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The 8 Essential Pieces of Mountain Gear You Need This Summer

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With the abundance of summer activities in mountain towns comes a fleet of hobby-specific gear. Canyoneering shoes, downhill helmets, running hydration packs, fly fishing reels, backpacking stoves. It's easy to get into the weeds (and drop a lot of coin) on dedicated pieces of gear. But what about the stuff that you throw in your bag no matter where you're going? Or those pieces of your kit that transition easily through your ideal three-sport day? Those are the essentials, and it's time they got a little attention. To help you out, Curbed Ski is bringing you our picks for the essential mountain gear that everyone has to have.

Rugged pants: Western Rise Granite Camp Pant


The Granite Camp Pants are water repellant, have some stretch, come with mesh-lined pockets and even have a little notch for your pocketknife. Western Rise is a new mountain brand that specializes in making stylish apparel from their signature DryRise fabric that sheds water. No matter what you're into, a stretchy, rugged, go-anywhere pair of pants is a must. The only bummer is there's no corresponding women's pant yet. We're told a larger women's line is planned, just no word on when that's happening. Price: $99

Daypack: Buck Products KnappSack


The retro-styled daypack is big right now, and there are a bunch of brands in the game. Our go-to is a bag from Bozeman outfit Buck Products. The KnappSack is simple, functional and looks just as good bushwhacking to the swimming hole as it does hauling a laptop to the nearest coffee shop with free wifi. Price: $130

Hiking shoes: Forsake Banks


After a day full of getting after it in the high country, there's nothing better than making a smooth transition straight into happy hour. But those clunky, heavy hiking boots built for months-long thru-hikes are slowing you down and stand out like a sore thumb at the craft brew bar. The solution? Finding a shoe that's well-equipped for outdoor pursuits but also can pull double duty as a stylish, casual shoe. Forsake makes rugged footwear for exactly that niche. The Banks is a versatile low cut option that is just as suited to a pitched approach as it is to the party that night. Price: $100

Water bottle: Hydro Flask


Sure, the free water bottle that you got after your last 10K is totally adequate for displaying your sticker collection and making sure you can quench your thirst in a pinch, but it takes a double-walled, vacuum-insulated bottle like those from Hydro Flask to keep water so cold that it's basically dessert at the end of a hike. The 18-ounce option will fit in the water bottle carrier on a bike, while the 32-ounce or larger sizes work well for longer excursions. The only downside is how heavy the larger bottles get when full, but nothing beats drinking ice water after a day of the bottle sitting in the sun. Price: $26 for the 18-ounce wide mouth bottle

Everyday carry knife: SOG SlimJim


Choosing an everyday carry knife depends heavily on personal preference, but for our money, thinner is better. If it's going to be in our pocket the whole day, it shouldn't be too bulky. SOG claims the SlimJim is the slimmest assisted knife in the world. It'll sit in your pocket all day, and you'll hardly notice it's there until you have to cut a line or open a particularly stubborn energy bar wrapper. Price: $75

Weatherproof notebook: Field Notes Expedition


Photo courtesy of Field Notes

No one has ever regretted having a notebook handy. That's not to say that your journals will be the next "Wild," but getting down those thoughts when nature has cleared your mind couldn't hurt. The Expedition edition of notebooks from Field Notes are a special run so they might not always be around. Stock up so you'll always have some of the amazing water- and tear-proof Yupo synthetic paper on hand. Technically, it might not even be paper, and you'll need to be picky about what pen you take with you, but the first time you drop the notebook in the creek, you'll know you made the right choice. Price: $10 for a three-pack

Phone lens clip: Olloclip


Unless you're a professional and your livelihood depends on hauling pounds of photography gear, the camera on your phone might be all that's needed to impress your Instagram followers—at least with a little help. Olloclip makes lens systems that fit iPhones and the Samsung Galaxy. Depending on the option you go with, you can have wide-angle, macro, fisheye or telephoto lenses. The clips are small, light and simple to slip on to your phone. It will make even the flashiest phone camera better. Price: $50 to $120 depending on lens system and phone type

Powerbank, speaker, flashlight: Outdoor Tech's Buckshot Pro


Making each piece of gear fill as many needs as possible is just smart, and Outdoor Tech's Buckshot Pro is like a battery-powered multi-tool. It's a powerbank to charge your phone, a portable bluetooth speaker and a flashlight complete with a strap to mount it to your bike's handlebars. Being shock and water resistant, it's also fairly rugged. Charge it before heading out, and it will satisfy the basics for a day on the trail: light, tunes and lifeline for your phone. Price: $80

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