Outdoor Equipment You Can Re-Use in Daily Life
Outdoor Gear on Double Duty
Who says you can only use the expensive gear you buy for camping and backpacking a few times a year when you actually drag yourself outside? Get more use out of the outdoor gear you have by finding a purpose for it to fill in your day to day life in the front country.
Invest in Outdoor Gear
It's difficult for many of use to justify outdoor gear purchases because they are fairly limited in use and expensive. So how much we pay for each time we use them can be unreasonably high. This gear is expensive because it fills its purpose very well and is optimized for the specific challenges of outdoor activities. Take quality outdoor cookware for example: it is going to cost more than what you probably have in your kitchen cabinets because it's specifically designed to be light weight and easy to carry, things you don't really care about when you're in your kitchen. But if you only use it a few times a year it takes a while for it to be worth the investment.
Some of the best vacuum insulated technology out there is in use in containers made for outdoor enthusiasts. That's because they're the ones dealing with temperature extremes. When you're ice climbing, you want your hot tea to still be hot when you take a break 6 hours after making it. When you're hiking in the hot sun all day, you still want your water to still be cold.
Find a vacuum sealed bottle with a lid you trust so you can throw it in your laptop bag and never worry. A quality bottle will run you $25-30 and will retain the temperature of the liquid (either hot or cold) for 8-10 hours.
The best power sources in the back country community are characterized by being compact, light and they probably include a solar panel of some sort. Back packers are great at going off the grid but that doesn't mean they don't have a few electronics they rely on. For many this means carrying a small solar panel or a pre-charged external battery. But I'm willing to bet the last time your phone ran out of battery you weren't in the middle of the woods. Carry a battery designed for outdoor activities with you and you won't find yourself in that situation again.
Headlamps are great on a trail. But they're truly genius when you're looking under the hood of a car or your power goes out. You'll never regret keeping one by the back door where you can find it in the dark.
Lanterns sold for camping and backpacking are great for backyards or kids rooms. Gone (mostly) are the days of big Coleman lanterns that run off of four "D" batteries. Many quality camping lanterns can be charged from a wall or have, you guessed it, a solar panel on top.
Backpacking hammocks can compress down into a very small and light package. When it's not in use, why not put it up on your pack porch or even your living room? Then just grab it when it's time for an adventure and throw it in your bag.
You don't want to have it out in your backyard when it's not in use though because exposure to the sun and weather eventually wears it down. Keep it's life for the trail!
The key here is to choose versatile, quality gear. You have to pay a bit up front but the items you purchase for your adventures will fit their purpose so well you'll want to use them all the time.
Best Multi-Purpose Gear
What's your favorite back country gear to use daily?
Do You Use Your Gear As Often As You Would Like?
I was a bit of a gear addict when I was able to spend a lot of time adventuring. And now that I'm bogged down with work I can't get out that much anymore. Instead of letting all my fancy gear go to waste, I'm try to still get some use out of it.