Walker Ferguson, Patagonia’s field testing manager, dons waders in the morning, wetsuits in the afternoon, and climb packs all before the sun finally sets. He weaves in and out of some of the world’s roughest terrain, challenging products in tandem with ambassadors that are the pinnacle of their chosen sport.
“We get out in the environments, conditions, and activities we’re building product for,” Ferguson says. “The first hand experience of sitting at a belay, shivering and wet in the jacket you are working on, goes a long way.”
Ferguson, and Patagonia adventure athletes like rock climber Tommy Caldwall and ultrarunner Jeff Browning, are men relentlessly on the go. They propel themselves into the field with prototypes, new materials, un-tested construction techniques, and wild ideas that push products to the limits. No matter where Ferguson finds himself in between his assignments, here’s a list of his must-haves, along with some of our suggestions, for a man constantly on the road less traveled.