It’s time to start buying all your gear for the next backpacking season again! For many of us that means dusting off our trail stuff to see what upgrades we can make. For those of you that are just getting started, we know how daunting it can be. What do I need? Is this reliable? To help make your job easier this year, We’ve created a list. Here are the 7 must-have backpacking tools to boost your comfort while keeping your pack as light weight as possible.
#1 – Osprey Aether 60L
Bottom line: If you don’t own a reliable pack yet or are looking to upgrade, you should definitely check out Osprey. The Aether has revolutionized the backpacking scene. Plenty of room to put all your stuff with it’s massive 60L capacity. The Osprey Aether is better than your typical backpack, with it’s built in water supply and Airscape mesh back. You are sure to stay cool and dry out in the backcountry. It’s an all around beast of a pack.
Having a good source of light is a must for any backcountry adventure. When the sun goes down and the bumps in the night come alive, you will want to see what’s around. That’s why the Black Diamond Storm is so ideal. The headlamp is full of lighting modes – low beam, high beam, proximity, strobe, in white, red, green, and blue LED. It also a lock, so it won’t accidentally turn on in your pack. It has high lumen output (350 lm) to ensure you can see anything you might encounter.
#3 – MSR Pocket Rocket 2
The new MSR Pocket Rocket 2 stove has all the advantages of previous models – convenient, compact, quick, and sturdy – but the Pocket Rocket 2 has one distinct advantage: weight. This ultra-light portable stove is so compact you want even know it’s in your pack. Within minutes it can be set up and ready to go. It boils water rapidly, even in mildly windy conditions. So, before you head into the backcountry, remember…a full hiker is a happy hiker.
Sleep can be key to a fun time or not in the backcountry. Backpacking is tough enough without restless nights, so treat your body right and invest in a comfy, lightweight air pad. My personal fave is the Thermarest Evo-Lite. It’s boosts you off the ground a whole 2 inches, provides plenty of insulation (R-Value: 2.1), and the full-length version only weighs 1lb 2oz. The price may not be for the everyday backpacker, but your body will thank you every time you rest soundly after a long trek.
Alternative Pad Choice
If the Neo Air is above your budget, Sea to Summit’s UltraLight Mat is just about as light and comfy. The main downside is that it has significantly less insulation (R-Value: 0.7), which could leave you freezing in your tent at night.
#5 – Sawyer Permethrin
Bugs bite. Few things can ruin a backpacking trip faster than a swarm of hungry mosquitoes. But not to fret! You don’t have to let the bugs bug you anymore. Use Permethrin to pre-treat your clothing before heading into the woods and you’ll turn your smelly duds into a badass mosquito force field. Use long-sleeved clothing and a minimal amount of 30% DEET repellant on your exposed skin for 100% protection. That simple combo will keep your trips bug, bite, and itch free.
You know who’s chillin’ the most in the backcountry? That guy kicking back in a hammock by a sparkling lake with a flask of whiskey and some wasabi walnuts. That dude’s a God amongst backpackers. Well you can be that genius too. And at only 12 oz, the Grand Trunk Ultralight is a luxury item that won’t kill you in weight out on the trail. The Ultralight can support up to 200 lbs and packs down to the size of a grapefruit. If you’re looking for the quickest way to make everyone else in camp jealous, just pick up the Ultralight for your next trip.
#7 – Goal Zero Nomad 7
In this modern world every one is connected. Social Media and Smartphones have allowed us to see and experience life in a new and different way. Now you can take the fun of technology with you with the Nomad 7 Plus by Goal Zero. This foldable, light-weight solar panel will keep all of your electronics charged up. Clip it to your pack, plug in your battery or device via USB and off you go.
Want More Gear Recommendations? Check out our Gear Reviews Section for top picks on everything from hiking boots to tires for your off-road rig.
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