Finding the right backpacking gear is a daunting task. Not only is it time consuming, but it can get very expensive, very quickly. Do not lose hope, I bring good news. Over the last year, I have built up my arsenal of backpacking gear from virtually nothing to being fully equipped. And by no means am I rich, but quite the contrary. I have spent days frugally sorting through equipment in stores and online, diligently reading through countless reviews, and buying the best gear, all with a low budget. I did not break the bank and my equipment has held up as well. I am finally ready to report back!
[Just In: My Backpacker Magazine Contest Video, "Olympic Dreams," Lands Me a Gig Reviewing Gear for Columbia!]
In this article, I outline the best gear your Washingtons can buy you, including:
The most important piece of the puzzle. Since you’ll be hauling anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds for multiple days, you need a pack that is large, durable but also comfortable. You need a pack that rests on your hips with strong zippers and lots of compartments. Your pack should never give you blisters or give you significant back pain. My pick: The Osprey Atmos 50.
The Osprey Atmos 50 in Green Apple
This pack is perfect. I have used it on numerous adventures, including a month long trip to Peru. It has completely shattered my expectations. To date, there are no signs of wear and tear – no broken zippers; no ripped fabric. It is compact, lightweight, but large enough for multi-day trips. There are multiple compartments and weight is Continue reading
Rolling out of my warm sleeping bag nook after another short night of sleep, I woke up to the reality of putting on a pair of cold and wet hiking boots for the third consecutive morning. I would spend the rest of my day in these boots, trudging through steep terrain, mud, and possibly snow in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The three pairs of socks I packed were soaked as well, emitting a nauseating fume by today, day five of our trip.
“When the mountain ahead looms over us with a dark shadow of self doubt, we look deeply within ourselves and dig out long embedded personal characteristics.”
I reached into my bag and tried to focus on the necessity of the cold, slimy, and stinky cloth that was sliding over my foot. I knew I had no chance of finishing the last few miles of our journey without socks to protect my developing blisters. My socks on my feet, I prepared for the equally cold, wet, and uninviting boots, which would stay that way until I got home. The temporary sting of cold and the general absence of comfort however were mightily overshadowed by the most important lesson of wilderness adventure: Accepting a mentality of dealing with your circumstances.
[Backpacking for Beginners: Choosing the Best Cheap Backpacking Gear]
I recently applied to be the youth ambassador for Sierra Club’s Best Internship on Earth. 600+ videos were submitted but there can only be one winner. That lucky bloke will get outfitted by the Sierra Club and sent on a mission to partake in and video document all kinds of awesome outdoor adventures out West. Check out the video and wish me luck!