Venture: Outdoor Essentials

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Outdoor adventurers are inundated with goodies and gadgets, accessories and accoutrements. Some are awesome, others awful. Here are four that I tried and loved.

Hennessy Expedition Asym Hammock

A traditional summer campout requires three things at nightfall: tent, sleeping bag and pad. This stuff is costly, and skimping's a great way to create a heavy, bulky pack. Hennessy's genius invention replaces all three.

It weighs a scant 2.75 pounds and stuffs into a sack that's only seven inches by 10 inches. To set it up, you simply string tough polyester rope between two trees, enter the nylon sleep area from the bottom, reattach the Velcro and lay back. It's the ideal way to enjoy a starry night. A rain fly is included.


Available: $130; Clintonville Outfitters, 2869 N. High St., Clintonville

Darn Tough Boot Socks

Wearing wool socks in the summer sounds about as fun as running barefoot through a field of poison ivy. But these delightful merino wool-nylon creations from Vermont outfitter Darn Tough are the most comfortable socks you'll ever try on.

The hiking line features reinforced heel and toe sections, high-density sole cushioning and elastic arch support. They also wick away moisture accumulated during daylong hikes in sweltering heat. They're available in various styles, and both the boot and ankle cuts are great.


Available: $20; The Outdoor Source, 3121 Kingsdale Center, Upper Arlington

Park Tool Rescue Tool

Fixing bikes requires notoriously specific tools, so no one can carry a full set on a weekend ride. Instead, for emergency fixes and small tune-ups, carry this compact device from Park Tool, the brand trusted in many bike shops.

Inside a small nylon case is everything you need for basic maintenance: tire levers, hex wrenches, spoke wrenches, screwdrivers, a serrated knife and, of course, a bottle opener. You'll be able to tweak wheels, brakes, seat posts and other things that can hinder a smooth ride.


Available: $18; Bike Source, 2887 N. High St., Clintonville

Seagull Bags Hip Bag

Biking with a backpack in the heat totally sucks, but it's just as uncomfortable to ride around with pockets stuffed with phone, wallet, keys and U-lock. A decent alternative is this small hip satchel - yes, in reality, a fanny pack - from the city's premier maker of messenger bags.

Able to haul the essentials, it loops to your belt (a nylon waist strap costs an extra $5) and combines a large pocket for loose items, a key ring and a U-lock holster that can be looped to your belt by itself for shorter rides.


Available: $55; Seagull Bags, 3343 N. High St., Clintonville

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