Life is a journey, and we are all pilgrims traveling its varied paths.
When Chris started backpacking, he bought a two-person Northface tent. It is still a great tent but became very tight when I started hiking with him about twelve years ago, so we switched to our yellow Eureka. For the two of us it’s great because of the two doors and vestibules which allow us both access and a covered area for our gear. This is the tent that we took on the Appalachian Trail and is still my favorite, however the model has been changed since we bought ours and it is now the Eureka Midori.
Mobirise helps you cut down development time by providing you with a flexible website editor with a drag and drop interface. Mobirise Website Builder creates responsive, retina and mobile friendly websites in a few clicks. Mobirise is one of the easiest website development tools available today.
TETON Sports Tracker Scout
You will, of course, need a sleeping bag. Ours are old and not sold anymore. However, our youngest son will need a new one if he goes on a through hike on the Appalachian Trail, so I’ve been doing some research on these. The one that consistently hits the "Best Of" lists is the TETON Sports Tracker Scout.
Vumos Sleeping Bag Liner
A liner for your sleeping bag is a good idea. It is easier and cheaper to clean than a sleeping bag and on those hot nights it can be used instead of your sleeping bag. It also allows you to use your sleeping bag on nights that are colder than you bag might be rated for. Chris and I have used silk liners for years, but purchased these for his parents who have used and thouroughly enjoy them.
A pillow always adds some extra comfort while sleeping and we have used the Cocoon Hyperlite pillow for many years and we have been extremely happy with the pillow and the service Cocoon provided us when the valve on Chris’ pillow failed just before we were to leave for our AT hike. We called Cocoon and explained what happened and they replaced the pillow quickly and with no hassle. What I also like about the Cocoon pillow is that it is just wide enough I can slip one of my Buffs over it and serve as a pillowcase.
Klymit X Pillow
Another good choice for a hiking pillow is the Klymit X Pillow. It is comparable to the Cocoon in size and weight, but its X shaped indentations give more of a cradle for you head to rest in. We do have these in our gear, but they are very new to us, so I will follow up with more information on these as we use them more.
Primus LiTech Frying Pan
If you have something you want to cook, then a small set of cookware is also good to have with you. Jetboil does make cookware designed to work with their stove system, but I like something that I can set on a grate over the campfire, so I pack my Primus cookware with my cook gear.
Nalgene Triton Widemouth 1 Quart Bottle
We use Nalgene bottles to store our water and I really prefer these because I can measure for cooking and using drink mixes is very easy in these bottles. We assign a color for each person in our family so our bottles don't get mixed up and Nalgene offers a wide variety of colors to choose from.
Packtowl Original Quick Dry
I recommend the Packtowl Original because I have used it for years. Mine was originally bought at a Rand McNally store that was in our local mall and I still use it today. My towel is the Hand size and it is abosrbent enough to get everything dry after swimming or showering.
PETZL Taktikka Headlamp
A headlamp is more of an essential item when you are camping and backpacking. It allows you to see where you are going and what you are doing, and your hands are free. We have always used Petzl and this is the model Chris went with when he had to replace his headlamp about two years ago. Petzl headlamps have never let us down.
Crazy Creek Hex 2.0
It’s amazing how just having a dry, comfortable spot to sit can make a huge difference while you are in camp. The Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 allows you to have a place to sit in relative comfort. It folds down and compresses nicely to fit in your backpack and can even unsnaps to lie flat for use as a pad. It is a great go anywhere item.
Your backpack is a very personalized item, and there are many different styles, so I recommend that you find a store with a good selection and try them on for size. Find what works best for you whether it's an internal or external frame, weight, color, and size. Then shop for the best price. We have three different styles in our family. Chris decided to go with a Kifaru military style internal frame. It is heavier when empty, but he has the ability to customize his layout by attaching different MOLLE style external bags. I have a Jansport Women's internal frame pack that I bought on clearance before the internal hydration bladders were common. William chose the Kelty Coyote 80 to take on the Appalachian Trail and he loves it. So when it comes to a backpack, shop and look around carefully because this is undoubtedly the one thing that can make or break a backpacking trip.
Sea To Summit Event Compression Dry Sacks
Getting the tent and sleeping gear in your pack can be a bit tricky and compression sacks are the best solution. Chris and I have used the Sea to Summit Event Compression Dry Sacks to store our gear and help keep it dry. Usually we will have one for our tent, one for our sleeping gear, and one for our clothes. By using the dry bags, everything stays dry if it rains or if we must pack the tent before it has a chance to dry out.
In addition to these basic necessities for camping, I have a list of what I call non-essential needs. These are items that are exremely useful and nice to have with you, but your trip will be successful without them. Keep an eye on my blog for an updated post about these items that also make great gift ideas.