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Backpacking Gear Guide: Our Ultimate Packing List from Fun Life Crisis

Going on your first backpacking trip can feel overwhelming and I still remember ours like it was yesterday. I was excited, nervous and we didn’t really know what to expect. Naturally we over packed and under prepared.

We hiked for 3 days through the Sierra Mountains in California and came back exhausted, dirty, sweaty and so happy. And we couldn’t wait to go on our next trip!

Since then we’ve taken numerous backpacking trips in the US and in other countries. Backpacking is a great way to get out in nature for some fresh air, beautiful scenery, and a great workout.

In this guide, we lay out a checklist of our favorite backpacking gear. After lots of trial and error, this is the gear that we love and will set you up for a successful backpacking experience even if you’ve never been before.

See the full article from Laura and Joel on Fun Life Crisis' website here.


May 5, 2022

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Fun Life Crisis

Media Mentions from Fun Life Crisis

Hi! We are Laura and Joel, world travelers, coffee lovers, and parents to two adorable fur babies.

In 2016 we left our accounting and engineering jobs to try something different and travel the world full time. Up to then, we had rarely left our little bubble in California so we started small by moving to Oregon and exploring the PNW. This is where we fell in love with the outdoors, hiking and backpacking.


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


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


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