The Gear We Love

The following installments (with product photos by JP Van Swae) appeared originally in C&K’s December 2014 issue.We’ll be periodically adding our editors’ favorite gear essentials.

The Gear We Love


Perhaps that explains the skyrocketing popularity of European outdoor gear in North America. Whereas the big labels introduce flashy new products each year, manufacturers like Swedish axe-forger Gränsfors Bruk rely on a century of tradition. From the initials in the axe head (which, by the way, is honed to a razor’s edge and fitted with an impeccable hickory handle) emerges a bond between builder and user—a rare experience in today’s mass-produced world.
— Conor Mihell

Hole in the Wall Jacket

I Heart Treated Down

in 2012, some geniuses developed treated down, treating those fuzzy little feathers with a magical coating that keeps them dry seven times longer, and keeps me warm in my sleeping bag.

Jackson’s Karma Unlimited

Return of the Longboat

The Destination Torngat expedition wasn’t your garden-variety whitewater mission. It required a longboat.


The Off Button On My Phone

Why is everyone making it so hard to leave my phone behind?

GSI Dutch Oven

Going Dutch

Let’s celebrate the wonders. It boils! It bakes! It fries!

Classic kayaks and canoes
NEMO Bugout tarp

Bugging Out

Ahhhhhh, go away you stupid bug!

Classic kayaks and canoes
Ultra-light Rope Drybag

When Ounces Count

Don’t carry the extra weight of a saturated rope.

Classic kayaks and canoes
Kokatat Idol

Drysuit Magic

the Holy Grail of drysuit versatility—the two-piece suit.

Classic kayaks and canoes
Ripstop-hood Jacket

The Do-Everything Jacket

It has four continents and about 1,200 days on it.

Classic kayaks and canoes
Portage Carts

Throw Off the Yoke

For years, I shouldered 70 pounds of Royalex and trotted down the trail, only to turn right around and fetch my packs.

Classic kayaks and canoes


This may not look sexy on your hairy bod.

Classic kayaks and canoes
Stohlquist and More

PFDs that Fit

If it doesn’t fit, it won’t work.

Classic kayaks and canoes
Chestnut Prospector & Gear

Old School

The spicy aroma of spar varnish on a cedar canvas canoe pervades my days.

Classic kayaks and canoes
Pelican 1500 Case

Closed Case

The best thing about my Pelican case is it doubles as my campsite seat.

Classic kayaks and canoes
Plastic Spoon

Spoon Crushes Spork

I’m glad you love your $10 titanium spork, but I’m all set over here.

Classic kayaks and canoes
Books on Your Trip

Packing More

I can feel the judgment when they spot my stack of books.

Classic kayaks and canoes
SunCore Long Sleeve

The One Shirt

I wore this paddling shirt on my Missouri-Mississippi descent in 2012 for 117 days. I never took it off.

Classic kayaks and canoes
Slogg Drybag

My One Drybag

It’s a burly piece of equipment.


The article was originally published on Canoe & Kayak

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