Essential Gear are products ideal for the Arizona Trail. All products are tested in the field by ATA staff, volunteers, stewards, friends, and others who spend a lot of time on the trail. We write our honest opinions about gear that will stand up to the rigors of Arizona’s terrain and climate.

Adventure Seat

Simple Outdoor Solutions
by Shannon Villegas

Anyone reading this appreciates time spent outdoors. The benefits of time in the backcountry far outweigh the few discomforts that come with it, but who wouldn’t mind being a little more comfortable?

The Adventure Seat by Simple Outdoor Solutions is a durable, trail-side sitting pad that will relieve any complaints from your backside. Whether you’re venturing to the bleachers for the local sports game or into the wilderness for days, this little guy will literally take the edge off of hard seating surfaces. It is extremely light and durable, and can be slid into your daypack, backpack or bikepacking kit. Each Adventure Seat is handmade in Flagstaff, and all products have been thoroughly tested in the Grand Canyon, Sonoran Desert, and everywhere in between.

The outer shell is made from water resistant, 100% CORDURA® nylon, known for long-lasting durability and resistance to tears and scuffs. Inside, there is a half-inch, flexible, polyethylene closed cell foam pad that won’t rot, mold, or mildew. Since it’s not inflatable you’ll never need to worry about a puncture.

All of that, backed by a lifetime warranty.

4 Sizes and 5 colors are available:

  • Youth 7 x 11 inches, 2.3 ounces
  • Small 9 x 12 inches, 3.10 ounces
  • Medium 10 x 14 inches, 3.75 ounces
  • Large 11 x 16 inches, 4.9 ounces

Visit to order your Adventure Seat, or look for them at your favorite outdoor retail location. Adventure Seat

Squirrel’s Nut Butter

by Matthew J. Nelson

Sand in your shoes causing blisters between your toes? Did your cotton underwear hold moisture and turn your backside raw? Is your backpack rubbing in just the wrong spot on your lower back?

Sounds like a job for Squirrel’s Nut Butter!

Chafing is a common discomfort that trail users often suffer from. Whether you’re hiking, running, mountain biking, or horseback riding, chances are you’re going to get rubbed raw in one place or another. Dealing with it immediately on-the-trail means you can continue your adventure and not pay for it the following day. This is especially important for thru-hikers or anyone out on extended adventures. The answer to most chafing issues is simple — lube it.

The best product we’ve found thus far is Squirrel’s Nut Butter (SNB). Made in Flagstaff by a group of trail enthusiasts, SNB is an all-natural anti-chafe and restorative salve made from coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, and Vitamin E oil. Simple, natural, perfect.

SNB is highly effective when applied before hitting the trail, then reapplying as necessary. It comes in 0.5-oz. and 2.7-oz. applicator sticks, 0.5-oz. and 2-oz. plastic tubs (perfect for hot weather), and 2-oz. tin (better for cold weather). Due to the restorative qualities of the ingredients, it can be applied after you clean up at the end of the day, or before you go to bed at night. That way all of your parts are healed and fresh for the day ahead.

Your lips, nose, ears, cheeks, hands, toes and ‘nether regions will all be happier with Squirrel’s Nut Butter. You can order direct from SNB online ( or find the goods at a variety of retail locations throughout Arizona.