Action | June 15, 2017 9:00 am

REI With Better Taste, Basically

The outdoor essentials you need, care of Wayward

Even if the closest thing you have to nature is fending off bushy cyclists on the 606, every Chicagoan must know how to gear up for the wild.

And for that, there’s Wayward, a new Wicker Park outdoor-goods emporium peddling all things adventure-related.  

What can you possibly find here that’s not at, say, REI? Better curation, for starters.

(4 images)

Arriving by way of Washington state, Wayward carries goods from InsideHook favorites like Snow Peak, Topo Designs and Norse Projects. But also: style. Everything here works equally well on your commute as it will in the mountains.

So we linked up with the outdoor enthusiasts behind the shop to create an essential packing list for your next trek into Ma Nature. It’s all available in store or online, so leave your excuses at the door.

Growler uKeg
“Next time you’re filling up from the tap, pour your beer into a uKeg from Growlerwerks. These pressurized, double-walled insulated growlers were designed to let you bring libations anywhere you wander.”

VSSL Supplies Silver
“If you’re a multi-tool nerd, you’ll definitely want to add a product from VSSL to your car camp kit. These guys make awesome portable flashlight/storage solutions that house a variety of tools for the trail. The two we’re currently carrying are the Flask model and the Supplies model, which carries a variety of tools that could prove themselves as lifesavers in the wilderness.”

Yeti Tundra 45
“To tote your food and beverages, consider a bear-proof cooler like the Tundra 45 from the pros at Yeti. These lockable ice tubs boast legendary toughness and three inches of insulation to keep perishables at a cool level for days on end. They also make great insulated bottles to keep your beverages at their ideal temperatures.”

Tenkara Iwana Rod
“If you feel like dipping into the nearby stream to try your hand at fishing, you might do so with a new rod from Tenkara USA. Designed with the simple mentality of reel-less setups drawing from Japanese tradition, the brand’s rods are a straightforward introduction to fly-fishing that can be fun at any ability level.”

UCO Mini Flatpack Grill
“Whether you’re looking for extra warmth or ready to grill up some dinner, the UCO Mini Flatpack Grill is an ideal choice to kill both birds with one stone. Packable and versatile, the Flatpack is ideal for 2-3 people, and takes just 30 seconds to set up! UCO also makes a great Bushcraft Survival Kit for those looking to venture deeper into the unknown.”

Bradley Mountain Scout Pack
“Pack all the essentials for a weekend of exploration into the Scout Pack from Bradley Mountain. Elegant and easy to access, the Scout offers roomy storage and an combination of leather and waxed canvas that will only improve with age.”

RAEN Raleigh
“If adventure is in your sights, make sure you avoid the glare ahead with sunglasses like the Raleigh from RAEN. Served up with serious style points, these lightweight frames bring a modern urban aviator approach that aligns with no particular gender.”

Parks Project Tees
“If you are looking for ways to honor the National Parks, you can do so by picking up a style from apparel brand Parks Project. Sales from each style, like the Olympic Pyramid Tee, go to benefit each park and organize volunteer operations to maintain these beautiful gems. For every sale of the Olympic Pyramid tee, Parks Project makes a donation towards efforts to support wildlife restoration in the Elwha Valley.”

Wayward Chicago, 1551 N. Milwaukee (map)

Photos: Wayward