The best inexpensive camping and hiking gear for your next backcountry adventure
Here’s a wallet-friendly list to launch your first backpacking adventure.
All humans, rich or poor, benefit from the outdoors. But let’s face it: quality outdoor equipment isn’t cheap, and assembling all the gear you need to go on an overnight backpacking trip can cost thousands of dollars if you purchase only top-end gear. So when my editor and I were discussing these issues, we decided to take on the challenge of assembling a list of the cheapest, minimally viable equipment needed for an overnight backpacking trip, and when it comes to low-cost value, Walmart comes to mind.
One of the reasons outdoor equipment can be so expensive is that a lot of research and development has gone into making gear lighter, more capable, and more compact. Essentially, better, more expensive equipment enables you to carry less weight on your back (and have a more enjoyable time), do more tasks with fewer items, and put more things in less space in your pack. So we had the idea to see what we could find at our local Walmart to drive down economic barriers to entry so the cost-conscious could also enjoy the outdoors.
Explore the rest of Joe Plenxler's list of inexpensive camping and hiking gear for your next backcountry adventure here.
May 6, 2022
Outdoor Life: Do You Really Need a Water Filter for Backpacking and Mountain Hunting?
My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!
Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.
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).