Health + Fitness: Finding a Higher Gear

The Newest Equipment Gets You Outside

Image Caption: Photo Credit: Zeal Optics

If you’re an RVer who engages in outdoor activities like hiking, bicycling, paddling, or skiing, you know the importance of the right gear and accessories. My husband and I do all those things, and over the years we have accumulated a lot of stuff to pull each of those sports off. Some of it, we can’t live without. Some gets occasional use. And some ends up collecting dust in our junk closet where once-cool things go to die.

After decades of being active outdoor recreators, one thing I can say with confidence: it’s the stuff you’re using, more than anything else, that can make or break your experience. The right gear has a huge impact on how easy, safe, and fun your outdoor pursuits will be.

In that spirit, here’s a run-down of innovative outdoorsy gear—consider it a restock for your interest list, and not your junk closet.

RV outdoor gear

Photo Credit: Stefani Adinaro

For the Cyclists: Helmets with Integrated Walkie Talkies

My husband James and I met up with fellow RVers this summer in Montana’s Glacier National Park. As our group biked our way up the beautiful, iconic Going to the Sun Road, I could hear our friend Tom strangely muttering away right in front of me. I started asking myself ‘what is wrong with Tom’, and then it dawned on me. “Tom, are you talking to someone?” “Yeah, Sandy’s telling me to check out the waterfall at 9 o’clock!”

Turns out Tom and his wife Sandy wear Sena bicycle helmets, which have a built-in Bluetooth intercom communication system. Since Sandy was up the road, they were able to stay in touch. I’ve been watching intercom technology for cyclists for a couple years now, and I’m not sure why we haven’t jumped in yet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve yelled “WHAT!” “WHAT!” from my bike’s saddle; both James and I getting frustrated with the other for not being able to hear. When you’re rolling 18+ miles an hour into headwinds, it’s loud!

Seeing Sandy and Tom happily chatting away, without anyone having to yell, bumped cycling comms systems up to the top of my interest list. Besides integrated systems, there are also devices that slip on any helmet strap, like the Aleck Punks or the Terrano System.

RV outdoor gear

Photo Credit: Stage

For the Paddleboarders: 2SIDE Double-Sided Paddle

We occasionally travel with two inflatable paddleboards. We’ve had them for a couple years now. On the very day we picked them up, I stuck a kayak paddle in with my board bag, and it’s still in there today. I’ve always thought having a paddle on both ends just makes sense, and I’ve never understood why that wasn’t a thing in the paddle board world. The problem with using the kayak paddle on my SUP is it limits me to either sitting or kneeling.

On a recent paddle trip, I got all excited when I saw someone using an actual standing double paddle. When I looked it up later, I was happily surprised to learn Stage, the company who makes the 2SIDE double SUP paddles, is based in our home state of Utah. The 2SIDE breaks down into three pieces, and easily adjusts to various lengths. And the best part, you can even convert it to a traditional single paddle, so you get two options with this one paddle. Brilliant!

RV outdoor gear

Photo Credit: Black Diamond

For the Hikers: Black Diamond Alpine FLZ Poles

Thanks to issues with heights, I’ve had some “moments” while out hiking—unpredictably so, unfortunately. Sometimes I can hike along high trails with steep drop-offs without any problems. Other times it’s like a switch flips inside of me, and I go from normal to freak show in no time flat. Take the hike where I discovered an appreciation for trekking poles.

James and I had been uneventfully hiking along and had just started coming back down the mountain when my heights switch flipped. I quickly moved to Scaredy Stef cat pose—my hands firmly planted on the ground and my body frozen. James, who’s seen my cat pose many times, handed me his poles, “I know you don’t like poles but just try these, maybe you’ll feel more stable”. Through my blubbering, I bravely reached up, took the poles, and worked my way to standing. I took a tentative step, jamming the poles in the ground as hard as I could. Almost like magic, I became sane again, and was able to get past the exposed trail section. Since that day, I’ve been pro-poles.

Recently, I’ve had my eye on the Black Diamond Distance Z trekking poles. Since they fold, they can pack smaller than the standard telescoping poles and fit nicely in a daypack. Plus, the natural cork handles over time conform to the shape of your hands. Thumbs up for natural materials!

RV outdoor gear

Photo Credit: Zeal Optics

For the Skiers: Cloudfall Ski Goggles by Zeal Optics

If you’ve ever downhill skied while it’s snowing, you know how easy it can be to get disoriented. The snow can make it hard to gauge how fast you’re going and how steep the slope is, especially if you’re not able to see any landmarks or the horizon. That’s what makes ski goggles such an important investment. They’re not just for looking cool; they can save your bacon on the slopes.

Since I’m more of a reluctant skier who sticks to the green kiddie runs—or the lodge coffee bar—I’m less concerned about the goggles I’m wearing. James, however, becomes 10 years old whenever we roll up to a ski joint. Even if it’s a resort we’ve never been to before, he takes off with no map and no plan, skiing anywhere he can find, hunting for bowls and off-trail areas (not out of bounds though).

When I saw the just-launched Cloudfalls by Zeal Optics, I thought how perfect they’d be for James, or any other enthusiastic skier. The Cloudfalls are designed with the same technology air traffic control towers use, so you can see much better and with a wider range of view. Not only that, you can easily swap lenses on the fly with their unique lens changing system that uses magnets— handy when the weather goes from sun to storm.

Stefany Adinaro
+ posts

Read This Next

Subscribe to Wildsam Magazine today, Camping World and Good Sam’s magazine of the open road.

Just $19.97 for a year’s subscription.


Read Premium Articles with an subscription.
Starting at $14.97/year

Join Now


Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading