8 Essential Items for Every Adventure Traveler

Just about every adventure traveler will tell you that bringing the right gear can make all the difference for having a successful trip. The key is packing the proper balance of all the essential equipment you will need without having it weigh or slow you down. I’ve put together a list focusing on the most useful and lightweight essential items any adventurer could use on an outdoor trip, whether it be an intense mountain hike or just a relaxing night camping in a national park.  

Multifunctional Gear for Any Adventure Trip 

Every traveler has their own style, some opt for the newest equipment with all the bells and whistles while others prefer budget items that are less flashy but get the job done.  Below you will find a couple options for each item, all of which are highly rated on Amazon.  All eight items combined will weigh only a couple pounds, so no need to worry about them bogging you down. Save or splurge on these must-have items to make your next adventure trip worry-free equipment wise.

Head Flashlight/Headlamp

Whether you are on a poorly lit hiking trail or if it’s nighttime around the campsite, a headlamp is one of the most useful pieces of gear for the adventure traveler. Freeing up your hands and allowing you to see clearly when darkness rolls in - a quality headlamp is an essential item you should never forget to pack.

Save: Lighting EVER - LED Headlamp

Features 4 lighting modes, lightweight at 2.85 ounces, IP 44 waterproof rating. Includes 3 AAA batteries, great basic headlamp choice.

Price: $7.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.1 

Splurge: MsForce - LED Headlight

Features 3 high powered LED bulbs giving 6000 lumens of light, pivot mount allowing 90 degrees light rotation, weighs only 2.08 ounces, rechargeable battery pack, water resistant, and a 7 –year warranty.

Price: Starting at $29.97 on Amazon 

Average Star Rating: 4.4

Multi Utensil

Reduce waste and unnecessary extra gear with an all in one eco-friendly multi utensil. A lightweight multi-tool has the full functionality you’ll need without taking up valuable backpack space or weighing you down.  

Save: Columbia River Knife & Tool – Eat’N Tool 

Multi-tool has a spoon, fork, bottle opener, screwdriver and 3 hex wrench holes. Made of sturdy 3CR13 steel, ultra-light at 1.5 ounces, includes carabiner and lifetime guarantee.

Price: Starting at $4.87 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.4 

Splurge: Full Windsor – The Muncher

Made of 100% titanium. Has 10 functions, including can/bottle opener, flathead screwdriver, spork, and fire starter. Weighs only 0.8 ounces. Comes with a Hypalon travel pouch with attached carabiner and a two-year warranty. 

Price: $49.99 on Amazon 

Average Star Rating: 4.6

Water Purifier

Getting sick on vacation is the worst and getting sick while out in the middle of nowhere is even worse.  A travel sized water purifier will help avoid those situations by killing off nasty contaminants or viruses found in questionable water sources. With a reputable water filter like the ones mentioned below, you will have access to clean water wherever your travels take you.

Save: LifeStraw – Personal Water Filter

Weighing only 2 ounces, LifeStraw provides a compact, ultralight solution for drinking clean drinking water during travel. Removes 99.9% of bacteria and protozoa.  Filters 1,000 liters (264 gallons) without chemicals or batteries.

Price: $17.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.6

Splurge: Survivor Filter – Portable Water Filter

Long lasting with 3 removable and replaceable filter stages. Filters 1,000 liters (264 gallons) and is attachable to most standard water bottles. Removes 99.9% of tested bacteria, staph, and viruses. Meets EPA drinking standards and weighs 3.5 ounces. 

Price: $29.99 - $39.95 on Amazon 

Average Star Rating: 4.6

Multifunctional Headwear

Keep your head and face protected from the elements with a multifunctional piece of headwear. From dusty desert trekking to snow flurries on the slopes this versatile piece of gear can keep your mug protected.  Suitable for almost any adventure trip a multifunctional headpiece is a must-have and you can get as creative with it as you’d like.

Save: Tough Headband - 12-in-1 Outdoor & Daily Headwear

Made of 100% microfiber, a highly breathable and moisture wicking material. Available in 18 color combinations options and can be worn in 12 different styles. Comes with a Lifetime warranty and top choice on Amazon.

Price: Starting at $7.95 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.3

Splurge: Buff - Lightweight Merino Wool Headwear

Made of non-scratchy eco-friendly Merino wool and available in 11 color combinations. Weighs 1.7 ounces and is soft, breathable, warm, and naturally odor resistant. Trusted brand and winner of Backpacker Magazine’s Gold choice award.

Price: Starting at $19.62 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Polarized Sunglasses

Eye health is important and the $5 dollar cheap sunglasses you got at the drugstore probably don’t block out all the Sun’s harmful UV rays. Adventure travelers who spend time on the water, at the beach or trekking in the snow know how intense sun glare can get. Polarized sunglasses not only reduce glare they allow you to see more sharply to take in all those beautiful vistas on your hike without worrying about eyestrain or damage.

Save: Woodies – Walnut Wood Wayfarer Sunglasses

Handmade from real walnut wood, features anti-reflective polarized lenses and 100% UV protection. Includes carrying case, lens cloth, and matching wood guitar pick. Comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Price: $25.00 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.7

Splurge: Ray-Ban - Folding Wayfarer Sunglasses

Iconic eyewear brand, sunglasses come with 100% UV protective polarized lenses. Constructed of sturdy resin frame with hinges to allow for folding into smaller travel size. Includes a protective case and lens cloth.

Price: Starting at $203.00 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Solar Powered Charger

Even out in the wilderness, it is tough to ignore your modern devices completely. From using your phone for its map features or taking photos you’ll want to keep that battery full.  Unfortunately, that oak tree you’re camping next to doesn’t have a power outlet. Time to find another way to get that charge, sun, sun, sun, here it comes. 

Save: Ayyie – 10000 mAh Solar Charger

Dual USB ports to charge two devices simultaneously. The charger is water-resistant, dust-resistant, and shockproof. Includes built-in compass and a 2LED flashlight. Weighs 9.2 ounces and is available in 4 color choices.

Price: Starting at $21.88 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.4

Splurge: SUAOKI – 40W Portable Sun Power Solar Panel

The dual-port output provides enough power to charge two devices. Comes with 10-in-1 connectors to charge computers and SAE clamp to charge car batteries. Ultra-portable weighing only 2.07 pounds and it folds up for easy carrying.

Price: $119.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.1

Microfiber Travel Towels

During an adventure or outdoor trip at some point, things will get wet and soggy. Whether it’s swimming in a cenote or getting caught in a downpour, there will be a time where you could use a towel. A microfiber travel towel is a must for the adventure traveler they are four times more absorbent than a normal towel and dry 10 times faster. Not to mention they are a fraction of the weight. Most brands are priced the same so there is no real splurge option on this handy item.

Save: Youphoria Outdoors - Quick-Dry Travel Towel

Constructed from the finest blend of microfiber with no abrasive feel. Comes in 3 convenient sizes with a mesh carrying case. Towels are available in 10 different color combinations.

Price: Starting at $9.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Save Again: TravelSnugs – DrySnugs Microfiber Travel Towels

Made from the highest quality microfiber that is feather soft.  Come in a pack of 2 (one large towel & one medium) inside breathable carry pouches. Include hanging loop for quick drying and 100% money back guarantee. 

Price: Starting at $19.95 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.4

Sport & Action Video Camera

Document your adventures with an action and sport video camera.  Capture all those epic moments while on the road with one of these compact HD video cameras. Mount them to a helmet, dashboard, handlebars, or even a drone to take snapshots and footage of all your travels.  Because if you don’t have pictures to prove it… did it even happen?

Save: FITFORT – Action Camera 4K

Available in silver and black the Fitfort records in 4K HD videos and shoots 12MP images. Comes with two rechargeable external batteries.  Certified waterproof up to 100 feet (in provided case).  Wi-Fi capable and includes a wireless remote.

Price: $60.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Splurge: GoPro HERO (2018)

Hero 2018 comes with countless features from this top brand in action cameras. Includes two-inch touch screen and durable waterproof design (down to 33 ft). Voice control option, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth compatible and captures up to 1440p video. Includes 3 mounts, battery charger, and USB cable.

Price: $199.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.4

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