Equipment in my backpack when I hike with my friend:

Anyone who is new to backpacking may wonder what to carry in their backpack. I know I wished I knew where to find a list of what to carry; however, since that was before pagers, cell phones, and the internet, I made do. My first backpack weighed in at about 75 pounds! Luckily for me, I wasn’t adventuring very far out into the Mojave Desert where I lived that day.¬† I have learned a little since then. My pack is extremely minimal compared to this on solo trips (I use a Warbonnet hammock instead of tent, Solo Stove instead of canister stove and Titanium cup instead of GSI pot setup); however, I make up that lost weight and more with lots of camera gear.

When I hike with my best friend, I want them to enjoy the trip so that they will want to go backpacking more and more. I only ask that they carry their personal items, which I consider to be:

  • Toiletries
  • sleeping bag and pad
  • Snacks
  • Clothes.

In my backpack, I carry everything else. My pack for the last trip weighed in at 30 pounds, and I could have left all the extra clothes at home; however, I have issues with climbing in my sleeping bag at night in dirty clothes. Below is a list of everything in my pack that I took on my last trip:

  • Osprey Aether 70 Backpack
    • Rain cover
  • REI Half Dome 2 plus
  • REI Lumen 20 degree Sleeping Bag
  • Term-A-Rest Sleeping Pad
  • GSI Two person Set
    • 2 insulated Cups (with lids)
    • 2 bowls
    • 2 Sporks
    • Stove
    • fuel can
  • Snow Peak GigaPower Stove
  • MSR Fuel Canister
  • Food
  • Mesh Bag-O-Lights
  • Maxpedition Beefy Pocket Organizer (This is also my “Every-Day-Carry” bag)

    • Snow Peak Titanium Spork
    • Straw (for Sawyer water filter)
    • Leatherman Tool (unknown model)(not shown)
    • First Aid bag
    • Sawyer water filter bladder
    • Trusty Silva Ranger CLQ Compass in Bearings (Have used in the field for 27 years)
    • Write-in-the-rain Weatherproof Journal
    • Sawyer Water Filter
    • Fox 40 Whistle
    • Mini toothbrush
    • Tiny toothpaste
    • Tinderbox
      • Vaseline soaked cottonball (in a tiny medicine ziplock)
      • lots of Birch bark
      • Light My Fire mini Flint and steel
    • 8 Starbucks instant Italian Roast Coffee single servings
    • 2 Yerba Mate tea bags
    • lotion
    • Sea To Summit HeadNet (for mesquitos)
    • Survival Bracelet (usually worn in the field)
  • Garmin GPS 60
  • Gerber Sheath Knife (instead of 9mm Taurus)
  • 100 ft of paracord
  • 1.75x Reading glasses
  • Canon G16 Camera
  • Ultra-Pod 2 Tripod
  • Canon Cable Release
  • Oregon Pinot Gris in a 1 ltr Platypus bladder
  • Boonie Hat to hold up the Mosquito HeadNet
  • Clothes
    • Socks, 1 pr
    • underwear, 1pr
    • Thermal “long johns”, 1 pr
    • Switzerland Military issue wool sweater (From military surplus store)
    • Pants with zip off legs, 1 pr
    • Long sleeve sports shirt with zippered chest, 1
    • Fleece gloves, 1 pr
    • “beanies” or “skull cap”, 2
  • Collapsible fleece pillow

There were a whole heck of a lot of things I didn’t need in my pack this trip. I could have left out the Wool sweater, pants with zip off legs, 100ft of para cord, AlpineAire food, Tent rainfly, tent stakes, long sleeve shirt, and a few other things. Hope this helps someone out there.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section.

UPDATE: You have to take into consideration many factors when backpacking. One thing I was unsure of is what the temperature where we were backpacking to was going to “feel” like overnight. The reason I said I could have eliminated the aforementioned items is because¬† I didn’t use them, however, that is hindsight.

Cost of equipment:¬†I am a firm beleiver in buying what I can afford and upgrading from there. I do want to say, on the other hand, There have been many times I have purchased some piece of equipment and immediately after the trip replaced it because it sucked frog lips! That being said…You get what you pay for; however, buying a $39 collapsible bowl that cooks on the stove may be replaced by a cheap a$$ 5 pound Goodwill pot and a $0.50 plastic bowl. That doesn’t mean that someday when you find an extra 40 bones in an old pair of pants you wouldn’t want to buy that collapsible pot/bowl…It would be worth it… IMHO.