Looking for ideas on adventure travel gear and outdoor equipment? Need a list of what to buy for your next outdoor adventure? Not sure what to purchase for your travel electronics? Search no more!
We all travel differently, and all have our preferences in what gear or device we can’t do without and why. After a year and a half traveling through Southeast Asia, and hundreds of trekking trips in the mountains and abroad, here are some of the adventure travel gear we came to appreciate and made our adventure trip better. We had a few pieces with us when we left, others we bought along the way. Note that we are backpackers at heart, so you won’t find any suitcase or travel hairdryer here. But camping gear, and functional clothes based on our own experience and travel style.
Wondering whether how these fit in our backpacks? Check our video at the end of the article!
So if you are an adventure traveler or an outdoor enthusiast, or if you know someone like that, the adventure travel gear listed below will be excellent ideas for Christmas gift or birthday present. Speaking of holiday presents, check our 2018 calendars featuring our travel photos through Asia!
You are looking for:
Electronic Travel Gear
Travel Photography Gear
Essential Adventure Travel Gear
Patricia’s Trekking Equipment & Travel Clothing
Bruno’s Backpacking Gear and Trekking Clothes
Other Outdoor Equipment
This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a percentage if you make a purchase using these links at no cost to you. Our opinions on the gear listed below are our own and are not impacted by these affiliate links.
Top Electronic Travel Gear
- Voltaic Solar panel for long remote trips
- RAVPower Battery pack with laptop charging capability
- Our iPhone 6 serves as a minicomputer!
- Great to track our expenses, notes, photos, translator, etc.
- See the list of our top recommended Travel Apps that we use constantly
- Tip: Make sure to have it unlocked to buy local SIM and data plans while traveling
- RAWPower Portable battery charger brick: A life-saver for dead iPhone battery!
- Our iPhone 6 serves as a minicomputer!
- Extension cord: Because the socket is usually at the other side of the room…
- Spare USB cables (micro, mini, lightning)
- Binoculars: If you are bird watching or planning any type of trip observing wildlife, you need a pair of Nikon binoculars
- Packsafe Luggage steel wire to protect electronic gear while staying in a hostel or away. This gives us a peace of mind while we explore cities. Amazon | REI
- eReader: The backlit screen of my Kindle Paperwhite can be adjusted to the light level and is a great for the bright outdoors or night tent reading. I was even able to read on the bright deck of a sailboat!
- GPS System: We use this Delorme InReach Satellite Communicator to keep track of our tracks and inform friends and family when we are on the road. We used it a bit in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California but used it especially to give an update on our location and status from the remote mountains of Mongolia when visiting the Tsaatan reindeer herders, or trekking in the jungle of Papua.
Top Travel Photography Gear
- Long-Lens Camera
- Sony camera: the best all-in one compromise available for picture and video quality and zoom range.
- Memory cards: 2 of everything (one to store, one as backup):
- Sony Batteries: 3 sets of batteries per camera, or enough to hold on a full day of continuous shooting for any major event.
- Newmowa Battery chargers
- Movo Camera Holster: Helps fitting the camera on the backpack, so it’s always ready for us
- LowePro Camera Bag
- Filters: Especially great when trying to take photos under the strong tropical sun
- Audio recording: From capturing the birds’ singing, the impromptu chorus of kids, or the traditional dance
- Sport Camera
- MeFOTO Tripod: Quite light and packable, easy to transport and fit in the backpack. Serves as the occasional coat hanger.
- Attachment plates
- JOBY GorillaPod Original (Black/Charcoal) which comes handy to tie up the GoPro to our hiking poles, or stabilize during the camera for more extended exposure and night shots
Top Essential Adventure Travel Gear
The list below is the must-have when traveling, but because we also are backpackers and trekkers, we have a full list of items – see next section for clothes and gear. hen you travel to explore different destinations, you need to add a few more essential travel items.
- Pack Converter and Cover: This Sea to Summit Pack Converter is terrific! From converting into a duffle that protects your back when traveling by airline or bus, it also acts as a rain cover when trekking. A must-have while traveling with a backpack.
- Sleeping accessories: Eagle Creek Earplugs & Sea to Summit eye-shade are a must-have! From allowing you to get some sleep in noisy buses or when sharing a dorm with snoring roommates, earplugs are a must, either foam or TYR silicon plugs. And if you are light-sleeper like me, an eye-shade will let you get some rest blocking out any light. Amazon | REI
- Small day backpack: Because we also carry lots of electronic gear, our Osprey Small day backpacks are about 30L to 40L. By no mean the smallest size, they allow us to have even a jacket, water bottle, in addition to that gear. Plus they make good overnight bags when we just go for a few days on road-tripping on a motorbike Amazon | REI
- Foldable backpack: These Sea to Summit foldable backpacks are handy for extra shopping capacity, stocking some food, or stashing dirty clothes. And weights nothing. Amazon | REI
- Packing Cubes: A discovery, well for us anyway. These Eagle Creek Packing Cubes have been great to help organize our clothes, easy to use and pack Amazon | REI
- Money belt: I prefer non-silk Eagle Creek money belt with an adjustable strap instead of an elastic band, so you adjust when it’s too hot and don’t want the belt too close to your body Amazon | REI
- Neck pouch: By no mean a replacement of the money belt, neck pouch comes very handy to just store your passport and a little money
- Dry Bags: Essential for adventure travelers, Sea to Summit Dry bags are great to keep your important documents and electronic gear dry. We recommend 30L to allow enough space for laptops and camera equipment.
- Luggage locks: Besides locking the bag for airlines and bus transportation, these TSA-approved luggage locks come handy to lock backpacks together with a cable on a train rail, hotel, etc., to avoid being stolen Amazon | REI
- Luggage tags: Useful as not all airlines provide with temporary cards
- Headlamps: More practical than flashlights, Petzl headlamps to keep our hands free while cooking at night or hiking to catch the sunrise. Amazon | REI
Top Camping Gear
- Tent: Our REI tent is a 3-season 2-person tent of about 4 lbs (2 kilos) which has kept us dry and warm, even under the stormy October weather in Yosemite. Roomy enough for two people, we can store a few clothes inside when it’s too cold outside. The side flies allow us to keep the backpacks and shoes dry as well.
- Stove: Since our friends introduced us to Jetboil, there was no turning back. We still have our MSR regular backpacking stove, but this all-gas-stove is better used for winter camping when the Jetboil freezes, or for international travel where you might not find Jetboil-compatible gas canisters. Jetboil on Amazon | REI / Stove on Amazon | REI
- Cooking camp:
- GSI Spoons which are long enough to stir in the freeze-dried dinner pouches
- A light single blade Gerber folding pocket knife similar
- A Flexible Chopping Mat to cut food and avoid putting it on the ground
- Fozzils Fold-Flat Bowls that weight nothing, and great for breakfast granola or oatmeal
- Insulated cups to keep the coffee and soups hot
- GSI Metal mug: Because sometimes, you need to boil water over a hot stove as your only source of heat. : Amazon | REI
- Small kitchen towel to wipe clean and dry
- Water Filtration:
- Water Filter: We used to carry MSR Hyperflow Water Filter in our backpack, which is great for outdoor trips. But we are now using a smaller Sawyer water filter for daily use during our world trip. Amazon | REI
- Katadyn Water purification tablets. Water filters are great for bacteria and protozoa but most of the time not against viruses. That is where pills are needed, so if you are not sure about the water source, get tablets as well. Amazon | REI
- Mattress: We both use Therm-a-Rest Self-inflating Pads, that packed quite well for the given thickness and comfort. Amazon | REI
- Seat mats: We recycled our first sleeping pad, a very thin Foam Pad, by cutting it into two pieces. We use them as our insulated seats when we eat and as our side floor liners for our backpack and shoes by the tent entrances. That gives us a clean pad to stand over while entering and exiting the tent.
- Water Hydration Reservoir: I use a larger one as I drink a lot and like a 70L. Oz CamelBack reservoir. I could use the bigger size, but I prefer side pockets bottles with a wide mouth Nalgene which use while traveling by plane or bus. Bruno uses a 2L-Platypus reservoir, which has an opened bottom that keeps the bottle standing.
Patricia’s Trekking Equipment & Travel Clothing
- Backpack: I love my Gregory 60L Backpack! I used to have a smaller size bag but with more external pockets, which was great for stuffing but not streamlined for trekking. Amazon | REI
- Sleeping bag: I am happy with my REI Kilo Plus -5 F which is no longer sold by REI but similar to this Marmot sleeping bag. Light, warm and compact, it’s a great backpack bag. I do wish it was wider as I like to sleep in fetal position or leg on the side and I can’t do that in the sleeping bag. But that’s a trade-off for a warm and light backpack. Amazon | REI
- Sleeping bag liner: I am a fan of my Cocoon mummy Liner. It’s soft and easy to wash. It adds more warmth during fall or winter nights. It is also a great middle layer for spring and summer nights when I don’t zip the sleeping bag because it’s too warm. Plus, it’s a nice pocket liner to have for staying in hostels. Amazon | REI
- For the trail, I wear these Oboz trekking boots that I use extensively. It fits well my slightly larger than regular feet width without crushing my toes together. They were comfortable right from the start and did not require any break-in. I wear custom-made insole as my arches tend to give in after a long day hauling the backpack, but I like the high volume Superfeet insoles too. Amazon | REI
- On short day hikes, I like my lighter La Sportiva mountain shoes which also double as running shoes. Amazon | REI
- At camp, I love these lightweight Teva sandals. I wear them with socks when the evenings are cold. And these are pretty versatile for water activities. Amazon | REI
- Clothes: All are easy to watch and dry quickly, a must when backpacking to avoid staying wet after the long day or after a rain downpour.
- For socks, I only swear by SmartWool and wear a combination of liners first to prevent blisters, and thicker hiking socks over them. Coolmax is another type I like a lot, especially for summer socks
- ExOfficio Briefs
- Sports bra
- REI Short-sleeves T-Shirts – with spandex for a bit of a stretching material
- Royal Robbins Long-sleeves T-Shirts, one with neck zipper for the day, and one without for the night (and potential next day backup)
- ExOfficio Long-sleeves Shirt – I wear this shirt when it’s hot and sunny. The long sleeves prevent sunburn, and I keep it unbuttoned to let the breeze keep me cool. I tend to prefer Polyester over nylon for outdoor activities, but it’s more a personal taste of the texture rather than a technical choice. Amazon | REI
- PrAna convertible hiking pants. The zipper lays under the knees, transforming this pants in Capri length for hotter days and is an acceptable option in some conservative countries
- Marmot Zip Fleece Pullover with neck zipper. Amazon | REI
- Soft Shell Jacket: good for slightly cold days, and a functional layer for colder days under a waterproof jacket. Amazon | REI
- Arc’Teryx North Face Down Jacket, packable and light. I used it in addition to the soft-shell when it’s freezing Amazon | REI
- Arc’Teryx Waterproof Jacket – This jacket might be a bit of an overkill but I also use it for snowboarding and winter backcountry activities, so it needed to be sturdy and reliable. So far so good
- For the night, which can be worn during the day if extra warm layers are required
- T-Shirt for the night, like the day T-Shirt. It allows me to have a clean T-Shirt for the evening, and I can rotate if going on a multi-day trek
- Thin Balaclava to wear during the night, to prevent losing heat
- Ankle-length Capri Pants – works great as an under layer on cold days
- Patagonia Fleece Pant
- Bandana / Handkerchief to avoid using Kleenex
- Hiking Poles: I recently switched my regular poles to the Carbon Composite Trekking Poles, super light and quite small, which makes them perfect for transportation. Amazon | REI
Bruno’s Backpacking Gear and Trekking Clothes
- Backpack Bruno uses a bigger Gregory 95L Backpack, though he many times feels it’s too big. Amazon | REI
- Sleeping Bag: He liked his REI Kilo Plus, a 0 F-degree 750-fill power goose down that barely weighs 2 lbs. No longer available on REI but very similar to this 3-season Marmot sleeping bag. Amazon | REI. For our recent world trip, he decided to go for a lighter type of sleeping bag from Feathered Friends, which opens and can be used as a blanket.
- On the trail, Bruno wears these KEEN Trekking Boots for longer treks and overnights when we have to carry heavy bags. Amazon | REI. On short hiking trips or when there is less bouldering expected, he prefers lighter Merrell Hiking Boots. Amazon | REI
- Off trail, he has a pair of Teva light sandals though he seems to prefer simple Chaco Flip-Flops. Amazon | REI
- PrAna Convertible hiking pants, one convertible, one regular. Amazon | REI
- Pairs of socks, also SmartWool for warmth and comfort
- ExOfficio Boxers
- Short Sleeves T-Shirts Amazon | REI
- Outdoor Research Long Sleeves T-Shirts. Amazon | REI
- Columbia Zip Fleece Pullover – Men’s. Amazon | REI
- Mountain Hardware Hooded Fleece Jacket Amazon | REI
- Arc’Teryx Down Hoody Jacket, warm, packable and light. Amazon | REI
- Arc’Teryx Waterproof jacket. Amazon | REI
- Water boardshorts
- Bandana / Handkerchief to prevent using Kleenex
- For the night:
- Long Sleeve T-Shirt, like the day T-Shirt.
- Fleece pant like the Fleece Pant.
We both use these as well:
- Towels: REI Multitowel Lite Large Towels & wash gloves
- Neck warmers: SmartWool Neck Warmers
- Gloves: Pairs of thin light gloves
- Beanies or Warm Hats: Columbia Fleece Hats
- Sun Caps: After several trials, I am happy to have found this Outdoor Research cap as this is the only one that fits my small (but good looking and smart) head.
- Scarfs: I use this PrAna scarf as a light neck protection when it is too warm for the fleece neck warmer, and over my head when it is scorching for additional sun protection. I even wet it with water for extra dampness when it’s scorching hot. This is one of the rare cotton items I take during backpacking, but it serves the purpose of keeping cool, so its property of staying wet is precisely what I am looking for.
- Gaiters: Not just for a rainy day or snowshoeing, Outdoor Research gaiters are also good protection when hiking through a muddy rainforest and as a leg cover when horseback riding. Amazon | REI
How did we pack our backpacks? Check our time-lapse video!
Other Outdoor Equipment
- Emergency kit: something similar to this package. Make sure you have whistle, emergency blanket x 2, candle, waterproof matches, rope, lighter, compass, safety pins, Sharpy pen, pocket mirror, toe and hand warmers
- Camp bathroom: deodorant, toothpaste, and toothbrush, eye drops to remove dust or help dry eyes from the sun, lip balm, hand cream, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, TP and GSI Sanitation Trowel.
- First aid kit. Amazon | REI Make sure to include sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
- Mosquito Net: Maybe not the first thing you think of when you back, but in case you don’t bring your tent in summer, a mosquito net can make or break your night. Also very handy when traveling in tropical countries! Amazon | REI
- Documents: IDs, $20 cash, Insurance card, US National Park card if relevant, topo map, trail description (also on iPhone)
- Bear country: Long rope and waterproof light dry bag to hang food, or a bear canister BearVault BV500 if required. Bear canisters can be rented in some National Parks and National Forests. However, the pickup time was not always convenient, so we found it was easier to own ours as it allows for a more flexible itinerary. We bought this bear canister as its transparent material makes it easier to find things. We do rent the second one when we go for a more extended trip and need a 2nd canister. Usually, we need to pick up fire permit, so we arrange for the canister at the same time. Amazon | REI
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