Backcountry Journal: Outdoor Concert Gear
The thought of a mosh pit scares me to death, and even being packed in a crowd like sardines makes me anxious, but I’m growing rather fond of outdoor concert venues. Beyond seeing great musicians, there are a couple reasons why I like these things. First, you can spread out a big blanket with all of your concert gear and lay claim to a healthy-sized personal space. Second, (and this is huge because I hate shelling out 17 bones at a concessions tent for a single beer and a stale pretzel) you can bring in your own food and booze. Turns out, we have a lot of gear that’s practically tailor-made for these sort of events, and we had a great time testing some of it out.
Fjallraven No.21 Medium Rucksack
I’m a sucker for mid-century and Scandinavian design, and Fjallraven’s Medium Rucksack speaks straight to that sensibility. The design is simple, well crafted, and infuses a sense of authenticity and history by maintaining elements from the first Fjallraven packs that were stitched-up over 50 years ago. The classic G-1000 waxed canvas feels exactly the way good outdoor fabric should feel. It’s durable, water resistant, and my favorite part is that it breaks-in and takes on more character with age.
Klean Kanteen Food Canister- Insulated- 8oz
Klean Kanteen is on a mission to replace “a lifetime of throw-away plastic/paper containers.” With smart gear like their insulated Food Canister, they’ve made me a believer. It’s leak-proof, shatter-proof, made of sleek food-grade stainless steel, and it will keep hot or cold foods just the way you like them. Two hours before the show, I packed mine with vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberries. When the band started to play, it was still frozen and tasty, and lots of folks were looking at us with jealous eyes.
Pendleton Camp Blanket
Pendleton has a tradition of weaving fine wool blankets that stretches back to the 19th century, and its Camp Blanket is exactly what I would imagine an old west cowboy to have strapped behind his saddle. The wool weave is soft and warm yet still feels hearty and durable. At the end of the last song, as if on cue, dark clouds blew in and it started raining. The damp blanket smelled a bit like a wet horse, but in a good nostalgic sort of way, and that’s how you know it’s authentic.
Lafuma CB Camp Chair
If you show up and plop down in a standard-height camp chair, don’t plan on making friends with any of the folks sitting behind you. If you like making friends, but you still want a comfy spot to sit, you need a low-profile chair like the CB from Lafuma. Not only did the CB keep us low to the ground, I was able to extend my legs straight out in front of me, like I would in a deluxe chair that has a footrest. Plus, it folds up flat and has a shoulder strap for easy transport.
Mountainsmith Six-Pack Cooler
I’m pleased to report that the Mountainsmith Six-Pack Cooler will hold a good deal more than a six pack. We filled it with six beers, two frozen margaritas, two different cheeses, one avocado, and a summer sausage—and we still had a little room to spare. The seam-taped lining kept it leak free and it even comes with its own bottle opener, which we definitely needed.
GSI Outdoors Champagne Flute
If you like to keep things classy when you’re outside, these champagne flutes are a must-have for your kit. The stem unscrews and can be snapped into the flute for compact storage, and you’ll be helping to keep disposable cups out of the landfill. The only downside I noticed with these is that they won’t stand up on their own unless you have a very smooth and level surface. All that means is that you need to finish each glass before setting it down, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.