Gear I Use

Woman wearing a backpack on the Chilkoot Trail.

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I’ve been backpacking for over a decade. Over the years I’ve tried lots of different gear and learned a lot about what works best for me and my style of backpacking. I’m not an ultralight hiker by any means, but I like to be comfortable, both in camp and with the load I carry on my back.

Here’s the full list of gear that I take on most backpacking trips. Some of the items only come on more relaxed trips where I don’t mind carrying a bigger load. Where possible, I’ve included links to items I have reviewed. If you have questions about how to choose gear for backpacking, I’m happy to answer.

This list is up to date as of spring 2020.

 

Backpacks:

Multi-Day and Overnight Pack: Gregory Amber 70

Collapsible pack for day hikes from base camps: MEC Travel Light Top Loader

 

Hammock on Flores Island, BC

Sleeping and Camp Gear:

Tent: MSR Hubba Hubba NX with footprint. Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com or Zpacks Triplex.

Sleeping Bag: Therm-a-Rest Oberon -18C/0F Check price: MEC | Backcountry.com | Amazon or Therm-a-rest Ohm 0C/32F 

Compression sack: OR Ultralight Compression Check price: MECBackcountry.com | Outdoor Research

Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Check price: REI | Backcountry.com

Pillow: MEC Air Pillow

Kitchen Tarp for group trips: RAB Siltarp 2 Check price: MEC | Backcountry.com | Amazon

Guylines and rigging: 2mm reflective cord in various lengths and NiteIze Figure9 Caribiners Check price: MEC | REI

Pegs: MSR Mini Ground Hog Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com

Lounge Hammock: Therm-a-Rest Slacker Double Hammock and Suspenders (read my review). Check price: Amazon

Bum Pad: Therm-a-rest Z Seat

Ultralight Chair: Helinox Chair One


 

Kitchen Gear:

Stoves: Snow Peak GigaPower with add-on windscreen Check price: REI | Backcountry.com or MSR Whisperlite Check price: MEC |  Backcountry.com

Pots: Primus eta Pot (discontinued) or Sea to Summit X Pot 2.8L Check price: MECREI | Amazon

Fire starter: Bic Lighter or Light My Fire Swedish Firesteel Check price: MEC | Amazon

Eating/cooking utensils: Snow Peak Titanium Spork Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com, Single blade Gerber folding knife (discontinued model)

Clean up: Sierra Dawn Campsuds soap Check price: MEC | REI, GSI Compact scraper Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com

Bowls: Sea to Summit X-Bowl Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com or Orikaso folding bowl (discontinued)

Mug: Snow Peak titanium double wall: Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com

Hydration: Platypus Big Zip Reservoir and Platypus Soft Bottle collapsible bottles Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com

Water Treatment: Platypus Gravityworks 2L Check price: REI | Backcountry.com or Pristine Drops Check price: MEC

Bear Canister: Bear Vault BV450 Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com, Garcia Machine Backpacker’s Cache Check price: MEC | REI or URSack Check price: MEC | REI

Food Bag: Seal Line Bulkhead View Dry Bag Check price: MEC | REI and cheap hardware store yellow poly rope for hanging


 

Navigation and Electronics Gear:

Headlamp: Petzl Actik Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com or Petzl Bindi and Petzl e+Lite as a backcup. Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com

Wrist watch: Garmin Vivoactive 3 Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com

Compass: Silva Ranger Check price: MEC | Backcountry.com

GPS: Garmin eTrex 30S Check price: MEC | REI |

Map Case: Gallon sized Ziploc freezer bag Check price: Amazon

Map/Guidebook: Paper maps and guidebook photocopies/internet printouts for the area

Reading material: Amazon Kindle

Power Bank: Mophie Powerstation Mini

Emergency Communication: Garmin inReach Mini,  iPhone Xs, and Fox 40 Whistle Check price: MEC | REI 


 

Camera Gear:

Camera: Sony A6000 and kit lens Check price: Amazon

Camera Clip: Peak Design Capture Clip Check price: REI | Amazon

Camera Bag: Lowe Pro Dashpoint

Tripods: Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom Check price: REI Sirui T-025X Carbon Fiber Check price: Amazon


 

Health and Safety:

Sunscreen: Small tube of sweat-resistant sunscreen

Head Net: OnSight Equipment Mosquito Head Net

Toothpaste: Travel sized tubes free from the dentist’s office

Toothbrush: Carry Clean travel toothbrush 

Deodorant: Travel sized from the drug store

Toilet paper and hand sanitizer in a ziploc

Hair elastics

Foam ear plugs

Lip Balm: SPF Blistex in a tube

Towel: PackTowl face cloth Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com

Bear Spray: Frontiersman Bear Spray with Seattle Sports Holster

First Aid Kit: Zippered case with first aid supplies personally chosen and assembled by me

Repair: Gearaid Tenacious Tape Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com MSR Tent pole repair splint Check price: Backcountry.com


Hiking the King's Throne Trail in Kluane

Outerwear:

Waterproof Breathable Jacket: MEC Synergy

Waterproof Breathable Pants: MEC Hydrofoil pants

Rain Skirt (yup that’s a thing): Enlightened Equipment Rain Wrap

Wind Jacket: Patagonia Houdini

Insulated Jacket: MEC Hot Cocoa Parka or MEC Light Obsession (both discontinued) or MEC Boundary Light Down Vest

 

Hiking Clothes:

T shirt or tank top: wicking tee or tank – I have tons from lots of different brands but right now my favourites are the MEC Core Train Tshirt and the Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail Tshirt

Long sleeved warm shirt: MEC T2 Long Sleeved Zip T (discontinued).

Long sleeved sun protection shirt: MEC Lupin Long Sleeved button up (discontinued)

Pants: MEC Terrena Stretch Pants

Shorts: MEC Terrena Stretch shorts or Black Diamond Valley Shorts Check price: Backcountry.com

 

Sleeping and Camp Clothes:

Base Layer Top: MEC T3 Hoodie (discontinued)

Base Layer Bottoms: MEC T3 Long Johns (discontinued) or Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer Bottoms

 

Underwear:

Sports Bra: Knixwear Evolution bra (Use code knix10 at checkout for $10 off!)

Underwear: Patagonia Active Hipster REI | Backcountry.com | Patagonia; and cotton panties for in camp

 

Accessories:

Hat: MEC Run Hat

Toque/Beanie: MEC Pom Pom Toque or Smartwool Merino 250 Beanie

Buff: Outdoor Research Echo Ubertube or Merino Wool Buff

Gloves: DeFeet Dura ET gloves Check price: Backcountry.com or MEC Windstopper Gloves (discontinued)

Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles

Sunglasses: Sunskis Headlands Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com


 

Footwear:

Socks: Injini Liner Crew Socks and Smartwool PhD Outdoor Crew Light Hiking Socks

Camp Socks: Defeet Woolie Boolie Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com

Gaiters: MEC Kokanee Gaiters

Boots and Shoes: Salomon X Ultra Mid GTX Light Trail Shoes Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com,  or Salomon XA Pro Trail Running Shoes Check price: MEC | REI | Backcountry.com

Camp Shoes: People Footwear The Rio Slip on Shoes: Amazon


 

So that’s the full list of things I might usually bring on a backpacking trip. If you have any questions about my gear and why I chose it, let me know.

 

3 Comments

  • Reply
    Ludek Zaboj
    July 8, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    To be direct, for all the money you spend on your gear I could have a nice motorhome, or hire a sherpa and servant to feel comfort, depending on a destination. It does not help a guy, especially from Vancouver. Do you want to share money or lifestyle?
    Ludek

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      July 15, 2019 at 8:17 am

      Hi Ludek, I’ve collected this gear over many years. I actually rarely pay full price for gear since I buy used gear, shop sales and take advantage of industry deals. If you’re looking to save money on gear, check out this post I wrote: https://happiestoutdoors.ca/ways-to-save-money-on-hiking-gear/ It’s got lots of tips for buying gear without spending too much.

  • Reply
    Ken MacLean
    July 18, 2019 at 6:19 am

    Taryn, super useful list, impressive listing of hikes and depth of background. I have hiked many of these and fun to see if through your eyes.

    Ken

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