From mountain tops to deep desert canyons, couples are chasing summer in the great outdoors with glowing anticipation to break their cabin fever from nearly three months of sheltering in place. National parks are becoming hotspot getaways and providing very limited services, which means visitors are having to opt-in for self-guided and DIY experiences. Whether you’re an experienced explorer or hiking for the first time, there are some gear essentials you’ll need to make the outdoor terrain manageable. Here at Zillion, we believe in preparing for life’s adventures and maximizing your best moments without worrying about a thing.
The Bare Necessities
Consider the climate of your destination, will it be scorching hot or wet and cold? When packing the bare necessities for your trip, think of what you’ll need to stay protected from the extreme temperatures you and your partner could encounter.
1. Cooling Towel - takes up minimal space but makes a big difference. If you’re planning on visiting a desert or valley area like Yosemite National Park. Be sure to take a Chill Pal towel to help keep you cool when hiking gets a little tough.
2. Hydration Device - it’s a no brainer to pack water, but let’s go beyond a plastic bottle. Invest in a hydration vest or an insulated stainless steel bottle. Backcountry has a collection of specialized hydration devices to keep your water cool or room temperature all day long. There is nothing worse than your water freezing or heating from the extreme temperatures. It’s not only better for the environment but better for you!
3. UV Protective Apparel Take a multifaceted approach to protect your skin from UV radiation. While sunscreen is still highly recommended, there are widely available brands offering sun-protective fabric clothing. The sun-protective technology to look for includes quick-drying, extended coverage, thin, lightweight, and relaxed fit clothing. For hats be sure to look for extended coverage like neck capes or broad rims; and be sure your sunglasses are 100 percent UV protected and polarized.
4. Fitted Footwear We get it, hiking boots and shoes don’t exactly scream fashion-forward, but they do serve an important purpose. Take it from our experience, wearing gym training shoes with zero grip on a moderately hard hike in the mountains is just not fun! Be sure to pack a couple of pairs of footwear, like high or low top hiking boots, water-friendly sandals, and lounge shoes to relax in. Good footwear will be needed as most parks this summer are offering limited or no shuttle services, this means a lot more walking to and from trailheads and landmark destinations.
The Camping Couple
Many hospitality services are impacted due to health and safety restrictions in place of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Now more than ever couples need gear that is space-efficient and accommodates food and shelter.
5. Food Storage Do yourself a favor and invest in insulated storage technology like Yeti Cooler, a brand well-known in the market for having storage containers and drinkware that stores ice better than any others. For cheaper options try Hydroflask or the classic Igloo brand. Being able to depend on cold ice for the duration of your stay will minimize the time spent driving to buy ice for food and drinks.
6. Elevated Tent Option If you and your partner are looking for an elevated version of camping without the expense of glamping, consider a roof-top tent. These designs have become increasingly popular versus traditional tents because of their simplicity and comfort. For couples in need of a backpacking option, hammocks are the perfect way to camp off the ground without the fuss of pitching a tent.
7. A Good Bag Every couple will need a good bag for day and night, that’s hiker lingo for a backpack and a sleeping bag. Assess your frequency and duration in the outdoors year-round to determine which bag and pack you need. Start with the following questions.
Do you and your partner take overnight hikes or day hikes?
Do you and your partner go outdoors during the winter or just warmer months?
Temperatures drop pretty low in most parks so consider getting a 15F-30F sleeping bag to keep you and your partner cozy in any month.
Consciously Adventuring Into Summer 2020
Purchasing outdoor gear is an adventure in itself. Many outdoor and sporting good stores offer exceptional money-back guarantees if you are not satisfied with your purchase. Some brands, like Patagonia, offer recycling and repair programs to extend the lifetime of your clothing or gear. Other priceless items that may accidentally get damaged or lost like jewelry can be protected through Zillion Jewelry insurance.
While this year’s summer adventures might look a little different from past seasons, we hope you revel in the outdoors fearlessly and consciously. A friendly reminder to wear your mask when outside your social bubble or when walking through high traffic areas. Check visitor rules and availability through Recreation.gov to proactively contribute to maintaining a safe and healthy outdoor experience for all.