The Wayward x Bradley Mountain Exploration Kit: a New Spin on the Ten Essentials

Words by Chris Zimmerman
Photos by Bradley Mountain

Between San Diego and Seattle, nearly 2,600 miles of trail connects the two cities while creating both a proverbial and physical link in between. A serious endeavor by any means, setting out on, let alone completing the Pacific Crest Trail, is just as notable a feat today as it was forty years ago. From a map and compass to first-aid supplies and a fire-starting kit, “the ten essentials” are a valuable, if not lifesaving, part of any thru-hiker’s kit. With these essentials and the knowledge to use them, survival in all but the most extreme situations is possible. It was these survival essentials and their timeless versatility that motivated us to partner with Bradley Mountain; together, we found inspiration from situations where the functional goods we carried made all the difference.

For a modern and entertainment-focused take on essentials, we worked with the team at Bradley Mountain to create an Exploration Kit prepared to take on any challenge. From fire-starting and cutting needs to boredom cures, this kit contains everything needed for a life of adventure. Before the launch of the Wayward x Bradley Mountain Exploration Kit, we caught up with the founder of this San Diego-based company, Tyler Axtell, to talk about how Bradley Mountain’s simple philosophy of timeless, handcrafted products fits with the idea and freedom of thru-hiking.

What made you excited to partner with us on this Exploration Kit? How would you describe it to someone?

It was fun to connect the Wayward store in Seattle to the Bradley Mountain workshop in San Diego with a line that is the PCT. Building an Exploration Kit is always something we wanted to do here at Bradley Mountain. Sometimes you get a much better experience of our brand’s values when you get more than just one bag.

Wayward X Bradley Mountain Exploration Kit

How do you feel the product in the Exploration Kit plays into the notion of always being prepared?

I think having a knife, a compass, and something to write with and write on is essential for any survival situation. You never know when you need to take notes for your memory or calculate something. In our opinion, everyone should have a knife on them at all times. You never know when you’re going to need it. As for the rest of the essentials, we feel they complement these core essentials really well. A deck of cards isn’t an essential to survival as much as an essential to your sanity. Long hikes and grueling weather can get to you unless you put your mind at ease once in awhile.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only pick one thing from the Exploration Kit for survival and/or entertainment, what would you choose?

I would definitely choose the Rosewood Knife. I would be able to do a lot more with a knife than anything in the kit. I could possibly figure out how to get water, cut open a cactus, etc.

How do the 2600-miles of the Pacific Crest Trail relate to Bradley Mountain?

Our goal with Bradley Mountain is to spur others to live adventurously. We actually have one of our old craftsmen hiking the PCT right now, scheduled to end this fall. He is someone that totally gets the goal we set out to accomplish: Take risks and live life to the fullest. While the PCT is rad, we also believe you can live a full life on and off the trail.

Hiking through relatively uninterrupted wilderness for such a long distance seems like the ultimate American dream. How important are trails like the PCT to adventure-inspired nomads?

It is really cool hearing from friends of ours who have hiked the PCT how the long hours of silence really get you thinking about life and your story. I think the long, uninterrupted hours hiking the PCT present a really cool opportunity that most of us do not get in our modern lives. There’s no way you could do that hike and not walk away with an entirely different perspective. That’s the whole thing with adventure – it changes you. It’s a process to go through. It’s a risk to be weathered.

Thanks to the team at Bradley Mountain for partnering with us on this special kit. For every product sold from the Wayward x Bradley Mountain Exploration Kit, 10% of proceeds will be donated to the Pacific Crest Trail Association’s Trail Maintenance Fund to support the 2,000 volunteers who keep this iconic trail accessible for all to enjoy. Whether as a life-saving or sanity-saving kit, these curated goods have been designed to last and keep you company on whatever adventure you find yourself on.

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