We’d love to hear from you to learn how we can make Outside better. Tell us what you think.

Exploring Belize: 10 Must-Have Pieces of Gear

While hiking and creek-crossing and caving and more, here are the 10 items I was glad to have in Belize. —Ali Carr Troxell

(Courtesy of Microsoft)

Exploring Belize

While hiking and creek-crossing and caving and more, here are the 10 items I was glad to have in Belize. —Ali Carr Troxell

Columbia Drainmaker Shoes

When you’re hiking in a tropical locale, it’s almost a given you’ll hike through some sort of water, whether it’s a trickle across the trail creating mud, a creek with a log bridge, or a full-on river. So, you want water shoes. Columbia’s Drainmakers ($80) have drainage ports on the bottom so water never sloshed around my toes upon exiting the rivers. But, the netting under the footbed caught lots of pebbles and rocks and the shoelaces would not stayed tied no matter how many double knots I insisted on. The current kept pulling them loose.

(Courtesy of Columbia)

E-Case E-Series 9

From the sandy beach to the rainy jungle—and then to a snowy hot tub in Vail, Colorado—the E-Case e-Series 9 ($28) protected my iPhone from an impending number of dangers. A locking zipper—a heavy-duty version of a ZipLock plastic bag closure—sealed out sand and water and never leaked. Bonus: you can still use the phone through the clear plastic window and take images through it without affecting the camera quality.

(Courtesy of E-Case)

Helly Hansen Skagerak Bikini Top and Marstrand Bikini Bottom

It’s not the sexiest of swimwear, but that’s OK. The Helly Hansen Skagerak top and Marstrand bottom ($50, $40) provide great coverage, support, and insurance against costume malfunctions while fording rivers and shimmying through narrow passageways between boulders. The sporty suit comes in fun colors—mostly of the nautical ilk—and also stayed put when de-wetsuiting after a day exploring Belize’s underwater population.

(Courtesy of Helly Hansen)

Microsoft Surface

Probably not the first thing you think to bring to the tropics but the Microsoft Surface tablet ($499)—sporting shiny new Windows 8—comes chock full of apps to help you while traveling. The finance app gives you exchange rates, the travel app allows you to book hotels and flights, and National Geographic’s World Atlas app gives you access to antique-style and satellite maps.

(Courtesy of Microsoft)

Olukai Mahina Sandals

They may look like designer sandals but because Olukai’s roots are in sporty footwear, the Mahinas ($90) are built for wearing—not just looking good. The well-cushioned anatomical midsole feels supportive and comfortable all day long.

(Courtesy of Olukai)

Olympus TG-620 iHS Camera

Underwater cameras aren’t anything new. But for the last six years, as they’ve been growing in popularity, they’ve also been growing in quality. The cameras of yore couldn’t take pictures at the same level as non-armored ones. Things have changed. The water-, dust-, and shockproof Olympus TG-620 iHS camera ($250) has 12 megapixels and HD video, which allowed us to capture images and video of sea turtles, rays, mustard yellow tube sponge, trumpet fish, and, of course, each other, while diving 36 feet down, with clarity. Bonus: they come in bright colors. When one in our group lost his on the sea floor, another spotted it amidst the flora and brought it back to the boat.

(Courtesy of Olympus)

PackTowel Original

PackTowel’s shammy-like, large size Original towel ($17) packs down to the size of a deck of cards and is lightweight, so adding it to an already-crowded small bag was no problem. Upon exiting the cave into cooler temperatures, I was happy to have it to dry off with. But once the towel became completely soaked, it took a few days for it to dry completely, which was a bummer while traveling.

(Courtesy of PackTowel)

Platypus Tokul XC 8 Pack

It may look tiny but the Platypus 8-liter Tokul pack ($90) fit the PackTowel, a spare change of dry clothes to change into after the cave, sunscreen, a camera, and a full bladder of water. The bladder, which opens with a heavy-duty zipper like the E-Case never leaked and was incredibly easy to clean and dry after using. The best part: it packed down flat and barely took up any space in my luggage.

(Courtesy of Platypus)

Quiksilver Women's Harbor Maxi Dress

Whether hanging out poolside during the day or twirling to steel drums by night, the Quiksilver Women’s Harbor Maxi dress ($68) feels at home most anywhere. That’s because it’s so comfortable. Its lightweight cotton fabric breathes perfectly for a long dress in a humid climate and the slit in front gives it a little shape.

(Courtesy of Quiksilver)

Smith Gibson Sunglasses

Smith’s Gibson sunglasses ($80) protect from harmful rays, are super lightweight, offer crystal clear optics, and look pretty darn cool. Heading out on the water? Pick up a polarized pair ($119) to nix the glare off the surface.

(Courtesy of Smith)

More Gear
Pinterest Icon