“Tough” and “lightweight” may seem like polar opposites, but experienced travellers know that both are essential attributes for the gear they purchase. Any gear you bring on your next trip, especially if it’s centred around hiking and exploring, should be packable, durable, and weather-resistant.

You only want to purchase your travel gear once after all, especially if you’re a budget traveller!

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Staying Warm, Staying Dry

If you neglect to pack gear that protects you from cold and wet weather conditions, you’re going to have a miserable experience no matter how breathtakingly beautiful the region you’re exploring might be.

Be ready for any inclement weather that may come your way by purchasing clothing and accessories that are both water and weather-resistant, thoroughly insulated for warmth, and durable without being cumbersome. Such items should include:

  • Windbreaker Jackets with reflectivity for high visibility
  • Hiking or Trekking Boots – preferably heat-customizable to offer the highest level of comfort and support
  • Gloves designed with convenient gripping
  • Handwarmers – that provide several hours of warmth and can easily fit into jacket pockets and gloves 

Seek the same qualities in items you purchase to provide shelter during your trip, such as:

  • Windproof blankets
  • Tents designed to brave the elements

Keep Your Gear Dry 

The bag in which you keep your various accessories should be just as packable and durable as the gear itself. Purchase a waterproof backpack to ensure your gear stays protected, too. In order to guarantee that your next backpack is waterproof and built to outlast even the harshest weather conditions, look for a backpack that features:

  • Waterproof zippers
  • Sealed in seams
  • Durable material
  • Sturdy construction

In addition to being waterproof, you also want your next backpack to be capable of serving all your hiking and exploring needs. The most dynamic backpacks have:

  • An Airtight Design – Enables the backpack to be used as a floatation device in lieu of a life jacket
  • Ample Storage Space – Leaves plenty of room to pack all the accessories needed for your trip
  • Multiple Pockets For water bottles and accessories you want to keep securely in place, i.e. smartphones
  • Several Side Loops – Allows for the attaching of additional gear
  • Reflectivity – Enhances visibility in the day and night

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Comfort is Key

Remember, you’re the one who’ll be carrying this waterproof backpack as you navigate through the wilderness on your next adventure, so ensure that your backpacks’ durability doesn’t compromise your comfort. It should complement your shoulders, not burden them. 

Look for a backpack that has:

  • Padded, adjustable shoulder straps, and hip straps 
  • A hands-free flashlight mount so you can move your arms freely

Protect Your Face

When travelling through harsh weather, it’s important to protect your face from the elements. You’ll want to bring:

  • Buff – A multipurpose neckerchief that can act as a hat, scarf and more
  • Sunglass – Preferably polarised, with UV filtration

Helpful Dual-Purpose Items

Packing certain dual-purpose travel items can prepare you for when unexpected events, weather-related or otherwise, strike at random. The items below are especially helpful for emergency situations: 

Paracord

Parachute cord, or “paracord” for short, is a must-have for any hiking adventure. Not only can it sustain a large payload, but it also serves a multitude of invaluable purposes such as:

  • Tents – It can be tied to tree branches for easy setup
  • Makeshift Splints – When tied with a stiff branch, this prevents further displacement of broken bones
  • Tourniquets – After enduring a laceration, tying it around the injured area helps slow blood loss
  • Fishing Lines – If you remove the inner threads, all you have to do is attach a hook

Paracord can even be used as a lanyard to help you separate your other tools and accessories.

Multifunctional Electronics

As extraordinary as smartphones are today, they serve no purpose when they run out of battery. Bringing charging equipment for your smartphone and mobile devices on your trip ensures that, should a dangerous situation arise, you can call for help. 

Several charging equipment units today are designed with built-in features like:

  • Flashlights
  • Emergency radios 
  • Jump starter cables

Multitools

Typically designed for ultimate portability, multitools can have a big impact on your trip, enabling you to do everything from cutting a rope, splicing a wire, screwing in a nail, to cracking open a beer when it’s dinner time.

Got Everything? Now Go Enjoy Your Trip!

Acquiring the items above will prepare you for unexpected situations that may arise during your next adventure. And if the items you purchase feature maximum durability, compactness, and versatility, they’ll last you for the many trips to come. 

Richard Collett