Gear to Get You Started: 5 brands for 4 new outdoor adventures
September 19, 2019
From the pages of Issue 4: Plans Change
ERICA ZAZO | @onecurioustrvlr
We all have that bucket list adventure that we haven’t quite tackled yet.
Maybe it’s learning to fly fish at Yellowstone for the first time ever. Or maybe it’s figuring out how to rig your bike to roll into the backcountry for a multi-night camping trip.
Taking the plunge into trying a new outdoor sport can be overwhelming, especially when you see a bunch of other rad people online or on the trail excelling at the very sport you’re trying to get into.
Here’s your reminder to take a step back. Think back to that first time you laced up your boots to hit the trail, packed your backpack for your first long thru-hike, or rolled out of your driveway for that inaugural long-distance trip. Each adventure started with the same itch to try something new.
Test the waters with the help of these five brands that are making outdoor adventure more attainable, even if you’re a beginner.
Fly Fishing – Tenkara Rod Co. TenkaraRodCo.com
At first glance, fly fishing can seem extremely intimidating. The gear alone is enough to make beginners question if the sport is worth the hassle. Expensive poles, technical fly reels, pricey waders—the list goes on. Not to mention the learning curve that comes with fly tying, casting, navigating the water, and unhooking your catch.
Tenkara Rod Co. has set out to change that mindset with their minimalist fly fishing setup. Inspired by the Japanese method of Tenkara fly fishing, their gear brings the sport back to the basics with a kit that includes a simple rod, line, tippet, and fly. Their lightweight, compact rods extend from just 20 inches to 10-13 feet in length and take less than a minute to set up. Beginners can opt for one of their rod packages, which includes everything you might need to get started.
Bike Packing - Sierra Designs SierraDesigns.com
Beginner bike packers will quickly learn that light gear that can be strapped to your bike is essential. Sure, you can shell out loads of money for fancy add-ons like saddle packs or rear racks, but when you’re starting out, chances are you’re rigging gear to your bike frame with bungee cords.
Sierra Designs, an outdoor gear brand whose roots date back to 1965, has always made products that are functional and affordable. Releasing its newest collection for spring 2020, they’ve designed a key piece of gear—a bike packing tent—that keeps this booming crop of adventurers top of mind.
The High Side 2 is a great option for entry-level bike packing. At only 3lbs 5oz, this lightweight tent features compact poles that break down small enough to fit across handlebars, a two-door vestibule for easy entry and exit, and a higher hoop pole at the head of the tent so you can sit up inside. An extendible awning included with the rain fly will also come in handy for extra shelter and shedding water during rainy trips.
Overlanding - Helinox Helinox.com
If you’ve ever dreamt about cruising in a vintage Land Rover Defender or tearing up a backcountry road in a rugged Toyota Tacoma, odds are you’re into the idea of Overlanding. This vehicle-based, self-supported way of travel makes it possible to drive cross-country or deep into the remote wilderness and survive off-the-grid with only your car.
Scroll through Instagram and you’ll find adventure vans, roof-top tents, and lifted SUVs sporting thousands of dollars worth of equipment. However, customizing your adventure vehicle can be a huge time, labor, and financial commitment. Fortunately, Overlanding doesn’t require those fancy add-ons. For those of us at the start of their Overlanding journey, it can also just mean packing the creature comforts, like an air mattress, etc.
Brands like Helinox have made a name for themselves with lightweight, portable camping equipment that also doubles as great Overlanding gear. Helinox’s Lite Cot and Chair Zero, for example, pack down small and are super light and durable, making it easy to stow away in the back of a car or truck. Additionally, Helinox has launched a line of adaptable accessories, including drink holders, sunscreen covers, and Vibram chair feet, that make it even easier (and more comfortable) to customize your adventure gear.
Backpacking - Arrive Outdoors ArriveOutdoors.com
Backpacking gear can run anywhere from hundreds, all the way up to thousands, of dollars. On top of that, navigating the myriad gear brands on the market can make for a confusing, stressful, and expensive process for outfitting a backcountry trip.
Thanks to Arrive Outdoors, your gear closet just got bigger. This company makes packing and preparing for your next backpacking trip as easy as ordering a last-minute gift on Amazon.
With their warehouse of top-notch brands, including big names like Deuter, Marmot, and Thermarest, aspiring backpackers can curate their own gear setup on Arrive’s online marketplace. Once you have selected their equipment—from sleeping bags and tents to backcountry cookware—you can schedule gear to be delivered directly to you or any address near the trailhead.
Trail Running - Salomon Salomon.com
The two key elements for a successful trail run are hydration and foot safety. Supportive shoes and a well-fitted running pack can make all the difference for a new trail runner. Not sure which brand to pick? Salomon, a leading name in the trail running scene, is a great place to start.
For women runners, Salomon’s Advanced Skin 8 Set W goes the extra mile. Its unique design reduces pressure on the chest when cinched down and comes with soft water flasks for extra comfort. For footwear, the new Sense Ride 2 provides cushion, support, and a durable sole that doesn’t stray far from the feel of a traditional road shoe. The crucial difference is the trail shoe’s ability to handle long miles of rugged terrain.