Obviously we’re not world championship adventure racers. We’re self-supported, like many of you, and struggle to meet all of the expenses that come along with this amazing sport. We’re not made of cash either, so we try our best to research gear prior to purchasing it to make sure that we get good value for the money. Below we’ve listed companies that we believe in and whose gear we abuse on a regular basis. Unlike those Pro teams that have to deal with all that free equipment that their sponsors give them, we’ve purchased our equipment from these companies, so our enthusiasm for their products is unbiased. If you’re looking for some great gear, you can’t go wrong with these companies.
Innovative products don’t come from big-box stores, they come from creative people with the talents to dream and the passion to build. Voyager Made embodies this concept, designing and making innovative products for the outdoor enthusiast. I’ll warn you though, visiting their website may result in instant gear envy. They make rad stuff! What’s even better is that if you can think it, they can build it. Voyager Made isn’t some faceless company making sub-par products, they’re a small cottage manufacturing business dedicated to you. Got your own rad idea? Sarah and Matt can help take your idea from back of the envelope drawing to final product. Check them out at www.VoyagerMade.com
If you’re going to adventure race, you’re going to need a great compass. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll need about three: one for mountain biking, one for orienteering, and one for general navigation. There’s a newcomer on the compass market, KanPas, who is making fast, stable, and dependable compasses for the orienteering and adventure racing market. The company owner has a passion for orienteering and is dedicated to designing and fabricating the best compasses available for our sport. The products are top-notch and the customer service from this small company can’t be beat. Try something new, try a KanPas.
I have tried many different electrolyte replacement drinks and various goopy, syrupy concoctions and none of them work for me as well as Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix. Lemons + Limes is my #1 favorite, but they have tons of other great flavors as well and they’re all naturally flavored. Imagine that, a lemon/lime drink flavored with real lemons and limes. Check out the ingredients list, you can actually read it. Better yet, you can actually drink it without getting rot gut 28 hours into your next Adventure Race. And if you’re sick of processed and packaged powerbars, check out The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables for quick and easy recipes.
Tired of cheap crap lights that aren’t waterproof, not dependable, and have the potential of burning your house down? We were, so we went looking for the best lights out there. Expensive? Somewhat. Dependable? Absolutely! But ask yourself, what do you want to light your path as you’re bombing the downhills or paddling the alligator infested swamps of Florida. We only have one answer, Lupine! And there’s only one place to get them, www.lupinenorthamerica.com. Let high-quality German engineering blaze your path ahead. But don’t take our word for it. Lupine has been lighting the way for some of the top adventure athletes around.
There’s nothing worse than when we’re sucking wind on a brutal uphill climb and having to suck our hydration packs until our eyes pop out just to get a little water. GEIGERRIG has solved this by pressurizing the hydration pack, delivering a mouthful of energy renewing liquid by simply biting the valve. And, when we’re running out of water in the middle of nowhere, the removable in-line filtration system makes refilling from natural sources a breeze–just fill and go. We’ve had ours for years and there is absolutely no other hydration pack we would use, they are bomb-proof. First rate products, first rate company. Let your competition do the sucking!
Sometimes during those multi-day races, our bodies just shut down and the desire to sleep is irresistible. We try to fight it, but after awhile the Sleep Monster always wins. While in our delirium, saw palmettos may look like a comfy place to rest, but what we really need is something to get our weary bodies off the wet, energy-sapping ground. That’s when we roll out our ultralight Static V sleeping pads, inflate them with 8 quick breathes, and prepare for dream land. Prior to nodding off, we’ll pop out our Cush Seat Pillows, inflate them, and laugh at those other teams who are propping their heads on the nearest boulder. That Cush also comes in handy on those 4-hour canoe section as well.
Looking for the best pack for longer adventure races? Then look no further than OutThere by Mike Kloser. “Mike who?” you say? This Mike: 4 time Adventure Racing World Champion, World Mountain Bike Champion, World Long Distance Orienteering Champion, 3 time Eco Challenge Champion, 5 time Primal Quest Champion. If there’s anyone that knows how to design a pack for multi-day races, it would be Mike. We use the MS-1 and the AS-3, depending on the length of the race. Want to know what the pros use? Check out any adventure racing video and you’ll see the top teams sporting the same pack.
Listed below is other gear that we have found useful:
- Lupine Piko X4 with 3.3Ah SmartCore Rechargeable Battery
- GEIGERRIG Hydration Engine
- Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix with Lemons + Limes
- Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad
- Klymit Cush Inflatable Pillow & Seat Cushion
- Aqua-Bound Sting Ray Carbon 4-piece Kayak Paddle with Posi-Lok – (YouTube Review)
- Ultimate Direction PB 2.0 Adventure Vest – (Review)
- Sigma BC8.12 – 8 Function Cyclometer
- Suunto MC Series Compass, Global Needle
- Nathan Intensity Race Vest
- Topeak Alien II Bicycle Tool
- Genuine Innovations Ultraflate Plus Tire Inflater
- The North Face Base Camp Duffel Medium
- AR Navigation Supplies MBO-2 Rotating Mountain Bike Map Holder
If you have any questions about the items mentioned above, post a comment below or email us.