I don't have to tell you what trashy gear means trashy adventure:
- Your boots are rubbing your feet raw.
- The backpack feels like you are hauling a Walmart bag full of rocks attached to you with a set of shoe laces.
- Rain is soaking through your jacket, and you wonder what the hell you are doing here.
It has been me more than once.
With a trip like this, you might as well should have stayed home. Or visit your favorite watering hole instead (got to be an IPA, of course. It is Oregon, baby!)
Guess what? You can save your adventure and actually have a good time with the right gear!
Our team at Oregon Discovery went on thousands of outdoor outings over the course of 10 years.
From hiking, rockhounding, and extended camping trips to simple beach trips. If you are thinking about an adventure, we have done it. More than once. Much more than once.
We went through dozens of brands and hundreds of items to see what works and what doesn't.
Some items on the list might appear spendy, but it is only at first sight. Quality gear will last you a long time and serve well in the worst (and best) environments.
Here are our top outdoor gear choices to make your trip a fantastic experience.
Backpack Osprey Atmos AG 65/Aura AG 65
The backpack is one of the most critical pieces of gear. A bad backpack will ruin your back and might even fall apart. Don't have a yard sale with all of your stuff in the middle of nowhere, and pick quality gear!
The Atmos AG 65 (male version) and Aura AG 65 (female version) by Osprey are THE BEST all-around backpacks. Its suspension system feels like a dream on your back and prevents pain, even when you're hauling a full load of rockhounding treasures or hiking essentials.
With 65 liters of space, you'll have room for everything you need without sacrificing comfort.
It looks sick, too! Talking about a conversation starter with other adventurers, this is it!
Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Medical Kit
This is a compact, lightweight, and practical first aid kit.
From cuts and scrapes to blisters and incest bites, this kit has got you covered.
This is the perfect basic boo-boo kit.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Staying hydrated is non-negotiable, and the LifeStraw makes it a breeze.
And I am not only talking about sipping from a stream.
Have you seen some taps at rest stops and campgrounds?
I felt safer drinking tap water back on my motorcycle trip in Southeast Asia!
Avoid diarrhea in the middle of the woods and pick up this lifesaver (literally!)
And the best part is that it is lightweight, easy to use, and cheap!
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp
As the sun dips below the horizon, a reliable headlamp becomes your best friend.
If you don't see where you are stepping, in the best-case scenario, you bite it and make others laugh.
The worst-case scenario is you take a fast and painful trip down the cliff.
Have you ever gotten stuck past dusk despite planning to return home early? I have!
Pick this bad boy with impressive brightness and long battery life and throw it in your backpack and/or car.
Thank me later (I drink Imperial IPA, wink wink).
Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator
When you're exploring off the beaten path in Oregon, it's crucial to have a reliable way to navigate. The inReach Mini from Garmin provides GPS tracking and allows you to send and receive messages, even in areas with no cell signal.
You have your phone with you, very nice. Let me know how much reception you get in the middle of nowhere.
Snap a picture of your last minutes before you freeze to death near Mount Helen.
Or die of dehydration in Oregon's high desert on your rockhounding trip.
Alternatively, buy this lifesaver!
KEEN Targhee III Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots
When you are out, your feet are your most valuable asset, so invest in quality footwear.
Blisters will seriously ruin your day. And the twisted ankle will be a show-stopper.
If you think your adventure partner will be able to drag you up the cliff from the beach or 13 miles down from the summit, you are daydreaming.
You see everyone and their mother wearing these boots not because of great marketing (do they even have marketing?). But because it is the best value for the price you can get!
And you will get comfortable, waterproof (it is Oregon, remember?) boots with excellent traction!
Pick those kicks up and join the club!
THE NORTH FACE Venture 2 Rain Jacket
Oregon weather can be unpredictable and just straight-up wet for months on end, and a reliable rain jacket is a must-have.
THE NORTH FACE Venture 2 Rain Jacket is lightweight and packable and offers top-notch waterproofing to keep you dry when the skies open up.
It also comes in cool colors and big sizes, so pick one to match your boots!
So there you have it, friends!
This tried-and-true gear will accompany you on countless Oregon adventures.
Remember, the right equipment can make all the difference between a fantastic trip and a crappy one. So pick up some essential items on the list and head out!
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