I recently returned from a couple of weeks in Jordan, hiking and biking my way across the country with Experience Jordan (many stories to follow). Moving spots day after day and participating in a variety of outdoor activities required a lightweight and versatile base set of gear that could do everything. Here is my setup for Jordan that will see me through the summer adventure travel season.
Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Pants: These flattering hiking/climbing pants double as acceptable casual attire when on the road. Made from a two-way stretch fabric with some spandex, they let you move but won’t get dumpy after a few days of wear. The lightweight pants are treated with a DWR to help repel water, dirt, or the errant spilled plate of hummus on your lap (really happened). They pack down small and dry quickly after that bathtub washing session. A zippered cargo pocket on each leg comes in handy for stashing your phone for easy access on hikes and bike rides. The best part? They come in a huge variety of sizes, lengths, and colors to suit everyone. For sizing, I found a size smaller than what I would normally buy fit really well.
Icebreaker Cool-Lite Solace Short Sleeve V: This T-shirt is made from a blend of merino wool and Tencel, a wood fiber, so not only offers odor-resistance for days of wear but helps keep you cool in warmer weather. Wear it hiking then dress it up with a scarf at night. The merino blend dries quickly after those mid-trip laundry sessions.
ExOfficio Underwear: Underwear that is comfortable and dries super quickly. Need I say more? An indispensable part of any adventure traveler’s kit.
Eddie Bauer BC Uplift Jacket: The one and only jacket you need for wind and rain protection when traveling. At just over five ounces, the fully waterproof and windproof jacket weighs nearly nothing and packs down into its own chest pocket when not in use. There’s no excuse not to have this with you at all times for when the weather changes in an instant.
Columbia PFG Tidal Deflector Zero Hoodie: For long days recreating in the sun or on the water, this lightweight hoody offers UPF 50+ sun protection while keeping you cool thanks to a combination of Columbia’s sun deflector and sweat-activated cooling technologies. An internal neck gaiter and hood further help to keep sun off your face and neck. I wore this both on the bike as well as our day snorkeling in the Red Sea and did not end up a lobster, even under the intense Jordanian sun.
Ombraz Sunglasses: Sunglasses are easy to lose and easy to break. This particular pair ditches the sidearms in favor of an adjustable string so not only can you hang them around your neck when not in use but you can cinch them up so they won’t fall off when you jump in the water for that cooling off swim session. Wear them hiking, wear them on the bike, wear them touring around town, they look great and won’t give you a headache after wearing them all day.
Sunday Afternoons Trucker: The company offers a variety of classic truckers featuring outdoor-inspired, limited-edition artwork by Southern Oregon’s Chris Herbst. Super cute while protecting your eyes and face from the sun at the same time.
Five Tennies: The original Five Ten shoe is back and has quickly become a new cult favorite. It’s easy to see why, as retro cool styling meets modern construction and Stealth rubber to create an approach shoe that was an absolute joy for scrambling around the sandstone cliffs of Petra and Wadi Rum. And for those that take a one-shoe-does-all approach to packing, these shoes work equally well on the bike, holding their grip on flat pedals so you don’t need to bring clipless shoes and pedals along.
Matador Freerain 24 2.0: Every adventure traveler needs an ultralight daypack tucked away in their bag for hikes and market trips. The Freerain is waterproof for those inevitable rainy days and weighs just under seven ounces. The backpack offers up 24 liters of storage — plenty of room for extra layers, a water bottle, camera, and snacks — and packs down to the size of a La Croix can.
Sea to Summit Duffel: You need some place to stash all this gear. The rugged Sea to Summit duffel will be your trusty companion on any adventure. Available in a variety of sizes and colors, the duffel is made from a super tough waterproof nylon and features a padded lid that opens wide enough to access all your gear at once. The carry straps unclip and re-clip in seconds to provide different carry modes or to be stowed when checking your bag. There are plenty of lash points to secure your bag to the top of a jeep or to the side of a donkey.