Sometimes the best trips happen on a whim. Get home from work Friday afternoon. Pack your car and head out on the open road. Long days on the water do not always require an isolated overnight campsite. Park, open the car doors and unpack these seven items for a weekend to remember.
1. SEA TO SUMMIT 90L DUFFLE BAG
$159.95 | www.seatosummitusa.com
I am a duffle bag groupie. This Duffle Bag is no exception. Sea to Summit’s Duffle Bag comes in three colors and four sizes from 45 to 130 liters. Sea To Summit clearly took time thinking about how most of us adventure with our bags. The shoulder straps can be configured in a classic style, as a backpack, shoulder sling or as lash-downs. Impressed yet? Anyone who uses a duffle in their travels knows that having handles drop down into snow, puddles or mud is a pain in the ass. Not any more—magnets have been sewn into the strap handles. They simply snap together. With a reinforced bottom and top, the 90L Sea to Summit Duffle Bag is ready for everything. Waterproofing used in the bag’s robust material does not extend to the dual-zipper—so keep it out of more than 12 inches of water and you will be fine.
2. GSI PINNACLE SOLOIST COMPLETE
$89.95 | www.gsioutdoors.com
The Pinnacle Soloist Complete is the answer to your attempts at mix-and-match camp cooking setups. Step one: Open the box. Step two: add any size of isobutene fuel canister to the included Pinnacle Canister Stove. Step three: attach the standard windscreen. Step four: place the 1.1-liter pot on top. Step five: with 9,600 BTUs pumping out, you’ll be eating or drinking something hot from the nesting bowl in no time. My Soloist collapsible pot and straining lid has held up to substantial abuse for years and is still going strong. This nesting pot accommodates the insulated bowl, micro stove, spork and a fuel canister up to 220 grams. The waterproof containment stuff sack doubles as a bailer and a washbasin.
3. HYDRO FLASK 12 OZ. FOOD FLASK
$29.95 | www.hydroflask.com
Imagine your day starting with coffee and breakfast. Then boiling water for a dehydrated lunch
and arriving back in the evening for a dinner. I get it—it’s not hard to imagine because you probably do it often—but imagine you ate it all out of the same container. Hydro Flask has spent the last eight years focused on perfecting temperature control. Its double-walled construction extends to the lid for keeping your cold beverages cold and your soup or coffee piping hot for hours. Compact and easy to open, the durable finish is ready for any length of adventure. Available in three colors, the 12-ounce version is BPA and Phthalate free and is constructed from 18/8 pro-grade steel.
4. THERM-A-REST SLACKER HAMMOCK PAD AND HAMMOCK HOUSE
$159.95 / $259.95 | www.thermarest.com
Therm-a-rest has packaged up the appeal of an integrated three-pound hammock, bug-net and tarp all in one. The Slacker Hammock House has two webbed suspenders to make for easy installation. Included are four stakes and attached cord tensioners. The setup is versatile—starry night in June and the three options for the bug-net will keep you protected and gazing up. Have one or two friends on trip? Tension up the rain fly and you have a cover from any weather. Throw in the Slacker Hammock Pad and you will have a night you won’t remember. The Slacker Hammock Pad a self-inflating mattress specifically designed for the Slacker and to fit two in the Slacker Double. The patented AirFrame construction provides almost two inches of loft and comfortable insulation for three-season use while allowing for maximum compressibility. The stuff sack can be packed during hammock pad use to elevate the knees or as a pillow. The baffled edges of the pad flare to 26 inches in the middle and provide extra support in the sides of the hammock. The days of your sleeping pad ending up beside you at night are over.
5. VSSL FIRST AID
$66.50 | www.vsslgear.com
I am a certified Wilderness First Responder. We train to respond to emergencies with whatever there is on hand. For $66 I can buy enough supplies to stabilize a catatonic patient, in shock with a compound inferior fracture—and then drive them a few hours to the hospital. Enough left for coffee on the way? I digress. The VSSL First Aid is not designed for severe medical emergencies. I must say it packs those 66 bucks into a very impressive 14 ounces. The 200-lumen flashlight lasts 40 hours, with three AAA batteries included and butt-ends the compass on either side of the First Aid canister. At night you can use the compass by simply unscrewing the flashlight cap or vice versa and illuminating your path and the needle. The emergency contents inside the two-inch by nine-inch iodized aluminum tube are more than enough for most minor day-trip incidents. The VSSL First Aid’s innovative design and versatile function will make for easy inclusion in my day bag.
6. THULE SLIPSTREAM
$499.95 | www.thule.com
Call me lazy but as the years tick by I am constantly looking to be more efficient with my body. If I start now, maybe I will still be able to paddle and have a use for the Thule Slipstream in 30 years. The simple design allows for easy loading and unloading of any style of kayak under 75 pounds—pretty much anything other than a fishing kayak. The roller extends out to protect the back of your car and is capable of supporting over 50 percent of the kayak’s weight. Four saddles pivot to accommodate your stable day-tripper or surfski. Using the Thule Slipstream is really as simple as lifting and sliding your kayak into place. At only 22 inches wide the Slipstream is narrow enough to accommodate two carriers on any standard roof rack. Remember to strap the kayak to the roof racks themselves and not just to the Slipstream frame. The Thule Strap Kit also includes tensioners for bow and stern. Total load time on first try? Three minutes. Scratches left on my car? None.
7. KOKATAT POSEIDON PFD
$165 | www.kokatat.com
Looking at the front-zip Poseidon you may think it’s overkill for a weekend or day trip. That said, if you want to spend your valuable time focused on exploring and paddling, allow me to expound. The unisex design starts with a great fit and is available in three sizes. Now the fun part—customization of the Poseidon PFD extends from front to back. Couple it with accessories from the Kokatat Poseidon Expedition Kit. Store a day’s worth of snacks in the front along with a first aid kit and cellphone. On the back clip the 1.5-liter Hydrapak on the back for a sleek fit and easy access to your water. Rest assured the Kokatat Poseidon PFD will eliminate the need for most excess gear to roll around unsecured. This isn’t overkill. It will carry everything you need for a weekend paddle.