Have you checked out the adventure travel special in the November 2017 issue? Then you’re likely itching to get out into the wild. If you already have a backpack and boots you’re well on your way. Here are seven handy products you might not have thought to pack, but that will make your trek so much better.
MiNDFOOD fitness writer Anne-Marie Cook took all this gear to the trails over the weekend to check it for adventure-worthiness.
If you’ve got a few walks in the wilderness on the agenda, trekking poles can help take pressure off your knees by taking more of your weight in your arms. They’re also handy for balancing through those tricky bits when the going gets tough. Be sure to take them out for a few practice runs before your trip. These beauties are carbon fibre, light but strong, and fold down into thirds. Pack them in your luggage, not your carry on. Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ poles, AU$269.95, seatosummit.com.au, NZ$259.99, southernapproach.co.nz.
Darkness falls and you’re still out hiking. No need for concern with this super-compact Petzl Tikka headlamp in your kit. It’s bright enough (200 lumens) without being blinding if you happen to glance over at your travelling companion. The strap is comfy, and the torch component tilts – handy for adjusting your gaze when ascending or descending your mountain. It takes AAA batteries or you can add on the rechargeable Core battery that plugs in with a micro-USB. Tikka AU$59.95/NZ$64.90, CORE Battery, AU$52.50/NZ$59.00. spelean.com.au, spelean.co.nz
The new gen of down parkas are definitely bringing puffy back, but a smart option is a thermal base layer to keep you warm without bulk. IOMerino is made with merino wool and wicks moisture away from your skin, which protects you from wind chill. The new season men’s and women’s Ultra range includes the Women’s Ultra Zip top (AU$110) that combines all the natural benefits of merino with just enough nylon to be durable. It’s perfect for all sorts of high intensity activities and adventures and features a streamlined ‘sport’ fit. iomerino.com
If you haven’t yet been introduced to the wonders of the Buff, behold. Most appropriately described as a ‘neck sleeve’ (as unsexy as that sounds), it can be a beanie, a scarf, a balaclava or an eye mask. You’ll love it more than you want to admit. It’s most definitely worth getting two. AU$29.95/NZ$39. spelean.com.au, outwear.co.nz.
Socks matter. A lot. Blisters and uncomfortable feet will ruin your trekking week. Bless your cotton socks, but you need a material that will wick sweat away from your skin – not cotton. Seam-free construction will also bring you smiles. For the ultimate in cushiness, try out Injinji Performance Toesocks. Yes, they look funny, but they protect from blisters and allow your toes to move however they need to. And if you have to throw on your jandals at the end of a long day you can still keep your feet warm! These are the new Mulberry Women’s Specific Trail sock, AU$29.95/NZ$34.95. injinjiperformanceshop.com.au
Okay, if you can get past the ‘hiking nerd’ you will look in these, you will be forever grateful for clipping them on. Trail Gaiters are extremely lightweight – you don’t notice them at all – but they keep all manner of rocks, sticks and dirt out of your shoes. So good. AU$30/NZ$34. trailgaiters.com.au.
Need to keep dry things dry? Of course! Need to keep wet or dirty (or both) away from anything that’s clean? Also handy. All of this can be achieved with a dry sack or two rolled up in your bag. But what about a pillow? Sorted. In an emergency, these bags can even make an air splint for a broken limb. These are way above and beyond your old ziplock bag from the supermarket and will last for many a journey. Pick a couple of sizes and strengths to take on your trek. The Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil View Dry Sack range even lets you check what you’ve stashed inside before you open it up. They range from 1 litre right up to a 35 litre capacity. AU$19.95-$49.95, NZ$22.99-$64.99. seatosummit.com.au, southernapproach.co.nz.