No toolbox is complete without a multimeter. I use this thing constantly around the house, as well as when tinkering on the motorcycle, drones, etc.. Not only has it saved me from many an unwanted shock, it has saved me guess work in a myriad of situations. This particular model is pretty old school, as evidenced by the analog readout. I got it in my Christmas stocking one year, in college. The rest of my siblings also received one that year. I think that my dad must have seen deal on them at Radio Shack (RIP) or something. Possibly the most valuable stocking-stuffer, ever. Thanks, dad!

Only NY X New York Mag Hoodie

Only NY is a brand that I have been stanning since I was a fresh transplant in the early aughts. I first learned of them from stickers that I would see around my neighborhood. From the design of the stickers, I knew it was something up my alley. I eventually connected with the founders of the brand and did a couple of stories about them for HS as well as one for a really old streetwear blog called SoJones.

Anyway, Only NY regularly does collaborations with local enterprises, like the MTA, NYC Parks, and this one: New York Magazine. The hoodie itself is super soft and fits a little larger than I usually wear, so it is insanely comfy. Very glad I brought this thing along.

[Photo Cred: Britt]

Master & Dynamic Earbuds

The fact that I now share a patio table with my wife as our “desk” (I knew one day I would get that partner desk, hehe), and being that she has a very strong phone voice, these earbuds from Master and Dynamic have proved invaluable over the past few weeks.

I’m one of those people who cannot wear Apple earbuds. My ear canal is too big, or the wrong shape (or something). The right ear always falls out. I hear good things about the airpod pros, with the silicone buds. But I’m not sure how soon I’ll be switching over to those, because I am very happy with these M&Ds. They sounds great and are also great looking, in my opinion. Also, everyone has airpods. I like to consider these the anti-airpods. Without going into a rant about why I’m generally anti-Apple/Mac, let’s just say that stylistically, I’ll take tortoise shell over most of the alternatives.


Burton Camping Table

This camping table by Burton was the piece of gear that I never knew I needed. It was the prize in a giveaway that Britt won a few years ago. The table breaks down into a case that is about the size of 3 soup cans stacked end to end. We use it all of the time at home, and it has been an essential item for our current indoor camping experience.

Warby Parker “Beale” Sunnies

Above: No longer 20/20 Jake, is also in desperate need of a haircut and a beard trim.

At my annual eye exam this year, I discovered that I no longer have perfect vision. They tell me it comes with getting old. Part of me was really bummed. Another part of me was secretly excited for a new array of prescription accessories. Warby Parker are not the best quality glasses out there (not by a long shot). They feel kind of cheap and are prone to smudging. I’m making these comparisons based on years of wearing sunglasses from different levels of the quality spectrum. I would not put Warby in the category of gas station glasses, but they are noticeably inferior to basically anything made by Luxottica.

Despite their shortcomings, I’m a huge fanboy of the Warby Parker brand. The glasses look good. Their customer service is some of the best that I have experienced. Further, the value is definitely there. For around $100 a pop, you get trendy prescription glasses delivered to your door!

I ordered the “Beale” sunnies mostly for driving. But I like them enough that they have made it into the regular rotation. I didn’t even realize when I ordered them that they are polarized. Bonus!! The only downside of being a Warby Parker customer is that I am now constantly bombarded with their ads when browsing basically any site with advertising. And, uh I want to buy ’em all!

[Photo Cred: Britt]

Estwing Camper’s Axe

Our first weekend in the Catskills we had a cord of wood delivered by dump truck. It was a giant pile of mostly dry hickory and cherry wood logs. Great firewood, but no kindling sized pieces. I needed a way to split some smaller pieces but did not want to invest in a full sized axe (yet). I also wanted something a little more substantive than a regular hatchet. Estwing solved my conundrum with their Camper’s Axe.

I grew up using Estwing’s brick hammers, and have a lot of confidence in their tools. This piece is no exception. The long handle gives me the ability to swing it like a regular axe. But I can also choke up on the handle a bit and use it with a hammer for finishing off a stubborn split. It has been a great addition to the tool chest.

Keurig Coffee Maker

I have never been a fan of these things, to be completely honest. I think that the coffee is chemically tasting and watered down. I am also not a fan of the amount of waste these things generate. But desperate times call for desperate measures. We actually inherited this piece from a time that we had Keurig loving family member staying as a guest at our place. As with most of the kitchen stuff that we brought, I probably would have never thought of packing this thing. Thanks again Britt, because this thing has definitely been a game changer during this era of indoor camping.

Makita 12V Drill

Yes, it is a power tool; an old one. I can’t be exactly sure when this thing came into my possession, but after some forensic reminiscing, I peg it close to 20 years ago. I’m on the third set of batteries for it. But the actual drill is still going strong after two decades of use and abuse. I end up using it primarily as a screw gun these days, because of the impact settings. But I have had an actual drill bit in the chuck on at least two occasions since we have been up here. I would easily say this is one of best tools I own.

Seiko Solar Powered Chrono

I picked this thing up last summer. It has been a great watch so far. I chose to bring it with me because it is solar powered. What better type of watch to bring when going into the mountains for an indefinite length of time? Sure, you could bring an automatic, or a manual winder, but I thought solar was the most appropriate choice.

Aside from staying charged as long as the sun doesn’t burn out, this thing can get smacked around without falling apart. In the event that it does fall apart, I could replace it without breaking the bank. Lastly, I love the Gulf GT40 colorway.