Outdoor adventure essentials to put a spring in your step
Our new outdoor kit list is here to help you make the most of your next fresh-air outing. From hiking and biking to surfing and sleeping under the stars, we’re ready with the hi-tech garments and nifty gear you need to enjoy the glories of nature in maximum comfort.
Published 18 September

Some quality time spent exploring the great outdoors can be just the ticket for a refresh of the mind and soul. After all, is there anything more powerful than the sight of a beautiful sunrise, the sensation of reaching a summit or the sound of laughter around a campfire to remind you that challenges do eventually pass? That’s why you can be sure we’re here to help you and the family get set for your next outdoor excursion with the best in functional fashion, rugged gadgets and adventuring essentials.

When it comes to taking the scenic route, you need to be ready for changes in the weather and unafraid to sweat. Look for ultra-lightweight long-sleevers that offer sun protection without weighing you down, and tees in wicking fabrics that will keep moisture away from your skin. Even in the hotter months, tops containing merino are your best bet for day-to-night adventuring because of the way this almost-magical wool helps to regulate body temperature and combats body odour. Breathable running jackets featuring strategically placed vents are handy for keeping the bugs and grub off you while you’re exercising outdoors, and it’s always worth packing a button-up utility shirt for those camping trips where you might need to fend off mosquitoes or smarten up come the evening.

1. Adidas 
2. Nike 
3. Lululemon 



The key test for any piece of outdoor adventure garb is whether it allows you full range of motion while feeling sturdy enough to withstand a bit of wear and tear, which is why trying on in-store is so valuable. When choosing shorts or pants, look for ripstop fabric that isn’t going to easily snag on rocks or branches, as well as styles that promise four-way stretch. Remember, real fastenable pockets are what you need if you’re planning to carry mid-hike snacks; the tiny stylised pockets you find on everyday clothing aren’t going to cut it. With leggings, it’s wiser to opt for quick-drying elastane or nylon than cotton if there’s a chance you’ll cop water splashes while exploring. As for swimwear that’ll stand up to more than sunbaking, racer-back bikini tops and bottoms with an anti-slip lining are the go. 

1. Kathmandu
2. The North Face 
3. Nike

If you’ve ever nursed a blister you know that footwear selection is critical – critical! – to your enjoyment out on the trail, so be sure to ask the sales assistant whether the shoes you’re checking out require breaking-in before you go tackling a multiday trek.  Whether you’re scaling mountains or meandering over beach rocks you’re going to want a grippy outsole (you’re off to a good start if you spot the Vibram logo). After that, deciding between an ultra-supportive hiking boot or a minimalist trailrunning shoe is going to come down to personal preference and how technical you like your outdoor adventures. If the plan is to crank up the step count with a river crossing or two, you’ll want to consider sturdy sandals, easy-pull-on water shoes or sneakers with quick-draining mesh. 

2. The Athlete's Foot 
3. Skechers 




Even on overcast days, UV protection is paramount and that means making sure the family is suitably equipped with sunhats and sport sunglasses. Photochromic sunnies that help your eyes adjust to dappled light are a good choice for cycling or running through trees, and stress-resistant frames are the dream if you’re prone to dropping or sitting on your specs. A summer neck gaiter (which you can drench in water to cool you down) is also worth considering. One of the most important investments you can make, however, is in a quality backpack suited to the activities you enjoy and your body type (meaning the length of your torso and hip shape). That’s not to say you necessarily need a women’s-specific pack if you’re a woman, but once you try on a few different styles you’ll see that certain packs simply allow you to move more naturally and carry more weight without throwing you off-balance.

1. Sunglass Hut
3. Bailey Nelson

Once you have your tent, sleeping bag, camping chair and first aid kit sorted, what about other overnight essentials such as a trusty headlamp or easy-hang lantern? In fact, there’s all manner of portable tech designed to help you maximise and record a weekend among nature. Waterproof smartphone case? Check. GoPro camera? Check. How about a GPS watch, or a compact power bank for recharging your devices? You don’t need to be Bear Grylls to appreciate the usefulness of these gadgets, and they certainly come in handy when you want to relive and share your outdoor action hero moments. 

1. JB Hi-Fi 
2. Apple
3. Rebel 

Search Exercise & Activewear retailers here.

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