← Back to blog
10 Seriously Underrated Outdoor Accessories We Take On Every Adventure

GEAR SELECTION

16 May, 2024

10 Seriously Underrated Outdoor Accessories We Take On Every Adventure

Forget the fancy puffer jacket or the thousand-dollar tent, today we’re talking about the little items that make a HUGE difference to your outdoor experience – but don’t get half as much credit as they deserve. 

They might not be sexy, but the simple, no-frills outdoor accessories we’re going to talk about today are the true heroes of the outdoor gear world, if you ask us. 

Buckle up, because we're about to spill the beans on some of the best underrated hiking gear Australia has on offer that nobody is talking about. 

Disclaimer: This article may cause unhealthy levels of gear envy. Prolonged exposure may lead to a sudden and uncontrollable urge to spend all your money on outdoor equipment. We do not take responsibility for maxed-out budgets, overflowing gear closets, or significant others questioning your insatiable need for more outdoor accessories. Proceed with caution.

The Top 10 Underrated Outdoor Accessories

Gear Storage Box

10. Camping Storage Box

Hiking, kayaking, gravel biking – almost all outdoor activities have one big thing in common: gear. A LOT of it.

You might be able to stash it all in a cardboard box in the shed or stuff it into the closet in the spare bedroom… but it’s not ideal, is it? 

Well, friends, there is a better way: a camping storage box

Camping storage boxes keep your gear safely tucked away and ready for action so you can cut down on pre-trip packing time. 

That means less time wasted scrambling to find the gear you need and more time actually outside enjoying nature.  

And yes, while you could use a collection of mismatched bags and boxes for your camping gear, investing in a dedicated storage solution, whether it's stackable camping storage boxes or a full-on cabinet, has a surprisingly big impact on your mindset. 

Having an organised camping storage box (or three) isn't just about convenience, it’s your way of saying to the world, “I'm a serious adventurer, I know where to find my sh*t”. 

9. Closed-Cell Foam Sit Pad

When it comes to sitting at a campsite, there are two kinds of people; the ones who go all-in on comfort, we’re talking fully–accessorised ultralight camping chair vibes, and the ones who take being rugged to the extreme. 

But what if we told you it didn’t have to be this way. You can live out your rugged wilderness dreams and still have a bit of comfort in your life. With a hiking sit pad

Once you start using a sitting pad, a magical thing happens. You start seeing uses for it everywhere. Every vaguely uncomfortable surface becomes an opportunity to deploy your trusty foam sit pad. 

Damp picnic benches? Bam! Sit pad to the rescue. Need to kneel as you fiddle with something on your pack? Hiking sit pad, back again to save the day. Using your camp stove while it’s windy? Never fear, just MacGyver up a wind block with your sit pad. 

Just be warned: once you start down the sitting pad rabbit hole, there is no coming back. 

8. Camping Slippers

Hiking boots are the big-shots of the outdoor footwear world. They carry you over mountains and down valleys, through rocky deserts, muddy plains, and dense forests. 

But when you get to camp after a long day of tackling rough terrain, there's one universal truth all outdoor adventurers agree upon: the faster you get your aching feet out of those damp, sweaty hiking boots, the better. 

Camping slippers are the true footwear heroes, if you ask us. Just knowing you have a comfy pair of camping slippers waiting for you at camp can keep you trudging forward when you feel like you couldn’t possibly take another step. They’re the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Camp slippers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but the general idea is always the same: they’re lightweight, easy to pack, and offer sweet, sweet relief for your poor, abused feet. Plus, these little guys make middle-of-the-night pee trips a whole lot less treacherous. 

Double Groundsheet

7. Groundsheet

Ah, the simple groundsheet

All too often relegated to the ‘meh’ pile of camping accessories, a groundsheet for camping is just an afterthought for most hikers… or not even a thought at all. 

But hold on to your hiking poles, folks, because this unassuming rectangle is the real MacGyver of the backcountry. 

Sure, it protects your tent from damage, but that's just the tip of the groundsheet iceberg. It can be anything you need, from an impromptu shelter to a picnic blanket or even an emergency rain jacket. The groundsheet is the ultimate ‘just in case’ outdoor accessory. 

Whatever you need, your groundsheet has got you covered (pun intended).

6. Emergency Whistle

We can practically hear you rolling your eyes right now, thinking “Yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone tells you to have an emergency whistle”.

But ask yourself this: how many people do you know who actually have an emergency whistle for hiking? 

Not many, right?

An emergency whistle is one of those outdoor accessories that is so basic that it gets overlooked. They’re just not that exciting, so you forget about it and tell yourself you’ll get around to buying one eventually… but then never do. 

It’s time to change that. 

A safety whistle for hiking is a (literal) lifesaver when it comes to attracting attention. It's the universal language of "Hey, I'm over here and maybe a little lost/injured/separated from the group!" 

Hopefully you'll never need it. But it's way better to have it and not need it, than need it and… well, let's not dwell on that.

5. Insect repellent

We can all agree, spending time in nature is awesome. Nothing beats kicking back at your campsite after a challenging day in the wild... but, then there are the mosquitos. Or flies. Or ants. Or all of them at once. 

That’s why insect repellent is number five on our list of the most underrated outdoor accessories. It can make the difference between enjoying a relaxing evening by the fire and becoming the main course for a swarm of mosquitoes. 

So do yourself a favour and pack it. ‘Nuff said. 

Cap

4. Hat & Sunscreen

Forget about snakes and spiders, the real killer in the Aussie bush is the sun. For real. 

It’s not a fun topic to think about, but the reality is that Australia has some of the highest skin cancer rates in the entire world – according to the Australian Cancer Council, about 2 out of 3 Aussies will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer before they’re 70 years old. That’s grim. 

So, in fourth place for the most underrated gear is a hat and sunscreen. 

Ok, ok, before you say anything, we understand the struggle; finding a hat that balances function and, well, not looking like you’re fresh off the safari can be a challenge.  

But trust us, there's a hat (or a cap) out there for everyone. And if you hadn’t noticed, safari-style is a trend now. Embrace it. 

And whatever your beef with sunscreen is, just stop already. You can easily find non-greasy, no white cast, hypoallergenic, all-natura, vegan, reef-safe, non-toxic sunscreen formulas, so you have literally no excuse to not wear it. 

3. Handkerchief 

We’ll let you in on a secret: handkerchiefs. They’re incredible – but literally no one talks about them. 

Nature has an uncanny ability to make even the driest sinuses start leaking. Just five minutes hiking on a chilly morning and you’ll be sniffling like crazy. Most people in this situation either use their sleeves (gross) or start snorting out snot rockets every few minutes (really, really gross). 

Enter the handkerchief: reusable, washable, and capable of handling serious mucus production.

But it gets better, because a handkerchief is a multi-threat. Wipe off the sweat dripping into your eyes or get the dust off your face, or get the chocolate off your face after snacking on some tasty trail mix. Whether or not you use the same hankie you just snotted all over is up to you…

2. Lighter

We’ll be the first to admit that we love snazzy fire starting tools. Steel strikers, ferro rods, fresnel lenses, plasma lighters. They’re all awesome to have in your kit. 

But sometimes all you need is a good old-fashioned lighter. They’re ultralight, easy to use, and work pretty much every time (assuming you’re not out of lighter fluid). 

Think of it like this: your fancy fire starting tool is like a gourmet chef's knife – in the right hands it can do amazing things, but if you're just trying to chop up some veggies for dinner, any ol' kitchen knife will do the trick.

So yes, a lighter might not be the most glamorous fire starting option, but it'll get the job done. 

What’s not to love about that? 

1. Trowel & Toilet Paper

Drumroll please… in first place as the absolute top underrated outdoor accessory for hiking is an ultralight trowel (and toilet paper to go with it). 

Why? Well, we’ve all seen the soggy piles of toilet paper scattered through the shrubbery, and we can agree it is disgusting. It’s easy to see that and judge the poor souls who couldn’t hold it the last few kilometres to the next toilet stop – until we’re the one who finds ourselves feeling the call of nature, far away from the necessary amenities.

Come on. Be real. We’ve all done it. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s ok. You’re better than that. It’s time to take some responsibility for your sh*t and get yourself an ultralight trowel. 

We think having an ultralight trowel should be a badge of honour. Strap it to your pack and show off that baby with pride. Because leaving no trace isn't just about the environment, it's about respecting the wilderness, and your fellow adventurers. Respecting yourself. And hey, who knows, seeing your trowel strapped to your pack will inspire others to do the same. 

Trowel

That’s it for the top 10 most underrated outdoor accessories! 

There you have it, our top 10 most underrated outdoor accessories, the unsung heroes of the adventure world. These overlooked essentials don’t get as much hype in the outdoor world, but they can make a huge difference to your experience in the wild. So what underrated outdoor accessories do you swear by? Anything you’d add or remove from the list? 

Have an outdoor accessory you think is seriously underrated? We challenge you to nominate yourself to be the unofficial ambassador for your favourite underrated item – tell everyone about it, give it a shout out on socials (and tag us, we’d love to see!) and hype it every opportunity you get. It’s time to share the love and give the hiking gear underdogs a chance to shine!

Shop this article

Read more articles

Explore blog