Wool socks/ water-wicking materials
Wool socks, those marvelously low tech byproducts of nature, are perfectly designed for our climate. They can hold about a third of their weight in moisture before feeling “wet.” For this reason, and their insulating properties, wool socks are the gold standard for hikers, campers, and anyone who ventures outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. If it’s not raining, a wool sweater will breathe comfortably as you perspire on the trails.
The advent of high tech water-wicking materials has been a boon to outdoors enthusiasts in our neck of the woods. Goretex and similar synthetic materials, waxed canvas, and other water-wicking fabrics can be a literal lifesaver in the backwoods.
Laminated maps/Rite in the Rain notebooks
The omnipresent atmospheric moisture in and near the Cascade Mountains and the Salish Sea has a way of permeating everything. For this reason, it pays to invest in some durable, non-digital goods when going off the grid.
Consider packing a laminated paper map. There’s no guarantee in the backcountry that your phone’s GPS will work. An old-school paper map and a compass can truly save your bacon.
If you like to get out into the wilds to gain and capture inspiration from your surroundings, consider capturing it with locally-produced Rite in the Rain brand notebooks, made in Tacoma. Rite in the Rain (slogan: “Defying Mother Nature”) has been around since 1919, making products that repel moisture.
The one thing you can expect when heading into the wilds any time of year is the unexpected. It pays to be flexible, pack in an emergency raincoat, and approach any minor setback with a sense of humor and a healthy can-do attitude.
The most important asset, then, in the backwoods? An expansive spirit.