MARK SIREK Administrator Posts: 317
edited March 25 in THE GEAR LAB

Words and Photos from Kaitlyn Boyle

We asked our friends and fellow adventurers across a broad spectrum of outdoor specialties to take a look in their gear piles and pick three items–one for each of the following categories:

MUST: Don’t roam without it!

SHOULD: Maybe you can still get after it without one, but you should seriously consider adding it to your kit.

WANNA: You’ll be fine without this, but dang, if you don’t wanna up your game by bringing one of these along.

We all love comparing and tweaking our gear lists, so without further ado, check out how their MSWs stack up with yours!

NAME: Kait Boyle

LOCATION: Victor, Idaho

FOCUS IN THE OUTDOORS: Mountain Biking, Backcountry Skiing

My MUST HAVE item: Squeeze water filter

Why you must have it, too: I love traveling light and efficiently, and one of the appeals of adventuring in the backcountry and wild places is applying the skills to work with the mountains to meet my needs. One of my least favorite things is carrying too much water and crossing water sources with a full hydration reservoir of water. Carrying a squeeze filter lets me carry less weight while tuning into the environment to predict where and how frequently I’ll find water along my route. Plus, there’s nothing like drinking cold mountain water without the risk of water-borne illnesses. (Note, in the southwest or arid climates, water filters may not be the must-have item for managing water as they don’t thrive in sediment-clouded water.

My SHOULD HAVE item: A paper map.

Why you should have it, too: Paper maps don’t run out of battery; they provide a big-picture understanding of the landscape and help us understand alternative routes to the planned route. These aren’t always practical for long-distance bikepacking trips, but at the very least, having downloaded maps on my phone to work offline is a should have.

My WANNA HAVE item: A thermos (in winter settings).

Why you wanna have it, too: There’s nothing like drinking a hot drink in the snowy mountains. In most backcountry skiing settings, an uninsulated water bottle will function to carry water, but a thermos is usually worth the weight for the joy and convenience of a hot drink (plus, they usually lead to hydrating better).