The Most Underrated Piece of Equipment while Highpointing

By Branndon Bargo
February 12, 2020
Highpointers Travel Tips Reviews Advices Travel Stories

Life is about balance. When I am climbing mountains and traveling the world, life is great - things are buzzing and the world shines in bright colors. But when I am back home running errands and living the day-to-day hum drum life, things can feel dull, boring and look like a black and white rerun of Matlock.  

Because I film an adventure travel show, and am a professional guide, I often find myself on the road going from one beautiful place to the next. I will be staring at a beautiful waterfall in Ecuador, then flying to the Galapagos Islands to dive with marine iguanas, and finish off with a hike to the top of the Machu Pichu ruins. When I get home and sit down in my favorite green reclining chair to rest, relax and veg out for a few days I am not really sure where or what I just did. I mean I know that I traveled to those places and did those things, but it doesn’t really sink in fully.

What were the real implications for my mind, body and soul? Travel, if you let it, can change you for the rest of your life. The things we see, and the people we meet in places like Uganda, or Haiti, or Bhutan will shake you to the core. I find myself thinking, “these people are struggling to survive and yet they are so happy with so little. How can I learn from them?” But these reflective questions are hard to process if we go home and turn on Netflix right away. So, what is the remedy?

The answer is journaling! Some of the worlds’ greatest leaders and innovators were life-long journalers including Da Vinci, Beethoven, Churchill, Einstein, Twain, and Edison. A period of reflection and sitting with our thoughts allows us to let our thoughts catch up with our bodies. Without this important time of letting our minds and bodies merge and come together our experiences become less meaningful, and we end up forgetting or missing the important lessons we should have learned.


That is why on the top of my gear list I always make sure to bring a journal and a reliable pen that can write in any condition. I am often in frigid temperatures in places like Alaska with temps as low as -40 degrees, or I find myself in remote places like the rain-soaked jungles of Belize. The last thing I want when I go to write down my thoughts in my tent is a pen that malfunctions and can’t write because of the conditions.  The observations in the moment are possibly lost forever in the vacuum of my mind. That is why my brother and I teamed up with Pilot Pen for our TV show, The Highpointers on PBS, and for our personal adventures around the globe.

Specifically, the pen we like to use on our adventures is the Pilot Acroball Ballpoint pen because it is engineered for extremes, and designed to perform in almost any conditions. It is ultra-smooth when writing down our thoughts or making notes on the surrounding terrain. It is also durable and smear-resistant, thanks to its Advanced Ink technology. Long gone are the days when I needed to bring along three or four pens only to be let down because none of them worked. The Acroball is available in a range of great designs and colors and, most importantly, it delivers on style and performance. In 2020, the Acroball family will expand from Acroball Colors, Acroball PureWhite and Acroball Pro to include the ultra-premium Acroball 1000, Acroball 300 and Acroball 3, so you’re sure to have a trusty pen at your fingertips, whether you’re hitting the trail or leading a board meeting. If you’d like to try them for yourself, Pilot is offering our fans 20% off on select Acroball pens on using code 20EXTREMEPEN. Make sure to get your hands on one!


Novelist Flannery O’Conner once said “I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say.” I want to be like the great leaders and thinkers of the past. I want to make sure my experiences count for something so I can share the wisdom learned from my adventures with family, friends, and future generations. Just make sure like me if you are planning to be the next Einstein or Beethoven bring a reliable pen.