Heidi Kumm’s Top 10 Adventure Essentials

When it comes to getting outside I have a plethora of “interests” that double as an excuse to acquire more gear. Trail running, backpacking, car camping, mountain + tour biking, hiking, summit chasing, snowboarding, splitboarding + rock climbing…just to name a few. It’s a safe bet that I’m not the only one with this problem, right?!

I’m lucky in the sense that many of the gear necessities for these activities overlap about 90% of the time. Aside from some specialized equipment such as a bike or climbing harness, most of my gear comes with multiple purposes. Here’s a quick peek at my core “must have” list for a basic adventure into the wilderness.

 

Heidi fastpacking in South America.

Whether I’m headed out on a fastpacking trip, tagging mountain summits or packing up a touring bike for a few days these items get packed along…

  1. Ultimate Direction Pack — with a few UD packs to choose from I can either cram everything into a smaller running pack, or take the kitchen sink with a bigger pack [+ hydration bladder, obviously!].
  2. Bivy Bag + Sleeping Bag — even if I’m not planning on an overnight in the woods, having something to keep me warm + dry, just in case, plays into my decisions on the trails.
  3. Zensah’s Neon Compression — this is probably a very “Heidi” thing to consider, but I really like adding functional neon to my attire when I’m out + about. Zensah has some awesome compression gear that comes in fluorescent colors…that way you’ll be able to find me when I fall off the mountain. Or something. Psst…if you’re compression shopping use “HEIDIK20” to get 20% off your order at Zensah!
  4. “Oh Shit” Kit — what goes into my first aid/emergency pack varies a bit by adventure, but I rarely leave the comfort of my backyard without it, because…what if?!
  5. Bio Bag — leaving behind scraps of TP is *never* acceptable, so I pack along a resealable plastic bag wrapped in duct tape to act as a trash bag for the less desirable trash [sometimes I also remember a standard plastic bag for other trail trash, especially if I’m headed into a popular area where I’m sure I’ll find trash to pick up!]
  6. Mini Tripod + Phone — call me conceited, but I love getting photos [with me IN them] of my adventures into the wilderness…even if they never get to Instagram it’s entertaining + motivating to see where I’ve gone + what I’ve done.
  7. Delorme inReach — admittedly, this doesn’t come with me on my backyard adventures, but if I’m wandering into the unknown having a way to communicate with someone back home about plan changes or dangers is very reassuring…for everyone!
  8. Chapstick/Lip Balm — seems silly, but I must have some sort of lip balm with me when I’m outside, ideally with SPF, or my lips will suffer for the next week + that’s just annoying.
  9. Pro-Tec Orb Extreme — this comes from knowing my body + its weaknesses…I have very cranky feet + calves, so having a golf ball to roll out my arches or soleus muscle is imperative. I will pack along Pro-Tec Athletics Orb Extreme Mini because that thing works wonders on my exhausted body!
  10. Caffeine — for whatever reason, caffeine is a legitimate mood altering drug for me…when I’m struggling + mentalling crashing a little caffeinated boost goes a long ways + can be the deciding factor between giving up + having fun.

 

Heidi taking a moment to stop and enjoy her surroundings.

That’s a pretty broad list of the core items I pack along for an adventure into the wilderness on foot. Obviously this does not include activity + weather specific essentials, such as rain gear or a tent, but this is how every adventure packing list starts for me.

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Heidi Kumm

Heidi Kumm

Heidi Kumm is a trail runner, world traveler, mountain climber, and all around adventure enthusiast. As a trail runner she has covered thousands of miles in the Colorado Rockies and beyond training for and running races from the half marathon distance to the one hundred mile ultra. Heidi is so stoked about finding adventure on trails that she has made it her career as the owner of Adventure Feet First, a travel company that focuses on getting people outside to explore the world as they travel. Over the past years Heidi has spent months living abroad, volunteering around the world, living out of a van/car/truck, and finding new ways to explore on foot, by bike or with a backpack. She has learned the ins and outs of self propelled exploration the hard way, so she’s here to help us learn from her mistakes and to help us become more informed on how to make your own mistakes…safely.

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