When it comes to gearing up for an adventure vacation, most guys worry most about the weight of their bag. The current obsession with the lightest backpack, shoes, and shirts almost borders on neurosis. We don't sweat the pounds so much. Instead, we focus on three qualities: utility, durability, and mobility. If an item doesn't function well, hold up, or pack easily, it doesn't belong in our bag.
With those requirements in mind, we set out on a weeklong international adventure trip. We camped, stayed in hotels, trekked, ran, and saw sites without ever putting down our pack. Sure, it was a few pounds heavier than our buddy's featherweight setup (we'd prepared for the trip with squats), but we were better prepared. And we eliminated things as we went in order to leave ourselves with just the essentials for the ultimate adventure travel kit. Here's what we couldn't bring ourselves to leave behind.
Surefire P2X Fury Dual Output LED
Whether you use it to find your way to an outhouse or to read at night in an alpine hut, a good flashlight is indispensable. Most guys just buy a $10 unit at their local Wal-Mart – and it works great until it doesn't. The pocket-size Surefire P2X Fury Dual Output LED, on the other hand, runs for 46 hours on the low setting, functions as both a standard flashlight at 15 lumens and a searchlight at 500 lumens, and is virtually indestructible. [$155; surefire.com]