Road Tripping Essentials
Long seen as a mandatory rite of passage for every climber, today’s road trips have shifted their focus from dirt bagging and dumpster diving to comfort and convenience. After all, it’s easier to send the mega-proj after a good meal and relaxing full-night’s sleep.
Here some items that will help climbers get the most out of any climbing trip.
This shatter-resistant, BPA-Free, insulated coffee press prepares enough of the energizing dark liquid for an average group of four climbers. Perfect for base camp settings or anyone with an above-average caffeine habit.
With its unique wedge construction, this sleeping pad delivers excellent comfort and insulation without excess bulk and weight. Pacific Outdoor Equipment (PAC) achieves this by tapering the pad's profile from 5 cm under the torso to 2.5 cm under legs. For extra comfort and durability, PAC uses a soft brushed-polyester fabric on the top while a ripstop polyester bottom minimizes the risk or tears or punctures.
Built with a super-durable laminate fabric, the Base Camp duffel is perfect for transporting and storing climbing gear when travelling. The North Face wisely reinforces any critical stress point and includes removable shoulder straps for when its time carry the bag. A classic.
Road-tripping climbers with a serious caffeine-dependency issues will love the Brewfire. This home-style drip coffee maker brews up 1.2 litres of coffee, but unlike similar-looking conventional coffee makers, the BrewFire is powered by common propane canisters.
Requiring no refrigeration, Cryotherapy Pads deliver a pain reducing cooling effect without the hassles of conventional ice packs. These low profile pads easily conform to aching muscles and resist shifting without the need for sticky adhesives or tape. Perfect after a long day at the crag.
Rather than trying to cobble together a road-tripping tableset, consider the Deluxe Four-Person option from GSI. This colour-coded set offers plates, bowls, drinking cups and insulated mugs. GSI also includes sealable lids for the bowls - perfect for storing leftovers or dry goods.
This highly compressible and lightweight down blanket offers road-tripping climbers a warm and roomy alternative to traditional sleeping bags. Built without insulation on the bottom (the sleeping pad provides warmth), the Alpine Down Blanket feels like, well, a down blanket. Cosy, versatile and a good option for less extreme weather conditions.
The dirt, chalk and spilled coffee frequently encountered during road trips don't play nice with most cell phones. Rather than leaving the phone at home (unheard of) or worse, having it no longer work due to one too many soakings in a jumbo-sized Slurpee, consider using the SealLine E-Case. With is waterproof closure and clear urethane panels, the E-Case protects cell phones from dirt and moisture while maintaining functionality with button-based electronics.
This lightweight hard-anodized aluminum pressure cooker is ideal for preparing group meals. Unlike regular pots, a pressure cooker minimizes fuel consumptions by reducing cooking time by up to 66 percent. Perfect for dried beans, rice and complex rest days meals.
This roomy three-person shelter avoids the partner-killing claustrophobia that often arises from being trapped in tiny summit tents during miserable weather. But unlike other large and similarly spacious tents, the Holler is surprisingly light and compact. MSR merges these conflicting qualities by using a sophisticated dual-hub pole system that creates impressive internal space and excellent weather resistance without unnecessary weight. Big enough for three full-sized sleeping pads, the Holler is absolutely luxurious for two climbers. And with the extra space for packs and other gear provided by the two vestibules, the Holler is an ideal road-tripping tent.
With the Huey, Black Diamond has built an incredibly durable duffle bag capable of carrying climbing gear and personal kit. The bag's waterproof RhinoTek fabric easily resists abrasion while the dual-zip panel opening allows for easy packing. Reinforced at all wear points and sporting removable shoulder straps, the Huey is perfect for any climbing trip.
While mylar wrapped energy bars are a good at-the-crag food, most climbers will eventually tire of the homogenous texture and somewhat artificial flavours - especially after a few days into a road trip. Bringing real food to the crag is the answer but finding an appropriate container is not easy. Thankfully, the folks at Innate offer the MC2. Consisting of a stainless steel base and a silicone lid (that expands into a usable bowl) the MC2 is ideal for carrying a variety of real food to the cliff. Think serrano ham, manchego cheese and some crusty bread.
The five cm thick NeoAir Trekker sleeping pad delivers the recovery-inducing plushness necessary for successful route-sending. But unlike many other similarly thick pads, the NeoAir is surprisingly light and compactable thanks to its unique multi-celled Triangular Core Matrix construction. Perhaps a bit under insulated for full winter conditions, the NeoAir is king for the temperatures most climbers will encounter during a rock climbing road trip.
Popular in Australia and Africa, Roof Top Tents (RTT) offer fast setup and luxurious sleeping accommodations. The folded tent mounts easily to the top of most vehicles and with minimal experience, can be set-up in under 10 minutes. Simply extend the ladder and open the hinged floor. The tent body expands automatically as the floor straightens - no more searching for flat, dry ground or fumbling with tent poles and flies. Inside, climbers will find a plush in-situ foam mattress and multiple screened windows for venting. An optional zip-in annex encloses the ladder and entryway and provides additional living space. In the morning, just fold the tent back up and head off to the next crag. It does not get any easier. Highly recommended.
Climbers looking for protection from the sun, light rain and even biting insects (with the optional screen), should consider the Twin Butte Tarp. The tarp goes up quickly - just affix one side to a vehicle roof rack, insert the two vertical poles and guy it out. And unlike other tarps that collect water and sag during a rainfall, the Twin Butte's two crossover poles provide wind and water-shedding structure - nice.
The stainless steel construction assures clean tasting water while the unique triangular-shaped bottle provides a secure grip and simplifies opening after a long day of battling hand-eating cracks. Throw in an opening that's compatible with all MSR water filters, and climbers have an ideal road-tripping bottle.
This roomy two-person sleeping bag is the perfect alternative to more restrictive conventional bags. Insulated with efficient and relatively lightweight hollow-core synthetic insulation and rated to -7 C, the Twin Peaks offers a versatile sleeping system for road-tripping climbers.
Preparing a good meal after a long a day at the crag requires a few essential items: a good recipe, fresh ingredients and some proper cooking utensils. Unfortunately, most climbers travel with a cobbled-together set of cooking instruments, which make preparing even the simplest meal an unnecessary chore. MSR's Alpine Deluxe Kitchen Set solves this dilemma by conveniently packaging all the obvious kitchen essentials: measuring cup/spoon, pasta strainer/grater, spatula, knife, cutting board, towel, salt and pepper shaker, cleaning brush and most importantly, a wine bottle opener. Mandatory for any climbing trip.