Top 10 Favourite Outdoor Gear Up Until 2020

Like many outdoor professionals and enthusiasts I am a bit of a gear freak. Walking through the outdoor store or scrolling endlessly online looking for a good deal is as much of a necessary ritual as it is shopping therapy, as the gear we buy is usually gear we rely on. When I find the best deal possible I jump on it, but I try to make sure I am buying gear that I will actually use, preferably for years. Most of my favourite outdoor gear has been with me for several years if not decades and some has travelled the world over several times.  

I have numbered and listed, in no particular order, what I* consider to be my current top 10 outdoor gear items that I love and frequently use.

#1 – Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack

Owned since: 2014

Likes: Super lightweight, compact, durable, somewhat water resistant, decent volume for a daypack.

Comment: This pack goes with me almost anywhere. Perfect as a daypack on a long hike or adventure where you can leave your main pack in camp, or for hauling groceries from the shop. A frequent use for me is as a secondary or impromptu hand-luggage backpack when flying. 


#2 – Arc’teryx Alpha SL Hybrid Jacket

Owned since: 2014

Likes: Waterproof, relatively lightweight, good fit, big pockets, ventilation zips, hood that fits over a helmet. 

Comment: A jacket for hiking, skiing, or going downtown for a drink with the boys. This one has seen it all and always kept me protected from the elements. I’ve had to impregnate it a couple times to keep the waterproofing, but besides that it has kept up with all the abuse that I’ve thrown at it! 

Link: Discontinued

#3 – Vargo Titanium Spork

Owned since: 2008

Likes: Right length of fork, right volume of spoon, length of stem, lightweight titanium. 

Comment: When you want to eat steak and porridge, at the same time! 


Deadly, to all food brought on the trail

#4 – Primus LiTech Kettle 0,9L

Owned since: 2012

Likes: Boils water quicker than a pot, easy to pour, easy to make a kettle of tea or coffee, lightweight, compact, just the right volume. 

Comment: This one is pretty much always with on a night out and has travelled with me from the high Arctic to Australia and New Zealand. I even own a larger one for winter use or when there are more than just a couple people. It can do the work of a pot as well, but I’ve used it mainly for simple items like cooking noodles/pasta.


It just looks so cool, very #Instagramable

#5 – Thermarest Z-Lite Sol Sleeping Pad

Owned since: 2012

Likes: Durability, padding, puncture proof, versatility. 

Comment: I’ve slept on this one in winter at minus -30°C (layered with a couple other foam mattresses) and taken it hiking and skiing to keep the behind dry and comfortable. The way it folds also adds to its versatility.


The pad straps easily to the packpack

#6 – MSR Elixir 2

Owned since: 2014

Likes: Freestanding, two vestibules, spacious, ease of pitching, can pitch it without the inner tent. 

Comment: Without a doubt one of my best outdoors gear purchases to date. This tent has travelled the world and kept me protected from all kinds of weather during all four seasons. I have even made winter stakes for it from plastic piping, even though it is just rated as a 3-season tent. It isn’t the most lightweight tent out there, but it sure makes up for it in comfort and versatility of use. I like it so much I think I might do a separate review of it sometime as MSR still sells it, though in an updated version. 


Pitching it whenever wherever

#7 – Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel

Owned since: 2008

Likes: A spark anywhere anytime, waterproof, lifespan. 

Comment: This one unfortunately broke this spring after having served me well for almost 12 years! I’ve used the fire steel almost exclusively to light my gas stoves, why waste a match or lighter fluid when a spark will do the trick? The photo is of my current replacement fire steel and it lives in my stove’s pouch. 


My replacement fire steel / fire starter

#8 – Nalgene Water Bottle

Owned since: 2008

Likes: Durable, good volume, keeps cold and hot liquid. 

Comment: I’ve owned a narrow and wide mouth version of the classic Nalgene bottle. It has been with me on almost every trip that I have ever taken since 2008 and when not in the outdoors I’ve still taken it with me too work or use it at home to keep hydrated during the day. The wide mouth version is perfect for grabbing water from a creek (where water doesn’t need filtering or boiling) or keeping toes warm for the night. I’ve usually put boiling water in the bottle, wrapped it in a woollen sock, and thrown it in the bottom of my sleeping bag to keep my toes nice and toasty. 


Perfect place for stickers

#9 – Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

Owned since: 2010

Likes: Warm, comfortable fit, packable. 

Comment: I currently own two; one pull over and one jacket, both have their uses. The Nano Puff has been invaluable when out hiking or skiing and about and it gets a bit chilly. The fit is also great so that I have used it is a middle and outer layer, and as it has synthetic filling it has kept the warmth even when wet. I’ve taken it backpacking and because of how well it compresses it doesn’t take too much space in the pack. Lastly even though it isn’t the most lightweight of offerings, when you put it on in camp during a cooler evening you’ll feel it was totally worth it! 


Keeping me warm on a cool Austrian morning

#10 – Hestra Fält Guide Glove

Owned since: 2016

Likes: Warm, dexterity, durability, versatility, and fit. 

Comment: These guide gloves really live up to their name as many of my guide colleagues have also chosen them as their main glove. I started using them for snowmobile guiding and skiing during the Arctic winter and then I figured they would also be handy for summer boat driving when it’s cold and wind-chill is a factor, which it often is on open boats. The gloves have taken so much abuse, but are still going strong, however with each year of heavy use the wear and tear increases, so I’ve bought two pairs and also replaced the inner liner with an off brand one. 


The gloves even hold up icebergs

*This is by no means sponsored content, just my personal opinions and they do/may not refelect the brands opinions.