I spend a lot of time outdoors while making guides and test a wide variety of gear. These recommendations are always with me, and won't break the bank. The following are affiliate links and help support the cost of creating video guides and maintaining this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

DAY HIKE Essentials



An item you should never go without. A cheap but reliable backup should your electronics fail. Throw this in your bag along with a relevant map and forget it until you need it.

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Tilley Airflo LTM6

I'm a baseball hat kind of guy and have been all my life. But this hat is necessary when you're exploring the Mojave, especially during those hot summer months to protect against the desert sun.

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Mini First Aid Kit

As an Eagle Scout you'd better believe I never leave home without this one. It's the perfect size and fits in my backpack's rainfly pocket.​ Foil blanket included, which is rare!

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Voyager Dog Harness

When Poe comes along, this is the harness I use to keep him safe and secure on a road trip. I prefer this to a collar around the neck in case of an accident.


LED Headlamp

I always carry a headlamp in my pack, along with an extra set of batteries. Nothing worse than losing track of time, then finding your way back with a cellphone flashlight!


UCO Stormproof Matches

I was able to light a camp stove easily with these in the middle of 40mph gusts. The ability to create fire is key to survival in the wilderness if you find yourself in trouble.

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Rock Pick Hammer

If you've seen my Oak Springs Trilobite Guide, then you'll know this is a must-have for any rock hound or fossil nerd! I keep this in my trunk in just in case.

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BWOGUE Seatbelt

I have this handy leash tied to my backseat headrest at all times. Works perfectly with the Voyager Step-In Harness for keeping my boy safe and secure.

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The most versatile tool in my bag. Headband, bandana, sun protection, handkerchief, towel, facemask, bandage, tourniquet, lens wipe... the possibilities are endless.

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Trekking Poles

Heavy, a bit clunky and noisy - and I love them! They've held up well and are great for notifying your presence to hikers and wildlife. On my second pair 'cause I lost the first!

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KEEN Steen's Vent Shoe

This is my current shoe for hiking in standard desert conditions. Super durable and comfortable, plus they're a really great company. I currently own 3 styles of KEENs.