We’re really getting into the swing of things now. With two months of our tour down—and some exciting events on the way—we’ve got an epic summer ahead. We’ve visited all our favorite spots in the Blue Ridge Mountains (and discovered some new ones). Later this month, we head to the craggy peaks of Colorado for some high elevation climbing, craft beer sipping, and maybe even snowboarding if the snow stays in the high country. Take a look at the gear that keeps us going through each new adventure.
When it comes to van-ready cookware, Sea To Summit’s Sigma 2.2 Cookset checks all of the boxes. It consists of two marine-grade stainless steel Sigma Pots, two Delta Light Bowls, and two Delta Insul Mugs that all nest neatly inside the largest pot to make the perfect lightweight and compact kitchen set. The Sigma series is Sea To Summit’s most durable cookware option, making it perfect for everyday use in the van.
When we’re on the road we’re adamant about making our own fresh and healthy food. The Sigma 2.2 helps make that a reality. Both pots have convenient strainer lids that rest neatly on the pots when they’re not in use. We’re not always able to park on a perfectly level spot to make our meals. The grippy heat-absorbing base ensures that the pots will stay on our two-burner and not slide off. When we’re finished cooking the Sigma is easily cleaned and stashed back inside itself. The Pivot-Lock handle keeps everything nice and secure which we really appreciate on rutted-out mountiainroads.
The Skyline UL Stool is the perfect companion for minimalist packers who want to roll extra light,or van-dwellers who want to save space. Weighing in at about one pound, this stool packs down so small it fits inside a large-mouth water bottle. This is the smallest addition to the Big Agnes line of camp furniture and your butt will thank you for packing it when you don’t have to sit in the dirt after a long day on the trail.
One reason that the Big Agnes camp furniture line is leading the pack is their hubless design. This feature saves on space and makes for stronger construction. The poles that make up the frame are color-coded and shock-corded making for simple setup. The Skyline UL Stool comes with direction printed on the stuff sack, but you won’t need them. We’re impressed by the Skyline UL Stool. It’s small but mighty and comes with a maximum size to comfort ratio.
These trekking poles make us feel like super hikers. They are sleek, comfortable and very strong. These are the lightest and most comfortable poles that we have used to date and this year they have updates to the locking mechanism. LEKI was founded in 1948 and has been on the cutting edge of ski and trekking pole technology ever since.
The Micro Vario Carbon poles are made out of 100% carbon, making them some of the lightest and strongest poles on the market. Perfect for climbing, trail running or small tours – these “Z” style folding poles pack down and expand in a second and are easy to stash in a crowded van or gear closet. Weighing just eight ounces per pole, these are perfect for the ultralight hikers out there. Everything about using these poles is a breeze. At just 15 inches long when collapsed, they fit perfectly into our gear drawers and are great for taking on a plane. If you have ever used poles while hiking then you know that straps play a huge role in overall comfort. The LEKI Skin Straps used on the Micro Vario will allow you to forget that the straps are even there. The straps are also easy to adjust and lock into place. We’ve used these poles on some fairly aggressive scrambles and they have held up without any problems. With a 20cm adjustment range, they’ll fit almost everybody.
There is one way for this tour to be a reality– our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to all of our awesome sponsors that make this tour happen: Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Leki, Big Agnes, Stio, Roofnest, and Franklin County, VA.