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To make the most out of our camping trips, and to give you the best experience possible while out on the trails, here is a comprehensive list of all the gear we use and recommend.
And if you wanted to do a dip-drive into any of the below items, simply click on the corresponding look to see an in-depth review.
I mean, when you’re spending hours outside every day, every week, every year like we do you definitely want the right gear with you. The right gear allows us to spend as much time outside as we can, packing as little as possible, all while weighing in as light as can be.
To achieve this, this is the gear we love and recommend.
We love it for its large capacity on longer trips, the front panel zip access, the adjustable fit, and the convertible lid into a day pack. (Used in the Grand Canyon and in Yosemite). Read our review of the Osprey Ariel pack here.
We love it because it’s passive water filtration, large enough for our groups, fast, easy to backflush, super light, compact, and easy to use. (Use on all of our Backpacking trips.) Read our review of the Platypus GravityWorks Filtration System here. Read our review of the Platypus GravityWorks Filtration System here.
When the day is done and it’s time to rest your tired, weary (and probably smelly) feet, packing the right camping gear to make your restful hours actually restful is definitely a much-appreciated luxury.
Here’s the gear we think will treat you the best at the end of a long, hard day of trekking.
We love them because they’re light, easy to set up, durable, and have tons of features. Don’t forget the footprint! (Used on the Grand Canyon trip and Yosemite trip). Read our review of the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL.
We love it for the customizable sleep experience, the durability, the waterproof down, and how lightweight it is. (Used in the Grand Canyon and in Yosemite). Read our review of the Big Agnes Women’s Torchlight 20.
Compression Sack for Sleeping Bag Storage
We love it because it’s big enough to store your sleeping bag when backpacking, but also great for packing up clothes in a suitcase or stashing stuff on a water-based adventure. Read our review of the Sea to Summit Event Compression Dry Sack M 14L.
Big Agnes Insulated Q Core SLX – Used on Our Grand Canyon and Yosemite Trips
The Q-Core SLX offers unmatched comfort and support while still lightweight and packs down small. And it’s the only sleeping pad featuring offset I-Beams that make for incredible multi-directional support and stability for a restful night on any terrain. Read our review of the Big Agnes Insulated Q Core SLX sleeping pad.
And to really top a well-managed backpacking kit off, a few handy accessories are always appreciated.
Outsak Size M Ratsack
We love them because they’re ultra-light, handmade, reliable, and family-owned in Flagstaff, AZ. (Used in the Grand Canyon). Read our review of the Outsak Ratsack.
We love them because it’s light for a bear canister, durable, approved by Yosemite, and made in the USA. (Used on our Yosemite trips). Read our review of the Bear Vault BV450 Bear Canister.
Satellite Communication Devices
Garmin inReach Mini – Used on Our Grand Canyon, Yosemite Trips
inReach Mini is one of the smallest and lightest satellite communicators with real-time weather updates and GPS navigation. Use it to send and receive text messages, manage your waypoints and geocaches, mark locations, and, of course, track your adventures.
So, whether you’re trekking through the backcountry or exploring the wilds of North America from afar, Garmin inReach Mini will keep you connected to family and friends while making sure you can track your movements at all times.
Jet Boil MiniMo – Used on Our Red River Gorge Trips
The MiniMo cooking system is the perfect combination of Jetboil efficiency and versatility in a convenient, go-anywhere size. Boil water fast for freeze-dried meals or hot drinks. Or attach it to your larger cook system for added stability and wind protection. Compact yet capable, the MiniMo’s innovative design provides all the essentials you need to get out there and explore! Read our review of the Jet Boil MiniMo.
MSR Pocket Rocket – Used on All Our Backpacking Trips
This super-compact stove has a patented burner head that produces an intense, blue flame that’s far hotter than other stoves. It takes only three and a half minutes to boil one liter of water, so you can get back to the business of enjoying your time in nature. The Pocket Rocket is so small and light (only 2.6 ounces or 73 grams) it fits in the palm of your hand. You’ll hardly know it’s there until you need it. Read our review of the MSR Pocket Rocket.
MSR DragonFly – Used on Our Grand Canyon, Yosemite Trips
MSR’s stoves have been a mainstay on expeditions around the world for decades, and the Dragonfly is no exception. Its compact design packs a blowtorch-like punch when it comes to boiling water or melting snow in high altitudes, and its precision simmering control makes it an excellent travel companion. Read our review of the MSR Dragon-Fly.
MSR Ceramic Two Pot Set – Used on Our Grand Canyon, Yosemite Trips
Lightweight, compact, and easy to use, the handy MSR Ceramic Two Pot Set allows you to cook great food wherever you are straight from your camping stove. A hard-anodized aluminum 2-pot set supports a nonstick ceramic coating for easy cooking. The signature Hard Anodized construction is durable and lightweight while a tight-fitting lid prevents spattering and spills.
The MSR Ceramic Skillet is a highly versatile and lightweight cooking option for backcountry chefs. Its premium Fusion ceramic nonstick surface provides excellent food release and easy cleanup, and the sturdy stainless steel handle and lid provide for added durability. The pan’s narrow shape makes it perfect for heating up small amounts of water or cooking over direct heat with the lid off.
Where We Shop
There are a few shops and online stores we definitely love to use to stock up on all the much-needed necessities. Without these great stockists, our hiking trips certainly wouldn’t be much fun.
We do our best to shop locally to support our communities before exploring our options online.
Here’s who we use.
Moosejaw’s reward program is completely free and you earn up to 10% back on purchases with their Moosejaw Reward Dollars that can be applied to your next purchase. Plus, with their High Altitude Rewards Program, the more you spend the more benefits you receive.
REI requires their Co-op membership and you receive a yearly dividend check paid out in the winter in conjunction with their annual member’s sale.
Backcountry.com provides an online marketplace for outdoor enthusiasts, providing the tools and information needed to discover, learn, and buy outdoor gear. Backcountry.com gives outdoor enthusiasts access to the world’s largest collection of outdoor gear, apparel, and footwear from the most trusted brands in the world.
Certainly not our first choice, but there is no denying Amazon has a seriously wide variety of camping gear at distant prices. Additionally, we use these guys when we’ve been caught short and we need gear in a hurry. In this regard, Amazon Prime is an absolute godsend.
Where to Find and How to Get Discounts on Gear and Apparel
We love it because you receive actual checks in the mail for doing what you’re already doing – shopping. Like, you get REAL MONEY. It’s completely free and there’s no catch. You earn a percentage back on your purchases when you go through their website. It’s even easier when you install the Chrome extension because it will alert you and allow you to activate your Cash Back when on a participating website.
Thrift and Consignment Stores
YES! Major name brands can be found deeply discounted at your local thrift store. Check their website for special sale days and we love going to thrift stores in the wealthier neighborhoods. Patagonia with the tags still on for $2? Yes, please!