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Best Hiking Gear 2023

Here's my unsponsored and non-promoted hiking gear list. I'm only sharing the gear that actually works and that you'll find me with on the trail. It's all been tested over hundreds of miles of hiking and backpacking.

Day Hiking Essentials

  1. Garmin inReach Mini 2 ( Amazon | REI | Review )
    There are some exciting new satellite communicators on the market, and having tested them all, I can tell you that the Garmin inReach is the gold standard and one you can feel comfortable relying on to save your life. The Mini 2 model is rugged, tiny, and has a long battery life.
  2. HOKA Speedgoat 5 ( Men | Women )
    Hiking with the Speedgoat is like hiking on air. They're well-cushioned, lightweight, and dry quickly. They run small, so I recommend getting a half-size larger in a wide. When you size up, the toe box is wide enough not to smush your toes together. If I need a more rugged choice, for example, in heavy mud or off-trail, I hike with the Terraventure 4.
  3. Zpacks Sub-Nero Ultra 30L Backpack ( Zpacks | Review )
    After many trail miles, I've moved from traditional daypacks to a lighter, more durable option, the Sub-Nero 30L. It weighs less than ten ping-pong balls and is built from one of the most durable fabrics on the market. I've had a choice of many daypacks, and this is the one I keep returning to. I've been using it with the water bottle holder, a favorite of PCT hikers. If you'd like a more affordable and traditional option, I think the Osprey Stratos (men) / Sirrus (women) will check the boxes for most hikers, and here's why.
  4. Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles ( REI | Amazon )
    I don't always use trekking poles, but these are my solid choice when I do. The cork grips are excellent when I'm sweaty; they're lightweight carbon fiber and work well after repeated use and abuse.
  5. Nitecore NU25 Headlamp ( Amazon | Zpacks ) - Most headlamps are overbuilt with button combinations that are easy to forget when caught out after dark. The NU25 is simple, ultralight, and recharges with USB-C. It's everything you need and nothing more.
  6. Smartwater Bottle + Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System ( REI | Amazon )
    After years of using a hydration bladder, I've finally 100% switched over to using Smartwater bottles. They're simple, light, durable, and easy to pick up at any gas station in the USA. The Sawyer Squeeze just screws on the top of the Smartwater bottle, allowing me to fill it with untreated water and simply squeeze filtered water into my mouth.

HikingGuy writes an extensive list of some of the best hiking gear in 2023. If you are interested and want to learn more of his suggestions, continue reading the complete article here.


September 27, 2023

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Hiking Guy

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Hi, I’m Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional hiking guide. I created this site to share all the great hikes I do with everyone out there. This site is different in that it gives very detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I share the hiking tricks and tips that I’ve learned over the years to fast-track you into a hiking pro. And I tell you what hiking gear works and what gear doesn’t so you don’t waste your money. I depend on your support to keep this site ad and promotion free. See ya out on the trails…

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