The Gear We Carry in Our Daypacks

From insulated water bottles to portable toilet-paper rolls, here's what our staff never leaves home without


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Outside staffers love to get outside and when the workday ends, there's a mad dash for the hiking, biking, and running trails. Here's the gear that never gets left behind.

Sog SwitchPlier Multitool ($50)


I always tuck the SwitchPlier ($50) in one of my pack pockets when I head out climbing. I dig it because you can deploy the pliers one-handed, which is helpful should you need to grip rock or rope with the other hand. And it has just enough tools to give it plenty of functionality without being overkill or weighing a ton. I've never had to perform emergency gear repair at height with it, but better to have it and not need it than the other way around. —Will Egensteiner, senior editor

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Adventure Medical Kits Me And My Dog First Aid Kit ($50)

(Adventure Medical Kits)

Thanks to my NOLS wilderness first-aid training, I'm all too aware of what can go wrong outdoors. Ever since my pup nearly lost a toenail on a hike, this kit is always in my day pack. I love this one because it includes medical tools for human and canine. —Emily Reed, assistant editor

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CamelBak Podium Big Chill Water Bottle ($15)

(Camel Bak)

Water. No matter how short the hike or quick the spin, I've learned to always carry excess water. My bottle of choice on the bike is the Camelbak Podium Big Chill 25-ounce bottle. The bottle never leaks, keeps water cooler for longer, and is large enough for most shorter rides. —Scott Rosenfield, digital editorial director

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Tissue To Go Toilet Paper ($1)


I always pack an emergency supply of toilet paper. You know, for emergencies. —Nicholas Hunt, associate editor

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Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp ($80)

(Black Diamond)

I never go anywhere without my Black Diamond Sprinter rechargeable headlamp. The double headstrap helps it stay put while I run on even the most technical trails or while clean climbing routes after sunset. Its long battery life means there's always plenty of charge left to get me through dinner and my bedtime routine after I return to camp. —Abigail Wise, online managing editor

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Union Wine Underwood Pinot Noir Can ($5)

(Union Wine)

Though it's not exactly a necessity, Union Wine's Underwood Pinot Noir is the best canned or boxed wine I've ever tried. And, of course, canned wine is the ultimate backcountry beverage. Beer gets warm, tequila needs a lime, and whiskey, well, whiskey's alright, as long as there aren't any technical moves between me and a bed. I've lugged wine bottles deep into the wild before, and let me tell you—the can is a life-changing upgrade. —Abigail Barronian, assistant editor

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Flylow Rainbreaker Jacket ($140)


One part rain jacket one part windbreaker, the ultralight Rainbreaker lives in the bottom of my pack until I reach a summit or it starts to drizzle. It's inexpensive, completely waterproof, and fits great. Plus, I love the muted yellow color. —Ben Fox, associate reviews editor

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Skratch Labs  Matcha Green Tea + Lemons Hydration Mix ($20)

(Skratch Labs)

I always have Skratch Labs Matcha Green Tea and Lemon in my daypack. It's got electrolytes and just enough caffeine to keep me alert without throwing me over the edge. Plus, it tastes as good hot as it does cold, so even if my bottle heats up in the sun the drink is still palatable. —Ariella Gintzler, assistant editor

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Hydro Flask Standard-Mouth Water Bottle ($35)

(Hydro Flask)

I always hike with my Hydro Flask water bottle—and yes, I'm one of those people who will rave to you about how my Hydro Flask keeps my drink cold and still has ice in it after many hours. For long hikes, especially in the summer, there's nothing better than taking a drink of freezing cold water when you've been sweating for hours. I never leave home without it. —Abbey Gingras, editorial assistant, social media

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Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR Smartwatch ($280)


I have small wrists which makes most high-end smartwatches feel clunky and uncomfortable. But for the past week, I've been testing the Spartan Trainer Wrist HR, which packs wrist-based heart rate, GPS tracking, and a 30-hour battery life in a package that's not much bigger than my Timex. I've still got lots more testing to do but I'm hopeful I may have found my perfect watch. —B.F. 

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Eos Sphere Lip Balm ($5)


Since moving to Santa Fe, my lips have been chronically chapped. So I never leave my house without some form of lip balm. My current daily lip balm is the cute, egg-shaped Eos. Its funky shape makes it easy to find in my pack, and the balm itself smells good and helps heal my lips from the arid climate here. —Ula Chrobak, digital editorial fellow

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Patagonia Duckbill Visor ($15)


I love to hike and climb, especially in warm weather, but I struggle with early onset of fatigue. In other words, I'm prone to fainting. As a result, I've learned to eat a lot of iron, load up on water, and wear a hat. A great option in summer for people with ponytails is a visor. I like this one from Patagonia because it's flexible so you can smush it in your bag without compromising the structure, and the inside is sweat-wicking. —Jenny Earnest, social media editor

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