What’s the Best After-Work Adventure Gear?
Keep this kit in your car and you'll be ready for the trail as soon as 5 p.m. rolls around
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Next Monday is the longest day of the year, and we sincerely hope you take advantage of all that extra sunlight with a few after-work microadventures. Here’s the gear that should live in your car, ready and waiting for when 5 p.m. rolls around.
Falcon Guidebook (From $10)
You need a local hiking, climbing, biking, or hot springs guide book. It’ll help you find new adventures.
Skratch Labs Cookie Mix ($8.50)
Hunger can murder motivation quicker than any forgotten piece of gear. We like the Skratch cookies because they’re delicious, easy to make, and provide a quick energy bump. Just leave them in your car—if you take them into work, they’ll disappear before they’re supposed to.
Thule T2 Classic 9044 Bike Rack ($400)
You’ll never ride your bike if you have to go home after work to get it. The call of the sofa and Cheetos will be too strong. We always throw our bike on the car before 9 a.m. and hit the trails at 5 p.m. We like this Thule because it’s easy to use and fits fat bikes without adapters.
Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2 Mini-7 ($40)
The Thule and other bike racks come with locks, but you should always add another if your bike is going to sit in the parking lot all day. This isn’t fail-safe, but it will take a thief a long time to hack through a U-lock, which is usually a pretty good deterrent.
Trew M’s Up Jacket ($120)
Don’t get caught in a late-afternoon downpour without a jacket. Keep this piece in your pack or jersey pocket at all times. The DWR coating makes water roll off, and stretch ripstop nylon adds warmth when temps drop.
Voke Tabs ($7)
A latte or energy drink will slosh around in your belly on the trail, so we prefer Voke Tabs for an after-work caffeine fix. Each tab has 77 milligrams of caffeine and offers a much less jittery buzz. We also appreciate that the caffeine wears off fairly quick, so you’ll be ready to sleep when bedtime rolls around.
Petzl e+LITE Headlamp ($30)
You aren’t likely to run out of light during summer, but just in case you do, you should have a tiny headlamp with you. It’s about the size of a large grape but puts out 26 lumens, which is just enough to get you down the trail.
Forsake Mack Shoes ($100)
These kicks look good with jeans in the office (assuming your dress code is semicasual), but they also have plenty of hiking DNA, thanks to an EVA midsole, nylon shank, and aggressive lugging. No more excuses to not hit the trail because you forgot your boots.