I’m really minimalist (and somewhat cheap) when it comes to travel gear. However, these are the items that I swear by.
Vasque Hiking Boots
I have had my Vasque boots since 1991. NO LIE and they still have years left in them. These amazing boots have gotten me through hiking the rainforest in Costa Rica, hitchhiking in African desert, trekking through snow in Alaska, and climbing Mt Fuji during heavy rain and hail.
I couldn’t find an example of my exact pair, which I assume are no longer made. But I really trust this company, and if for some reason my current boots expired, I’d be devastated as they are like good friends from childhood.
Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero Down Jacket
I believe this jacket has saved me from hypothermia at least twice. I wore it during a trip to Alaska in negative 20 degree weather. It was so cold that liquid from my eyes froze like icycles on my eyelashes. This jacket did not disappoint me. In fact, it let me withstand the elements long enough to see the Northern lights and take a very brisk dog sled ride.
I also wore it during a disastrous cold rainy hike on Mt Fuji, where it kept my core dry and toasty for most of it. The jacket is super lightweight and can be folded up into a small square.
Priced steep at about $200, I probably would not have bought this Zuca suitcase for myself. But it was a gift, and I really enjoy using it. It’s lightweight and has super maneuverable wheels for going up stairs and over weird surfaces. The bag itself can be removed and washed or changed, and it has compartments inside that act sort of like drawers. Everything stays organized and easy to find. Best of all, it has a seat on top which is so convenient in so many travel situations…