While there is definitely something to be said for having the best equipment for a task, there's also value in being able to improvise. In my case, as an outdoor guide and traveling teacher, every two weeks sends me to a new city where I often have to approximate exercises or even whole workouts. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to have access to a gym, but usually I have to make do in a hotel room, a city park, or on the side of a mountain somewhere. But that's part of CrossFit, isn't it? That's kind of the point: you make do.
That said, there is one piece of equipment I absolutely need. That's my workout "uniform": old red shorts, green throwaway t-shirt, and smelly running shoes. They never let me down. Last month I wore the outfit for a whole three-week backpacking trip through New Mexico, gutting through a WOD every day with rocks, logs, whatever.
And when I came back I cut my "Fran" time by seven minutes! That's a bold claim, I know, so let me explain. In the field, my secret weapon is thrusters with odd objects, such as my backpack or heavy rocks. I often end up doing a lot of thrusters. I did enough rock thrusters in New Mexico that when Coach prescribed "Fran" last week and I was in Corvallis, Oregon, teaching at OSU and had access to the campus fitness center, I was psyched. I knew I could crush my previous best time of 9:15. Of course, I still feared and respected the awesome suck of three rounds of 95-pound thrusters and pull-ups, but my last "Fran" was so ugly, I knew I could crush that time now. I just knew it.