Traveling south beyond the border to chase winter swells has been a regular occurrence in my life. While the days of loading the White Whale (my old campervan) with every piece of saltwater gear I own are over, pursuits for southern adventures amidst cold months are still very much alive.
Trips are now a bit more complicated as space is limited. Catching flights with restricted space requires thought-out and well-constructed luggage. A portable power source for recharging camera and cell phone batteries while also listening to music is a must. And, comfortable clothing is essential, as traveling from a dry, winter environment to a humid jungle coastline creates the necessity for unique choices.
Below are my selected items for gear, luggage, comfort and protection while on the move for my most recent venture to Sayulita, Mexico.
Sportube Series 2
If there ever was a conversation starter in an airport, rolling the Sportube (yep, it has wheels) through your local landing strip loaded with adventure gear is it. This hard-shelled plastic and adjustable-length container started up at least a dozen conversations and saved my gear from the abuse that notoriously happens with airlines. What did I pack the Sportube with?
1. Werner Rip Stick SUP Paddle
2. Patagonia R1 Wetsuit Top
3. Salvimar Speargun
4. Riffe Wetsuit
5. Cressi mask & snorkel
6. Dive weights & belt
The Sportube Series 2 was my selected size, which snugly fit all the gear listed above. While the Sayulita adventure called for water gear, Sportubes are more often used for ski and snowboard equipment. If you need to protect your skis, the Series 2 is it; if snowboarding is your passion, the Series 3 is the size for you.
This airline- and FedEx-friendly container performed amazingly well to keep my gear safe. So well, I’ve already bought the Series 3 for my splitboard I’ll be flying up to Bozeman for a hut trip. Gearheads rejoice, here’s your luggage piece.
Mystery Ranch Mission Duffel 40
Mystery Ranch started as a specialized pack company: military operators in foreign countries, hotshot wildland fire crews and hunters packing out 120lbs of elk meat over harsh terrain have all utilized the well-designed packs from Mystery Ranch.
As the brand gained popularity, the product line has expanded into luggage and travel products. Backpack duffels have become a staple in adventure luggage options, and Mystery Ranch created their version: the Mission Duffel. For this trip, I took along the carry-on 40L size.
This duffel has a twill-weave look that gives it style while the underside of the 1000D nylon fabric is TPU coated for a durable piece that is nearly awarded a technical rating, while also allowing you to look sharp while traveling.
A horseshoe-shaped zipper allows access to the meat of what you’ve packed. Two interior zipper pockets and two large zipper pockets on the flap all run the length of the pack, useful for storing cords and electronics. And two segmented portions accessed via zippers at each end offer separation of clothes or travel goods.
Goal Zero Venture 70 Recharger – available spring ‘17
This 17,700mAh waterproof recharger is a joyous piece of equipment for techy gearheads. While on the move between Uber rides, airports, and connecting flights, I never worried about my phone and tablet losing battery power.
On this Mexican adventure, friends and I would switch between charging my Sony a6000 camera, our GoPros and cell phones. This rugged recharger handled the trip with ease. The LED light bar shines blue indicating battery strength when one button is pressed, and second button activates flashlight mode using the same light bar.
Duckworth Comet Henley
Traveling in comfort came in the form of a wool long-sleeve top from Duckworth. The Comet Henley has the classic 3-button style. Hydro-ply fabric used next to the skin pulls moisture from the body, and the outer fabric is Montana-raised wool that keeps you warm, whether the shirt is dry or wet.
My departure from Denver was 28 degrees and arrival to Sayulita was 70 degrees. The thermoregulation with the temperature swing was incredible, the piece exceptionally maintaining comfort levels.
Be proud of your Duckworth piece. With locally-sourced wool and all processing and sewing completed in the United States, this is a brand to stand behind with products that exceed expectations.