Gear I Use

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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 2019.


Multi-Day and Overnight Pack: Boreas Lost Coast 60 Women’s version with raincover (read my review) (Note: Sadly this pack is discontinued as Boreas is no longer in business.)

Collapsible pack for dayhikes 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 | or Zpacks Triplex.

Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes Roxy Ann -9C/15F Check price: MEC | REI | or Therm-a-Rest Oberon -18C/0F Check price: MEC | | Amazon

Compression sack: OR Ultralight Compression Check price: | Outdoor Research

Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Check price: MEC | REI |

Pillow: MEC Air Pillow

Kitchen Tarp for group trips: RAB Siltarp 2 Check price: MEC | | 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 |

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

Bum Pad: MEC Seat Cushion


Kitchen Gear:

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

Pots: MSR Alpine 2 Pot set Check price: MEC | REI |, Primus eta Pot (discontinued) or Sea to Summit X Pot 2.8L Check price: REI | 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 |, Single blade Gerber folding knife (discontinued model)

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

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

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

Hydration: Source 2L Reservoir Check price: MEC and Platypus Soft Bottle collapsible bottles Check price: MEC | REI |

Water Treatment: Platypus Gravityworks 2L Check price: MEC , REI |; Steripen Classic 3 Check price: MEC | REI | or Pristine Drops Check price: MEC

Bear Canister: Bear Vault BV450 Check price: MEC | REI |, 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 | and Petzl e+Lite Check price: MEC | REI |

Wrist watch: Timex Ironman Sleek Check price: MEC | REI | or Garmin Vivoactive 3 Check price: MEC | REI |

Compass: Silva Ranger Check price: MEC |

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 or Jackery Mini 3350

Emergency Communication: DeLorme InReach (discontinued), iPhone 6S, 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 Check price: MEC

Toothpaste: Travel sized Sensodyne (free from the dentist’s office)

Toothbrush: Generic drug store toothbrush with travel cap

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 |

Bear Spray: Frontiersman Check price: MEC Seattle Sports bear spray holster Check price: MEC

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

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

Hiking the King's Throne Trail in Kluane


Waterproof Breathable Jacket: MEC Alpine Refuge (discontinued) or MEC Synergy

Waterproof Breathable Pants: MEC Hydrofoil pants

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

Wind Jacket: MEC Farpoint Jacket

Insulated Jacket: MEC Uplink, MEC Warm Obsession (discontinued but you can read my review), MEC Spicy Hoody, MEC Hot Cocoa Parka, MEC Light Obsession (I know… I have too many MEC puffies)


Hiking Clothes:

T shirt or tank top: wicking tee or tank – I have tons from lots of different brands but right now my favourite is the Patagonia Nine Trails Short Sleeve Check price: MEC | REI |

Long sleeved warm shirt: MEC T2 Long Sleeved Zip T or MEC Flyer long sleeve.

Long sleeved sun protection shirt: MEC T1 Long Sleeved Zip T, MEC Lupin Long Sleeved button up

Pants: MEC Amanita Straight Leg Pants, MEC Terrena Stretch Pants or MEC Agility Tights

Shorts: MEC Terrena Stretch shorts or Black Diamond Valley Shorts Check price: MEC |


Sleeping and Camp Clothes:

Base Layer Top: MEC T3 Hoodie or MEC T2 Hoodie

Base Layer Bottoms: MEC T3 Long Johns or MEC Merino T2 Long Johns



Sports Bra: Knixwear Evolution bra

Underwear: Patagonia Active Hipster Check price: MEC | REI | | Patagonia; PACT cotton panties for in camp Check price: MEC | Amazon



Hat: Sunday Afternoons Northwest Trucker Cap Check price: REI | or Nike running hat

Toque/Beanie: MEC Fleece Toque, or Chaos recycled cashmere knit hat Check price: REI 

Buff: Outdoor Research Echo Ubertube Check price: MEC | Outdoor Research or MEC MT2 Neck Gaiter

Gloves: DeFeet Dura ET gloves Check price: MEC | or MEC Windstopper Gloves (discontinued)

Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Poles Womens version Check price: MEC | REI |

Sunglasses: Sunskis Headlands Check price: MEC | REI |



Socks: Wright Sock Double Layer Socks (as liners) Check price: MEC | REI Great Canadian Sox Company Super Wool Hiker GX Check price: MEC, Defeet Wooleator Check price: MEC | or Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Check price: MEC | REI | Darn Tough Socks

Camp Socks: Defeet Woolie Boolie Check price: MEC | REI |

Gaiters: MEC Kokanee Gaiters

Boots and Shoes: Salomon X Ultra Mid GTX Light Trail Shoes Check price: MEC | REI |,  Scarpa Kailash GTX Day Hiking Boots Check price: MEC |, Salomon XA Pro Trail Running Shoes Check price: MEC | REI |

Camp Shoes: People Footwear The Rio Slip on Shoes Check price: MEC | 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.

Like my gear? Need a visual checklist? Pin this post on Pinterest.

Complete women's backpacking gear checklist with specific brand recommendations. See the gear I actually use!


  • 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?

    • 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: 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.


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