Backpackers Gear Guide For Beginners

Backpackers Gear Guide For Beginners

backpacker giear Guide for beginners

So today I want to share a list of backpacking gear for Beginners.

I want to just share with you the items that I could recommend to you if you’re just getting into backpacking. You want to do overnighters, maybe multi-day,  you’re on a really tight budget, you just don’t really know where to start maybe you’ve been invited by a friend a family members been doing backpacking for years and you need to get some supplies but you don’t really know what items to look for what’s right price points versus you know too expensive what are maybe things you can pass on and things that you definitely need.  

Water Purification – Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

Lightweight inexpensive high performance water purification is super important, if you’re going to be doing backpacking. You’re going to be doing multi-day,  particularly I can recommend to you the Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System about $23 weight 2 ounces, fits in the palm of your hand. 


Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System design will do 0.1 microns which is great for handling almost all bacteria protozoa like e.coli, Giardia those type of things. It’s going to be able to handle of bacteria and 99.999 of protozoa and meets all USA standards. This
Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System is awesome, but it will not do viruses so don’t take this overseas.  It won’t do as well and you know you could definitely get sick if you’re going to third world countries and doing backpacking United States and I would probably argue Canada you should be totally fine. This will filter out any diseases or sicknesses or bugs or anything in the water that you would face.  

I would say also get an extra pack for about ten dollars more if you have the finances to get a 2-pack of their 64 ounce dirty bottles the bags to handle that will really help process and more water for you than just the little 32 ounce bag will but this thing is awesome and going to give you clean water and we use them constantly when we go backpacking.

 Shelters – Mount Smith Mountain shade tarp

There are two options. it’s going to depend on weight and price. How cheap do you need to be this one is going to be the more inexpensive option? This is the Mount Smith Mountain shade tarp this is an epic tarp I’ve been using for a while now we’ve done it on multi-day hiking trips backpacking trips in the backyard with the family through thunderstorms rainstorms.

Mount Smith Mountain Shade Trap

This thing is really proved itself to be awesome.  At about fifty dollars is where you’re gonna pay for this it’s a bright orange so it can be used as an emergency, like flag down as well if you got lost and you know someone’s out there looking for you.  It the thing that I like about this is cut up basically in InDesign is such a way to be used more as a lean-to setup. I really like that or an a phrase frame set up and it comes with very generous paracord already attached and stakes. So it kind of comes with like the whole package which I really like so that you don’t have to add things to it.  It is designed to either be set up with trekking poles or they do sell separate part about $30 more or you can again just tie it to trees or whatever and works as a great shelter against the elements.  So if you aren’t really concerned about bugs or you’re just on a super tight budget or you just don’t feel like a tent is what you really need right now and it’s not that big a deal this thing is awesome.  It’s gonna be really lightweight I believe it’s under two pounds for the set up and it will cover several people you can get about four people under here without too much difficulty and your gear as long as you you know lay it out properly.   We’ve been using them for I think two years now two or three years with zero issues and we love them and they really perform really well for that $50 price point.

Illumination – Yuko cloris two-in-one flashlights lantern

Illumination super important. this handheld illumination is phenomenal .  This is the Yuko cloris two-in-one flashlights lantern this is run off a three Triple A batteries and this will be the same as the headlamp. I suggest a little bit later so that you don’t have to carry different types of batteries which is a big plus so three Triple A batteries it has that two-in-one feature so it can work as a lantern illuminate a tent or a campsite and then can be collapsed and used as a really good powerful flashlight that works really well it’s got IPX six rating for water resistance.  So rain and that type of thing is not going to affect it in any way.

 It has four different settings it has a low which will run for like over 130 hours which is insane a medium for fifteen hours high for five hours has a strobe emergency feature as well to help people locate you or locate a campsite the high is a hundred and eighteen lumens and then just drops from there very versatile you have used these things for years $15.  It’s about two and a half ounces without the batteries and you’re looking at maybe like an ounce and half more with so compact lightweight and a great price paint point durable is going to have that not only flashlight capability but again illumination lantern capability for larger throw areas.  so love this thing can’t recommend it enough.

Cookwear – MSR pocket rocket

To cook your food regardless if you’re gonna bring in food and just cook it right over the flame or you are gonna be doing a lot of freeze-dried meals which is usually what we do or boiling water you know two for water purification you know whatever however you need a good stove.

We’ve been using the original for years and now this new one for about six months the MSR pocket rocket and then the pocket is the new one these things are phenomenal we love them they are ultra lightweight the new one being ounces smaller than the original which is awesome comes in a little case about $35 right now for just the element.  So this is where the flame will come out and then it comes or and then you purchase separately canisters of fuel and the canisters work really well we’ve never had leakage or problems burns super hot very um wind combative so if it’s windy out it won’t blow out right away.  It has the ability to keep burning and keep going I’ve only had it in very severe conditions a lot of me I think one time in like six years of backpacking so really awesome setup will boil water really quickly and just has a great name behind it you know names sometimes does matter an MSR it really knows what they’re doing with their stuff and again. It’s not going to break the bank at about $35 and then each canister is about you know there lots of different sizes but the average ones are about four dollars and you know if you have two of those you could go for several days you know boiling water and doing what you need to do. Therefore, the MSR parking pocket rocket is a must.

Knife – Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife

  I believe every backpacker must have a good reliable fixed blade knife not a pocket knife not a folding knife not Swiss Army knife those are all good and there’s nothing wrong with those and if you want to add that to the list great but you got to have a fixed blade where there’s no moving parts there’s nothing it’s gonna get broken damage you know jammed up fall apart it’s just a piece of metal with a rubber handle over. It and for about 18 dollars you can get the mora either companion or heavy duty companion.  These knives are phenomenal look them up online. made in Sweden about four inches Scandi grind so great for helping with any type of either repair stuff you know maybe you lose your tent pegs or they break you need to carve some with wood or you just want to you know make a fire and you need some feather sticks to help you know prepare that fire food prep.

  You just need a good solid knife these things are indestructible they weigh almost nothing and they’re really inexpensive but they’re from Sweden and from a company has been making knives for over a hundred years so these things are phenomenal I cannot recommend them enough everyone needs to have one and everyone should have one when they’re backpacking just because of how versatile and lightweight they are.  Therefore, the Mora heavy-duty companion or companion the heavy duty is just a little bit thicker it has a little bit fatter handle it just really depends on what your preference is and what your price points are they’re about within five dollars of each other between fifteen and twenty bucks but guys have one of these on you even if you don’t think you’re gonna use it it is a must when you’re on the trail.

Tent – Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent

If you are feeling that you do need the tent and you don’t have an option for that right now the two tents that I can recommend to you just depends on your if you’re one man or two man is the Kelty Salida series. It’s either the one or two man they run about between 100 and 120 dollars is normal going rate I’ve been using these for about six years now both one man and two man just depends on the size they both are super functional great in the hard weather conditions rain hail those type of things and they are both coming in at under five pounds which is really good and at about a hundred dollars. You’re getting a really good bang for buck you’ve got a good name behind it Kelty that the stands behind their products and is gonna give you all the options that you would need.

Boil Water – Stanley 24oz cook set

 What do you boil your water in. Now there’s a ton of different options out there with pots and pans and cups and all kinds of different stuff out there.  This setup for me when you are wanting to hit a budget and get the most out of that budget this just really makes a lot of sense to me guys. This is the Stanley 24-ounce cook set. This  thing is phenomenal. $15 made out of 18 – 8 stainless steel BPA free.

 It’s gonna have measuring marks some pots don’t come with that so you never know how much you’re really boiling you just gotta kind of eyeball or user now Jean so it has measuring marks which is fantastic.  Again 24 ounces so you’re easily gonna be able to get three cups of water which is more than enough for any you know like mountain house freeze-dried type of meal easily boiled in there. It will also come with two polypropylene ten ounce cups so they’re stackable inside this is huge particularly if you like drinking tea you like to make Mimi soups coffee all that type of stuff this is phenomenal so you don’t have to bring another mug you don’t have to make another you know or buy another mug all that different stuff it stacks inside and what’s really cool is that the new tube pocket rocket if you remove one of the cups and only take one cup with you will fit inside this setup which is awesome. Therefore, if it’s just you by yourself or you know you’re willing to split the cup and take turns or whatever you can actually store your pocket rocket with a lighter inside this set up which is a great option as well and if not and or that’s just not that big a deal to you you can got those two mugs you’re going with more people it’s got a vented lid so it’ll help boil water faster than just a metal cup. Maybe a little cheaper maybe a little lighter but you’re not gonna get all the features that this has so it has the lid which is a nice bonus and you can drain out of it as well and then that nice handle to keep it away from the element so you won’t burn yourself when you are removing it or if you’re cooking in a fire. so I love this thing this I love it this is a great cook set for the price and is gonna be great for backpackers.

Sleeping – Klymit Static V Luxe Sleeping Pad for Camping, Hiking, and Backpacking

  Sleeping is super important when you’re out there you’ve been burning tons of calories and you need a good night’s sleep. You want to be toss and turn of sleeping on rocks and you know trying to make a pillow of a bramble bush. Therefore some items I can recommend to you with not again going to in depth because there’s a lot of variables but some things to consider I love the climate brand of sleeping pads.  

These things are phenomenal they have every type Under the Sun from insulated to double thick to double wide to lightweight to ultralight and everything in between.  so there’s you pick your combination but I have several different types from their large like v-max that they have two insulated versions depending on the temperature that work really well so if you’re in really cold conditions they’re tended their thermal ones are awesome extra insulation ultra light you know a lot of times are on sale you can get it for 50 bucks or less depending on your size and color  options that you want but the climate series will make your sleeping arrangements on the ground so much better than anything that I’ve ever used before in years past.

 The other thing is the sea2summit pillow series sea2summit is amazing company they make tons of gear and I love their pillows that they offer these things have changed the way I sleep instead of trying to use just a jacket and stuffing it under my head and it’s all over the place or you know just slick types that are out there there’s a lot of times they’re blow-up pillows that are kind of slick this one has a little bit of cloth texture kind of like what you’d find at your house so your head isn’t slipping all over the place these things are awesome be about fifty dollars forty to fifty dollars depending on size and options that you look at but these things are fantastic and will change the way you sleep when you’re in the outdoors.

Hand free Illumination – Olight H05S Active Head Lamp

 So the other thing that you need with illumination is hands-free illumination, so that you can be scrambling if you’re trying to get out of a location you know while you’re cooking maybe at night setting up a ten you got to your you know your backpack tin took longer than you thought and now it’s you know dark and you need to set up your tent instead of trying to you know angle a flashlight or trying to use the the lantern and you’re missing stuff you want something that is hands-free.  Therefore, the Olight t H05S Active Head Lamp is epic.

Usually about fifteen dollars I have about four of these been using them for years love them recommend them friends and family all the time and I hear great things from them as well. Two triple-a power batteries so most lights like this would take three so it’s a lighter weight less batteries you have to take with you that type of thing which is fantastic. It’s going to be ipx4 rated. I’ve had it you know rain on me and stuff and no issues in that regard high is going to be 150 lumens that will gradually go down to 90 lumens and that will go for about four hours on that high hundred fifty lumens and then it has two other settings at 30 lumens for 10 hours and 10 lumens for 27 hours which is great. It’ll absolutely work for a backpacking trip for me without having to swap out batteries. So totally dig this thing reliable lightweight it does have a little read feature as well to save your night vision it does have secondary red lights which is pretty sweet and offers that as an added bonus.

Backpack – Kelty Redwing 50 and mountain Smith apex series

If you are looking for a backpack to carry your gear the two that I would look at again keeping in the vein of quality at the lowest price point possible I would look at the Kelty Red Wing 50.  Now this is a 50 liter pack phenomenal. It is on the smaller size so I would say if you are going for several days this may not be the right option for you.  If you’re doing like two to three days and you’re able to pack light enough I think you could absolutely do it and do some backpacking with this and have enough space you probably won’t have space for like camera gear and any extras.  It would literally be just the gear that you are using.  

The other option that I prefer is the mountain Smith apex series. They have a 60 liter an 80 liter options. For most people the 60 liter will be fine as long as you’re not bringing a bunch of extra gear up particularly like camera gear and things like that electronics but if you are going for several  days and/or you do want to carry maybe drones maybe camera gear whatever then the 80 litre that is usually what I take. So these are just some ones that I could totally recommend to you the Kelty I think is like 130 to 140 and then the mountain Smith’s are gonna be between 150 and 180 just depends on the size and color combinations and things like that but these things are epic and without going down the rabbit hole trying to look at all these different aspects and they’re you know there’s a hundred different packs out there for under $200 both of these types of packs will be absolutely fantastic.  

Medical Kit – Adventure Medical Kits

It’s a medical kit you’ve got to have a good supply to medical kit I would recommend building your own and I have an article on how to build your own and what to look for if you just aren’t prepared for that you know you don’t have time to do that you know the finances whatever there are pre-made ones out there.

Adventure medical kits is a great option they have options from like $20 all the way up to $100 just kind of depends on your price point and what you are willing to do but do something please don’t just go out there with some band-aids and like a little you know antibacterial cream or something you’ll regret it you know you need things from benadryl and anti-inflammatories to painkillers to preferably some sort of tourniquet and you know how to use it in case there’s a compound fracture and injury with the tool you fall and you know get impaled through trees raw have bad cuts with rocks, whatever however those situations you know large gauze bandages ace bandages you know lots of things like that are really important tweezers.

Folding saw – Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw

 This is a compact folding saw and it is really important to have it. The reason for that is a couple things. One, if you’re going to be doing campfires to make it an easy way to get the wood that you need and get bigger wood maybe than what you’re either more a knife can handle or just you know other tools or you’re just trying to kick down branches and collect what’s on the ground also for repairing or fixing issues when it comes to shelters maybe your tent you know pull broke and you just need to tie off something or support you know stick a branch inside a side your tent and support it that way maybe you’re doing the tarp situation and you need you know your trekking poles broke or whatever however whatever and you need to get a piece of wood like a small tree and you don’t have the right tools you’re in big trouble.  Therefore I think the bahco laplander folding saw made again in Sweden is an awesome option usually between twenty to twenty-five dollars really lightweight about seven inch blade these things are great for the price for what you’re gonna pay these things are amazing and they’re really compact and you just never know when a folding saw is going to be in need particularly if you like doing fires when you’re out backpacking but also again for those emergency situations and in building shelters and helping in that capacity these things are phenomenal and I think a valuable  tool when you’re backpack.

I really hope that this list has helped you out and just going to make your backpacking adventures that much more enjoyable that much easier so you can focus on nature and the outdoors and not be worrying about either crappy gear that’s falling apart on you or the lack of gear and wishing you had a particular item to make that adventure enjoyable.