I super like being outdoors, whether to climb a new route, hit the water in my kayak, or hang out with new friends! Climbing around the New River Gorge & Amherst area has been so cool transitioning from the gym to the crag. And I’m barefoot all the time.
Tenaya Oasi Climbing Shoes
Excellent Sport & Bouldering Shoe
I got these as a steal off of Mountain Project as my first shoes, and they have been amazing! I got mine a half size too small, so when it’s cold or dry it’s a bit painful to wear consistently. However, I have sang wide feet (& Morton’s toe & a lovely lil bunion), so it’s hard to fit into a number of shoes for me. The power this shoes offers is fantastic. It puts heaps of power in your big toe, making it nice & stable, and the heel sticks moves superbly. It’s sensitive enough to feel for a toe in precisely on boulders, and solid enough to pull in on holds in steep sport climbing. They also edge fairly well! They fit into pockets SUPER well, which my gym has a lot of. These shoes have never cause issues in any climb. They even smeared well on a long slabby boi at the New! I totally recommend these, but would say to go down a full size for performance, not 1.5 as I did which is too painful sometimes. I wear 12.5/13 street, got the Oasi’s as 10.5. They stretched a bit in the shower, especially in the knuckle area, but these are better suited for feet that aren’t messed up like mine hah.
Platypus Big Zip Evo 3L
Big Zip LP
I own the Big Zip LP (Low Profile) version, which is 30% slimmer than the Evo. I have used this around the world, but mainly for hiking or days at the crag. The bite valve has been the easiest to use. I love the clip it comes with to keep close to your shoulder on a backpack. An issue I have with it is the opening is not big enough for my hand to fit in to wipe or clean it. Maybe I just have really large hands. It does make it super easy to fill and not leak, unlike Camelbaks I’ve use in the past. All in all it’s a solid choice of a bladder, but if you can invest higher go for an Osprey Hydrologics.
Shamma Sandals Warriors Sandals LE
Best Footwear for All Occasions
If I’m not barefoot, I wear these. Much more than my Xero Shoes boots. I’ve hiked around parts of the Shenandoah in them, done some light running, and walk around in them around town. Super comfy, don’t look weird because of the high-quality leather, and the best strap system I’ve ever used! The grip is great & ground feel is spot on. Get them!
Ka-Bar Dozier Folding Knife
Best Budget Knife
This knife is a great $20 companion for everyday tasks, including some light outdoors activities. AUS-8 steel is a fairly noticeable upgrade from standard -13/-14 steel, and keeps an edge quite well. It is easy to sharpen, and the lock back is so much more reliable than a liner lock, which have always given me trouble.
L.L.Bean Continental Rucksack
An All-Around BA Bag
This rucksack is a steal. I’ve used it for about a year now, and it has exceeded my expectations. I primarily use this as a backpack for college- & it fits my laptop, notebooks, rain jacket- even my climbing shoes! The large side pockets smoothly fit my 40 oz. water bottle, and it never falls out, even when I’m running. I use the front pocket to keep my emergency trauma kit in, as well as some small misc items. For camping, this thing is a beast. It fits all my clothes and toiletries quite well, and has slots for an axe or hatchet, which is handy for hammering in tent stakes. It holds all my climbing gear well, and this was my main bag next to a stuff sack that I lived out of for 2 months in Israel. My only gripe is that the bottom straps are super short and can’t really carry much, so I’d like to see them longer to hold, say, a sleeping bag. Overall an excellent choice whether you’re in university or an outdoorsman!
Xero Shoes Daylite Hiker EV Boot - Men's
Old Version: A Pretty Great Shoe
I have the original version of the Daylite Hiker boots, not the EVs. These boots have been with me around the world, whether walking around the streets of Jerusalem, or hiking in the Adirondack Mountains. I tend to not wear shoes, but when I need toe protection or encounter rough terrain, these are what I go for. The original boots construction-wise wasn’t the best, as the sole and toe/heel separated fairly quickly. However, using Shoe Goo was an easy and super solid fix, & it hasn’t failed me yet. If you want the benefits of being barefoot, with a little bit of protection, these are the way to go!