Adventure Gear Must Haves



A whistle is an inexpensive but important personal safety device. When I lead photo adventures we often have radios, but radios run out of batteries and sometimes simply don't work. Take a fall, get bit by a snake - pull out your trusty whistle and blow for help. 

Medication Stash

A small Ziploc bag with a stash of aspirin, ibuprofen, cold & sinus, benadryl, and other basic over the counter meds can help to ensure a level of comfort otherwise compromised. You don't want something as simple as a headache ruining your trip. 


I bring two pairs, all the time. I can't do anything without sunglasses on, so I'd be screwed without them. Therefore, I always bring a couple of pairs as part of my camera kit.

Lip Balm

Hot or cold, lip balm can save you from unnecessary chapping and burns and I find this is an essential and must have this with me on every trip. I often bring a stick in my pocket and a small tub of Carmex in my bag as a backup. Again, because I hate to go without, I bring backup. 

Hand Warmers

Although they can be cumbersome to prepare, I favor the Zippo hand warmers over chemical hand warmers. I have and usually bring both, but the larger Zippo hand warmer will stay incredibly warm for over 12 hours. They are also significantly warmer than the chemical packs, but they do give off an odor some don't appreciate. I now have two pairs of these and always have fuel on hand. 


Again, I bring two and extra batteries. My favorite Petzl headlamp has been discontinued, but there are excellent and affordable headlamps on the market. These are critical to photography at night, but make sure you get one that is easy to use and has an adequate RED light that you can walk by in the middle of the night. 



Heat loss happens with an uncovered head. Again, I bring two of these on all adventures keeping them stashed separately in case I lose or misplace one - also to ensure I don't leave both at home. An absolute requirement if your planning on using a sleeping bag out of doors, so redundancy on this article of gear is essential. 


On colder trips, I bring a heavier pair along with my standard thin pair. Nearly always in my camera kit, gloves can be nice to have in thaw hours of golden light (dawn and dusk) to cut the chill and cold fingers when handling your camera buttons. 


OK, this is my favorite article of clothing. Bandannas are incredibly versatile and can be used for a number of things including: 

  • Head cover - keeping you protected from the sun and warm  holding heat back from escaping from your head when. Also serves as a liner when your ball bap isn't keeping you warm enough
  • Neck cover - Think foreign legion; tucked under your ball cap, it can serve as sunblock protecting your neck on hikes or when otherwise exposed. 
  • Scarf - tied around your neck, it can be tucked into your collar and will help keep heat in near your core and reduce loss rising from your jacket or shirt. 
  • Scarf - on hot days, soaked with water, a bandanna can offer a sort-of swamp cooling effect keeping you cooler by way of evaporation.
  • Headband - prevents sweat from getting in your eyes and wicks well. 
  • Handkerchief - especially on colder days, when the nose runs and you need a tissue and don't have one.
  • Dust mask - when the wind kicks up and the dust is blowing and you want to prevent wind chaffing or dust inhalation, the bandanna can be wrapped around your face.