REI tents which are a breeze to set up and weigh practically nothing. On a personal note I always hike with a two person tent, I am a bit claustrophobic.
The Gregory bag varies in price but comes with a nice rain sleeve and is fantastically spacious. I have one of those annoying friends that loves that pack so much he brings it up in conversations that have nothing to do with packs. The Bacon pack from First Ascent recently won a flurry of awards for its fabric, packability, and I believe just all around strength as a versatile pack.
Those are the few items I think would make a trip, either for a week or just a weekend, something great. Hope you other gear junkies out there enjoy.