Favorite Things

On this page is a list of my favorite things broken out into a few different categories. While these are all things (or people) that I recommend, this is not a “sales page.” In reality, I just want to keep track of, and over time, update the things that have positively impacted my life.

Amazon Kindle

I love everything about physical books. I thought Kindles were a corruption of a perfectly good thing. I was so wrong. I read more, smarter, and with greater ease with the Amazon Kindle.

Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer)

The only book I read every single year. For me, no book has better-provoked my own reflection on what the human experience can be than this one.

Favorite quote: “You are wrong if you think joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience.”

Start With Why (Simon Sinek)

Discovering my WHY, HOW, and WHAT was an important milestone in my personal growth journey.

Favorite quote: “Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress, working hard for something we love is called passion.”


A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting is who I trust to keep my website up and running 24/7. For an entrepreneur such as myself, the cost is economical and the customer service is always reliable. (paid)


The Shawshank Redemption

A beautifully moving story that demonstrates how life can be unfair and cruel but having hope and a dream is a powerful weapon.

Favorite quote: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

The Truman Show

With each passing year it becomes a more valuable reminder of the dangers of in-authenticity and the importance of being true to ourselves.

Favorite quote: “Somebody help me, I’m being spontaneous!”


Coros Pace 2 (sport watch)

I knew that if I was going to wear a watch every single day it had to be lightweight and simple to use. The Coros Pace 2 is both these things and also packs a ton of awesome features that are perfect for helping me keep track of my health and fitness activities.


Strava is the app I use to track my runs and bike rides and compare fitness progress over time. It syncs beautifully across all my devices and has so much awesome data if you are like me and geek out over that kind of thing. (free + paid options)

Trek Bikes

I’m still relatively new to the world of bike riding, but Shannon and I are currently getting our miles in on Trek bikes.

Evan’s Bike: Verve 1

Shannon’s Bike: 820 WSB



I’ve tried many hiking shoes over the years and Merrell is the winner when it comes to providing traction and comfort. My current pair are the Merrel Moab Speed.


Socks are the difference maker for me when it comes to getting or preventing blisters during long hikes. Innotree makes a product that is both durable and has never given me a single blister. 

prAna – Zion series pants

At long last I have found my perfect hiking pants. The Zion series from prAna looks nice, has all the right features, and lasts forever. I’ve put hundreds of miles of hiking into pairs of these pants in tough conditions, and they don’t show any wear.


Personal Capital

Personal Capital brings my entire portfolio together in a easy to navigate, yet powerful dashboard. (free + paid options)


A free-to-use investing app that prioritizes both the educational and community aspect of the stock market world. When you sign up via my link you even get some free stock to get started.



If you’ve ever had a lot of information and no ideal way of organizing it, Airtable might be for you. (free + paid plans)


I’ve tried so many different note-taking apps over the years that I’ve lost count. Joplin wins for me because it is open source, fully encrypted, available on all my devices, and isn’t cluttered with unnecessary features.  (free)


My brain processes information best when there are bolded words, bullet points, and headers and subheaders. Workflowy is a tool that provides me a simple way to organize my most complex projects. (free + paid plans)


Shannon Nickel

My best friend, wife, and one of the most caring and spectacular humans that makes every day my favorite day

Derek Sivers

A profoundly unique thinker and writer who has deeply contributed to how I view the world around me.

Tom Davies (GeoWizard)

An adventurer and YouTuber who puts out videos that encourage familiarizing ourselves with the wonderful world around us.

Beau Miles

An adventurer and YouTuber who produces content that explores the importance of connecting with our planet and the people around us in big and small ways.

Harry Chapin

A musician and songwriter whose words and actions always inspire me to do a better job of loving the people in my life.

Stephen King

My favorite author (The Stand, The Shining, IT)

Taylor Swift

One of my favorite musical artists (Blank Space, Out of the Woods, You Belong With Me)

Tim Urban

One of my favorite bloggers who explores big questions of humanity in an engaging and entertaining manner

Brandon Leonard

An adventurer, writer, and creator who has directly influenced my love of running

Conan O’Brien

My favorite comedian/late-night talk show host

Taika Waititi

My favorite director (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows, Jojo Rabbit)

Jon Krakauer

The author of my #1 favorite book: Into the Wild. 


Google Calendar

I love having a good old fashioned calendar around. I’m a planner and I like being able to schedule my time at the daily, weekly, and monthly levels. Google Calendar can do just that AND sync across all my devices. (free)



AllTrails is an app/website must for anyone who loves hiking. All hikes can be filtered by location, distance, altitude gained, popularity, etc. so chances are it can find your next favorite hike.  (free + paid plans)

Gaia GPS

Anytime I go off the beaten path I rely on Gaia GPS for my map needs. It has the best collection of layers available to cover all my topographic, nautical, and historical needs. (free + paid plans)

Google Earth

It currently doesn’t play a direct role in my travels, but there is no website I enjoy using more than Google Earth. (free)

Google Maps

When I need to find out the quickest way to get somewhere: Google Maps. When I need to find a vegetarian restaurant that has more than 4.5 stars: Google Maps. When I need to create a custom map for my next road trip: Google Maps. If I could only have one app on my smartphone: Google Maps. (free)


An incredibly useful resource for learning about any destination. As it’s crowdsourced from thousands of travelers, it has information that you won’t find anywhere else. (free)


The place to go if you want to find that one-of-a-kind lodging destination or local experience. (free)


Toyota 4Runner (5th Gen)

In late 2020, I upgraded my adventure vehicle to a 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner. So far it’s been everything that was promised. Reliable. Durable. And extremely enjoyable to drive.

TentBox (Rooftop Tent)

Prior to our first major road trip together, Shannon and I decided to try out what having a rooftop tent would be like. We went with TentBox’s Classic model because of it’s claim to fit any vehicle. Sure enough, it fit my beat up, weirdly designed, Chevrolet Equinox.  

Alpha Foxtrot Designs (Roof Rack)

Alpha Foxtrot Designs makes some beautiful looking products. The rack I have is engineered for 5th Gen 4Runners only, and has the stylings and sturdiness that matches the rest of the vehicle. It’s awesome.

Saris SuperClamp EX (Bike Rack)

This rack holds two bikes on the hitch of the 4Runner and does so magnificently. It takes less than a minute to load or unload bikes with it’s ingenious clamp bar locking system.