What outdoor gear would you buy tomorrow if you had all the money in the world (and the time to use the stuff)? I’ve done one of these before, combination of some very spendy things I could only buy if I happened across a stash of cash on one of my daily walks, and some more reasonable priced things I am genuinely considering intentionally waving my credit card at.
Last time (which you can read here) I included a campervan as the big ticket item, and after writing ended up buying a good sleeping bag and the Pacmat picnic blanket. The rest, including the campervan, kayak, Kathmandu pack and mountain bike, well they’re still on my list. Let’s see what happens with these additions…
Patagonia Island Hemp Beach Pants
I often find myself looking longingly at Patagonia gear, I see it as being very good quality outdoor clothing with good values, but it’s super expensive and I don’t own anything from them (yet). There is just something so iconic about their key pieces, they have been an outdoorsperson’s stable for all the years. I mean, I would definitely buy the Micro Puff Jacket if I could, it’s the most iconic of all the puffy coats and they do it in a fabulous orange colour, but actually for this post I’ve got my eyes on the Island Hemp Beach Pants. These trousers just look right up my street, don’t you think? Cool, comfortable, loose fitting, natural material, easy to wear. They seem like they’d be perfect for working at home, for camping, for packing light, and for travel days. I’ve never spent £80 on a pair of trousers and I’m probably not going to start this month, but still, I can want.
Fjallraven Nuuk Parka
While I’m talking premium outdoor clothing, let’s talk about the winter coat I’ve been lusting after for the longest time. The Fjallraven Nuuk Parka is just so, well, perfect. It’s never going to happen, I just don’t have the need for such an expensive coat, or one as heavy as this, not unless I actually get my dream trip to the Arctic, that is. I mean, it’s a whopping £430, which is completely ridiculous in more ways than one, but it’s just so nice looking and I just know that it be so nice to wear. I clearly need the Laurel Green, I don’t know why they bother make other colours. It’s one of those things I must never try on in a shop, because it would be too hard to take off again.
Teva Ember Camp Shoes
I’ve had my eyes on the Teva Ember ever since they came out, probably 18 months ago now, and even more so since I chatted to Shell over at Camping with Style about hers (she now has two pairs, and if that’s not a good advert I don’t know what is!). I already own a pair of The North Face Traction Mules, which I honestly love, but they’re my slippers, for at home, and they don’t have soles that I’d trust on dusty or damp ground and so wouldn’t want to risk them on a camping trip. Described as “part sneaker, part sleeping bag”, they look and sound like the most comfortable pair of shoes to put on after long a day of hiking or motorcycling, when you’re relaxing at camp. The Teva Ember come in two styles; booties (called “mids”) and mules (called “mocs”), I think I might need to follow Shell’s lead and get a pair of each… Actually, when grabbing the links to include in this post, I found the mules are on sale at £29.99 which does seem like a bit of a bargain… I wonder how long I can resist temptation?! Maybe not even until this blog goes live, I’ll let you know.
While we’re on shoes, and I do really love my outdoorsy shoes, I’d also love a pair of Birkenstock Arizona sandals, just because they’re a classic sandal every vanlifer and backpacker in the world seems to own, and so they must be comfortable, as well as a pair of Skinners Tough Socks, because they look like they’d be handy, you know, just so I’ve touched all the bases when it comes to camp shoes depending on where I’m going, what I’m carrying, and how long I’m away for. Look, I know, I should just make do with my Adidas Slides or my squishy trainers, but I just can’t resist having a nice selection of good outdoor footwear!
Petzl Head Torch
Here’s something I actually need after my Alpkit Gamma headtorch broke. I think there must be a bit of a weak spot around the battery compartment, as it just crumbles away after a while using it regularly, this is the second one that has gone in the same place for me. The Gamma is a great value head torch, and I’ve recommended it a number of times here on my blog and in person, and I’m actually not withdrawing those recommendations here – I would still say it’s still a great head torch for those wanting a good value basic head torch that runs on normal batteries for camping or road tripping. I just think that now mine is no more, I’m ready to spend a little bit more and have something that will be a bit tougher. The best head torch for walking is supposed to be the Petzl Bindi, which seems neat, small, lightweight, and not terrible on the wallet. But I think I still want something that runs on normal batteries, because a rechargeable one just isn’t great for multi day hikes or motorcycle road trips where you can’t reliably charge it in the daytime. Instead I think I’d buy the Petzl Tactikka instead, which you can either use with AAA batteries when you need that peace of mind, or a rechargeable battery if you are car camping and have the means to charge in the day. At about £50 these are double the cost of the Alpkit Gamma, but I think it’s time.
Beautiful Fire Pit
I’ve been very jealous of all my friends and neighbours who’ve had lovely fire pits in their garden during lock down. Campfires are a thing of beauty, warming and mesmerising and useful, and without being able to go camping having a fire pit in the garden has to be the next best thing. Just a wonderful way to spend an evening. I did find, thanks to Sarah at The Urban Wanderer, a super good value one that I very nearly bought, but by the time I was ready to purchase it was out of stock and has been ever since. And all the others seemed too expensive. If I had all the money, and remember that is kind of where I’m going with this post, spendy spendy spendy, I would go for a statement globe fire pit. I really like the Abstract Nature designs from The FirePit Company, which is not only a fire pit for making fire in your garden, but is also a beautiful work of art worthy of any garden there ever was, an art piece whether lit or not. I think the Twisted Tree design is my favourite, and they also do that as a Fire Bowl, which is almost as beautiful and would certainly be more convenient for cooking over.
And to go with my fire pit? I’d also treat myself to a gazebo, to shade me from the sun and shelter me from the rain – an opportunity for more outdoors time. While I love to sit outside, my paler than pale skin is not a fan of the sunshine and I do tend to shrivel up when it’s wet. I would probably go for something like the Coleman Event Shelter. I’ve sat under them and they are easy to put up but also sturdy, and something like this could easily be transported around if we wanted to take it with us on a particularly luxurious camping trip or even someone else’s garden. If I had a bigger garden with space for a more permanent structure, at least permanent over the summer months, I’d go for something like this Sail Awning I found on the John Lewis website.
Oh and obviously I’d also need some cool outdoor lighting to make it even more lovely out there. The flicker of the fire in the bowl would be something, but some light above to help me find my cup of tea would be the icing on the cake. Something like these string lights.
Apple Watch (or Fitbit Charge…)
I’m not sure if a smart watch counts as outdoor gear, but my theory here is that it would be not only useful for motivation on days when I can’t get out and about, but would mean my phone could stay safely in my pack rather than in my hand or pocket when hiking. And I reckon that’s a good enough reason to include it in a list of outdoor gear I’d buy tomorrow if I could. I guess an Apple Watch is the default choice, it’s the one everyone thinks of, and I do like the look and sound of them, but they are too expensive. Like their phones, Apple ask a premium price for their technology – and with a watch being a nice-to-have (especially as I already have a beautiful “normal” Mondaine watch that I love to wear), rather than essential, I just can’t warrant the cost. If I did buy one tomorrow, I’d probably choose the bog-standard space grey aluminium case, the smaller of the two sizes, with one of the sport loop straps; nice and simple and easy. I do like the look of the Fitbit Charge 4 as an alternative. It’s much better value, still does all the tracking and syncs with your phone to read messages when out and about (although you can’t use it for calls or messages with an iPhone), but it’s still around £150. What do you think – are smart watches good for motivation and to avoid having your phone in your hand all the time? Do they live up to the slightly clumsy nature of an outdoors life? Do you have one? Would you recommend it?
A Gravelly Bike
Yes I know I included a mountain bike in my last Outdoor Gear I’d Buy Tomorrow post, but here we are, talking bikes again. Other than a quick ride around the village for my GetOutside Challenge 2019, I haven’t ridden my mountain bike for 18 months. Actually that’s not quite true, I have given it a clean and mini at-home service during this period of lock down, with the intention of getting out and about on it to explore my local area, but I’m slightly ashamed to say I haven’t ridden it since then. But that doesn’t stop me wanting something a bit more, well, fancy. I’m a mountain bike girl at heart but I just don’t get to the trails enough to warrant it – and so at the moment I’m coveting a faster but still gnarly setup for country lanes, tracks and the occasional trail. There are lots to choose from; the Ribble CGR AL, Liv Invite, or Kona Rove might work, that sort of thing, anyway. Maybe such a bike could lead to bike packing adventures, which is (yet) another thing I’d love to try.
I don’t want you to think I’m ungrateful for the outdoor gear I do have, I know I am very fortunate, especially as quite a bit of my gear was given to me by lovely outdoor brands. But you know, everyone has a wish list and this is what’s on mine at the moment. I’d love to know what’s on your list… Maybe you have one of these items and you can offer me some advice? Or you have some sensible alternatives that might not be so hard on my wallet? As always, feel free to comment below.
This post is not sponsored and I do not necessarily recommend any of these products as I do not (yet…) own them and haven’t put them to the test. Please note that some links, including all Amazon links, are affiliate links.