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.
QUALITY THAT TRANSCENDS TIME
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
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
The Destination Torngat expedition wasn’t your garden-variety whitewater mission. It required a longboat.
Why is everyone making it so hard to leave my phone behind?
|GSI Dutch Oven
Let’s celebrate the wonders. It boils! It bakes! It fries!
|NEMO Bugout tarp
Ahhhhhh, go away you stupid bug!
|Ultra-light Rope Drybag
Don’t carry the extra weight of a saturated rope.
the Holy Grail of drysuit versatility—the two-piece suit.
It has four continents and about 1,200 days on it.
For years, I shouldered 70 pounds of Royalex and trotted down the trail, only to turn right around and fetch my packs.
This may not look sexy on your hairy bod.
|Stohlquist and More
If it doesn’t fit, it won’t work.
|Chestnut Prospector & Gear
The spicy aroma of spar varnish on a cedar canvas canoe pervades my days.
|Pelican 1500 Case
The best thing about my Pelican case is it doubles as my campsite seat.
I’m glad you love your $10 titanium spork, but I’m all set over here.
|Books on Your Trip
I can feel the judgment when they spot my stack of books.
|SunCore Long Sleeve
I wore this paddling shirt on my Missouri-Mississippi descent in 2012 for 117 days. I never took it off.
It’s a burly piece of equipment.