6 Tools For The Urban Explorer

Whether you’re taking in the sights of the Big Apple or spelunking the Catacombs beneath Paris, you’ll need to be just as prepared as if you were in the wilderness. Explore the urban jungle to your heart’s content with these six hiking tools.

Oboz Firebrand II Hiking Shoes

You’re going to be spending the majority of your time on your feet (as is so often the case in hiking) so you’re going to need a solid and comfortable set of boots. The Oboz Firebrand II’s Nubuck leather upper is waterproof but still lets your feet breath through abrasion-resistant nylon mesh panels, which keeps your socks from getting all swampy. And the high-friction, nonmarking rubber outsoles help maintain your grip regardless of whatever it is that you just stepped in… is, is that bum poo?!!? $US130.

Platypus Origin 9

If you’re exploring exotic locals like Bangkok or Rio de Janeiro (or Cleveland), you’ll probably want to bring your own water supply (especially in Cleveland). The Platypus Origin 9 backpack has a three-litre bladder and another 9L of storage space, plenty for your day’s excursion. $US100.

Smith Tenet Polarised Sunglasses

Sunglasses are essential. How else are you going to entertain the locals with your David Caruso impressions? Smith Tenets block 99 per cent of glare with their polarised lenses, the nylon frames are extremely shatter resistant, and the nose-piece and temple ends actually become tackier when wet to keep the glasses from falling off your head in the first place. $US179.

Porsche P’6520

Sure, your phone has GPS and Google Earth, but if you want to add a bit of challenge to your explorations, ditch the electronics in lieu of a paper map and the Porsche P’6520. The watch face and mechanism swing up to reveal a compass hidden below. And yes, it tells time as well. $TBA.

Lonely Planet Mobile

Guided tours are for suckers; anybody can be led through the Louvre. Knowing how to get to the Eiffel Tower is an entirely different beast from knowing about the cafe two blocks away from it with those incredible Croque Monsieurs. Lonely Planet provides that sort of deep, local-only knowledge through its city guides, digital maps and phrasebooks for both iOS and Android. $varies.

Converter Solar Backpack

If you don’t feel the need to carry 3L of fluid with you at all times (this is a city for goodness sake, they have water fountains), you backpack can still do more than just hold your gadgets — it can charge them too. The Converter Solar Backpack from Voltaic Systems uses its dual waterproof solar cells to generate four Watts of power. One hour of sunlight will provide enough charge for three additional hours of talk time. $US200.

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