Monday, February 18, 2013

Survival Monday: 5 outdoor gear items for every day use

In a comment on a previous post, a fellow blogger shared this short article about loving your stuff. Materialism is only bad, the writer argues, when we constantly dispose of old items and seek better ones. Stuff isn't bad when you really use it, you really love it, and you really make it last the test of time.

This is true for most of the outdoor gear that I own. I love that gear, and I use it well. Here are 5 gear items that I use on a daily basis, just because they're that good.

1. Kleen Kanteen 12 oz Insulated Mug - I love this mug so much that I've already dedicated an entire blog post to it. Almost one year later, the love affair is still going strong. 

2. Light My Fire Spork - Light My Fire is a Swedish company that sells an eclectic mix of camping gear, best recognized for its bright colors. Of the entire product line, this spork is the lay woman's winner. I use my spork for lunches at work and snacks on the go. The curved shape is comfy in the hand, and both the spoon and fork sides function beautifully.

3. Turtle Fur Neck Warmer - I have always had a weakness for scarves, but now I've done one better: fleece neck warmers. This Turtle Fur neck warmer not only keeps me warm while skiing and hiking,  but also proves to be a toasty accessory for around-the-town use. Plus, this particular fuzzy is made with Polartec Repreve fleece, a textile made from recycled materials. How cool is that?

4. Merino wool socks - I know what you're thinking: "Wool socks? Ugh. How boring." What could be better than toasty toes on a frigid day? Many merino wool yarns are now heavenly soft, and warm socks can be found for almost any sporting adventure. Best of all, it takes days of wear to make these merino wool stink, and these socks can really take a beating before holes appear. My favorites are Chrome no-show socks for warm weather walking and cycling, Darn Tough for hiking, and Fits for every day coziness.

5. KEEN Targhee Mid II hiking boots - Andy and I are both on our second pair of Keen boots, but not because they're made poorly. On the contrary, we both loved and used our Keen Targhees so much that we wore our first pairs right into the ground. Sure, these boots are waterproof and sturdy, but the real attraction lies in how wonderfully easy it is to break them in. No blisters, no stiffness—KEENs are ready for rain, snow, and shine; trail, park, and sidewalk.

What gear gets you through the daily grind? What things do you absolutely love?


  1. I love my Smartwool socks! Best socks ever!

    1. Yes, Smartwoool socks are great, too! I love them as ski socks. Smartwool ski socks are the only ones I've found that don't make my calves feel completely constricted.