The Best New Gear for Birding This Summer

What to pack, whether you're hiking through a boreal forest or photographing avian species from a boat.

By Land

Camp in style with the Big Agnes Krumholtz UL2 mtnGLO ($650), a durable, two-person tent with LED lights and a Goal Zero solar panel, fan, and battery.

Don't worry about stuffing Osprey's Mira AG 26 ($165) full; this sweet daypack has plenty of room and its Anti-Gravity suspension system makes the pounds seemingly disappear.

The Thule Stir 20L Hiking Pack ($100) is comfortable, has quick-access pockets, and weighs only a pound.

Protect yourself from the sun while staying cool in the Outdoor Research Ensenada Sun Hoody ($79), which is made from with UPF 50+ rated fabric.

You’ll forget you’re carrying the super-compact Patagonia Alpine Houdini jacket ($199)—until the wind picks up or it starts raining.

The 18-ounce Yeti Rambler Bottle ($40) keeps coffee hot or water chilled all day.

Handle any hiccups the outdoors throw at you with the fully loaded Boker Plus Tech-Tool Outdoor 7 ($73); among its many features are three blades, scissors, and an awl. 

Keep bugs at bay with Natrapel 8-Hour ($6 and up), a Deet-free, long-lasting insect repellant with picaridin. 

By Sea

The steady Necky Manitou 130R kayak (top; $1,500) has a large cockpit, ample storage, and a rudder for precise navigating.

A canoe/kayak hybrid, the Native Watercraft Ultimate 12 ($949) has great stability and an open design, making entry and camera set-up simple and safe.

Protect yourself, too: The low-profile Stohlquist Spectrum ($80) life jacket won’t impede your movements.

While on the water, keep your gear secure and dry with Watershed's Ocoee dry duffel ($105); the waterproof zipper locks out moisture better than roll-top closures.

Ultra-light and waterproof, Pelican’s 1525 Air Case ($225) stows a DSLR body and telephoto lens.

Vortex’s Media Storm Jacket (from $38) fits snugly to shield a DSLR lens hood from the elements.

Unlike most breathable rain jackets, the water resistance of Columbia’s OutDry Ex Gold Tech Shell ($175) won’t wear off; a new fabric blocks moisture without the need for chemical coatings.