Adventures are so much more enjoyable when you get your hands on the right gear and toss out the ill-fitting crap that's setting you back. Whether it's tasty trail snacks or sandals that don't tear up your feet (sorry Chacos, you lose!), I love sharing my finds with friends. Here's what I'm stoked on this fall:
Prana Halle pants
I just bought two pairs of these, and I’ll probably be purchasing two more, because they come in talls, they make my butt look amazing and they’re water resistant. They're comfortable enough to sleep in, they wash well, and the only problem I'm having is the fact that I want to toss out all of my denim and just wear these instead. One of my girlfriends first told me about the Halle pants two years ago, but at the time they were not available online in longer lengths, so I forgot about it. However, a few months ago another friend wouldn't stop raving about them, and she confirmed that they did in fact come in a size long enough for my 5'11" frame. The Zion material is amazing, and if you want more of a skinny fit and less of a straight leg, go for the Meme or Briann cuts.
LifeProof NËXT iPhone case (pictured above)
When it comes to phone cases, the main thing I’m looking for is the “bombproof” factor -- and a slim and stylish look. I have to be able to squeeze my iPhone 7 into the waist pocket on my backpacks, and LifeProof's NËXT case allows me to do just that. If you're as snap happy as I am, you'll be pleased to learn that Lifeproof's new design has a protected hole for your camera, so if the back of the case does start to get scratched up, you can still shoot perfectly clear photos and videos.
Wrightsock Escape crew socks
You know what sucks? Having a wool allergy. No cozy socks for me, and when it comes to synthetic or cotton options, there isn’t much to choose from. I've whined about this to countless REI employees, but the retailer is getting better at stocking up on options for those of us who can't wear wool. I had previously purchased some slimmer Wrightsocks, but I generally like a squishier, thicker sock, and the Escape crew sock was the answer to my prayers. It's basically two socks in one, and since buying these last spring, I haven't had a single blister. And oh, I've been on some hikes...
The North Face Thermoball jacket
I had a version 1.0 Thermoball way back in the day, and I let someone borrow it — and I never got it back. Whatever, that’s fine, because the design on the new Thermoball feels longer, slimmer, and I swear, these are even warmer but just as compact. If TNF comes out with better color options later in the season, I'll be buying the stretch version as well, because they have the same fit -- and the extended range of movement feels divine.
Mountain House Lasagna
Just when I thought Mountain House's pasta primavera was my favorite backpacking meal ever, I randomly grabbed a pack of their lasagna. It makes me kinda gassy, but screw it. It's the best damn freeze dried meal I've ever had, and a serious reward after a long day of hauling a pack around. I recently tried their chicken and mashed potatoes meal, and it was tasty and only took 4-5 minutes to prep, but the fact that it's made in two separate packs is kind of a pain. Still, I'd do that one again. Oh, and my fellow MH lovers have told me to try the beef stroganoff, so that's next on the list...
GoalZero Yeti 400 Lithium battery
If you live out of your car like I do, you'll understand why this is one of the best things you could possibly stick in a rig. The new Yeti 400 holds a charge for what seems like forever, and trust me -- I'm using a LOT of battery when I'm holed up in the back of my Jeep knocking out photo and video edits. I can also plug my GZ lights into the USB ports when it gets dark, and charge other devices at the same time as well.