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.


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 | or Zpacks Triplex.

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

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

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

Pillow: MEC Air Pillow

Kitchen Tarp for group trips: RAB Siltarp 2 Check price: | 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: 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 | or MSR Whisperlite Check price:

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: 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: MEC | REI | or Orikaso folding bowl (discontinued)

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

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

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

Bear Canister: Bear Vault BV450 Check price: MEC | REI |, Garcia Machine Backpacker’s Cache Check price: 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 | or Petzl Bindi and Petzl e+Lite as a backcup. Check price: MEC | REI |

Wrist watch: Garmin Vivoactive 3 Check price: MEC | REI |

Compass: Silva Ranger Check price: MEC |

GPS: Garmin eTrex 30S Check price: MEC | REI or Gaia GPS App for my phone

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 Check Price: MEC,  and 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 |

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 | MSR Tent pole repair splint Check price:

Hiking the King's Throne Trail in Kluane


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 – Check Prices: MEC | REI | Patagonia USA | Patagonia Canada

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 – Check prices: REI | Patagonia US | Patagonia Canada

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:

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 – Check prices: MEC | REI


Sports Bra: Knixwear Evolution bra

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


Hat: MEC Run Hat (discontinued)

Toque/Beanie: MEC Pom Pom Toque or Smartwool Merino 250 Beanie – Check prices: MEC

Buff: Buff Original – Check prices: MEC | REI or Merino Wool Buff – Check prices: MEC | REI

Gloves: DeFeet Dura ET gloves Check price: or MEC Waterproof Enough Gloves

Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles – Check prices: MEC | REI | Black Diamond

Sunglasses: Sunskis Headlands Check price: MEC | REI |


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

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

Gaiters: MEC Kokanee Gaiters (discontinued)

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

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.


  • 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
      June 30, 2021 at 10:59 pm

      I thought this list was reasonably priced and thoroughly helpful. Not sure what you’re trying to say here, Ludek, all of these supplies would be applicable in B.C./the P.N.W. Thanks, Taryn!

  • 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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