It is said there's a boy scout lurking in every man, and with the current trend towards eco-tourism and adventure travel, he's likely to make an appearance at some point. Although getting back to nature and experiential travel is a wonderful thing, it masks a perverse irony: going back to basics and being self-sufficient requires an inordinate amount of kit. When we say kit, we're not talking about the fundamentals such as a rucksack and sleeping bag, but instead all the accompanying accessories men love to buy. It's the type of gear that makes your carry-on luggage heavier than that you checked in and which clutters your little apartment (much to the despair of your partner). So, for those off on an adventure to the desert or outback, Man Management provides its guide to the essentials. First, no Outback Jack leaves home without a knife. We're not talking a crocodile hunter 30cm machete, but rather a trusty penknife. Industry standards Victorinox Swiss Army ( www.victorinox.com ) and Leatherman ( www.leatherman.com ) offer a large range of virtually indestructible multi-tool models. The Leatherman's robust pliers are a gem, but overall the Victorinox is favoured, primarily for its corkscrew, which - post-adventure - will end up being the only feature you use. A word of warning - remember to pack your knife in your checked-in luggage. Electricity and light bulbs are handy utilities, and life is not so easy when they're unavailable. A Maglite torch ( www.maglite.com ) and/or Petzl LED headlamp (available from www.amazon.com ) is a necessity. You might look like a nerd, but the value of a headlamp cannot be underestimated when you're squatting in the dark, nervously keeping an eye out for unfriendly wildlife. Wearing one will also make your girlfriend laugh. MM loves a good Buff ( www.buff.us ). Described by its maker as 'the original multifunctional headwear', these polyester microfibre tubes of cloth can be worn in at least 12 funky ways. You can do the Saharian, the pirate or even the blind chicken. More importantly, they are breathable, wind-resistant, help to absorb moisture and insulate - a life- and eyeball-saver in a sandstorm. It's important to avoid becoming lost when in a rugged environment, so invest in a Suunto X9 (www. suuntowatches.com). Billed as the ultimate tool for any cross-sports enthusiast, the X9 (about US$500) is much more than a watch. It also has an altimeter, barometer, 3D compass and GPS. Ideally, you'll want a few Indiana Jones-type photos for the mantelpiece. The current pick of the camera crop is the sexy and expensive Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II. If your bank baulks at $66,000, the much more affordable Nikon D50 will still capture beautiful images. Slot in a Sandisk Extreme III 4GB compact flash and protect the lot in a Lowe Pro bag. You should also make space for other essentials, including a space blanket, DEET bug repellent and rehydration salts. And this is all before you've calculated how many pairs of boxer shorts you'll need. Hong Kong has plenty of good outdoor shops. Protrek is among the best, with eight stores throughout the territory ( www.protrek.com.hk ). For specialist equipment, Flying Ball Bicycle on Tung Choi Street in Mongkok ( www.flyingball.com ) and Mountain Services International on Gloucester Road in Causeway Bay (tel: 2541 8876) are excellent finds with helpful, knowledgeable staff. All this gear may not maketh the man, but it does allow us to live out our fantasies and, who knows, one day we might just need that fish scaler on our couteau Suisse.