This time of year, I almost always find myself looking for a reason to drive. There's something exceptional about the spring foliage, misty weather, and changing of the seasons. I like to keep a simple bag of gear packed up in case my wanderings turn into an overnight trek.
1. Polarized Sunglasses
Having a set of polarized sunglasses makes the road easier to see, and the fall colors really pop. Polarized glasses take the edge off of glare, and also block out the UV rays. This means by the end of a long day, my eyes feel less tired and strained. The polarization seems to shed a layer off the surface of water, so it becomes more detailed and fish don’t tend to blend in. The reason I love my Switch lenses is twofold, first they are exceptionally clear, light, and look good. Second, they have magnetic interchangeable lenses that are easy to swap out for different light conditions. I have a set of blue polarized and some low-light amber lenses to match the weather.
2. A Nice Warm Blanket
This time of year is always about warm days and cooler nights. Having a great blanket is always a good idea. A Roadside picnic, impromptu bonfire, or just getting close while watching the sunset is always a bit easier under a warm blanket. Stay away from woven blankets since they tend to pick up stickers and grass more so than a solid fabric.
3. Messenger Bag
My STM messenger bag is one of my favorite weekend bags, it’s big enough for the essentials with a few tech pockets but still has the classic brushed poly fabric that feels more classic than trendy. It’s a great carry-on piece with space for a laptop and magazines as well.
4. Vintage Chrome Flask
Keeping a little nip close at hand generally seems like a good idea. Finding a quality spirit while on the road is a hassle, so bringing some along for a nightcap avoids the need to suffer through a thimble of rotgut. My flask has been around since it was legal to fill it so the dents, scratches, and general character really hold a lot of memories for me. Taking it along on any adventure I'm on is just second nature.
5. Merino Wool Layer
I’m a fan of merino wool. It’s soft, durable, and provides some good insulation without bulking up too much. The benefit of the merino wool is the finer size of the materials, resulting in a much finer weave, with all the benefits of traditional wool. Look for some great shirts at Smartwool, Ibex, and Woolx.
6. Comfortable Shoes
I've been wearing Sanuk shoes for a few years now and I have become a fan of the style, and lightweight materials. They are the most comfortable travel shoes I own. The canvas exterior is durable enough to hold up to my abuse, and I almost forget I’m wearing them within minutes of slipping them on.
7. Personal Journal
Don’t forget to bring along something to gather those thoughts. One of my favorite parts of taking a drive is the fact that I have time to gather my thoughts. The very activity compels you to think, plan, and dream. So it’s no wonder that what I would call my most essential tool I have my journal. A few years ago I was given the gift of a very nice Moleskine journal, and it’s been close to me ever since (well, it’s been filled by now, but the new one has been).
So take a few minutes to gather up your own essential kit, and let me know what it looks like. Then start planning a last minute escape to enjoy some of those amazing places close to your home.
8. Clothes and the Rest - You know what you wear. Just grab enough for a few days, and don't overthink it. We recommend wool socks here, which wick moisture and dry quickly, and an extra pair is highly recommended. Grab a few shirts, a single pair of pants, and get out there.
Oh, and throwing in a microfiber pack towel is never a bad idea. Especially in summer.