This motley collection of outdoor and travel products solve problems you didn’t know you had—which is really the best definition of great gear. Whether you are on the trail, walking or riding, for a week or a day, these items will quickly become go-to items in your growing bag of adventure tools.
1. GoPro Karma Grip, $300; 2. Nite Ize Gearline Organization System, $20; 3. Petzl e+LITE Headlamp, $30; 4. REI Co-Op Adventure Projects, Free; 5. Miir 1L Pouch, $24; 6. Smartwool NTS Micro 150 Gloves, $30; 7. Roadrunner Bags Tool/Saddle Roll, $22
Nathan Borchelt is a gear-obsessed travel writer and adventurer whose collection of shoes, backpacks, jackets, bags, and other “essential” detritus has long-outgrown his one-bedroom apartment (and his wife’s patience).
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GoPro Karma Grip
Originally released as part of GoPro's first foray into drones (a move that hit some serious bumps, including a full recall), the Karma Grip is now sold as a stand-alone product, and offers a premium solution to camera shake. The stabilization device syncs with the HERO5 and 4 models and can be hand-held or worn on the body to help execute perfectly smooth video footage. The electronic device runs for 1:45 hours on a full charge, weighs about seven ounces, and lets you toggle the power and recording settings, as well as shift shooting modes.
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Nite Ize Gearline Organization System
Campers will certainly appreciate the OCD-level organization that comes with this attachable belt of hooks and carabiners by stringing it across the tent interior, but for apartment-dwellers it may transform the way you store your gear in space-choked domiciles. Hang this on a blank wall in your closet and suddenly you've got loads of vertical storage space, ideal for attaching shoes, helmets, day packs, harnesses, stuff sacks, and pretty much anything else you want to get out of the way.
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Petzl e+LITE Headlamp
Consider this emergency light you'll forget about until you need it—like when a day hike goes unexpectedly long or a hotel loses power just as you're trying to make it to an early-morning flight. The lithium batteries will for ten years until you need it, it can withstand temps that range from -22 degrees F to 140, is waterproof down to one meter for 30 minutes, and weighs only 26 grams. The 50-lumen light can glow white or red, and includes a strobe setting.
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REI Co-Op Adventure Projects
There are loads of trail-finding apps and web resources out there, but REI's new Adventure Projects might not just be one of the newer ones—they might also be some of the best. Anchored around key outdoor sports like climbing, mountain biking, hiking, trail running, and backcountry skiing and snowboarding, each stand-alone app and website offers solid beta on area trails as well as articles and advice on the activity. The crowd-sourced data might be thin in some locations, but will likely get more fleshed out as the communities—who always love to share—offer additional details. And the national parks app is equally robust, with a hike finder, maps that work offline, and other beta on more than 25 banner parks.
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Miir 1L Pouch
Simplify hunting through your bag for your laptop charger—or avoid getting your fingers tangled in cords when diving into the day pack for something else—with this simple one-liter pouch. The 630D nylon fabric has been DWR treated for water repellency, with a zipper opening and a grip loop at one end. Ideal for carrying your electronic accessories, notebooks, pens, snacks, or…ya know, whatever you want to keep organized. And five percent of the proceeds funds educational resources, part of Miir's Product to Project initiative.
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Smartwool NTS Micro 150 Gloves
These merino wool gloves won't save you from frostbite, but the thin fabric does a surprisingly good job of cutting the chill from a brisk outing, and also double as a glove liner for days with the temps dip into the arctic range. They also wick moisture, don't retain odors, and are touch-screen compatible. Great for keeping your hands out of your pockets, and wonderful for those who want to have some dexterity in colder climates.
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Roadrunner Bags Tool/Saddle Roll
This bike-ready tool bag marries the simplicity of a roll bag with the convenience of a slim-profile saddle pouch. Made from bomber 1000D Cordura it comes with slots for a multi-tool or wrench, spare tubes, two tire levers, a CO2 charger and cap—or whatever makes up your list of streamlined, essential bike tools. The webbing lets you loop the bag through your saddle rails, or you can stash in a jersey pocket or in your saddle bag, backpack, or shoulder bag.