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Shutter Bison Best-of Gear

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Shutter Bison

Shutter Bisons Best-of gear and items for camping, hiking, backpacking, adventures, and photography. We at Shutter Bison have used or owned and tested the following items for at least two years. We are not sponsored by any manufacturers or suppliers, and we have purchased all the items listed.

Throughout the years of using and testing the items repairs may be needed and if repairs are not possible we buy the same product. In some cases, the same product was not available anymore so we either buy the newer model or start on a different product. Clothing and some backpacking gear manufacturers are known to discontinue products each season, whether the products are popular or not. So when we find products that we love we sometimes buy multiples of the same item.

The Best-of items below are in Alphabetical order based on the Product name.

UPDATED 2/20/23

Birds of North America by DK. This is my favorite book for Identifying Birds. This beautiful bird-watching book includes stunning "full-color" photographs of over 650 birds, revealing each species with unrivaled clarity. The 550 most commonly seen birds are pictured in clear, close-up photographs, with images of similar birds provided to make differentiation easy. This is a large and heavy book so it wouldn't be something you take with you into the field. Read More

Cabal Cap by Mammut. This lightweight hat is perfect for the backpacker or trail runner. It has a seam down the middle of the brim which allows you to fold the hat up small enough to fit in your pocket. The downside is this is one of those items that have been discontinued and the new version doesn't fold up. I still have and use this item, but I'm in search of a replacement, nothing lasts forever.

Darn Tough Socks. I have been using Darn Tough socks for over 12 years and I have never had any issues with them. They are great socks made from Merino wool which keeps your feet warm even when wet. They have a Lifetime Warranty. Get a hole, send them in and get a replacement pair for free.

Energy Chews by Skratch Labs. We have been using these chews since Skratch first came out with them. They are a tasty burst of energy when you need it and not rough on the stomach. All the flavors are great. Read more about our Review

Hydration Drink Mix by Skratch Labs. We have been using the Hydration Drink Mix since Skratch first came out with it. We use the hydration drink mix for hiking, backpacking, cycling, and just to stay hydrated on hot summer days. The best part of it is you go through the donk bonk from it like other products. All the flavors are great. Read more about our Review

Packit Gourmet Trail Meals by Packit Gourmet. We have spent many nights on the trails or on Adventures and we always have trail meals by Packit Gourmet in our pack. Our favorite meals are the Pasta Beef Bolognese, Trailside Bean and Cheese Burrito, Deluxe Egg Scramble, and Texas State Fair Chili.

​Shimoda Action X30 and X70 Backpack by Shimoda. I use the Shimoda X30 pack for short trips and the X70 for travel and long trips. Both packs have no problem safely holding all the photography gear and the clothing I need for the planned trip. If I need more cold-weather gear I can easily switch out the modular core units or rearrange the dividers. Best of all with the water-resistant material that the packs are made of I know my gear is safe from the elements when the conditions get bad. Read more about the X30 or X70 Packs

Slide Lite Camera Strap by Peak Designs. I not only do photography in my spare time but also as a business and this strap is always around my neck. I have no fears when my camera is attached to this strap, even when using a 6-pound telephoto lens attached to a 3-pound camera. Read more about our Review

The Junction 2400 Backpack by Hyperlite Mountain Gear. I have gone through many packs and this one I have continued to use over the years. It's not the lightest but it is the most durable and comfortable. Read more about our Review BUY

​Torrid Jacket by Enlightened Equipment. Whenever I have an Adventure that limits the space and weight of the gear I can take, this is the jacket I always take. SUPER lightweight, warm and packs down small. Read more about our Review

​Ultraventure 2 Trail Runner Shoes by Topo. This is one of the items I buy multiple pairs of the same show because I'm not sure if it will be around the next year. These shoes are excellent. Comfortable, with no break-in period needed. Put them on and go. Read more about our Review

We are constantly using and reviewing new products and as these products reach the 2-year mark and pass all our usage tests we will add them to the Best-ofs list. Stay tuned.

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