The Gear You Can’t Live Without

8 11 2009

I haven’t asked this of many people but I’m often curious.  I have a feeling that many gear heads or athletes are a bit like me and there is that one piece of gear that they can’t live without.  Maybe it’s a hat that fits just right such that it would only sit on your head without looking funny.  It could be that paddle that you have used to navigate the class V rapids successfully so many times.  Or maybe it’s the lucky Capilene underwear that you have on when you toe the start line of all your races.

For me, its my trusty old Smith Empire Sunglasses that are dangling from the strap on my neck if they’re not on my face.

I’ve been addicted to my sunglasses since I was a rafting guide back in college.  Before that, sunglasses were never something that I wore or thought much about.  At 8,000 feet with clear skies and water beneath you all day, sunglasses become a necessity as much as a fashion statement.  And, unless you didn’t mind buying a new pair every week, a sturdy strap to keep them around your neck and prevent them floating away after a flip is imperative.

For me, the Smith Empires seem to fit my face just right and have been a part of me for the last three years.  Yes, that’s right, the same pair for 3 years!  It’s not a minor miracle, it’s the strap.  After returning home at the end of the summer, I never took the strap off my sunglasses and it has kind of stuck.  Now I kind of feel naked if I don’t have them with me.  They have become as much a part of my routine of walking out the door as putting on my wedding ring, watch and sliding wallet, keys and cell phone in my pockets.  They have also become a bit of a calling card.  On many occasions I have had clients remember me as the guy who always has the sunglasses around his neck or ask where they were if for some crazy reason I didn’t have them.

Good Ole' Smitty's

Good Ole' Smitty Empires

I’ll write a review one of these days about sunglasses but that’s not what this post is all about.  What can you not live without?

Later, Dan




5 responses

10 11 2009
andrew farrand

First thing that comes to my mind is a piece of clothing – Prana Stretch Zion shorts ( Haven’t found any sunglasses I love yet, but I’m still looking.

I enjoy the blog (and will spread the word) – keep the entries coming!


p.s. Would love to know what hiking packs and day packs you recommend, if you have any favorites

11 11 2009
Gear Check

Hi Andrew,
Thanks so much for checking out the blog and for commenting. I am flattered to know that there are readers that I don’t know. I will do an entry in the next week or so on daypacks and other related items. For your traveling, I have so luggage reviews.

I will also spread the word of your blog and will continue to check in with yours as well. Please feel free to contribute and I may ask your thoughts now and then for some travel opinions.

Thanks again and be well! Cheers, Dan

10 11 2009


If you decide to do a review of day packs I am sure I can give you my thoughts on the Osprey pack I used on Kili and the Gregory pack Barbara used.

11 11 2009
Gear Check

Christopher, I would love to get your input on the daypacks. I really want readers to contribute so I will send you some questions about it and do a post soon on them.

Thanks for reading!

19 11 2009

My white running hat (Addidas) for the summer and my black, double-layer stocking cap for wintertime running. They both are staples and they are my running companions on the road and the trail!

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