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The ultimate ultralight backpacking gear list: This is everything you need

One of the best feelings on any backpacking trip is that moment when you step into camp and remove your backpack, knowing you don't have to heave it back on until the following morning. As much as we don't want to take away the little moments of joy on your trip, wouldn't it be better if you didn't have to have that moment at all? That's not to suggest you keep your backpack on while you sleep, but what about if your bag didn't have to weigh so much that you couldn't wait to remove it?

Minimizing the weight of your backpack lets you enjoy the trail and the scenery around you without that voice in your head telling you to take the weight off your shoulders. You can also move faster, cover more distance, and make the most of your time off. Our ultralight backpacking list is perfect for fastpackers, thru-hikers, or anyone who wants to hit the trail ahead with fresh legs and lightweight gear.

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Sawyer Products Micro Squeeze Water Filter

Hydration is an essential part of trekking success, but when each liter of water weighs over 2 pounds, you want to minimize how much you carry at any one time. This ultralight water filter from Sawyer weighs just 2 ounces and saves you from carrying excess water. The Micro Squeeze screws onto the end of a squeezable — hence the name — bag for easy filling and filtering. It also fits onto disposable plastic bottles. A syringe is included to backflush the device with clean water after each trip and each filter is good for about 100,000 liters.

Find the full article with the ultralight backpacking gear list, written by Ross Collicutt and Tom Kilpatrick.

LAST UPDATED

September 6, 2022

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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

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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
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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