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Gottles of Gear

Gottles of Gear ~ A Blue Pearl
Gottles of Gear

There’s a cliché of women over-packing for trips. I’m not saying this stereotype is wrong; I like choice as much as the next chick. But maybe it’s a focus on preparation and not a predilection for wardrobe changes. At least that’s what I’m telling myself as I buy tons and tons of gear for my first big hiking trip.

I’ll be gone for nine days and will only be taking four hikes, two of which could probably be done in my trusty flip-flops. Did I need new hiking boots, water shoes and a twelve pack of socks? Dubious. Will I need two first aid kits and a survival pack? I certainly hope not. Was it necessary to splurge on the YETI bottle?

Actually, that one I don’t regret.

Truly, I don’t regret any of these purchases. Even in Oklahoma I hike once a week so both shoes will be well used. I wouldn’t know how to sew a gaping wound back together but I now have the tools if I need to. (I don’t think that’s what the string and needle are actually for but I have a paranoid imagination.) And if I ever get lost in the wilderness overnight, my trusty survival blanket will save me. Though I didn’t get a bear canister.

Just a mo’ while I visit Amazon…

This all proves that I am not a budget traveler so I am glad I never claimed to be. I am not a backpacker or even a flashpacker. I’m a day-tripper. I don’t need a fancy hotel (not all the time…) but I do like to have options. If I decided to sample the 5-star cuisine I want to have a dress to get me in the door. And jewelry is something I can’t live without as I feel half naked and have nothing to fidget with. (I call it functional bling.)

And yes, I have bought some jewelry lately but I’m not counting that as my gear. Of my actual gear, very little is road-tested, except the shoes. Though I just started breaking those in so you might have to stay tuned. But I’ve started my packing list and have finally bought everything on said list. Now I just have to see if I like my choices. Then I’ll see about those affiliate links I hear so much about…

So without further ado, here’s the gear list:

14 gear “essentials” for the traveler who likes stuff!

1)Holidayli Backpack

This one I have used several times and I love it. Reviews online are mostly good but knock it for not being 50L, as advertised. Ignorance of the metric system aside, I don’t put much in it for my day trips so it’s got space to spare in my case. It sits just right, no awkward gap in the back and the straps are sturdy. The weight is evenly distributed too. My favorite part? Pockets and more pockets! I love the ones built into the bottom of the straps where it buckles in front. I keep chapstick and bug repellent here for easy access. My only complaint is the bottom back pocket’s zipper is not easily one-handed, though this may be unique to my pack.

2)Go Fit Climbing gloves

You never know when a boulder may loom. I haven’t used these yet but I plan to go hopping in the next couple of weeks and I expect to be blister-free for once. The last time I went bouldering I had to use this random pair of slip-resistant socks I had (thankfully) thrown in my bag. Bright yellow and haphazardly tied though they were, I would not have made it off that mountain without them. Well maybe but I wouldn’t have been able to use my hands for a couple of days. These are actually weight lifting gloves as I couldn’t find any fingerless climbing gloves in my size. The palms are extra protected though and that’s what I need.

3)Hiking knife

Again something I hope I don’t have to use as any scenario I imagine leaves me squeamish (gutting fish) or skittish (gutting killer fish) but it’s not a bad thing to have. And it was my dad’s so it’s like a bit of home.

That’s me in Switzerland. Colorado? Shutup you.

4)First aid stuff

I will hopefully not ever have to use much of the stuff in here. However the blister pads are brilliant and might get used up this trip. There are bandages, ointment, gauze, antiseptic, ice packs, and other things I never want to break out.

5)Survival stuff

Ditto. times ten… I do like the compass and the reflective mirror. My Pops insisted on these even though I told him this trip would have me hiking in the same acreage as about a quarter of America. He worries. It’s sweet. Just for fun, I’ll try the matches that are supposed to light even when wet. It’s like flicking a Zippo at the top of the Eiffel Tower. I must make sure there is truth in advertising.

6)Hi-tec Skamania hiking boots

I’ve only hiked in these once and they felt pretty good. Haven’t worn high-tops since high school though so that’s going to take getting used to. My ankles are a bit bruised. But I did not roll them one bit so that’s a win! And I felt pretty darn confident on the Wichita boulders in these super-grippy shoes.

This brand is majorly eco-conscious. And their boxes are weirdly motivational.

7)Hi-tec Cove sandals

Not exactly Keens but they are half the price. I plan to use them on the Narrows hike even though rocks may find their way inside. I can’t use my boots as they probably would not dry out for days and my tennis shoes are needed for putzing around. So I bought them. And they’re cute! One thing: they are not labeled as waterproof but being synthetic I assume they will bounce back. Time will tell.


8)YETI insulated bottle

I finally broke down and got one. There’s plenty of word-of-mouth on these things so I spent the $30 on an 18 oz bottle. I believe it took me twice as long to pick out this bottle than the shoes. (I’m not such a stereotypical chick after all.) I still don’t know if I shouldn’t have gotten the 26 oz bottle for $40. But see, that would make it eight oz. heavier. Whatever, I’ll probably end up with all the sizes after a few months.

9)Dry Vault bags

Three sizes (5.8, 10, 20 L) for $22! A submersible for every occasion. My pack is supposed to be waterproof but an extra layer of protection will make me feel, you know, protected. And they’re a bit smaller so I may just take the medium one for my trek down the river, sans backpack.


10) The Fit Life Nordic Trekking poles

As far as gear goes, these seems both totally essential and not at all. Totally because I hike a lot, but not at all because I’ve never used poles before. They seem self-explanatory. I do know that I’ll take one for my Narrows hike. I’m not going to be the guy falling on my butt twenty feet into that canyon. (I mean maybe but not because I was too stubborn to bring a stick.)

11)Insect repellent, sunblock, poncho, hats

Gotta keep the elements at bay. Bugs love me, from the creepy to the crawly to the critter-y, so I have three different repellents. I’ll try out the all-natural one again even though it did not work on the ticks in the Ozark National Forest. (It has been three weeks and I am still not over it.)

12)Fila Synthetic jacket

Speaking of elements, this is lightweight and water resistant. And a bit more stylish than a poncho. I got it on clearance for $16 bucks. Go me. The sleeves are long too so it’s super comfy.


Extra shoelaces, washcloths/wipes, various carabineers. Those carabineers come in as handy as hands.


I mostly use my iPhone 6s to take pictures but I am borrowing my sister’s GoPro for this trip. Really I just want to try one out before I take the plunge. It just seems so small. I also got a MPow waterproof case (more like a baggie) for the phone for the Narrows hike. It says you can take pics through the plastic so we’ll see. I mean, I’m sure you can I just don’t know how they’d turn out. Related: This same product was available for purchase at my resort in Mexico for $35. I paid $6 for two on Amazon. That’s like markup squared.

I haven’t submerged it yet. Ill dive off that bridge when it’s out.

There’s other gear I’m taking, like a cooler for my cold snacks on the road, sunglasses I’ve had for years ($10 Walmart; $1 Dollar General (these are unattractive yet fit perfectly, no strap needed)), and a non-insulated bottle for backup. I like to be prepared but am no Boy Scout. Or Spartan. And if I am the only person this summer to somehow get lost in Zion I will be able to take care of myself. And gut a fish.

Are there fish in Zion?

So that’s my list of stuff I both need and don’t need that I bought anyway. Can’t wait to try it all out! Just hope I don’t have to pull out my knife on any big game. Like this guy…

Any gear I forgot? (Please say no!) Advice on using the GoPro? How about energy-giving snacks for the road and the trail?


Written by

My name’s Becke and this is my blog about life, travel and making a difference out there. I talk about the stuff we aren't supposed to talk about and about the stuff we all want. Having made a mess of my life (pretty much so far) I decided to turn things around, document a bit for posterity. Because posterity will surely care.

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