Last night I was in my tent at 4200 meters in the snow peaked mountains of Bhutan. As the wind howled, I looked around at all of my gear, and I had an epiphany.
I noticed that I have been taking the same essential gear on all of my adventures, and that each piece of adventure gear was just as important as the one before.
And then it hit me. I realised I needed to make an epic list of the world’s best adventure gear.
And that’s exactly what I did.
I’m a professional adventurer and have spent the last 10 years camping, hiking, and expediting around the world. When it comes to gear – I’ve tried it all, and I know exactly what you need (and what you can leave at home).
This guide has some epic insider information, but most importantly, contains the adventure gear I literally swear by and have been using for years. Whenever I head off into the mountains on a camping trip or a hiking adventure – this is the stuff I pack every single time.
This is the best adventure gear in the world for any type of adventurer. Let’s jump into it!
Best Adventure Gear – Checklist
Belt with hidden security pocket – For hiding your cash or weed, this belt is an absolute god-send. I’ve travelled around a lot of countries, like Venezuela, where you need to have all of your cash for the entire trip on you and this is always where I hide my stuff.
It can be worn through metal detectors without setting them off and is well worth having for any travelling adventure. This is without a doubt my #1 recommendation for adventure gear.
Leatherman Skeletool – A good multi tool can save your life.
I’ve been using my Leatherman Skeletool for nearly six years – it’s super tough, lightweight and clips on your jeans with a carabiner which can also be used as a bottle opener.
The Skeletool has the best quality, and most versatile, knife I have ever come across on a legal-carry pocket knife, making it an essential piece of adventure gear.
Bulletproof Sunglasses – I am the master of breaking sunglasses…
Or, at least, I was until I started wearing SunGod glasses which are pretty much indestructible and are also pretty damn cheap.
Sunglasses are more than a luxury – they are essential adventure gear. Your eyes are pretty important, so it’s a smart idea to keep them as protected as possible (and look stylish in the process!)
GoPro – I was also once the master of breaking camera… Until I got a GoPro.
Seriously, when you are hiking or camping it’s well worth packing a GoPro as the photo quality is now absolutely amazing and you can pretty much run over a GoPro (when it’s in the case!) with a tank and it’ll be fine.
Headtorch – A good headtorch is absolutely crucial for any real adventurer and I never go travelling without one. In all actuality, this should probably be my #1 recommendation for adventure gear.
When the power goes out, or you are exploring a cave or hiking in the dark, your head torch will become your new best friend.
I recommend the Petzel Tikka as it’s cheap and powerful. Check out my detailed breakdown on the top five headlamps for more info.
Notepad and pen – When I’m camping out, beneath the stars, disconnected from the internet (praise the lord!) I find myself having a lot more time to think.
I like to jot my ideas down and strongly recommend throwing a pad and pen in your pack for your next adventure. This year, I got into bullet journalling – tthis is a great way to save your thoughts and be productive. The Nomatic Planner has been my favorite with its mix of calendars, organization and journalling pages.
Adventure Buff – I always have a buff on my wrist and usually have a spare in my pack.
A buff is crazy versatile and can be used to cover your eyes when sleeping (In case you forget your sleeping mask and are a light sleeper), to keep your face warm through frozen winds and to stop bleeding in an emergency.
This is a piece of adventure gear most people don’t consider, but it’s utterly invaluable. Remember, you heard it from me first!
A good book – I used to have a kindle but, you may be sensing a theme here, I broke it on a rafting trip.
Since then, I’ve been going back to paper. It’s always worth having a good book on you – for reading inspiration, check out my books to read when backpacking article.
DSLR Camera – Now admittedly this isn’t an essential for everybody as DSLRs are heavy and expensive.
If you have a camera though, I strongly recommend packing it for your hiking trip – away from light pollution you will have a great chance to get some amazing night shots.
Check out this incredibly detailed post for a breakdown on the best travel cameras for digital nomads and backpackers.
Best Adventure Gear – Checklist Extras (which you’ll love!)
Wireless Speaker – The luxury item that I almost always pack is my tough wireless speaker to keep me entertained in the evening as I listen to some tunes or a podcast.
Peak Design Camera Clip – This is hands down the best money I ever spent on a camera accessory – the peak design camera clip lets you access your camera in seconds and carry it comfortably on your hip or on the shoulder strap of your backpack.
Portable Battery – If you are heading off on a multi-day hiking trip, your equipment will eventually run out of battery. This little baby will keep you charged and connected for when you need it most. I always travel with two.
Down Jacket – I’ve been wearing my RAB Neutrino down jacket for seven years now and it’s a crucial part of my of adventure gear checklist. It’s tough, super warm and has served me well on glaciers and mountains around the world. If it’s going to be cold, this is the jacket you want.
Microfibre Towel – A microfibre towel might not sound that exciting but when you’re climbing, trekking or camping a super lightweight, fast-drying, towel is one of the best things you can take with you. Cheap, compact and reliable.
Berghaus Freeflow – I’m kind of assuming you already own a backpack but if you don’t I strongly recommend the Berghaus Freeflow as the most comfortable hiking pack around. To find out more about some of the best packs on the market, check out my best travel backpacks post.
Tough plastic playing cards – Impervious to spilt beer and sudden downpours, having a nearly indestructible pack of playing cards with you is always a great idea for any hiking or camping trip.
Best Adventure Gear Checklist – Camping Packing List
I wanted to include this section last as the above adventure checklist can be used for any trip, not just for camping.
Parachute Hammock – Chicks dig hammocks… Hammocks are sexy, comfortable, super light, cheap and pack down to almost nothing.
If you are travelling in a climate that is warm enough, I strongly recommend packing a hammock instead of a tent. There’s a lot of portable hammock options out there but if you don’t want to spend so much, I recommend getting a parachute hammock.
They are super light, strong and durable. Active Roots hammocks are some of the best value parachute hammocks on the market and 10% of Active Root’s profits go towards supporting noble causes such as the Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai.
Tent – I’ve been backpacking around the world for the best part of a decade now and as you know, I love camping. For me, a tent is essential for adventure travel, and is a crucial piece of adventure gear for everyone.
Sleeping bag – An absolute essential for anyone keen on the outdoors or into spontaneous road trips. A good sleeping bag will last you years, although a little pricey, they are worth it.
I barely travel anywhere without a good down, all season sleeping bag!
Super comfy, I’ve never had a bad night sleep with this bad boy. Check out my post on the best sleeping pads for more options of sleeping pads!
Compass – Astral navigation is fine and well if you know how to do it and, oh it’s actually dark! Otherwise, you may want to pick up a compass. You can read a related post about the best ones here.
Backpacking Stove – If you’re hitting the road on an extreme budget or heading out into the mountains on an adventurous trek a backpacking stove is essential.
Nothing beats warm food or a good cuppa coffee after a day outdoors. The MSR windburner is my go to for adventuring around the world.
Check out my post on the best Backpacking Stoves to help you pick the best for you!
Aer Travel Pack 2– Where are you going to put all of your adventure gear? If you don’t already have a trusty backpack, consider the Aer Travel Pack. This backpack is a great fit for adventurers that enjoy the trail as well as one bag carry-on travel.
Final Thoughts on the Best Adventure Gear
There you have it! These are my absolute top recommendation for adventure gear!
I know with the help of this epic guide, you’ll be able to easily find what adventure gear best suits your adventure-style.
Is there any awesome adventure gear I missed on this checklist? Let me know in the comments below – if I like it, I’ll add it to the list – safe travels!
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Writer and entrepreneur. Adventurer and vagabond. Master of the handstand pushup. Conqueror of mountains, survivor of deserts and crusader for cheap escapades. Will has been on the road for thirteen years, travelling to far-flung lands on a budget. Today, he runs a number of online ventures, including The Broke Backpacker – the world’s largest budget travel blog. He is passionate about solving the plastic problem and cleaning up the oceans. Currently, Will is based in Bali where he plans to open his first Tribal Hostel in 2020.