Reconnect With The Tribe – This Is The Equipment You Need To Become The Ultimate Outdoorsman
With the cool night air came refreshing droplets of dew. It was a welcome respite after a day spent hiking along Mozambique’s picturesque but swelteringly hot coastal route. Davide Locatelli Rossi took a deep breath, savouring the shifting weather and feeling his body shimmer with the day’s endorphins. For this outdoor enthusiast, the wilds have always been a place to come for relaxation and reflection: “To figure out the problems in the city, I have to spend time in the bush,” he laughs. Growing up in the northern reaches of Italy, he lived an active life, being taught how to ski, climb rocks and set up camp by his grandfather. In that part of the world, skiing is a rite of passage, and it was his love for that sport that helped him commune with nature.
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Since moving to South Africa, Rossi has opened a store with his business partner Thomas Ferreira : Just Like Papa, which is stocked to the brim with high-quality adventure equipment. Opening the store was a labour of love, a tribute to his grandfather and a totem of his love for the outdoors. But it was also a way to help people reconnect with their adventurous spirit, something which Rossi believes is dulled – but never broken – by years and years spent behind a desk. He wants other guys to find the solace he’s discovered in the wild; and by equipping them with the tools to do just that, he wants to show them it’s not as hard as it looks.
“All the busyness of life falls away and the valuable things bubble to the surface.”
During Rossi’s trek through Mozambique, he and his friends would cover as much ground as they could by day before setting up camp at night. They were exhausted, with the small tribe sharing the tasks among themselves and settling into a simple way of life. One friend hated setting up camp and nominated himself head chef, while another provided entertainment or brewed coffee (for the Italian, that task took priority above all others). “It was good food and great conversation, every day,” says Rossi.
Whatever they cooked, it was something they’d found locally, whether it was meat sold by local villagers or fish freshly snatched from the ocean. Actions that were mundane back home, from sleeping to eating, became experiences to look forward to, moments to relish and savour. Rossi says it was cathartic escaping the “frenetic city lifestyle”. You don’t jolt awake with the blare of an alarm clock; you rise and fall with the sun. Food isn’t found under fluorescent lights in a supermarket, it’s out there – somewhere – and you take what you can get. Routine falls away, and is replaced with a natural rhythm. “It’s important to escape once a year and restore your energy sleeping under the stars and staying warm by the fire, having an actual conversation with your friends instead of texting and losing yourself in the distance this technology so often creates,” says Rossi.
And he’s not saying you have to disappear into the wild, or camp out in the middle of nowhere. Even just a jaunt through the local forest with your mates will help you rediscover those important, life-affirming things that you so often lose when you’re sitting still. “For me, going into nature is like going back home,” says Rossi.
When it comes to stocking his backpack for his next adventure, Just Like Papa’s (justlikepapa.com) Rossi has one simple rule: invest in quality, versatile gear that won’t let you down. Don’t pack for every eventuality – pack to survive.
1. Wetterlings Hunter’s Hatchet
2. GSI Outdoors Stainless 236ml Hip Flask (236ml)
3. Spot Gen3
4. Benchmade 915S Triage Knife (black)
5. Goal Zero Sherpa 100
6. Esee Survival Kit
7. Black Diamond ReVolt
8. Suunto Traverse Alpha
9. Rothco Camo Paracord 100ft
10. Esee Passport Holder
All products listed and featured in image available at Just Like Papa