There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.
– Sir Rannulph Fiennes –

Backpacking gear isn’t always cheap and sometimes it seems like A LOT of money when you’re dropping a couple hundred dollars on a backpack or tent or sleeping bag. But you have to remind yourself that if you take care of it, your gear is a lifetime investment. You don’t have to buy the lightest and most expensive gear right away and there are plenty of things you can buy less expensive alternatives for, but if you want high-quality, long-lasting stuff you have to be willing to pay for it occasionally. Below is a list of all the gear I have hyperlinked to the site I bought it or where I’ve found it cheaper since purchasing. I might like to shop a lot, but I also like to save, so I can assure you everything I have is the least expensive high quality product I could find on the market.

Ready for Big Bend National Park

All the gear that went into my Osprey Aura AG 65L pack for a 3 day/2 night backpacking trip to Big Bend National Park

Essential Gear

  1. Osprey Aura AG 65L Pack and rain cover
    • For backpacking
  2. REI Co-op Trail 40L Pack
    • For traveling – this pack is the perfect personal item/carry-on size
  3. REI Co-op Special Edition Flash 18L Pack
  4. Leki Corklite Trekking Poles – Pair
  5. REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus and Half Dome 2 Plus Footprint
  6. Adventure Medical Kits UltraLight & Watertight .7 First-Aid Kit
  7. TETON Sports TrailHead +20F Ultralight Mummy Sleeping Bag
  8. REI Co-op Flash Insulated Air Sleeping Pad and Cocoon inflatable pillow
  9. Bear Bell and BearVault BV500 Food Container

Essential Gear Accessories

  1. Madera Outdoor Azul Hammock
    • Don’t forget straps!
  2. REI Co-op Flexlite Chair
  3. Black Diamond Moji Lantern and Cosmo Headlamp
  4. Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Stove
    • Plus Butane/Propane mix fuel canisters like these
  5. Compact table set, pots and pans, collapsible travel cups, and sporks
  6. Aurelle TOOB Brush, Wilderness Wash, microfiber towel, and Coleman Biowipes
  7. The Deuce Backcountry Trowel and toilet tissue
  8. SPF Lip Balm and Sunblock
  9. Coghlan’s Featherweight Mirror

Hammock (1)


  1. REI Co-op Sahara Hat – Women’s
  2. Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear and Kafka’s Kool Tie
  3. Columbia Sportswear Women’s Arcadia II Rain Jacket
  4. Patagonia Snowbelle 3-in-1 Jacket
  5. Any Columbia Sportswear Omni-Heat Reflective clothing
  6. Lulu Lemon Leggings
    • Make sure they’re designed for high activity
  7. Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP Hiking Boots
  8. Keen Footwear Whisper and Keen Footwear Targhee II Waterproof Mid
  9. I had the Salomon X Ultra Winter Climashield Waterproof Boots and they soaked through hiking in the snow for an hour so I returned them and exchanged for another Salomon hiking boot
  10. Coolmax Ultralight Hiking Crew Socks with the EcoMade CoolMax Liner Socks
Byron Glacier (1)

Seeing as I’ve been a Floridian/Texan since 2009, my body is not used to the cold. But the Patagonia Snowbelle 3-in-1 Jacket kept me SO warm and dry during my entire Alaska adventure. Would definitely buy again.

Food and Hydration

  1. CamelBak Crux 2L Reservoir
    • It fits in both my 40/65L backpacks
  2. Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Water Filter Bottle
    • This was super helpful on the Appalachian Trail as I was able to scoop water from the natural streams we passed and preserve the water we packed until we needed it.
  3. Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Tablets
  4. Hydro Flask Water Bottles and Nalgene Water Bottles
  5. Backpacker’s Pantry and Mountain House Freeze Dried Foods
  6. Clif Shot BloksGU Energy Chews, and CLIF Bar – Energy Bars


Hydro Flask

@HydroFlask, please sponsor me

Emergency Supplies

  1. Adventure Medical Kits UltraLight & Watertight .7 First-Aid Kit
    • I included this twice because a medical kit IS that important
  2. Poison Ivy Soap – Removes the Urushiol
  3. UCO Stormproof Match Kit
  4. Space Emergency Blanket
  5. Extra batteries

Piper and the Pups


I lost my car in Hurricane Harvey, which many would say is pretty awful – it was. But there’s always a silver lining and for me that was the fact that my totaled vehicle was a lease which I wasn’t the kindest to and no longer have to deal with. AND I got to buy a car on my own for the first time ever. I searched for weeks until I found Piper, a 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE 4WD. One of the first aircraft I ever flew was a Piper Archer so I named her in honor of my first adventurous hobby. She gets me where I need to go with all my gear, toys, and pups. She’s a 4WD, great on gas mileage, and big enough to lug two kayaks around!

Kayaking on Clear Lake

I’ve rigged Piper with Yakima gear to transport my Pelican kayaks.

  1. Yakima Landing Pad 11 (2 pack, so buy 2)
  2. Yakima Skyline
  3. Yakima CoreBar
  4. TMS J-Bar Rack Kayak Carrier – transporting one kayak was never a problem but when I used two of these racks it did something to loosen the skylines/corebar and I had to hold onto the corebar the entire drive home from Surfside Beach. I’ve had to replace the skylines and now I am looking into buying official Yakima kayak carriers so I hopefully won’t have this problem again.

We haven’t purchased everything we want for the pups yet as we’re waiting until Billie Holiday is full grown. I have a couple things for Etta James but most of the gear is TBD when we see how big BH gets. She’s grown over 40 pounds in 10 weeks and we have no idea when it’s going to stop!

I am a fan of Ruffwear because of their design philosophy which focused on using sustainably sourced materials and eco friendly designs/processes. That means their products will cost you more, but you can feel good about supporting a company that cares about our planet. I’ve also included cheaper alternatives since the savings can be quite large. Then maybe you’ll consider using the money you save to donate to your local conservation center or the National Park Foundation!

  1. Ruffwear Float Coat
    • Amazon alternative here
  2. Ruffwear Palisades Pack
  3. Ruffwear Brush Guard and Core Cooler
  4. Highlands Sleeping Bag
    • Amazon alternative here
  5. Collapsible bowls
  6. Car Seat Protectors
    • Super useful when you have dogs who shed, drool, and/or get carsick during long car rides
*Some of the links on this page and throughout this site are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.*

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