Portable Gear for Adventurers on the Go

Portable Gear for Adventurers on the Go

It is better to be prepared for an opportunity to explore and not have one, than to have one and not be prepared. Mark “Halvy” Halverson lives by this credo. He almost always has the right gear in the trunk of his car so he’s ready to roll for his favorite adventure activities.

Halvy is a big fan of mobile adventure gear (i.e., equipment that folds, collapses or simply deflates so that it’s easy to tote to and fro). A founding member of the Baja Bush Pilots and a 13-year veteran of Burning Man -- the annual gathering in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance -- the Southern California native owns a folding mountain bike, inflatable kayak and stand-up paddleboard (SUP), and a rare hinged surfboard. Whether flying to the Nevada desert or south of the border to his jungle escape near Puerto Vallarta, he fits it all -- plus his 6-foot, 5-inch frame -- into his 1968 Cessna 172 Skyhawk.

In fact, the last time I saw the big man, he was inflating the huge stand-up paddleboard in the living room of his friend’s condo in Malibu and showing off this cool new folding paddle that was designed with a fishing spear built into the handle.

While you may not have a plane to get you to your happy place, you can take a cue from Halvy and take some of your toys with you everywhere you go.

Here’s STM’s short list of portable gear worthy of Halvy’s stash -- and your cash.

Montague Paratrooper Pro | $1,049
MontagueBikes.com 
This folding mountain bike was originally designed for military use. The idea was simple: Paratroopers could jump out of an airplane with the bike strapped to their backs, deploy their chutes, land, unfold the bike and then ride into battle. Hooya! Consequently, the 29-pound, 27-speed Paratrooper Pro is tough as nails. Based on designs for full-suspension downhill bikes, it provides a 26-inch wheel size and 100 millimeters of travel in the front shocks -- enough for the roughest terrain. To pack it away, the rider simply removes the front wheel and folds the frame in half. (It doesn’t weaken the frame by “breaking” it, like other folding systems.) The Pro can then be stowed in your car’s trunk, under a desk or even in an airplane overhead compartment.
 
Uli Fat Ass Quad | $1,295
UliBoards.com 
The first inflatable stand-up paddleboard of its kind, the Fat Ass Quad is 9 feet and 3 inches long, and 33 inches wide. This quad-fin board only weighs 26 pounds. Uli claims that the collapsible Quad is super-stable even for nose-riding, can handle overhead-plus surf and is stiff enough for riders that weigh up to 250 pounds. Made of military-grade material that’s lightweight but durable, the foldable board easily packs into a duffle for travel. Once you reach your destination, it quickly inflates with the help of a small hand-pump (included).
 
Sea Eagle 340x Explorer | $849
SeaEagle.com 
A mere 42 pounds, the Sea Eagle 340x Explorer inflatable kayak can be piloted by one person, but is big enough to accommodate two and all their gear. It is made of a tough, high-pressure polyester fabric, with seams that are electronically welded. This allows the kayak to withstand Class IV rapids or even the occasional sharp racks that you’ll encounter while using it. It also has four extra-large drains and an auto-bailing design to keep the inflatable from filling up in whitewater. The drains can be quickly sealed for flat-water cruising to keep you and your cargo completely dry. Integrated bow and stern spray-skirts have water-deflecting guards, and rope lacing forms secure hand-holds and convenient tie-down points.
 
Water Walking Ball | $248
eCrater.com 
If you’ve ever had delusions of grandeur in which you can miraculously walk on water like a god, then this inflatable Water Ball is right up your alley. The PVC bubble is 6.5 feet in diameter -- large enough to hold most adults as well as a reserve of breathable air. The Water Walking Ball comes with a carrying bag, instructions for use on water and land, support service by Skype or by email for 5 years, and a complete warranty.
 
Pro-Iroda O-Grill 1000 Portable Grill | $169
Pro-Iroda.com 
Since man cannot live on toys alone, consider adding the O-Grill 1000 portable propane gas grill to your roving repertoire. Weighing only 16 pounds, the clamshell O-Grill is perfect for barbeque aficionados on the go. With its 165-square-inch cast-iron grilling surface and auto-ignition 9450-BTU stainless-steel burner, you’ll think you are using a much larger grill. Hook this bad boy up to a standard propane gas cylinder and you’re in business, cooking up beefy burgers and succulent steaks. When the cooking is done, you will love the retractable legs and easy-to-grab handle.

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Gretchen Newcomb is a freelance writer who keeps her pulse on the online world by writing for Bing, Edmunds, MSN and more. She leads an active lifestyle in Oregon, where she retired to raise and homeschool her two children. Gretchen's articles have previously appeared on Style and Tech for Men.