The quality of gear you have as a backpacker and hiker will be of utmost importance. If you don’t have sufficient gear, you may find yourself uncomfortable on the trail. The best hiking gear will help you cook good meals, fetch clean water, keep you warm, and keep you dry. Obviously, there is a plethora of gear you will need in order to have enjoyable and comfortable backpacking experience.
If you’ve never hiked or backpacked before, you may be clueless as to what you actually need in order to have a successful hiking trip. In this article, we are going to show you some of our favorite pieces of backpacking gear that will assist you on a hike. All of the gear we talk about is absolutely essential to ensure you have an enjoyable outdoor experience.
Taking a camera with you? Consider getting a backpacking tripod to get those super-smooth shots!
View The Best Backpacking Gear Below
1. TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack
Your backpack is going to be a massively important piece of hiking gear. Everything you have with you on your journey will be on your back, in your backpack. It is important that your backpack is high-quality. The TETON Scout 3400 backpack has everything you’ll need for a 2-4 day trek. It has 55L of capacity, tons of useful storage compartments, and compression straps.
The internal frame design keeps the backpack conveniently open while you pack it, and gives the bag structural integrity and strength. The adjustable torso straps will allow you to fit the bag to your needs. It comes with an integrated rainfly to cover everything up with when the rain falls, and a sleeping bag compartment will allow you to keep your sleeping bag protected as opposed to it being outside of the bag.
+ High-quality backpack
+ Adjustable sizing
+ Lots of storage pockets and compartments
+ Good for 2-4 days of hiking
+ Internal frame design
Why we like it – The backpack is your life holder on the trail. This lightweight backpack fits the bill as far as a bag that will carry everything you need. It is durable, comfortable, and strong.
Find more rain gear for hiking.
2. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
LifeStraw is one of the most useful inventions for hiking and survival alike. It allows you to take water from any fresh source and it removes 99.99% of bacteria from the water using its filter. It is also strong at protecting you from e-Coli, waterborne parasites, and microplastics found in water. LifeStraw is able to filter 4000L of water before needing to be replaced. This will be enough for more than a few backpacking trips.
The straw fits nicely into your water bottle and filters the water as you drink from it. It cuts down on the need to have a separate water filter/pump to extract the water into your bottle. LifeStraws are one of the best backpacking gear pieces you will ever invest in and are handy in every survival situation.
+ Drink from any fresh water source
+ 4000L of filtration
+ Fits inside your water bottle
+ Removes bacteria, microplastics, and waterborne diseases
Why we like it – Water is essential to life, and LifeStraw offers you clean water wherever you go. It is one of the most useful advances in survival technology ever produced.
3. Outdoorsman Lab Camping Sleeping Pad
Your sleeping pad is what will keep you comfortably off the ground overnight. The Outdoorsman Lab sleeping pad is high-quality, lightweight, and comfortable. The camping pad inflates easily and fills the interconnected air cells which conform to your body’s natural shape. It deflates just as easily and is compressible down to 8×3″, making it perfectly sized to fit into your backpack. When inflated, the mat measures 73×21.6×2.2″.
The pad is made of durable, waterproof, abrasion resistant nylon. It is a comfortable material and will offer you a good nights sleep on the hard ground. It is designed to keep you comfortable even on cold nights and reflects your body’s heat to make sure that none of the heat escapes. It comes with an included stuff sack to ensure easy packing at the end of the night.
+ Comfortable sleeping pad
+ Reflects heat
+ Lightweight, compact
+ Waterproof/tear resistant
+ Easy to inflate/deflate
Why we like it – A good sleeping pad makes all the difference. The Outdoorsman Lab camping pad is one of the most comfortable pads you will find. The weight is perfect too, as you want all of your gear to be as lightweight and durable as possible.
4. DANISH ENDURANCE Merino Wool Hiking Socks
Merino wool hiking socks are one of the best backpacking gear pieces you may not think about. Hiking socks are designed to take on the rugged nature of hiking and trekking. The Danish Endurance hiking socks are made of 33% merino wool, 33% acrylic, 33% polyamide, and1% elastane. This is a fabric formula that has been dubbed one of the highest performing socks on the market.
The Merino Wool socks are designed for all weather. In the cold air, they help keep your feet warm, and in the hot months, they allow your feet to breath. This cuts down on moisture in the socks and allows it to evaporate.
They are well cushioned from heel to toe, and the Lin Toe seams prevent excessive running. This will help you cut down on blisters and chaffing. The socks also allow odor to escape, so you can wear the socks for numerous days without clearing out the tent.
+ Great for long hiking trips
+ Cut down on odor, sweat, moisture
+ Decrease blisters/rubbing
Why we like it – They are so comfortable and useful that you may start wearing Merino Wool in everyday situations. They are perfectly designed for hiking and lower the risk of blisters, odors, and foot sweat.
You might like; 6-Person Tent Review.
5. Gold Armour 17Pcs Camping Cookware Mess Kit
Of course, when you’re out on the trail, you will need to cook and eat your meals. The 17 piece cookware set by Gold Armour gives you everything you need. The set includes the necessary pots and pans, stove, cutlery, bowls, ladles, and bag. Everything you need to cook breakfast lunch and dinner is included in the set.
All of the components of the Gold Armour cookware mess kit are of the highest quality and have FDA approval. The cutlery is strong and durable, and the bowls are able to handle hot and cold meals. All of the pieces are built to fold and fit into a seriously portable kit that keeps everything snuggly in place. You won’t need to worry about the pieces of the set getting lost at the bottom of the bag or taking up a lot of unnecessary space. Perfect cookware set for any trekker or backpacker.
+ All necessary components included
+ Cookware, cutlery, bowls, stove, and bag included
+ High-quality materials
+ Folding, and compact pieces
Why we like it – Getting a set for your cookware is one of the best ways to go because they design everything to fit properly together. It is all high-quality and the kit has everything you need to cook and consume your meals.
6. Rainleaf Microfiber Towel
A microfiber towel is super helpful to have with you on a backpacking trail. The best microfiber towels will be lightweight, super absorbent, and compact. The Rainleaf microfiber towel quick dries so you can use it multiple times per day an cut down on stenches and moisture. Nobody likes to use a wet towel again.
The super soft suede is really comfortable on the skin and does not cause irritation. It comes with its own carry bag which will help you keep ay moisture left on the towel away from the other things in your backpack. A snag loop allows you to hang the towel anywhere that is most convenient to you. This towel is great for longer hiking trips, or for traveling to give you more space in your bag and less weight.
+ Lightweight and compact
+ Comfortable on the skin
+ Fast drying
+ Durable material
+ Carry bag included
Why we like it – A microfiber towel is essential to any backpackers gear list. This one is great as it dries super fast, is really lightweight, and feels great on the skin when you’re drying off.
7. MalloMe Camping Cookware Mess Kit
In one of the most compact cases you will find for a cookware set, the MalloMe Mess Kit is so convenient and perfect for a single backpacker or camper. It is suitable and has everything one person needs to cook and eat on the trail. All of the components fit into the pot and pan which latch together to create a protective case for the rest of the pieces.
Included is a pot, pan, folding spork, bowl, ladle, and a wooden spoon. Everything is made of durable material that will last through numerous rigorous hikes. The pots and pans are made of non-toxic anodized aluminum and are FDA approved to show their level of safety and durability. You get ten pieces in the kit and you can cook all of your meals from breakfast to dinner.
+ All inclusive single person cooking set
+ High-quality, non-toxic materials
+ The pot and pan are the carry case
+ Stong, durable, easy to use
Why we like it – This set has all the features that you could want from a cooking mess kit. For a single camper, this is everything you could need and it all fits into the conveniently compact carrying position. The pot and pan are both easy to use and come with built-in handles for easy retrieval and pouring.
8. MOON LENCE Outdoor Ultralight Portable Folding Chairs
Sometimes you’ll need to take a load off. Backpacking trails can be mega tiring, and having a good portable chair can add a touch of luxury to your hike. The Moon Lence folding chair is made of 1000D oxford cloth and aluminum alloy to support up to 240 pounds. And, it only weighs 2 pounds itself. The breathable back mesh discourages the build-up of sweat and allows you to relax in comfort. The seat is ergonomically designed to provide campers a high level of comfort as well.
The chair is easy to carry in its nylon carrying bag, and it folds down and up in mere seconds. The material also makes it easy to clean so you won’t have to worry about stains. This is the perfect portable chair for any camping or backpacking excursion.
+ Holds up to 240lbs
+ Easy to clean
+ Mesh backing cuts down on sweat build up
Why we like it – A folding chair is not a must-have for campers, but it definitely allows you to relax in a higher level of luxury. This chair is comfortable and easy enough to carry that it won’t add a ton of weight to your gear bag. In any case, it will be worth bringing with you.
9. Surviveware Small First Aid Kit
The importance of a first aid kit really doesn’t need to be stressed. If you have a mishap in the woods, help is rarely super close by. So, you need to make sure you can patch up any rips or scrapes yourself. The Surviveware first aid kits come with 100 items that are useful and sometimes essential to preserving your health on the trail.
All of the components come in a strong, 600D nylon bag which is waterproof and rip resistant. All items on the inside are protected from water in laminate packages as well. While carrying many essential life-saving items, it only weighs 1lb and the dimensions are 5.5×7.5×3.5″. It also comes with straps that allow you to carry it on your belt, or attach it to the outside of your backpack. A must have for any serious hiker or backpacker.
+ 100 life-saving items
+ Waterproof bag
+ Durable 600D Nylon
+ Weighs less than 1 pound
Why we like it – An essential part of a backpackers gear list. This first aid kit has a ton of life-saving items and keeps them protected nicely inside the small bag. The weight is perfect and fits everything you need inside. You barely notice the extra weight with the essential life-saving items.
10. Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow
A good pillow is just as important as a good sleeping bag. The best backpacking gear lists will all have a nice comfortable camping pillow involved. The Therm-a-Rest travel pillow is everything you could need. It is made out of brushed, soft, polyester which is comfortable on the skin. The pillow is filled with soft, cut foam pieces and give you a comfy surface to lay your dreary head.
The pillow is totally compressible and rolls nicely into its drawstring stuff sack for easy portability. The pillow only weighs 0.7 pounds and the unraveled dimensions are 13×18″. It comes in a variety of colors and designs and will be durable enough to last through many camping trips.
+ Weighs less than 1lb
+ Soft, cut foam pieces
+ Brushed polyester
Why we like it – This pillow is as comfortable as you need for a camping or backpacking trip. You can take it anywhere with you and compresses down to a super small size which is easy to carry.
Backpacking Gear Buyers Guide
Important considerations with the best backpacking Gear
The quality of your gear matters. It also matters that you get the right gear for your trip. If you cheap out on the quality of your gear, your body and mind will notice the difference. So what are some of the things you should consider when buying the best backpacking gear? We discuss those factors here.
The gear you get for your next backpacking trip needs to be able to do the job that it is required to do. If you have a water filter that breaks halfway through your hike, or a tent fly that doesn’t keep the water out, they are certainly not serving their purpose. In order to make sure that the gear you acquire is going to do the job it is intended, pay attention to the materials that your gear is being made of, what other users are saying about it, and whether or not it will actually be useful to you.
The best backpacking gear needs to be able to handle a little bit of a rougher life. You don’t want your gear to stop working, break, or rip during your trip. Imagine a tent that gets blown over in a big wind storm or a backpack that allows water to get in and ruin the rest of your gear. Backpacking is one of the rougher activities on the gear you own as you are constantly walking around rocks, trees, and harsh conditions. Your gear should be able to be dropped on the ground, and get wet without needing to replace it or rendering it useless.
Cover Your Bases
Since you’re looking at a list of things you will need for backpacking, you might not have much of an idea of what you should be packing in the first place. It is important to start at the base and work your way up. That means, you should start with the most essential items and then pay attention to the less important items.
For example, you need food, water, and sleep when you’re on the trail. Some of the first things you should look into getting our cooking utensils, a water filter/bottle, a sleeping bag/pad, and a tent. Then you will need to pay attention to carrying those items and yourself. You will need a good bag, boots, pants, shirts, hiking underwear, and socks.
Other things like hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen come after as protective materials, but you likely understand the point. Think of your backpacking gear as your survival gear. Everything you take with you will be essential to keeping you alive, full, and warm on the trail.
Keep it Light
Backpacking gear almost unanimously needs to be lightweight. Lightweight gear is so important because you will usually be carrying all of your gear on your back for a long day of walking. If you have too much weight on your back, you will be a miserable mess. Every extra pound on your back makes a difference, so it is important to get everything as light as possible without sacrificing the quality and durability of your gear.
Waterproof is Key
Have you ever gotten wet at the start of the day and still had a long way to go? It isn’t pleasant walking in wet clothes, especially if it is cold outside. Waterproof boots, tents, bags, survival kits, and clothing are a huge difference maker in your comfort and health on the trail. You usually won’t have a chance to dry anything out until the next campsite when the sun is likely already close to going down.
Having properly waterproof gear will help you avoid the annoyance and discomfort of walking wet. Also ensure that your first aid kit is waterproof and can float so that when you need it, everything is in working condition.
We have included many of the essential items on our best backpacking gear list. There are still many other things to consider and you will come across them in your research. Keep the factors we have listed in mind when you are buying your gear and you shouldn’t run into any issues on the trail. As always, happy trails!
Pack backups. This means anything that you know will be a problem if you run out of, you should pack extra. Things like food, fuel, first aid items, and water filters will be essential to your comfort and survival in the woods. If you run out, you could be in trouble, so it is always useful to overpack on some of the basic necessities.
Did you know?
The world’s longest backpacking trail is located in Canada and is over 15,000 miles long. It was completed in the year 2017 in time for the 150th anniversary of Canada. The trail spans from east to west, and touched into the northern territories.