To me gear is no different than food or maps, it is there to help me to achieve my goal. I think of gear as a means—to stay alive, stay comfortable, and stay moving. I try to carry as little gear as I can—there’s no sense in burdening my body and mind with things I don’t really need.
So what I do here is a greatest hits list of the gear I use the most as I go out hiking each day. I pay attention to what I reach for most often, and what actually serves its purpose.
Spring is just getting underway where I live, and I’m just getting started on this list. So check back as I will keep adding to it as I go along.
L.L.Bean Trail Model Rain Gear
I love this rain gear and have had this set for years –and I don’t see needing to replace them anytime soon. You will see me wearing these (I have a red jacket and black pants) all the time and they have really held up to a lot of use. I keep these in my pack year round to stay dry in all kinds of weather. I have them in a big enough size to wear over a light down jacket and soft-shell pants when I need protection from a cold wind –which is pretty much all the time along lake superior! They have venting for use in the heat too.
Patagonia Down Shirt
For this time of spring this down shirt is the perfect layer. It fits nicely under a rain jacket or any other jacket, and it’s so light and easy to stuff into your pack once the day warms up. I can see how the down shirt is going to be a staple in my pack over the summer too. It seems to be just the right thing for that unexpected chill.