No items found.

18 Backpacking Gear Items You Need, According to Outdoor Professionals

The great outdoors awaits!

Whether you’re new to backpacking or have already embarked on a few trips, you may have considered purchasing your own backpacking gear. You’ll need to get essentials—backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and pad. But do some quick digging, and you’ll quickly realize you also need to purchase equally vital equipment like stoves and water-filtration devices.

Sorting through all of the options can be a whirlwind, but if you start with two key questions, you’ll narrow down your options and make the process much more simple. Here’s what to think about:

  • What type of climates do you plan on backpacking in?
    If you’re only hiking during ideal weather conditions, you can get by with warm weather backpacking gear. If you plan to backpack during the winter or mid rainy season in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll want to prioritize warm, waterproof materials.
  • Will you be spending more of your time hiking or more of your time at camp?
    This decision will help you decide whether you want to travel light or splurge on some comfort items. Lightweight gear allows you to travel faster and farther while minimizing the stress on your body. But if you plan to spend time relaxing at camp, you may want to upgrade your sleep system with items like a roomy tent and cushy sleeping pad.


Regardless of how you answered those questions, you should always look to invest in long-lasting backpacking gear that will hold up to any adventure. Even if you’re going lightweight, look for products made from durable, rip-proof materials.

With that in mind, we asked backpacking experts for tips on the backpacking gear they don’t want to live without. Explore the tips written by Hannah Singleton here.

LAST UPDATED

October 28, 2023

Written by
Photo thumbnail Blog Author

Self

Media Mentions from Self

Wellness is for everyone. We're here to celebrate, motivate, entertain, and support people. <3

SELF may edit or remove any materials posted by fans or third parties. You must have the rights to post any submitted materials, and by doing so you authorize its use by us and third parties we authorize for any purpose in any media.

Explore More Content

Media Mentions

Sawyer Insect Repellent is a versatile picaridin spray recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as safe and effective for most people. Our testers liked the evaporating smell and how the spray feels once it dries.

Media Mentions

Insects and arachnids that bite in self-defense instead of to feed -- such as yellow jackets, bees, wasps, hornets, certain ants or spiders -- cannot be repelled with insect repellents.

Drugs.com
Media Mentions from Drugs.com

Media Mentions

The number of bug-borne diseases is increasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the number of places they're spreading to is also on the rise.

WXYZ Detroit 7
Media Mentions from WXYZ Detroit 7