Smart and Light Gift Guide for Hikers and Backpackers

This gear is smarter, lighter and more thoroughly tested than your typical buyer's guide. Enjoy our picks of the best light and practical gear in our 2016 Smart Gift Guide for Hikers and Backpackers. There's cool gear from smaller manufacturer and cottage gear you may not know about—gear that's innovative and lighter—near and dear to our lightweight/practical philosophy. And [...]

By | December 11th, 2016|Gear List, Recommended Gear|5 Comments

9 Pound – Full Comfort – Lightweight Backpacking Gear List

A 9 pound pack is all you need to be safe and warm. So, if you want to lower your pack weight but retain all the convenience and comfort of “traditional” backpacking, look no further than this Lightweight Backpacking Gear List This Lightweight Backpacking Gear List is suitable for most backpackers on most 3-season trips in the lower 48 and [...]

By | December 10th, 2016|Beginners, Gear List, Recommended Gear|51 Comments

Recommended Sleeping Bags & Quilts

At half the cost, a down quilt is best for most backpacking trips.  A 20°F down quilt like this weighs only 19 oz and costs $250 vs. 29 oz and $500 for a similar down sleeping bag. A Down Quilt is an essential part of my 9 Pound - Full Comfort - Lightweight Backpacking Gear List. [Pic in [...]

By | November 26th, 2016|Beginners, Recommended Gear, Sleeping Bags & Quilts|20 Comments

Guide to Lightweight Down Jackets and Pants for Backpacking

Forget synthetics! Down rocks. A lightweight down jacket is the most weight and cost effective way to stay warm. Lightweight down jackets are less expensive than synthetics,* they weigh less, but most importantly they are so much warmer! It is true that down jackets may be one of the most expensive items in your kit. BUT, if [...]

By | November 23rd, 2016|Clothing, Recommended Gear, Uncategorized|5 Comments

Best Satellite Messenger inReach vs SPOT?

This year we had a local backpacker freeze to death. They'd likely be alive today if they had brought a Satellite Messenger and activated its emergency signal (by the time they were reported missing and the search crews went out, they had frozen to death overnight). Of course, there are many other good reasons to carry a [...]

By | September 12th, 2016|Emergency & SOS, Recommended Gear, Skills|16 Comments

Best Lightweight Backpacking Electronics Gear

This best lightweight backpacking electronics gear is supremely functional, but is also light, low-cost, practical, and durable. It is the gear I take backpacking. This post has many Tips on How to Effectively Use this Gear. This is part 1 of a 3 part series On Trail - Best Lightweight Backpacking Electronics Gear (this article) Best SOS/Tracking/Satellite Communication [...]

By | July 11th, 2016|Electronics, Gear List, Navigation, Recommended Gear|3 Comments

Best Cheap 25 cent Backpacking Gear

The Best Cheap $0.25 Backpacking Gear in my kit are Pint Ziploc Freezer Bags. They are a perfect size and have a ton of uses. I’ve used them to protect my iPhone and other expensive equipment packrafting in Alaska, rafting down the Grand Canyon in winter, trekking in Patagonia and the rain forests of New Zealand. Surprisingly, they are virtually unknown and you won’t find them on grocery store shelves.

Practical Light Gear List Appalachian Trail

Just how light can you go on backpacking gear for the AT and still be an efficient hiker? I believe this "Practical Light Gear List Appalachian Trail" is very close to the lower weight limit of gear to efficiently walk long days on the AT without sacrificing comfort, functionality or miles hiked per day. My goal is a sub 12 pound total pack weight (gear, food, water & fuel) to do a ~100 mile section of the AT without resupply.

By | March 10th, 2016|Gear List, Recommended Gear|19 Comments

Best Backpacking Stove System – Trail Designs Caldera vs. JetBoil

Best Backpacking Stoves: Trail Designs Caldera, the best alcohol stove system, and JetBoil, the best canister stove system. What makes these systems “best” is that they are fuel efficient, wind-resistant, stable and stow into a small package. Which is the best for you?...

By | December 7th, 2015|cooking & stoves, Recommended Gear|26 Comments

Recommended Lightweight Backpacks

Do-it-all Packs: These are your first choice if you want one light pack to work for all your trips. These packs will carry gear and food for trips up to 7 days or more—yet at around 2 pounds they are not too heavy to use for a long weekend on the Appalachian Trail.

By | November 16th, 2015|Backpacks, Beginners, Recommended Gear|22 Comments