July 6th, 2015

5 Essential Bags for Outdoor Adventures

We’re sharing our best recommendations for packing right, from the perfect duffel to all the organizational bags you need inside.

When you’re setting out for an outdoor adventure, having the right bags for the job is key. Packing for a camping trip, or something similar, involves unique challenges: You need bags rugged enough to take a beating, but with the versatility and specialized packing space to neatly and safely stash all your gear.

The following five bags are must-haves for outdoor adventures.

1. A bag you can wear on your back

Duffel bags are unparalleled for these types of trips: They’re roomy enough for all your stuff and pliable enough to be squashed into a small car trunk or back seat. That said, shoulder bags aren’t necessarily the easiest things to carry, which is why you need one with backpack straps — it’s the best of both worlds! A bag like this will carry the brunt of your necessities; just grab some packing organizers (more on those later) and you’ll be good to go! We like the EC Lync System 26 its convertible, ultra-light weight, with a space-saving collapsible design. . Interior compression straps help pack your stuff down and lockable zippers help keep your valuables secure.

2. Packing organizers to help break it down

The EC Lync System is a great start, but you don’t want your small gear to disappear into the seemingly bottomless depths of the bag. That’s where packing organizers come in. These small bags help ensure you can always find what you’re looking for. Use larger organizers for toiletries and smaller organizers for the odds and ends that would otherwise get lost. You can’t beat Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Cube Set, which comes in 3 sizes. Made of ultra-light weight stain-resistant material, you won’t lack for extra storage in which to keep stuff where it belongs.

3. Gear bags to keep your tech safe

Keep your memories of a killer adventure safe by protecting your camera and other pricey technology. If you bring a tablet or e-reader along, make sure keep it in a case. Need a place to stash the rest? Take a look at the Pack-It Specter™ eCube M, which is just the right size for camera lenses, cords, or binoculars. It’s securely padded, includes a quick-carry handle, and repels water. Best of all, it’s totally washable. You can’t ask for more out of something that keeps your most expensive belongings secure.

4. A toiletry bag that goes the distance

An outdoor adventure is hardly the time for glamour, and you probably won’t bring anything but the essentials when you hit the road. Still, you need a toiletry bag that will keep your personal items readily available when you need them — and one that will keep the rest of your belongings safe in the event of a spill. The ideal outdoors toiletry bag is water-repellent, convenient, and small enough that it doesn’t waste any space. The Pack-It Specter™ Quick Trip covers all of those bases. Made of a silnylon ripstop fabric with extra zippered outside pockets for organizational purposes, this is just the bag you need.

5. A first aid kit with all the essentials

One of the most important additions to any outdoor bag is a well-stocked first aid kit. We like the Adventure Family First-Aid Medical Kit in eye-catching red and black. It’s packed with enough provisions for a four-day trip, plus instructions for treating sprains and dressing wounds. Best of all, it’s compact enough to take up as little precious space in your duffel as possible.

What are your best packing tips for hitting the great outdoors? Let us know in the comments below.

Shannon O’Donnell is a long-term traveler on the road since 2008. She is an acclaimed travel speaker and works with universities and businesses all over the U.S. to talk about the role travel can play in helping support developing countries and increase global connection. 

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by Shannon ODonnell

Shannon O'Donnell is a long-term traveler who has been on the road since 2008; she travels slowly and supports grassroots tourism along the way. She is an acclaimed travel speaker and works with universities and businesses all over the U.S. to talk about supporting developing countries.

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