The favorite outdoor kit of the Aus Geo ADVENTURE team

Our staff are often on the road, and with decades of collective experience, we know what we like and don’t like – whether “old” or “new” – when it comes to equipment. . Here are some favourites…


April 13, 2022

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The North Face Bag

The inherent simplicity of the North Face Duffel’s design exemplifies the saying that “basic is better”. I’ve owned this large (90 litre) TNF duffel bag for over 12 years now; it’s my favorite equipment for expeditions.

Whether it’s big backcountry expeditions or hanging on the back of a yak for a multi-day trek through Peru, this bag from The North Face has been there, done that, all without fuss.

I packed gear for strictly single-activity adventures, but also managed to pack mountain biking, climbing, and hiking gear for a multi-activity trip that spanned 10 days. It was impressive to see a climbing helmet, MTB helmet, 65L backpack, other cycling and climbing gear (including crampons) and associated clothing stuffed into this barrel-shaped bag . It’s also slung from the backs of yaks and horses for sustained expeditions, plus strapped to the top of 4×4 wagons and the back of a ute for off-road adventures (and stayed dust-free on the go). interior).

The north face Duffel was battered, covered in dirt and gravel, and hammered in torrential rain, but still ran reliably. This toughness is due to the thick laminated nylon outer material, while the double stitched seams and extra bartacks for the straps ensure it won’t collapse if overloaded.

There really isn’t much that can go wrong on the TNF Bag, which is, ultimately, its appeal. The bag is available in a wide range of sizes, from XS (25 liters) to XXL monster (155L). There are stories of TNF duffels still in use after over 30 years, so mine is relatively young, but one that I have no doubt will remain my favorite for a few more decades. – justin walker

Leatherman Wave

After returning from an overland trip through China and the ‘Stans of Central Asia, I put Leatherman’s 25-year no-questions-asked warranty to the test. I’ve been a fan for a long time leather man products and while I have a few multi-tools (three Leatherman units among them), the all-time favorite that’s rarely out of my hip is the Leatherman Wave.

The Leatherman Wave has been a super reliable tool for Ron on his many Australian and international overland adventures.

A few years ago they released the Leatherman Wave+, which is the same tool with the addition of replaceable wire cutting blades. I’ve had the old version for 12 years, use it to cut fence wire, gut rabbits, tighten loose screws or file a damaged lock pin. To say it got me out of trouble many times is a bit of an understatement.

What still amazes me is the design, engineering and manufacturing involved and how well the tools work, even after 12 years of solid use. With 18 tools that can be opened and most importantly locked easily, what I find pleasing about the Wave is how comfortably it fits in your hands when in use.

So what happened for me to test warranty claims?

Well, it’s a long story, but suffice it to say that I lost the main blade of a police captain’s knife in China, while trying to board a train to Kashgar. Once home, I contacted Zen Imports (Leatherman distributor) and told them about my defrocked Leatherman. No questions asked, they told me to send it to them and it would be fixed, free of charge. It’s like new, and I was impressed – as you will be too, with this amazing multi-tool. – Ron Moon

myCOOLMAN 30L fridge/freezer

I used the myCOOLMAN Fridge/freezer 30L a lot in the last six months. This unit is ideal for keeping drinks and food cold for weekend trips. The 17.5kg fridge has a footprint of 610mm x 340mm and a height of 424mm, so it fits easily into the back of small wagons.

The myCOOLMAN 30L is ideal for camping weekends, with plenty of storage for food and drink for the family.

With 240V AC and 12V DC inputs, I can cool the fridge using mains power before plugging it into a vehicle’s 12V socket. There’s an optional slim 15Ah power pack that attaches to the fridge’s steel cabinet via magnets, meaning you can run the fridge for 18 hours when away from others power sources. In practice, I estimate the PSU is good for about 12 hours, depending on ambient temperature.

Other features that I really like include the two 12V inputs, the USB socket and the integrated bottle opener. There’s also a stopper at the bottom so it’s easy to empty/clean, and some handy baskets. At $1095 and $399 for the additional Power Pack, it’s great value. – Dean Mellor

2003 Land Rover Discovery 2 TD5

It’s noisy, leaks a bit of oil and is – more often than not – covered in cobwebs, but my 2003 Land Rover Discovery TD5 has always done what it was designed to do: take me, my family and everything our equipment in the wild, and back.

I was delighted to find this 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbodiesel (TD5) version in Melbourne about five years ago. I had owned a Discovery 2 before and knew it had decent passenger comfort, plenty of storage for camping/outdoor gear and was still one of the most capable 4x4s I’ve ever had. you can get. With solid beam axles front and rear, combined with long-travel coilover suspension and a lockable center differential, it will go most places I want it to. Its 95 liter fuel tank and its frugal economy allow us to go to remote areas without fear of running empty.

It’s almost 20 years old, but this nightclub still has a lot of outdoor dancing, according to JW.

I’ve added a few spare accessories since I bought it: a set of off-road tires and an auxiliary battery (an absolute must for powering your portable fridge and the kids’ camping gadgets). Funnily enough, I’ve been asked more than once why I haven’t upgraded the stereo (I still have to use CDs) to be able to answer phone calls, but, really, why would I want to spoil any vibe expeditionary with an inactive working cat?

Maintenance has been the main drain, although most repairs have simply been age related – it never let me down. The Discovery 2 may be getting old, but it’s still one of my favorite outdoor “toys” not only for the reasons above, but also for the times when I turn the key and hear the distinctive rattle of the TD5: that’s when I know adventure is on the way. – justin walker

The North Face Supernatural down jacket, Ledlenser SE07R, board shorts, Ledlenser MH11

When packing for any adventure, there are three items that always go in my bag; The north face Supernatural Down jacket, a rechargeable Ledlenser headlamp and plain black swim shorts. My Supernatural jacket offers a water-repellent 950 fill of down in a Pertex Qantam nylon ripstop jacket. It packs into its own pocket and is about as good as “duvets” when considering weight for warmth. It’s also a great pillow when stuffed into a Buff.

My Ledlenser SEO7R is a compact and powerful headlamp weighing less than 100 grams offering up to 130 meters of visibility at 220 lumens and a burn time of five to 20 hours depending on settings. The bonus of the SEO7R is that it also accepts three AAA batteries when recharging is not an option. If I need silly power for better visibility, photos, or navigation, I switch my SEO to my more durable 179g, 1000 lumen Ledlenser MH11 headlamp instead. And finally, comfortable, 4-way-stretch, non-chafe swim shorts are a luxury worth finding space for. The neutral black means they double as casual or trekking shorts without offending the fashion-conscious, and keeps my pale bum from showing up when I go for a swim. – Mark Watson

Watto hints at the type of climate he wants to experience on his next Aus Geo ADVENTURE mission by showcasing some of his favorite gear.

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