Trick Out Your Adventure Ride With These 10 Essentials

adventure rideIf you’ve ever found yourself itching for an overnight backcountry escape while on the road from point A to point B, pack these 10 essentials and you’ll always be ready for spontaneous adventuring. Pack it all in a 30 to 40 gallon lidded container, aka your Adventure Trunk, and you’ll always be ready to roll when the itch strikes.

Water ContainersUntitled-1Two gallons of water in PBA-free containers, and several empty water bottles should do the trick. Also pack lightweight emergency water purification—a water filter, like the Sawyer Mini Filter or the Potable Aqua system. The Sawyer is very lightweight and extremely reliable (I’ve never had one clog) and the PA system is ultra lightweight and eliminates the need for a mechanical filter altogether.

Small BackpackUntitled-2A daypack or overnighter with lash-on points is best. A couple of good examples include the Gregory Miwok 44, the Gossamer Gear Murmur Hyperlight and the Osprey Escapist 32. Look for something around 1800 to 2200 cubic inches; save your 3500 cu. in. capacity pack for longer forays.

A TentUntitled-3If you mostly travel alone or with a partner, pack light and small. One of the best new tents on the market to fit this ticket is Sierra Designs’ Tensegrity at just over 2 and half pounds for the 2-person and just 2 compact pounds for the solo version. The first, and as yet only tent on the market that gets wider toward its peak, it offers ultra lightweight and more living space than any comparable tent. If you’d rather not keep a gold mine in your Adventure Trunk (the Tensegrity isn’t cheap), consider something like the Kelty Noah’s Tarp (if the weather is typically not an issue).

A BedUntitled-4This decision is so individual—how light you travel, how entrapped you can stand to feel (mummy bag anyone?) or how free you want to feel (Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed or, if there’s trees, a Grand Trunk hammock). You’ll want a sleeping pad that can be easily rolled up or compactly deflated.

Cooking GearUntitled-5Snow Peak Gigapower stove and a couple 110-gram canisters or a 250 gram one. This thing is so light and compact, and yet boils water faster than anything comparable.

A Coffee MakerUntitled-6What is a road trip or a backcountry adventure without a cup of Joe? If you haven’t tried an areopress, you’re missing out on the best possible road, home or backcountry coffee ever. The lightweight and compact device consists of two plastic BPA-free cylinders; one with a rubber plunger that fits syringe-like inside the other to create an airtight seal. One tube has a flange-like platform that sits over a cup. Place a small round filter in the end cap; screw it on receiver tube. Dump in coffee grounds and hot water, and stir. Let it sit for 10-30 seconds. Take the rubber plunger tube and insert it into the one with the coffee and hot water, and press. The taste will spoil you forever.

Food With a Long Shelf LifeUntitled-7Trader Joe’s offers a multitude of prepackaged possibilities including shelf-stable rice and Indian food. But Sea Fare Pacific’s Smoked Salmon Chowder, packed in an environmentally friendly pouch, is not only some of the tastiest camp food you’ll ever eat, but also has extensive storage life. The BPA-free pouch, which can be immersed in boiling water to cook the contents, is primarily a metal-based container with aluminum foil at the center of its four layers. And there are also several other meal options, including sustainably caught albacore Tuna.

A Power Bank and a Charger CouplerUntitled-8Don’t wander off the grid without an extra battery or external charger for your phone or GPS, or other electronic devices. Outdoor Tech’s Kodiak Mini is a powerhouse. Shock, dust, and water resistant, you can trust this compact beast to keep you connected for days. At only 2.4 ounces and about the size of a roll of quarters, it offers 2600mAh of rechargeable lithium-ion battery power. The NomadPlus transforms an Apple wall charger into a portable backup battery for on-the-go charging. At a mere 2.11 ounces, and offering 1800 mAH, 5V/1A output-input, it fits in your glove box as easily as your adventure trunk. While you’re at it don’t forget the super nifty NomadClip, a super lightweight smartphone cable designed to look and work like a non-weight bearing carabineer. It works like a normal cable for charging and syncing your phone—plug one end into a USB port on a power bank and the other end into your mobile device.

Car Crashing AccessoriesUntitled-9Give yourself the option of sleeping in your vehicle if needed. The Metolius Colossus makes vehicle sleeping a snap. Auto shades are a must. The options are vast. Consider side curtains too.

Extra Soft GearUntitled-10Throw in some extra wool socks, undies and a hat (billed cap or a Buffwear). If you have a spare pair of hiking or approach shoes, throw them in as well.

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Jo Ostgarden

Jo Ostgarden is a freelance journalist who has traveled around the world by plane, train, thumb, bicycle and automobile. She bicycled across Canada, the Pacific Coast Highway from Oregon to British Columbia and throughout 14 countries abroad. Additionally, she's an enthusiastic longtime backpacker who calls the Grand Canyon her own personal energy spot. She's also expert on travel in the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Ireland. She edited and re-wrote the final edition of Best Places Northwest Travel Guide, and has written about travel, health, nutrition and endurance sports gear for dozens of magazines and newspapers, including Bicycling Magazine.

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