I am dreaming and planning my next adventure, and so have been thinking of some of my best adventure things, that have made life lighter, easier, and better when I hit the road, whether it be on a city break, a hiking trip, or bike adventure.
1. Solid fuel stove – A few years ago, my wild, adventurous older sister read a book on ultra-lightweight camping, and since that time has dove deep into the ultra-light movement. She has make her own tent, bivy sac, dehydrated toothpaste, sewed fleece hats, and many other amazing projects in order to save weight/be more awesome. Recently, it means that while packing for a trip with her, it is customary to spend time weighing socks and undies in order to shave a few ounces off (thankfully she gave me my very own digital kitchen scale for this). When I was preparing to go on my first solo bike trip, she told me about this incredible lightweight stove – the Clikstand. With this super lightweight stand, the “solid fuel adapter” (essentially a tuna can lid), and a windscreen, you can quickly and efficiently cook your food. I love that it folds completely flat, and packs easily within a pot, where you can also store your solid fuel, camp suds, and other items. It is dreamy and amazing.
2. Hennessy hammock – While not ideal for all situations, the hammock tent is second-to-none for providing lightweight shelter on solo adventures and its boring brown/green colour is perfect for wild camping. In addition to the exceptional practicality of this tent, there is nothing more summery and wonderful the falling asleep to the gentle sway of the breeze.
3. Osprey Farpoint 40 travel bag!! My sleek, chique, London Fog carry-on bit the dust this year, and so I dove into the research about the best carry-on bags for travel. I am currently living in London, a buzzing hub of travel, which enables me to take advantage of cheap flights on budget airlines to amazing European destinations. I decided I needed to master the art of carry-on only travel, and I figured that a backpack was the most practical option to navigate all possible situations (wheely bags + cobble stone, for example). However, the common frustration that I faced when travelling with a hiking pack was that it required you to completely unpack in order to find your wooly socks or spare underwear.
After a lot of research, the Osprey Farpoint 40 emerged as the winner. Its dimensions (53″x33″x20″) abide by the regulations for all the budget airlines. It is so perfectly designed, every time I get to pull it out, I marvel at it! The zipper that fully opens the bag! The separate compartment for my laptop! The internal and external compression straps! The comfortable harness, including a generous hip belt! The convenient stow-away area to zip away the harness if not in use! In short, I am in love. I feel as though as soon as I strap it onto my body, I am ready to take on the world. As my flatmate declared “With that bag, NO ONE will doubt your ability to ADVENTURE!” The last few trips have been dreamy with this bag. I have comfortably walked around London and Dublin for hours with a fully-loaded pack. I have fit everything I needed for a week of Maltesian adventure into its generous embrace.
4. Scarf – One of my travelling essentials is a scarf – it is the perfect multi-use item as a pillow, shawl, accessory, eye cover for sleeping on planes/buses, and (in a pinch) towel. I have developed a habit of buying a new scarf from many places I travel, to take home a relatively inexpensive piece of that city home with me. However, when picking a multi-purpose, go-everywhere scarf, my default is the vinyasa scarf from Lululemon (not sure if this v2.0 has changed much, but the previous generation was spectacular in every way).
5. Sea to Summit eVent Compression Sack – This compression sack is the best I have ever encountered. I have been using it for 7 years now and it is still in great condition. It has a perfect design to provide really exceptional compression, while being totally waterproof (although S2S warns that you shouldn’t submerge it in water). I feel completely confident when heading into the wild with my down bag in here, knowing that if it starts raining or we get drenched in the canoe, that my bag will be cuddly and dry when its time to sleep.
6. 35mm lens – I know that carrying around a hefty dSLR is exactly the opposite of the ultra-lightweight world I was talking about above, but having a good camera is necessary for all adventures. Nearly 2 years ago, I switched to shooting all of my travel photos on a prime lens – the 35mm – and it has completely transformed my approach to travel photography. It requires me to get more involved in the shots I want to take, rather than lazily zooming in on a particular detail. In this way, it prevents me from getting back home with thousands upon thousands of photos. Also, this particular lens goes down to F/1.8, which, let’s be honest, makes me drool. (c) Andrew MacKinder
7. Fireball (maple whiskey is also an acceptable substitute, when you are feeling particularly homesick for your maple-soaked homeland). This warms the edges of your soul and requires little more explanation.
Happy trails, my fellow adventures!! xox