THE GEAR I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT
I currently don't have a permanent residence, which is both awesome and a great big pain in the ass. I love the freedom I have, but when it comes to getting new gear (or organizing what I do have), logistics can be a bit tricky. I have a roof box on my Jeep, but space is still limited when I'm fully packed, so I find it important to pick items that make a difference when it comes to both comfort and performance. Here are a few of my favs as of late:
Lululemon Swiftly Tech tops
They're expensive ($78 for a long sleeve, $68 for a short sleeve, pictured above), but I promise, they're 1000% worth it. They wick sweat away, and thanks to the silver threads embedded in the synthetic fabric, they help keep odors at bay. Since they're quick-drying, hand washing them is a breeze, and if you're wearing one and it happens to rain, you won't feel like a soggy mess after that adventure either.
Cetaphil face wipes
My skin is just like me: It can be a disaster sometimes. When you factor in sweat, sunscreen and the dirt you pick up after camping for a few days, it's the perfect recipe for a breakout. I've tried all kinds of different face wipes, but many of them irritate my eyes and I usually end up dabbing water from my Nalgene on a dirty wash cloth and using that. Eww! Don't do that. Go for these instead.
If you know me, you know I can't function/survive without coffee. I've been fortunate enough to find some amazing coffee shops over the years that don't care how long I stay and suck up wifi, but what about when I'm camping in the middle of nowhere? I've tried a pricey freeze dried Kona blend that ended up tasting far too acidic, and as much as I love Starbucks lattes, I can't do their instant coffee packets. However, I recently got my hands on a few vials of Sudden coffee's mix, and I was blown away. Hands down the BEST cup of coffee you can have in the backcountry, and possibly even better than what you'd find at 50% of diners on the road these days.
Honey Stinger waffles
There comes a time in every hiker's life where generic bars are no longer exciting snacks. If I want a quick and easy bite with my coffee in the morning, these waffles are a great way to switch things up. They come in a range of flavors, and they're super flat, so depending on where you pack them in your bag, they won't get smashed. And even if they are a packet full of crumbles, they're still pretty damn delicious.
Peak Design Capture Pro camera clip
I'll be honest: I'm quite annoyed that I can't get this clip high on the strap of my 65L Osprey bag. As far as I'm concerned, that's the only place I want to be carrying a camera when I'm hiking. But! It does clip on to my Lowepro Photo Sport bag, which is my go-to pack for day adventures. I don't fully trust it, so I still loop the strap around my neck, but I can't tell you how convenient it is to have your camera right there when you need it. It stays put, it's easy to release and your friends don't have to impatiently wait for you on the trail for an extra 30 seconds when you're stopping to dig your camera out of your pack.
My first tripod was an aluminum MeFOTO RoadTrip, and since then I've upgraded to the carbon fiber version, which I absolutely love. It's only 3.1 pounds and 15.4 inches long when folded down, and it can hold my Canon 5DMIII and a 24-70mm f2.8 lens without any problems whatsoever. If I'm backpacking, I prefer the 3.2-pound GlobeTrotter Air, because it's just as sturdy, but even more compact, at 12.2 inches long. (Psst! If you want a discount on one of MeFOTO's awesome and lightweight tripods, plug in the LIZSAVE10 code at checkout on their website.)
Lead photo courtesy of @rajailiya