Gear Lists

More gear than you need – Gear for a week of summer camp!

Gear…LOVE IT! In fact, I’m fairly certain that I have GAS (Gear acquisition syndrome according to Zack Arias). Truth is, you can cobble together a lot of what you’ll need from what you have at home. However, specific gear will make you lighter and more comfy in the sticks.

So here’s what we’ve done. We’ve assembled a list of the gear needed for trips described on this site as well as a PDF check list you can download. You’ll notice the list below includes links to gear we take as minimalist, ultralight backpackers. We have also tried to provide links to more traditional type of gear. The debate between ultralight and ultraheavy (Jim’s term) is really one of preference. Some like the comfort of the kitchen sink, others like to get as close as possible to mother earth. Neither is right or wrong.

Just so there is no question of propriety, the gear list include links merchants selling this gear we recommend. When you use the links and buy on from the merchant website, we get a little kickback to help support the site. All of the gear is stuff we have had personal experience with and feel comfortable recommending. If it’s crap, it won’t be on

You’ll notice we’ve made this super simple and have broken down the gear by rooms of a house. Pretty sure this came from Colin Fletcher’s Complete Walker…most likely volume I!

Summer Backpacking Check List – (Download PDF checklist)

What I use Also Good
  • Backpack to carry everything
 Osprey Hornet 46  Good Basic Pack
  • Rain cover for backpack
 Small & Light Cover  Need to fit your pack
  • Ground cloth
 5mm Plastic Sheet
  • Tent (can split with others to reduce weight)
 Home Made Tarp (Rayway)  Basic 2-Man Tent
  • Sleeping bag – dial to your conditions
 Old Moonstone 20 deg bag. No longer make  Good Choices
  • Sleeping pad
 Big Agnes  Minimal Pad
  • pillow (a real little one or plan to use your jacket a pillow)
 My Fleece!  If you really need
  • Backpack stove (try to share)
 MSR Pocket Rocket  Jetboil
  • Fuel (try to share)
 MSR. USDOT wont let them ship.
  • Pot – quart size is ideal, for boiling water
 A very old 1-qt coffee pot  Pot/Cup I’d buy
  • Spoon, lexan – (fork is superfluous)
Spoon  Spoon
  • Plastic Insulated Cup – I eat all meals from a cup
 Very Old one   Pot/Cup I’d buy
  • Salt/pepper/spices – (helps w/ dull food)
 Raid the home cabinets
  • Matches/lighter – lighters are best
 Raid the home cabinet
  • Bandana/Towel – helps with hot pot handles
  • Water purification system (I use iodine tablets…yeah, it is old school!)
 Iodine (not the best) Better TabletsWater Pumps
  • Lunches – typically goodie bag
 Load at grocery store
  • breakfasts – typical is instant oatmeal
 grocery store
  • Instant Coffee – nothing better
 Starbucks VIA
  • Dinners – 1st night is leftovers from home/beyond that dehydrated
 Dehydrated Options
  • TOP TIP -> bring big ol goodie bag (properly done this is your lunch)
  • Water (almost always start with 2 quarts. Ultimately depends on water availability)
  • TOP TIP 2 -> Dehydrated food is OK but it doesn’t taste great. Can be simple like Top Raman.
  • Toliet Paper (make your own roll to save space)
 Roll your own at home
  • Toothbrush/Paste (lots of people skip this but on longer trips it gets nasty)
 From Home
  • Contact solution, contact case, glasses (as needed)
 From Home
  • Medications and first aid kit
 Build your own
  • Rain gear – top and bottom
 Sierra Design Rain Jacket / Sierra Designs Rain Pants
  • Long pants with zip off legs work well
 Convertible Pants
  • Tee Shirt
 T-Shirt I use/Wind Shirt – Like mine Lots of others
  • Insulation Layer (top and bottom)
 My Jacket  Fleece Option
  • Synthetic Longjohns Layer (top and bottom)
 Capilene Top/Capilene Bottoms  Good Choices Bttm/Good Choices Top
  • Hiking Boots (can use heavy duty tennis shoes for this)
 Merrel Barefoots  Match to pack weight. Don’t need huge boots.
  • Sneaker – Optional
  • Synthetic socks (min 2 pair, one to wear while the other dries)
 Perfect Socks
  • Fleece Hat and/or wide brimmed hat
 You’ve got this laying around.
  • Sunglasses are nice key
 Anything will do.
Personal Stuff    
  • Knife (be prepared), sharp Yo!
  • Whistle – key safety item
 Key Safety Gear
  • Pen (be prepared)
 Steal from home
  • Compass/Map (know how to use it)
 Silva Ranger
  • Flashlight or head torch
  • Bandana
  • Fishing gear/License
 Keep it real
  • 50′ of 3mm rope for bear bag