The Ultimate Gear Guide
Welcome to the complete guide to all of the gear I use for traveling, action sports, yoga, and photography. I struggle with throwing money down on just anything, so I’ve tediously researched and own every item on this list. I’ll tell you the items that I recommend highly, as well as the ones I’m willing to leave for a new one when the time comes. I’m a big fan of borrowing, buying secondhand, and trying to use what I already have for multiple purposes. However, this isn’t always practical or possible.
All of these items are recommended by me without any outside input. I am a proud affiliate of Patagonia and have included some Amazon affiliate links as well in this post. This means I’ll make a small commission on any purchase at no extra cost to you.
Deuter Backpack: High quality, durable, and customized to fit your body. Strong zippers and comfortable straps make it easy to store and carry around all of your belongings for long periods of time. I highly recommend this backpack.
Eagle Creek Packing Cubes: If you do not pack using packing cubes, you are doing it completely wrong! These save me so much space and time that it would take unpacking and repacking and entire backpack. The material is thin, lightweight, sturdy, and flexible and I’m so obsessed with the packing cube system that I take them on weekend trips as well. I’ve tried a few other brands, but these are my favorite.
Patagonia Backpack: The specific backpack I own isn’t made anymore, but the quality of my backpack from 2009 is second to none. From carrying damp wetsuits to using it as my main backpack for travel, I know it can withstand harsh conditions. The Patagonia brand also promotes sustainability and repairs items, so I also feel good when shopping their products.
Canon PowerShot S100: I am so glad that I was able to find this camera in Lyon, and it’s become basically my fifth appendage (wait, does the head count as an appendage?). It takes amazing pictures, and the newer models (S120) even have wifi. The only downside is that this camera has been known to have a lens error, and unfortunately my camera was one of the unlucky ones. Canon fixed it for free, but I was still annoyed at having to pay shipping charges to get it fixed, and the turnaround time for the repair was about a month. It would have absolutely devastated me if this happened in the middle of my travels. If you can afford it, I’d recommend the newer models to avoid the stress of having to worry about if your camera is going to commit suicide during your life-changing hike of Machu Picchu or selfie session in the bathroom.
Canon EOS 100 aka Rebel SL1: This is the world’s smallest DSLR body camera. I spent months researching the perfect DSLR to travel with and this ended up being it. It’s small, easy to use, and delivers high quality performance every time. The only downside is that the LCD screen does not extend out and probably is too small for large oven-mitt hands. When coupled with a small lens, it’s smaller than my partner’s mirrorless compact camera.
Canon 50mm f/1.8 II Prime Lens: This is my favorite lens in the world. It lives on my camera and takes amazing portraits. I find that it’s also helped my photography progress so much because you’re forced to compose the picture using your legs and eyes, instead of relying on a zoom lens. For around $100, this lens is incredible and so worth the money.
Canon EFS 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens: The perfect lens for wide-angle shots — ideal for indoor, architecture, and landscape photography.
GoPro Hero 3+ Silver: By now you already know what a GoPro is and what it’s capable of. If only my computer were a little bit faster, I’d be making videos all the time! Still, a GoPro is a great little camera for all of your favorite sports. I pair mine with this pole and a board mount. Of course, don’t forget to attach a floaty!
O’neill Bahia 2mm springsuit: I get so many compliments on this wetsuit every time I wear it. I needed a long sleeved yet thin wetsuit for this summer in Perth to protect myself against sunburn when surfing. I tried on every single brand of springsuit that I could get my hands on (Roxy, Billabong, Ripcurl, West, and O’neill). The second I put this one on, it was the clear winner. I like that it comes in so many colors, has a fuller bottom, a back zip, and the 2mm seems sturdier than Ripcurl’s 1mm. I will recommend this forever and ever, especially if you have a body type similar to mine.
West 3/2 mm steamer wetsuit: Another great wetsuit that I’d highly recommend and have convinced friends to purchase. West is a Western Australian company that makes cheaper wetsuits than the big names, but rivals them in quality. Most surfers in Western Australia will wear some variation of the wetsuit. It’s the best I’ve ever had, but next time around, I’ll invest in the chest-zip version.
Lululemon 5mm “The Mat” in black: I am absolutely in love with this mat and have never used another mat that even comes close to how great this one is. That being said, I originally purchased it in light blue and had to return it after two yoga sessions because it stained green. From what I’ve heard and read, all of the colors scuff and stain easily. That bothered me, so I returned it for the black one and have absolutely no complaints. It’s grippy, absorbes sweat, and lays flat every time.
Lululemon 2mm “The Hot Towel Mat”in sky blue: If I had the space and weight, I’d purchase the thinner version of The Mat (called The Unmat) instead of this one. I like the towel mat because it’s light and foldable, and we’ve had a lot of good times together – but it has a tendency to be slippery. Spraying it with water beforehand gives it a better grip. I’d be willing to try another brand the next time around. It’s machine washable.
Lululemon Drishti Yoga Tote: This is my everyday carrying bag. I have it in a beautiful rose pattern that unfortunately isn’t made anymore. It’s sturdy, has secure zippers, and can accommodate an extra pair of clothes and toiletries with the front mesh pocket. It fits two mats rolled together if you’re the type of yogi to go to class with a mat and a yoga towel. The carrying strap can be removed and used as a yoga strap but to be honest, I’ve never done this because it’s a bit tedious.