Canaan’s Outdoor Gear Guide 2017

When you work at a summer camp and retreat center you find out very quickly that you share a lot in common with your fellow co-workers. Things like…

Believing that food always tastes better when you’re camping or hiking

Chacos can and should be worn throughout the entire year (and yes, Chocs with Socks is an approved fashion look).

Pour over coffee, brewed by firelight is not pretentious, it’s perfection.

Splitting a cord of red oak after a 3-mile paddling trip is better than any Cross-fit exercise.

There is a distinct gnarly smell to every outdoorsman’s gear that can be distinguished from others- “SNIFF– Oh, that’s definitely Jordan’s shirt!”

But the one common denominator with almost all of us here on the island is that we are unwavering, unapologetic, slightly obsessed GEAR JUNKIES! Albeit we are all pretty thrifty when it comes to finding the best deals on outdoor gear. But if we’re completely honest, we have a gross profundity to having three of everything and keeping it all in a rat’s nest in the back of our car.

Our only saving grace is to share our top finds in hopes that others will benefit from the perfectly designed, durable, cozy-comfy, weather-worn gear that we call “essentials”. The Canaan Outdoor Gear Guide for 2016 is broken up into three categories: Hardtack, Second Skin and Go-Go Gadgets.


These are the top “equipment” picks that our staff have found this year or had for a lifetime.

Terra’s Pick: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2- Lightweight is an understatement- weighing in at only 2 lb 3 oz, this 2-person trail tent is versatile, easy to set-up/ breakdown and spacious (for a backpacking trip- that is). $429.95

Drew’s Pick: Deuter Quantum 70L + 10: For your big gift guy here’s a big trail gift. I love this pack because it is more than spacious for a week to two-week backpacking trip. The rip stop zippers are durable and the added bonus is the detachable day-pack for the short hikes and vistas! $269.00


Caleb’s Pick: Sea to Summit Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad: 72 inches of Air Sprung cells makes for the most luxurious outdoor sleeping affair you could ever imagine. Solid construction meets elegant design- plus it received Nat Geo’s Gear of the Year award- boom! $99.95

Robbie’s Pick: Yeah, we know– it’s the Hero5– but guys, it’s awwwwwesome! Now there’s no need for a separate waterproof case because the Hero5 is your new all-purpose, all-weather, all-everything camera! $399.00

Second Skin

For every hard-shelled woodsy trekker, there are few comforts in life that warm the soul better than a comfy fleece or pair of dry boots. Here’s our top apparel and footwear picks:

Clay’s Pick: Vasque Talus Trek- Ultradry- The much debated but now celebrated Vasque brand has come through for me huge! I bought a pair and there was a defect on the leather upper- ripped away from the sole. I sent an e-mail and they sent me a new pair- sweet! Thanks Missy H! These really are great boots- lightweight and durable– guess I just got a weird dud. But they stand behind their product and that’s what counts! $149.00


Nick’s Pick: Haggar Life Khaki LK Chino’s- You don’t hear Haggar and think Outdoor but I can honestly say that I have been so impressed with these flat-front performance pants. 60/40 cotton/ poly blend, double stitching and durable wear. They are as good as any pair of Carhartt or Mountain Khaki I’ve had… seriously. $29.99.


Audrey’s Pick: Astral Loyak W’s- I bought these this summer and love them! Comfortable but functional for those gritty paddling and hiking trips- they have drain holes in the soles! Check em’ out and make sure you wash them… at least occasionally. $79.95


Tiffany’s Pick: We just picked up these Polar-tec, thermal fleeces by Patagonia Kids for our crew. Perfect for our day hikes with the little bears or chillin’ around our firepit. 100% Polyester- NO COTTON! $39.99-$99.00.

Go-Go Gadgets

These are the little inventions that you find on GoFund Me or Kickstarter that gear heads get jazzed on. Share, Compare and Buy some of these favorites!


Robbie’s Pick: Check out Peak Design’s Capture Pro Camera Clip. This is a lifesaver for any outdoor photographer. Complete with an all-aluminum body this clip can be worn on your belt or bag strap and can even act as a tripod head.  $64.99

Griffen’s Pick:  Say goodbye to grit with the microfilter Aerobie AeroPress. This press is easy to brew, fast clean up and makes great coffee on the trail and at home. $29.95 Made in the USA!


Phillip’s Pick: Ubens Ultralight Gas Stove: This thing is tiny but gets the job done. It only weighs 25 grams, comes with a travel bag and is perfect for a day hike, overnight trip or brewing coffee with friends on the porch. $12.90

Caleb’s Pick: The CRKT Drifter knife may look fairly basic and… it is. That’s the brilliant part about it! A knife should be dependable, easy to sharpen and easy to clean- this knife is by far my go to  every-day blade. $39.99

Matt’s Pick: Hydoflask’s 20oz Coffee Mouth has been my morning java jug for 2 years running now. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a travel mug for that long. Stainless steel, BPA-free and stays hot for 6 hours- this is my favorite- there, I said it. $27.95