I still remember the first big camping and hiking trip we went on as a couple. We decided to go to the Grand Canyon and hike the canyon from top to bottom and back up again. Up until this point, we had done a few short trips where we just winged it. Often relying on a few semi-warm jackets and prepackaged food to get us by. Unfortunately, our patterns didn’t evolve much for this hike. Fortunately, we had sense enough to know it was time to ask for help. We entered the gear shop and picked the employee’s brain about everything we would need, and are so thankful for Joe for helping us out. Fast forward 9 years and it’s safe to say we have learned a thing or two about gear and proper preparation for hiking and camping. We have become a bit obsessed with researching and asking experts about all the best gear for a variety of climate and elevation factors. We have not tried everything on the market, but we do love the items listed below.
We are excited to welcome you to our one-stop shop for all your outdoor gear essentials! Whether you're a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or just starting your hiking/camping journey, we've got you covered with top-quality gear from the best brands in the business. From shelter and sleeping gear to cooking essentials and power solutions, this guide has everything you need for an unforgettable camping experience.
Note: there are affiliate links in this post and I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase an item (at no additional cost to you). These funds go right back to supporting our small business and mission to help others get outside and explore more. So thank you in advance for your support, should you choose to purchase something.
It has taken us nearly a decade to collect and invest in all of the gear that we have and use today. When we first started, we kept with the basics. We often borrowed from friends and bought used items. This helped us try a variety of products before making the huge cost commitment and investment. We recommend doing this as well. When you have found what fits your style and needs, we recommend buying gear that lasts. When you buy from brands you can depend on, you will save money in the long run because it will last much longer. This goes the same for the place that you buy from. Having a store with reliable products and knowledgeable staff is invaluable!
On every outdoor adventure, you should have these essentials packed in your bag. They don’t weight much and will definitely come in handy. These can help you out in an emergency and a bind, so we really wouldn’t leave them behind. The items are: navigation, light source, sun protection, first aid kit, fire kit, tent, food, water and clothes.
Here we breakdown all of our favorites separated by category of what you may need.
GREGORY - Zulu 55 Pack: Carry all your gear comfortably with GREGORY's Zulu 55 Pack. Designed for long-distance hiking and backpacking adventures, it provides excellent support and ventilation for extended trips.
Backcountry Access - BC Link Min: The Backcountry Access BC Link Mini is an indispensable communication tool for backcountry travelers, offering reliable two-way radio communication in remote and challenging environments. Its compact size and durable construction make it easy to carry and ensures peace of mind, allowing users to stay connected with their group and enhance safety while exploring off-grid terrain.
Fenix - PD35R Flashlight: The Fenix PD35R Flashlight is a must-have for outdoor enthusiasts seeking reliable illumination on their adventures. With its compact yet powerful design and long-lasting battery life, this flashlight ensures optimal visibility in any environment, making it an essential tool for camping, hiking, and emergency preparedness.
Back Diamond - Sprint 225 Headlamp: The Black Diamond Sprint 225 Headlamp is an essential companion for outdoor enthusiasts seeking reliable hands-free illumination during nighttime adventures. With its lightweight design and powerful brightness, this headlamp provides exceptional visibility while running, hiking, or camping, ensuring safety and convenience in low-light conditions.
FOOD AND SNACKS
PROBAR - Meal Bar on the Go: The Probar Meal Bar is the perfect on-the-go meal replacement, packed with vegan, whole-food ingredients that provide sustained energy and nutrition. Whether you're hiking, biking, or simply need a convenient and satisfying snack, the Probar Meal Bar offers a delicious and balanced option to keep you fueled and satisfied throughout your day. Our family consumes these A LOT!
TRUWILD - Motion: A natural and plant-based solution for enhancing workout performance, providing sustained energy without the crash associated with synthetic pre-workouts. Formulated with premium ingredients like organic green tea and beetroot, Motion supports endurance and focus, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a clean and effective boost before hitting the gym or the trails.
Moon Fabrications - Moonsade: The Moon Fabrications Moonsade is an essential camping accessory, providing reliable and versatile shelter from the elements with its innovative design and durable materials. Whether you're camping in the woods or lounging on the beach, the Moonsade offers protection from sun, rain, and wind, ensuring comfort and enjoyment during outdoor adventures.
Sierra Designs High Route 1 Tent: The Sierra Designs High Route 1 tent is an essential investment for solo adventurers seeking lightweight yet durable shelter for their backcountry excursions. With its innovative design, spacious interior, and reliable weather protection, it offers unparalleled comfort and versatility for solo camping trips in any terrain.
Olpro - Cocoon Breeze Inflatable Campervan Awning: Expand your living space with Olpro's Cocoon Breeze Inflatable Campervan Awning. Easy to inflate and featuring multiple entry points, it's the perfect addition to your camping setup.
Outdoor Research - PackOut Compression 20L Stuff Sack: Maximize space in your pack with Outdoor Research's PackOut Compression 20L Stuff Sack. Perfect for compacting your sleeping bag or other bulky items, it helps streamline your gear and optimize storage space.
Coleman - Onesource 200L Lantern: The Coleman Onesource 200L Lantern is an indispensable camping companion, offering powerful illumination and versatile charging capabilities in one compact package. With its long-lasting battery life and ability to charge other devices, it ensures reliable lighting and connectivity for extended outdoor adventures, making it a must-have for any camping trip.
Olpro Self-Inflating Sleeping Mat: Ensure a restful night's sleep with Olpro's Self-Inflating Sleeping Mat. Compact and lightweight, it provides cushioning and insulation from the ground, enhancing comfort and warmth in your tent.
Primus - Primetech Stove Set: The Primus Primetech Stove Set is a versatile and efficient cooking solution for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring a lightweight design and reliable performance. With its integrated windscreen and efficient burner, it ensures quick and easy meal preparation, making it an essential addition to any camping or backpacking adventure.
Jetboil - Jetset Utensil Set: The Jetboil Jetset Utensil Set is a compact and lightweight solution for outdoor cooking, featuring essential utensils crafted for durability and convenience. With its sleek design and handy nesting feature, it's the perfect companion for Jetboil cooking systems, ensuring hassle-free meal prep on any camping or backpacking trip.
Outerknown - Blanket Shirt: Stay warm and stylish around the campfire with Outerknown's Blanket Shirt. Made from sustainable materials, it's cozy, versatile, and perfect for cool evenings in the wilderness.
The North Face - Summit Future Pants: Fleece pants that combine comfort and performance, featuring innovative Futurefleece fabric for warmth and flexibility in cold conditions. With its sleek design and technical features, it's the ideal choice for outdoor enthusiasts seeking reliable warmth and mobility during alpine adventures.
BLUETTI AC180 Solar Portable Power Station: The BLUETTI AC180 Solar Portable Power Station provides reliable and portable power on the go, boasting a high capacity of 1,152Wh and a robust output of 1,800W. With its solar compatibility and multiple charging options, it's the perfect solution for powering all your electronic devices during outdoor adventures, camping trips, or emergency situations.
Anker Prime Power Bank: The Anker Prime Power Bank offers a high-capacity portable power solution with a robust output of 250W, ensuring reliable charging for all your devices. With its compact design and versatile charging options, it's the perfect companion for camping trips, travel, or emergencies, providing peace of mind and convenience wherever you go.
Jackery - Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station: Power your camping experience with Jackery's Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station. With multiple outlets and a high-capacity battery, it's perfect for charging electronics, running lights, and more.
Black Beard Fire - Pirates Plunder: The Black Beard Fire Pirates Plunder is an incredible value offering essential fire-starting tools and accessories at a fraction of the cost. With a total value of $133, but priced at $80, it's a smart investment for campers and outdoor enthusiasts looking to streamline their fire-starting kit while saving money.
With gear from these top-notch brands, you'll be ready to tackle any hiking and camping adventure with confidence and comfort. Please remember that in order to keep these beautiful outdoor spaces we explore, beautiful and safe for generations to come, we must be mindful and minimize our impact. We practice the Leave No Trace Principles of:
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Others
These principles can be applied anywhere from a remote wilderness area to local parks to your own backyard. If you’d like additional information, this article goes into more detail.
Happy outdoor adventuring!