It’s about that time to gear up for the weekend: the car is packed, the water bottles are filled, the tails are wagging and you’ve got all the best gear! Unfortunately, you’re now broke as a joke. But does it always have to be this way? Absolutely not. Here are some of our top picks for the best gear you can get under $30!
Insulated Water Bottle
First and foremost, always bring water! And not just a couple plastic water bottles — because not only are they bad for the environment, but who likes drinking warm water? Picking up a good stainless steel, insulated bottle is going to be your best option. They will literally keep your water ice cold for hours! Just put a few ice cubes in before heading out and they’ll still be there after your four hour hike. Of course many of you are thinking Hydroflask, but here are a few GREAT alternatives under the $30 mark!
THE BEST WATER bottles UNDER $30 :
Mira — $14.95-$18.95
Made from high quality food grade 18/8 stainless steel.
Crafted and designed with a powder coated finish to last.
Polar Bottle — $23.99-$27.99
Designed to endure hot and cold conditions to keep your beverage fresh, no matter the adventure.
Insulates cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours.
Whether you plan to hike or just plan on swimming in the lake and sitting around a fire afterward, having a few good pairs of socks with you is a must. It’s super important to keep your feet warm and dry - having wet, cold socks can create friction on your feet and lead to blisters and possibly even an infection or frost bite! Have you ever heard of trench foot? Don’t google it (we warned you). Unfortunately, a lot of outdoorsmen socks can get pretty pricey, especially when you always need to have more than one pair. Fortunately, we were able to find some found some amazing companies that offer high-quality socks at affordable prices.
THE BEST SOCKS UNDER $30:
Darn Tough - $15.00-$20.00
Unconditional lifetime guarantee.
Some of the most comfortable, durable and best fitting socks.
Wigwam - $12.00-$15.00
Made with a heavyweight knit of Ring Spun Cotton, Stretch Nylon and Elastic.
Committed to knitting fine quality socks since 1905.
Solar lantern or Headlamp
Nothing makes the adventure come to a halt quite like the sun going down and suddenly being surrounded by darkness. Sure you could use your phone, but trust us - having a lantern or a headlamp will change your life: you now have two free hands to use a hatchet, make some dinner, or juggle some heavy boulders (plus, the flashlight on your phone will drain the battery). So if you want to keep the adventure going to do some night exploring, just get yourself a solar lantern or headlamp. Did we mention it’s cheap?
THe BEST solar lamp UNDER $30:
LuminAID — $24.99
Provides up to 12 hours of LED light
Waterproof and it can float!
If you’re wanting to take epic photos on your next adventure but don’t want to splurge on a professional camera, consider buying a lens or two for your smartphone. They are way cheaper than a camera, fit easily into your backpack (or pocket), and can yield some incredible photos! Some Instagrammers only use their phones with lenses to achieve great photos.
THE BEST PHONE LENS UNDER $30:
AUKEY Ora - $29.99
Offers a 120 degree wide angle lens and 15x macro.
Fits all smartphone models.
This is a big one, especially if you love taking photos or videos on your phone. Always have a portable charger on hand and be sure to charge it beforehand! Most portable chargers under $30 only provide one full charge, but there are some that can hold multiple charges so they can last you through an entire weekend (like the one listed below). This will allow you to take as many slow-mo videos of you cliff-jumping into alpine lakes as you want, without having to worry about your battery life. Additionally, having that additional charge can’t hurt especially if you need to call mom to let her know you’re lost or to get the tacos ready by 10PM.
THE BEST PORTABLE CHARGER UNDER $30:
Anker - $29.99
Provides multiple charges for smartphones.
Ultra-lightweight and fits in the palm of your hand.
Hammocks are too expensive, right? Wrong. The ones we use are super cheap and come with all the perks of regular hammocks: lightweight, small, and allow you to take a nap under towering trees. A perfect way to get some much-needed R&R after a long day of adventuring.
THE BEST HAMMOCK UNDER $30:
Kootek — $13.59-$17.84
Made of 210T parachute fabric material and can hold up to 500 pounds.
Super Lightweight: Can be folded into the attached sack.
Comes with 10 ft. log adjustable tree straps.
Forest service Maps
Now we know almost all maps are under $30, but we wanted to pinpoint out that forest service maps are key if you want to explore remote places. These maps show almost every body of water and forest service road in that area and are very detailed. But make sure you plan out your trips before adventuring down unmaintained roads! There are now digital versions of these maps available online to be downloaded on to your smartphone, but it’s always a good idea to have a hard copy as well — just in case.
MAPS can always be found at your local REI store.
Whether it’s to jam to some Odesza to get you pumped hiking a mountain, or to relax to folk songs by the fire, having a portable speaker on hand can really make the difference in mood and atmosphere. Having music playing throughout your adventure can make a moment that much better. Just imagine overlooking a vast canyon, gazing up at a beautiful waterfall, or hiking up a rugged mountain trail with some of your favorite songs playing in the background.
the BEST portable speaker UNDER $30:
Etekcity Anker - $19.99
Offers crystal clear and incredible sound quality for up to 8 hours..
Has a bluetooth connection range of up to 33 feet for convenient wireless freedom.