Backcountry Gear List - Part 2

backcountry backpacking backpacking trips diy gear gear gear list hiking hiking gear for women MYOG thru hike

There's been some big changes in my gear lately and I'm so pumped to get out there and truly test it. It was finally time to swap out some bulky, heavy gear! I have been backpacking for close to 10 years, so it's definitely worth it to me to make some further investments into quality, lightweight gear.

If you're interested in my current setup for personal items and clothing, check out this post.

Backpack, Sleeping Bag/Pad, and Shelter (Big Three)

The "big three" can make a huge impact on the weight and bulkiness you're carrying so I've now set myself up with a smaller, lighter system.

I'm so pumped to actually put these items to the test! I got them over the winter, so I've only been able to "test" them at home so far.

  • Osprey Exos 48. I was afraid to order this pack online, and even more afraid going down to such a small pack since my old pack was huge. But, I knew I was going smaller and lighter overall with gear and loved the idea of carrying a light, comfortable pack instead of a pack half the size of me (since I'm not a large person). After putting it on and loading it at home, I'm fairly confident I could even solo using this pack combined with my new gear. It seems like a great fit!
    Osprey pack
  • DIY synthetic quilt, Ripstop by the Roll. My husband is so talented and handy (seriously, I'm lucky!), and was inclined to buy a sewing machine and explore some MYOG (make your own gear). We have both carried ~4 lb extremely bulky sleeping bags, taking up about 1/3 of our huge packs for years. Our new quilts are 1.9 oz ripstop nylon (inner and outer shell fabric), and stuffed with Climashield Apex (5.0 in my husband's quilt and 7.5 in mine). Mine is supposed to be good up to around -12 (Celsius) but we will see since I'm always cold. His is about -4 (he's always warm). The great thing about quilts is the versatility - we designed these to be able to use them like a sleeping bag, or a blanket, enabling different configurations depending on the temperatures. The quilts have turned out to be about 1/3 the size and 1/2 the weight of our old bags!
    sleeping quilt MYOG foot box on quilt with cord cinch
  • Therm-a-rest Neoair. This sleeping pad is still going strong after years use.
  • Therm-a-rest compressible pillow. I love this pillow and will still use it despite its bulkiness, unless I somehow find an inflatable pillow that's comfortable. A good pillow is super important to me.
  • LanShan 2 (3F UL) two person tent. This double wall tent uses trekking poles, which will take some practice setting up but I'm very excited to put it to the test. You can keep the rain fly attached on this tent, making setting up in the rain easier (drier!).

Cook System

My cook system has also been upgraded over the past couple years and I'm very happy with this more compact, lighter setup.

  • 60 ml spillproof alcohol burner
  • Windscreen/pot rest
    Toaks pot with windscreen pot rest combo Spillproof alcohol burner
  • Fuel bottle
  • Titanium folding spoon (Toaks). I like that this is so compact. You just have to be careful when stirring something thick, as the locking mechanism sometimes fails.
  • 450 ml Toaks titanium cup (I enjoy having coffee while eating my breakfast)
  • 1300 ml Toaks pot with pan. This system is great for two people - one can eat out of the pan and the other eats from the pot.
  • Bic lighter
  • PackTowl Nano towel. This is a great multipurpose, fast drying towel that can even be used under a hat for further sun protection.
  • Food bag


  • Platypus water bladder
  • MSR gravity filter system (4 L bag). This system has been very effective and convenient.

I think that should be it! Let me know below what your current set up look like.

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  • Christine on

    I second the Neo Air…it is awesome. I am currently using a Woods Windcatcher single air mattress. It is very small and light and has held up for a season so far. It is often on sale for @ $50 for the budget minded.
    I have not been able to let go of my woods 3lb down bag though….warm is awesome and this thing is fantastic. Bulky though. I have cheap light weight ones but this is my go to. If I had to start over I might think of a down duvet and make a shell for it.

    I have a North Face STormbreak tent ( 2 person ) that I love. Excellent buy.

    My cooking setup is where I run into trouble …I cook old school. But since I mostly use canoes for travel the weight is not quite as critical. I do love my two burner coleman and my blue enamel coffee pot.

    We have used a Katadyn base camp since they first came out and love love love the gravity fillters. I recently upgraded to the newer model with better filters and have liked it so far.

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