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BACKPACKER: Editor Dennis Lewon Picks His Favorite Budget Gear

Spend less, hike more with a system that prioritizes affordability and durability.

At its heart, backpacking is a simple pursuit: walk into the woods, sleep on the ground, walk out. You can do that without expensive gear. But you still need stuff, and not cheap stuff that will end up in the landfill after a season or two—that’s no way to save money. Put together a kit that will last with these low-priced picks.

See Dennis Lewon's full list on Backpacker's website here.

LAST UPDATED

May 7, 2022

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Backpacker

Media Mentions from Backpacker

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MEDIA MENTIONS

While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere

MEDIA MENTIONS

SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team