I’ve had lots of questions in my inbox about backpacking, especially how to get started. Today, I’ve partnered with Sierra Trading Post to share some of my top gear picks for summer backpacking. We hike from spring to fall (we aren’t hardcore enough for winter trips) but Summer is my favorite. I’ve divided this list up into three categories… Gear everyone should have in their pack, a mix of necessities and luxuries for around camp and hiking gear specifically for women.
Please note, this isn’t a complete list. A lot of items depend greatly on preference and experience. Consider this a jumping off point on your gear stock pile. If you get all the way through to the end you will find an AMAZING offer from Sierra Trading Post as well.
First up are the necessities everyone should have on their person when hiking with or without your backpack (keep in a day pack if day hiking). It should go without saying, but a small supply of food should also be included. Make sure to familiarize yourself with how to use all of these items on your own in case you are separated from the group.
- Paracord Bracelet / Bison Design Paracord Bracelet
- Water Bottle / Liberty Bottleworks Aluminum Bottle
- Knife / Ontario Knife Company Fixed Blade Knife
- Headlamp / Pelican Products LED Headlamp
- Fire Starter or Waterproof Matches / Scout Firesteel Fire Starter
- Bear Spray (if in Bear Country) / UDAP Bear Spray and Hip Holster
Depending on how lightweight you plan to go and how many people are joining you, you’ll need to make some decisions about gear for around camp. Of course things like tents, sleeping bags and a bear bag are necessary, but things like a hammock (there is nothing better than positioning your hammock on the edge of a creek and soaking your feet after a long hike) and how many cooking tools, will depend on weight and comfort.
Read LOTS of reviews when selecting your big purchases like packs and tents. We actually currently use this exact tent and it’s perfectly snug for the two of us and our two giant dogs.
- Container to use as Bear Bag / Granite Gear Dry Sack
- Camp Hammock / Travel Hammock
- Backpack / ALPS Mountaineering Transcend 5500 Backpack
- Sleeping Bag / Kelty Cosmic Sleeping Bag – Short
- Tent / ALPS Mountaineering Zenith 2 AL Tent
- Camp Mug / Classic Stainless Steel Mug
- Lightweight Camp Stove / Kovea Vulcan Camp Stove
- Camp Towel / Lewis & Clark Travel Towel
- Cat Hole Shovel / Outdoor Products Folding Hand Shovel
Finally I wanted to share my picks and some tips for women’s summer hiking gear. Most often overlooked is rain gear. Find a lightweight waterproof shell you can keep handy. I also bring one of those cheap, compact plastic rain ponchos in an exterior pocket to cover my pack if the clouds open up. Don’t forget sun protection as well. There are lots of clothes out there now with sun protection built right into the fabric.
I love yoga pants and shorts for hiking. They are easy to move in and easy to sleep in. A pair of hiking sandals are a must have in my book. I hike in them almost exclusively in the summer months. When picking out tops, consider where your straps (both shoulder and hip straps) are going to lay and keep those areas protected from rubbing.
- Proof Eyewear Pledge Sunglasses
- Craghoppers Cropped Pant with Insect Repellant & UPF +40
- Icebreaker Willow Tank with UPF +40
- Lucy Hatha Shorts
- Teva Butano 2 Sport Sandal
- Helly Hansen Vancouver Waterproof Jacket
- Sunday Afternoons Zephyr Military Cap with UPF +50
- Keen Gypsum Mid Hiking Boots
- Mountain Hardwear Pandra T-Shirt
So there you have it! I can’t stress enough how helpful it is to go on your first trip with someone who is experienced. If you have any questions about the gear that we have personally invested in or picking out what is right for you, leave me a comment! I’d be happy to talk shop with you.
A huge thank you to Sierra Trading Post. They always have great prices and their staff is super knowledgeable. If you are trying something new in the outdoors, whether it’s backpacking or water sports, make STP your first stop. As a bonus, through July 8th you can get an extra 25% off your Sierra Trading Post order PLUS half off of your shipping! Use the discount code ‘ALSUMMER5′ when you purchase to receive the discount.
This post is brought to you by Sierra Trading Post. All opinions expressed are my own and I only promoted companies and products I love and would use myself. For more information on reaching Lost & Fawned readers, please visit this page.