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 in October 2017

Essential Gear

  1. Osprey Aura AG 65 Pack – Women’s
    • For backpacking
  2. REI Co-op Duck’s Back Rain Cover – 60L
  3. REI Co-op Special Edition Flash 18 Pack
  4. REI Co-op Trail 40 Pack – Men’s
    • For traveling – this pack is the perfect personal item/carry-on size
  5. Leki Corklite Trekking Poles – Pair
  6. REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus and Half Dome 2 Plus Footprint (no longer available)
  7. Adventure Medical Kits UltraLight/Watertight .7 First-Aid Kit
  8. TETON Sports TrailHead +20F Ultralight Mummy Sleeping Bag
  9. Big Agnes Air Core Sleeping Pad
  10. Cocoon Sleeping Bag Hood [Inflatable] Pillow
  11. Counter Assault Bear Bell with Magnetic Silencer
  12. BearVault BV500 Food Container

Essential Gear Accessories

  1. Madera Outdoor Azul Hammock
    • Don’t forget straps!
  2. REI Co-op Multi Towel Lite X-Large – 54″ x 25″
  3. REI Co-op Flexlite Chair
  4. Black Diamond Moji Lantern
  5. Black Diamond Cosmo Headlamp
  6. Coghlan’s Featherweight Mirror
  7. Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Stove
    • Plus Butane/Propane mix fuel canisters like these
  8. GSI Outdoors Infinity 4-Person Compact Table Set
  9. Camping Pots and Pans – 2 Piece Set
  10. Not Just A Gadget Collapsible Travel Cup
  11. Light My Fire Spork
  12. Aurelle TOOB Brush
  13. Wilderness Wash
  14. Coleman Biowipes, 30 Count
  15. Coghlan’s Backpacker’s Trowel
  16. Toilet Tissue
  17. SPF Lip Balm and Sunblock


  1. REI Co-op Sahara Hat – Women’s
  2. Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear
  3. The North Face Cuffed Beanie – Women’s
  4. Kafka’s Kool Tie
  5. Columbia Sportswear Women’s Arcadia II Rain Jacket
  6. Any Columbia Sportswear Omni-Heat Reflective clothing
  7. KUHL Kestrel Jacket – Women’s
  8. Manduka Kosha Tank Top – Women’s
  9. Columbia Sportswear Women’s Hiking Pants
  10. Lulu Lemon Leggings
    • Make sure they’re designed for high activity
  11. Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP Hiking Boots – Men’s
  12. Keen Footwear Women’s Whisper
  13. Keen Footwear Women’s Targhee II Waterproof Mid
  14. Salomon X Ultra Winter Climashield Waterproof Boots – Women’s
  15. REI Co-op Coolmax Ultralight Hiking Crew Socks
  16. REI Co-op EcoMade CoolMax Liner Socks
    • I love these liner socks so much I have more pairs than I can count

Food and Hydration

  1. CamelBak Crux 2L Reservoir – 2 Liters
  2. Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir Cleaning Tablets – Package of 10
  3. Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Water Filter Bottle – 20 fl. oz.
  4. Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Tablets – Package of 20
  5. Various Hydro Flask Water Bottles
  6. REI Co-op Nalgene Wide-Mouth Loop-Top 32 fl. oz. Water Bottles
  7. AlpineAire Foods Santa Fe Black Beans & Rice – 2 Servings
  8. Backpacker’s Pantry Louisiana Red Beans & Rice – 2 Serving Pouch
  9. Mountain House Freeze Dried Food
  10. OvaEasy Whole Egg Crystals – 12 Eggs
  11. Clif Shot Bloks Fastpak
  12. CLIF Bar – Energy Bar
  13. GU Energy Chews

Emergency Supplies

  1. Adventure Medical Kits UltraLight/Watertight .7 First-Aid Kit
    • NOTE: 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
  6. WATER

What About Piper?


I lost my car in Hurricane Harvey, which many would say is pretty awful – and 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. And she’s one of my most prized possessions. I’ve had her a few months and already got her outfitted with:

  1. Yakima Landing Pad 11 (2 pack, so buy 2)
  2. Yakima Skyline (4 pack)
  3. Yakima CoreBar
  4. TMS J-Bar Rack Kayak Carrier (2)
    1. To transport Paul and Ringo, my 8′ Pelican SPRINT 80X and 10′ Pelican kayaks

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