The purpose of this site is to make adventure accessible. It’s to help you to incorporate the extraordinary into your life without spending tons of money or taking lots of time off work. In keeping with this mission, I try to avoid recommending purchases as much as I can. After all, I’m trying to keep my own spending to a minimum. However, there are cases where buying something leads you to have more experiences, and is therefore more than material gain. A few purchases I’ve made (or gifts I’ve received) have, in my opinion, been worth far more than their price. Therefore, I believe these items still fit within the mold for recommendations I make here. These things continuously bring more value to my life than the money spent on them did.
1. Slackline ($65)
I love my slackline. I can bring it anywhere because it folds into a tiny bag, and it serves so many purposes: it’s great for balance and for building strength in fine muscles, it serves as a sort of meditation, and it’s wonderful for making friends. If you put up a thin strap between two trees and start walking across it, you can be pretty sure that at least one person will come up and ask you some questions.
2. Acoustic Guitar ($50-$500)
Obviously, there can be quite a lot of variation in the price of this one, but I think that if you tailor your choice to your experience level, and opt for a used rather than brand-new guitar, you will still get value far beyond the price tag. First, learning to play an instrument is a great way to keep your mind sharp. Music is also good for you and feels great to play. While I haven’t gotten very far in learning to play myself, I already notice my mood pick up after a bit of strumming and singing. Plus, providing music in many situations is a great way to make friends.
3. A quality backpack ($60+)
Along the same lines as this one could be “quality shoes.” Both enable independent travel and minimize pain to keep you happier and healthier wherever you go. A backpack in particular allows you to carry everything you need with you, which is an incredibly liberating feeling.
4. Scribd Subscription ($8.99/ month)
This is the only subscription on this list and the only one I personally have, and that’s because I really think it’s worth it. For $8.99 a month, you get unlimited books and audiobooks, as well as sheet music and documents. That’s less than the price of a single hardcover book, and I often find that I get through two or three each month.
5. A 2-4 person tent ($30-$150)
If you’re an outdoorsy person, this is a must, but you may want to consider it even if you aren’t. Having a tent gives you the freedom to travel even if you can’t afford to pay a ton for lodging. It allows for spur-of-the-moment trips with friends and planned adventures to scenic locations. On a road trip, it provides the option to forgo hotels or Airbnbs in favor of a less pricey stay, which could make an entire trip go from far too expensive to totally doable.