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
From belts to bags, to tents, sleeping bags and erm buffs, we really have mastered the art of preparing for adventure and camping trips. Here we’re going to give you a run through all the essentials you’re really going to want to throw in your pack. We’ve got those adventure trips, epic hiking explorations and camping gear essentials covered so you only set off with what you really need!
So let’s get stuck in and meet the outdoor gear that you need for your next camping trip!
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The Essential Adventure Gear
A Belt with a 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.
It’s one of the best folding tools on the market and it’s got great easy storage, so for me, it’s a must-pack on any adventure or camping trip.
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 for your time outdoors.
Bulletproof Sunglasses – I am the master of breaking sunglasses…
Or, at least, I was until I started wearing Polarized 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 cameras… 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 and camping accessories.
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.
Now, you could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.
So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card! REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉Buy on REI!
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 journaling – this 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 journaling pages.
Having something like this is underrated for sure but for me it’s up there with the best camping gear.
Adventure Buff – I always have a buff on my wrist and usually have a spare in my pack, it’s a great piece of outdoor gear.
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. I’d probably throw in a dry bag though too too keep your expensive camera safe in a downpour.
Check out this incredibly detailed post for a breakdown on the best travel cameras for digital nomads and backpackers as well as this post on best camera bags for hiking so you can keep your gear safe.
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 and think it’s some of the best camping gear for keeping you safe and also for those photographers out there!
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. Plus, you can scrunch them up and use it as an extra pillow, so just for that, it’s on my best camping gear list!
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, it’s some of the best camping gear to pack.
Osprey Aether – I’m kind of assuming you already own a backpack but if you don’t I strongly recommend the Osprey Aether 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, water-resistant 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 and you can still fit your sleeping bag in there too!
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.
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.
The best budget tent by far is the Vango Banshee. Not for you? Check out my post on the best backpacking tents on the market this year and also give my choosing a tent guide a read too so you know what to look out for!
Sleeping bag – A decent sleeping bag is 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. Check out my guide to the best backpacking sleeping bags to see which one suits you.
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!
First Aid Kit – Who knows what’s going to happen out there in the great outdoors, it’s alright having all the best camping gear, but what if something goes wrong!? A small first aid kit is one of the essential tools for keeping you going on your hiking, adventure or camping trip! Check out this post to see which first aid kit is right for your camping trips.
Filtered Water Bottle – Staying hydrated is super important when you’re out adventuring in the wild and an eco-friendly refillable bottle is on our camping gear essentials list for sure as you can use it to make water safe to drink wherever you are. If you’re looking for a beast that can filter even the grimiest water, check out the Grayl Geopress.
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. Check out my post on best camping backpacks if this one doesn’t suit you.
FAQ about the Best Adventure Gear
Still have some questions? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:
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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!
Bye for now, but not forever!
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And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!