. Gear Suggestions
Hiking Gear
Biking Gear
Photography Gear

Hiking Gear

One of the joys of hiking is that anyone can start at any time with what they already own. However, purpose-made gear will reward you with comfort, reliability and safety, so we've linked some of our favourite hiking gear below. All of these are in addition to your usual day hiking considerations including water, food, first aid essentials, emergency whistle and sunscreen.

Outdoor Research Pocket Cap Outdoor Research Pocket Cap
Product Page | Our favorite hat could only be better if we could find a way to get the Trailspotting Logo onto it. The folding plastic peak makes it very pockatable and easy to rinse off.

AllTrails App AllTrails App & Subscription
Product Page | AllTrails provides a wealth of trail opportunities including every Trailspotting map and recent trail condition reports. Subscription for offline maps is an essential feature for us. There's been a 50% off sale around black friday every year.

Anker PowerCore 1000 Anker USB Power Bank
Product Page | Ensures that we're never without power for our phone & headlight. The Anker PowerCore is the densest power to weight from a reliable brand without spending a fortune.

Nitecore headlamp Nitecore USB Headlamp
Product Page | Carry a headlamp if there's even a chance of running out of daylight. Our USB powered Nitecore headlamp can be recharged with a backup USB power bank.

Nalgene 10oz flask Nalgene 12oz Flask
Product Page | For hydration on shorter hikes. Well shaped for a back pocket. Ditch the outer container and unnecessary black cap.

Hydration belt Hydration Belt
Generic waist hydration belt has two 10oz bottles and a zippered central pouch that fits a further 18oz Gatorade. The zipper will break eventually but the bottle stays put. We use the elastic side loops to hold sunscreen & picaridin in repurposed small hand sanitizer bottles.

Permethrin insect repellent Permethrin Repellent
For clothes, hikers in New England. Spray on your hiking clothes in spring, and repeat later in the year if necessary. Protects against ticks, mosquitos and more. Not safe around cats - see instructions.

Picaridin insect repellent Picaridin Repellent
Product Page | For skin, hikers in New England. Provides 4-5 hours protection from tick, mosquitos and more. Doesn't contain DEET which has drawbacks and loss of effectiveness when combined with sunscreens.

Biking Gear

We receive questions on the trail about the types of bikes we ride. Our compact folding bikes fit in the trunk of our cars without having to worry about theft, or the cost of equipping our vehicles with hitches and bike racks. Having a bike in the car is also convenient for emergencies and for exploring a city or some trails on a whim. The main shortfall of folding bikes with 20" wheels is that they are slightly less comfortable than a full-size ride and require a little more effort. On hardpack rail trails we usually limit our rides to around 40-45 miles.

Zizzo Via folded Zizzo Folding Bicycles
Brand Page | Amazon Link
US based Zizzo are a reliable brand for budget folding bikes built well. The Zizzo Via suits us with fenders and hybrid tires as standard, and it handles unpaved trails and rugged terrain well. We can confirm that it can handle a 6'2 220lb human for hundreds of trail miles. We get 3 in the trunk of a VW Jetta with the back seats still up. They're also great for kids around 10 and up since they're readily adjustable.
Video: folding our Zizzo Via.

Zizzo Via folded Lectric XP Folding eBikes
Brand Page
Very popular folding ebikes on the cheaper end of the scale, though they tend to be on the heavy side and can be cumbersome to lift into a vehicle. We removed the fenders and cargo rack for some weight savings. Battery lasts 25-30 miles on trails with pedal assist, but a second battery in our dollar-store battery holder extends our range significantly.

Bike Accessories
Here are a few items that we've been buying and using for our cycling explorations. Note that we don't recommend a handlebar phone mounts as vibrations are known to damage smartphone cameras. Also, to avoid scratches and other damage when transporting folding bikes we recommend plastic water bottle cages and a low-profile bicycle bell.

• Bike helmet  • Bike lights  • High-visibility jacket  • Pump or CO2 Inflator  • Repair kit & tire levers, spare tube  • Multi-tool  • Low-profile bicycle bell  • Water bottles & cages  • FlatOut tire sealant & valve core tool  • Seat post bag  • Handlebar mirrors 

Photography Gear

We agonize over choosing the right equipment for our trails, but almost always choose to travel light and use iPhones to snap our trail images. Although DLSRs can provide better quality images, they're bulky, often overkill for web-based productions like ours and having to change lenses on a trail can be a chore. Presently we're rocking an iPhone 14 Pro which features a superb 48 megapixel sensor with the prime lens, but we're also looking forward to trying Apple's incoming telephoto lenses too.

Our photos are processed with Adobe Lightroom 3.2 (2010), Photoshop CS2 (2005) and Hugin photo stitcher. Software so old that it could be bought without a monthly subscription; something that we refuse to do. These products still provide excellent results, and still easier to use than the modern open source alternatives we test out from time to time.

Photo Accessories
Our most important accessory is a wrist lanyard that can be secured to our phone case, combined with a retractable badge holder that attaches to a belt loop. We pull our phone out so often to take photos on hikes that this has stopped us from dropping our devices multiple times. There again, maybe we're just clumsy.

Photo Tripods
Our new favorite gadget is this combined selfie stick and tripod. On solo hikes it's sometimes the only way frame a person in the image. Clipped to our belt with this tool holster it takes literally 5 seconds to set up or strip down. Its only downfall is being unstable in windy conditions, like on top of a mountain. Previously we carried a cheap lightweight traditional and more bulky tripod but we often didn't use it because of the setup time involved.

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