It's Sunday afternoon, and I'm wandering around Atmosphere in search of a Gore-Tex rain jacket. I've recently moved to the Wet Coast and my puffy winter coat from Alberta just isn't cutting it. I turn around a price tag and gasp: $599 for a rain jacket? Seriously?

As fun as shopping for adventure gear can be, quality gear items can empty your bank account fast. While larger items such as tents (and my new Gore-Tex jacket) carry hefty price tags, there is a wealth of affordable gear out there—if you’re willing to look for it. Luckily for you, I'm sharing my seriously budget-savvy gear list. Here are 30 practical, fun and convenient gear items from $1.99 to $29.99.



1. Grabber Hand Warmers

photoGrabber Hand Warmers

Price: $1.99
Buy it at: Sport Chek

Fight the cold and keep your fingers warm! Toss these single-use air-activated heat packs into your gloves to keep your digits cozy during outdoor adventures.


2. Coghlan’s Emergency Poncho


Price: $2.99
Buy it at: Atmosphere

Although it won’t be as waterproof as Gore-Tex, this lightweight polyethylene poncho is better than nothing in surprise rain showers.


3. Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash

photoSea to Summit

Price: $5.99
Buy it at: Altitude Sports

This general-purpose pocket soap contains 50 leaves of dry soap per pack. Take a leaf in your hand, add water and work into a lather to clean everything from dishes to your hair.


4. McKINLEY Emergency Blanket


Price: $6.99
Buy it at: Atmosphere

It’s always important to have an emergency blanket on hand for, well, emergencies. Hopefully you don’t have to use this, but if you do, the heat-reflective material could save your life.


5. Nomad Nutrition Hungarian Goulash


Price: $7.75
Buy it at: MEC

Although this ready-made dinner comes in other flavours (such as Irish Stew and Kathmandu Curry), I can’t help but feel like a good homemade dish of goulash would be the perfect supper on my next adventure. With an ingredient list boasting familiar kitchen names and the promise of rich plant-based protein, this is a healthy choice you can feel good about.


6. Avventura Wire Saw


Price: $8.95
Buy it at: Avventura Outdoors

Incredibly lightweight and flexible, this pocket saw can be used to slice up kindling, firewood and marshmallow roasting sticks.


7. Gear Aid Sea Gold Anti-Fog Gel


Price: $9.00
Buy it at: MEC

Does your snorkel mask always fog up while diving? Stop this issue before it starts with an affordable bottle of anti-fog gel, created to keep your dive mask clear and your vision sharp for underwater adventures.


8. Coghlan’s Magnesium Firestarter


Price: $9.99
Buy it at: Atmosphere

This handy strip of magnesium is the perfect tool to teach fire-making skills or improve your own campfire expertise.


9. BlenderBottle Classic Shaker Bottle


Price: $11.99
Buy it at:

Protein powder and supplements give you the fuel you need for multi-day adventures, but they can clog your expensive water bottle. Instead, invest in a basic shaker bottle with a blender ball.


10. Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets

Price: $12.99
Buy it at: Canadian Tire

Each pack contains 50 iodine-free tablets to treat up to 100 L of water effectively against Giardia, faecal coliforms, cholera, typhoid dysentery and other water-borne diseases.


11. Gear Aid Tenacious Tape – Reflective


Price: $13.00
Buy it at:

Gear Aid makes several types of tape for different outdoor needs, such as patching inflatables and repairing outdoor gear. This reflective tape will stay on through the washing machine and storms to protect you while exploring after dark.


12. Light My Fire Spork 4-Pack

photoLight My Fire

Price: $13.49
Buy it at:

The original camping Spork by Light My Fire is still an ideal campsite companion. With a surprisingly sharp serrated edge for cutting, attached fork and full spoon, this is an everyday reusable item that can replace plastic disposable cutlery.


13. Avventura Survival Grenade


Price: $14.95
Buy it at: Avventura Outdoors

One lightweight piece of equipment can do more than most survival kits. Wrapped in paracord, this grenade can explode in emergencies to reveal a knife, fire-steel, tinder, fishing gear and more.


14. Micro Towelling Travel Towel

photoMountain Warehouse

Price: $14.99
Buy it at: Mountain Warehouse

Made of super-soft fabric with amazing absorption, this travel towel is six times lighter than a regular towel, and it dries four times faster.


15. Granger’s Clothing Wash & Repel

photoVahalla Pure Outfitters

Price: $15.95
Buy it at: Vahalla Pure Outfitters

Taking care of your expensive outdoor items is extremely important. Don’t wash your waterproof materials with regular detergent—instead, invest in a washing liquid like Granger’s to clean your clothing and protect their performance.


16. Outdoor Research Graphic Dry Sack

photoVahalla Pure Outfitters

Price: $20.95
Buy it at: Vahalla Pure Outfitters

Outdoor Research puts the "fun" back in functional outdoor gear with their line of graphic dry bags. The retro and nature-inspired artwork will inspire your next paddling adventure.


17. Tru Flare Pen Launcer

photoKodiak Canada

Price: $20.99
Buy it at: Kodiak Canada

Stay safe from unwanted animal encounters with this launcher. Slip a Bear Banger or Whistle cartridge into the compact pen to ward off animal attacks.


18. Avventura Outdoors Flashlight


Price: $24.95
Buy it at: Avventura Outdoors

This powerful 1,200-Lumen flashlight has three power levels, plus strobe and SOS modes, making it the perfect tool for after-dusk or early morning adventures.


19. Woods Heritage EVA Soft Cooler

photoCanadian Tire

Price: $24.99
Buy it at: Canadian Tire

This retro-inspired cooler can fit 8 litres (or 6 cans) with extra storage in the mesh products in the front. It’s foldable and sealed for antimicrobial protection.


20. United by Blue Get Lost Enamel Steel Mug


Price: $25.50
Buy it at: MEC

These handmade campfire mugs feature outdoorsy designs coupled with a double-enameled rim and handle.


21. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter


Price: $25.95
Buy it at:

Safely drink from moving water on your outdoor adventures. The portable LifeStraw filters 99.999% of water-borne bacteria without iodine, chlorine or other chemicals.


22. Therm-a-rest RidgeRest Classic Sleeping Mat


Price: $25.99
Buy it at: Atmosphere

If all you need is a basic camping mat, this lightweight, durable foam mattress will satisfy.


23. SmartWool Trekking Heavy Crew Socks


Price: $27.00
Buy it at: MEC

Shock-absorbing cushions and an extra layer of wool will keep your feet comfy for backpacking and hiking adventures.


24. Buff UV Canadian Collection


Price: $27.00
Buy it at:

Last year, Buff’s 1867 Canada Collection had us showcasing our provincial pride; now, the UV Coolmax Buff with 95% UV protection features different scenes from across the country. Each design has “CANADA” boldly printed on the bottom.


25. GSI Commuter Java Press


Price: $27.75
Buy it at: MEC

Coffee always tastes better on adventures. Make a fresh cup of java with this portable press.


26. Thermos Vaccum Insulated Tumbler


Price: $28.00
Buy it at: MEC

Retaining heat for five hours and cold for nine, this stainless-steel thermos with spill-resistant screw-top lid is a staple item in most explorer’s bags.


27. Avventura Jetstream Micro Regulator Stove


Price: $29.95
Buy it at: Avventura Outdoors

This teeny tiny camp stove takes “lightweight gear” to a new level. Folded into its carrier, this stove can easily fit in the palm of your hand. It can also boil a litre of water in less than four minutes when attached to a compressed fuel canister.


28. Gerber Vice Multi-tool


Price: $29.99
Buy it at: Atmosphere

With a folding knife, mini-pliers and sturdy pocket clip, this keychain-compatible pocket-sized multi-tool is the smallest in the Geber Paraframe series.


29. Avventura LED Lantern


Price: $29.95
Buy it at: Avventura Outdoors

This hanging camping lantern has different brightness settings and charges easily through the USB port. If you’re on an off-grid adventure, you can even power it up with the Avventura Solar Power Bank.


30. Avventura Minimalist Cook wear


Price: $29.95
Buy it at: Avventura Outdoors

Your camping set of pots and pans doesn’t have to blow the bank. This lightweight kit for two includes an aluminum saucepan, frying pan and lid, wooden spatula, BPA-free ladle, two BPA-free bowls and a pot scrubber.



P.S. Want more great gear at a fraction of retail price?

Sign up for our “Live the Adventure” Club gear box and we’ll send you 5-10 outdoor gear items worth over $150 for only $97 CAD (plus applicable taxes) every four months. We’ll even cover shipping!

gear box

What are you waiting for? Click here to learn more about explore magazine’s “Live the Adventure” Club.


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