Are you into adventure sports and tourism? Whether it’s trekking, rappelling, paragliding or biking, or any of the other adventure sports, they all offer a mad and breathtaking rush of adrenaline. And it’s absolutely essential to equip yourself with the right gear to make for a hassle-free and fun-filled trip. So before embarking on your next adventurous getaway, arm yourself well with accessories that will see you through the planned (and the unplanned) situations as you rough it out. Here’s a round-up of what the city’s stores have to offer.
Before you head to the nearest stores to buy a rucksack, make a mental checklist. The perfect rucksack must have essential features like compression straps that allow you to adjust the size of the bag according to the weight you carry, padded hip-belts so that the weight is distributed around the hips too, collapsible side-pockets for extra storage, expansion sections of extra material that allows the top to be overfilled and base opening for easy access to the bottom of the rucksack.
You could try brands like UBAC or Alpine for weather resistant rucksacks with a capacity of about 60 litres. They come in a price range of Rs 1,950 to Rs 2,500 and are equipped with collapsible pockets, base openings and padded hip-belts. You also get handy little camera bags to attach to your rucksack in the range of Rs 450 to Rs 1,050. Drop in at the UBAC outlet on M. G. Road or the Alpine showroom on Ballygunge Place East for a dekko.
34, Mahatma Gandhi Rd,, Raja RAM Mohan Roy Sarani, Kolkata – 700009
mon-fri 1.30am to 6pm/ sat 12noon to 6pm
Mr. Dilip Naskar 9830194296 closed on sun and mon / off.hrs 3pm to 7pm
18/6, Ballygunge Place (E), Ballygunge, Kolkata – 700019
At the Clubb outlet in City Centre, there are options to be explored too. We really liked the 60-litre backpack for Rs 1,233 that can be bought along with a sleeping bag for Rs 1,069. You can also opt for an 80-litre backpack for Rs 1,999. These come in a smart blue with three to four pockets. Some even offer shoe storage space. These ones too come with compression straps, padded hip-belts, collapsible side-pockets and base openings.
If you want all the works and some more added pizzazz, do go in for the backpack from Giordano in Forum. With six chambers, it comes for Rs 3,690 and in cool colour combinations like red and black or white and black.
Of course, the Samsonite models with built-in strolleys emerge the hands-down winners in this section. These double-duty rucksacks come for a cool Rs 6,199. And short of the expansion sections, they have about everything you could possibly want in a sturdy rucksack.
The most important part of your wardrobe during your sojourn in the wild will be the specially designed jacket that will protect you from the ravages of the weather.
You can go for the heavy and warm thermal jackets from Nike for Rs 4,500, while for the waterproof ones be prepared to shell out about Rs 6,000.
If that seems a bit over the top for you, drop in to Idris near Jyoti theatre for thermal-cum-waterproof jackets at Rs 3,200.
Address: 6/14 Nilmoni Haldar Lane, (top floor), Kolkata -13
phone: +91 33 2245 5154. it’s near Jyoti theatre.
Among the above UBAC and Ria are situated close to the hub of the city.
Others are a bit far flung.
All the above are run by mountaineers/trekkers.
UBAC offers hollow-fill thermal jackets that can keep you warm in temperatures up to —15°c. These costs about Rs 1,180. You can also check out the cool camera jacket from UBAC, which has a special pocket to cushion your camera.
Cliffline has double-layered jackets that come for between Rs 700 and Rs 1,100. Windproof jackets will cost up to Rs 650 at Alpine, while for insular ones you will have to pay about Rs 975.
Cliffline – (033) 24160155 / 9433279318 (address required)
At Chakra Equipments, be prepared to shell out hollow-fill jackets that insulate you up to — 8°c. You can also check out the waterproof jackets and trousers that cost Rs 650 and Rs 550 respectively. A must buy is the hollow-fill gloves to warm you through the chill.
#3A Shyamlal Street
Kolkata – 700004
Landmark: Near Desbandhu Park
Watches that tell the direction and the temperature are also useful on a trek. Our choice is the impressively equipped titanium alloy Casio Protrek which costs Rs 15,495 and comes with a tachometer, altimeter, barometer, temperature indicator and a compass. The same model is available with a rubber case for Rs 13,995.
If you’d like to spend less, the Timex Tight is also a neat rubber model that comes with a compass, night glow and temperature indicator. It costs about Rs 999.
Trekking shoes are another mandatory buy for anyone planning a journey to the back of beyond. Bad shoes can really ruin a trip. Make sure that you check out the soles that offer a sturdy grip on rough and uneven terrain. Also, shoes that offer some degree of protection from water or snow top the wishlist.
Reebok has waterproof suede leather trekking shoes for Rs 2,690. The brown suede leather pair especially caught our eye at Rs 2,790.
You can also drop in at Woodland to get trekking shoes with special ankle protection coupled with excellent grip that’ll cost up to Rs 3,000.
Adidas has a range of water- resistant leather shoes with moulded soles costing between Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000. But our pick is the brown and yellow Terex model that would empty your pocket by Rs 7,999.
You will need to find a secure shelter against those cutting winds and chilling rains once you retire for the night. Tents are indispensable on the adventure trail and here’s a checklist of what the stores here have to offer.
UBAC has A-shaped tents for two at Rs 4,800, while a four- person tent can be yours for about Rs 4,500. Dome-shaped tents for two will empty your pockets by Rs 3,300, while for four be prepared to shell out Rs 4,900.
You can check out four-person tents for Rs 4,800 at Alpine. They are waterproof on the outside allowing visibility from inside.
Cliffline has such tents within a range of Rs 3,800 and Rs 24,000 and come in varied colours. Chakra Equipments has waterproof dome tents for four that will cost up to Rs 5,000.
You’ll get ridge tents for Rs 8,500 at Idris which can house five people. And if you want smaller ones for two people, take a look at the dome-shaped tent at Rs 4,500. Ridge tents at Chakra Equipments for four are yours for Rs 3,500.
So when are you gearing for your next dose of adventure? Planning for it is surely no longer a daunting task.
Outdoor How To Buy Guides
- Backpack Buying Guide — how to buy advice before you make your backpack purchase.
- Flashlight / Headlamp / Lantern Buying Guide — how to buy a headlamp, flashlight or lantern advice before you make your purchase.
- Sleeping Bag Buying Guide — how to buy a sleeping bag advice before you make your purchase.
- Sunglasses / Goggles Buying Guide — how to buy sunglasses or goggles advice before you make your purchase.
- Tent Buying Guide — how to buy a tent advice before you make your purchase.
- Trekking Poles Buying Guide — how to buy trekking poles advice before you make your purchase.
Snow Sports How To Buy Guides
- Snowshoes Buying Guide — how to buy snowshoes advice before you make your purchase.
General How To Buy Guides
- Footwear Sizing Conversion Chart — complete footwear sizing chart with international conversions to help you fit your hiking boots, shoes and ski boots properly.
GearTrends Backpack Buying Guide
Internal Frame Backpack Pluses and Minuses:
Internal frame backpacks have a streamlined shape because the frame, a flexible one, is inside the backpack. Since the pack is flexible and carries close to the body, it offers comfortable fit, low center of gravity, flexibility, and a relative freedom of movement to the user. Those features make internal frame packs an ideal choice for rock scrambling, off trail, winter ski touring, mountaineering. The drawback with internal frames is that they do not carry unwieldy loads easily and can become quite unstable and uncomfortable if you end up lashing large amounts of gear to the outside of the pack.
External Frame Backpack Pluses and Minuses:
External frame backpacks feature rigid, rectangular frames, typically made of aluminum or a more flexible plastic/nylon. The weight carries higher than a pack with an internal frame, so correct loading is essential. The frame carries the pack away from your back, improving ventilation and making the pack a cooler choice. Since the pack frame is somewhat rigid, it does tend to restrict moment. External frame packs also typically have a higher center of gravity, making them feel a bit top-heavy unless loaded properly. However, unlike an internal frame pack, the rigid external frame can carry ridiculously awkward loads quite comfortably and offer numerous lash points for attaching items .This feature may be appealing to the parent carrying almost all the gear while the other carries the child. External frame backpacks are ideal for very large and bulky loads and for long backpacking trips. But they’re not for mountaineering or skiing.
Features to covet in backpacks
* Durable, coated fabrics that repel sharp objects, resist tears and turn back raindrops.
* Load lifter straps to ease the weight on the shoulders.
* Padded back with wicking synthetic fabric for comfort.
* Compression straps placed so you can reduce loads or compress a pack when it is not full.
* Storm collar that extends between 8 to 12 inches for loads you don’t want to comprehend.
* Accessory pockets to customize a pack by function and volume.
* Hydration pockets that will accept all sizes and brands of drinking reservoirs.
* Travel packs with removable daypacks that are securely attached when in place.
* Shovel pocket’s are great for stuffing extra clothing and gear into.
* Floating top pocket on internal frame packs
* Contoured shoulder straps with designs that accommodate women’s curves too.
* Cupped or canted hip belts with designs that accommodate women’s curves too.
* Heavy-duty zippers.
* Daisy chain — a series of webbing loops sewn into a chain running vertically– on the front offering multiple lash points.
* Reinforced pack bottom to protect the end that gets abused the most.
Variable loading/closure choices in packs
Top Loading: Features one top opening into which you load, cram and stuff your gear. Many top loaders have an extension collar or tube that will add additional volume should it be needed and a floating top pocket to fit over the main compartment. Top loading packs re the most water-resistant of all the pack designs simply because there are fewer openings and zippers. This design is deal for backpacking, mountaineering, winter camping.
Panel Loading: For those who want easy access to their gear. You can open a horseshoe-shaped zipper and see all that is inside the pack. Will not hold as much as other styles, and if a zipper fails — Oy vey! Ideal for light weekend backpacking and adventure travel.
Hybrid or Combination Loading: Offers the best of both packs: top loading for stuffing to the gills, panel loading for seeing what is inside without rummaging. More openings mean less water-resistance. A raincover is a must. Ideal for adventure travel, backpacking, hut-to-hut skiing.