Gear List: What’s in my Backpacking Kit?

Gear List for Backpacking

I get asked this question a lot—people love to geek out on gear! So I’m going to make it easy on you and give you a list. If you have any questions or need advice on gear, just ask!

Backpack: Used the Osprey Aura on the AT, and have now switched to the Gossamer Gear Mariposa. I loved the Osprey Aura for its suspension system and thick, comfortable straps, but it’s on the heavy side and I had some fit issues by the end of the AT. I’ve since switched to the Mariposa, which is lighter, has incredible reviews anywhere you look, and is quite comfortable. It even comes with a sit pad.

Sleeping bag: Used the Kelty Cosmic Down and Sea to Summit Traveler 55 on the AT, now have a Western Mountaineering Ultralite 20 F Down, which is supposed to be among the lightest and warmest on the market. It is incredibly comfortable.

Sleeping bag liner: Sea to Summit sleeping bag liner. (I sleep cold and this adds a few degrees to my sleeping bag. It also helps to keep it clean).

Tent: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2. Great fairly affordable lightweight tent. Perfect size for one person and their backpack.

Sleeping pad: Had a Thermarest Prolite Women’s on the AT, now have a Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Women’s. (I found the Prolite to be really comfortable, but it was on the heavier side and took up too much room so I’ve switched to the NeoAir Xlite. It’s not quite as comfortable and takes more effort to blow up, but it has a high “r” value, which means it keeps you warmer at night).

Emergency GPS device: Garmin inReach mini. This gives me a way to reach the outside world, including Search and Rescue, when I don’t have cell reception, which is often in Colorado. With certain subscription plans, you can even text people with this device!

Rain jacket: Had an L.L. Bean one on the AT (did not keep the water out!) and now have a Marmot PreCip (love love love this jacket—it is super lightweight, comfortable, is a great wind protector and comes in some really fun colors).

StoveMSR Pocket Rocket (super lightweight, tiny, and easy to use).

Cookware. Titanium pot, cup, and long-handled spork (titanium = super lightweight yay!).

Water filterSawyer Squeeze and Evernew water carry system.

Bear bagZpacks bear bagging kit and Ursack Major XL bear sack.

Dry bagsSea to Summit.

Hiking boots: Oboz Sawtooth Lows (I keep buying this model over and over. They’re comfortable, sturdy, easy to break in, and for thru-hikers, Oboz will replace a pair of shoes for you on a long trail for free!).

Trowel: Tentlab Deuce of Spades (made of titanium and gets the job done).

Kula cloth (pee cloth). An artistic and more sustainable alternative to toilet paper!

Portable phone battery chargerAnker (these are heavy but hold up and are well worth the weight. Also useful for traveling).

Octopus tripod: For taking photos! Maybe that’s just me. 😉

Trekking polesBlack Diamonds. (I would be dead a hundred times over without my trekking poles, I swear).

HeadlampBlack Diamond Astro.

SocksDarn Toughs. (These socks are incredible—they’re comfortable, prevent blisters, and the company has a lifetime guarantee).

UnderwearEx Officios.

Puffy coat: Patagonia Nano Puff and Patagonia Micro Puff. (Yes, I now double puff! There is a debate among hikers whether to get down or synthetic. I went with synthetic as the insulating power holds up better in rain and the Micro Puff is among the smallest and most lightweight synthetic on the market. I wear it constantly – for hiking, backpacking, walking to work, going to a brewery, anything and everything. Bonus: it packs up so small it will fit in my purse!).

Camp shoes: Teva Women’s Original Universal Sandals.

Other: Clothes (quick drying/ layers!), pillow, sunglasses, hand sanitizer, bug spray, sun hat, sunscreen, personal hygiene items, small sponge, knife, trail map, gloves, hat, etc.

*This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something using these links, I may receive a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you, and I would never recommend a product or service that I don’t use myself and love!

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Published by Audrey

Hi! My name is Audrey, otherwise known as Glowstick on trail. I've always been into hiking, adventuring, and the outdoors, but these things took a backseat as I worked on my career in public relations for several years in Washington, D.C. In 2018, I decided that I was discontent with city life. Instead of working on my career, I needed to work on my happiness. So, I reprioritized. I quit my (amazing) job at World Wildlife Fund, thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, and relocated to beautiful Boulder, Colorado, where I work in climate communications and climb mountains every chance that I get.

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