Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
sixtyforty
Posts: 563
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:22 pm
Location: USA

Re: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag

Post by sixtyforty »

For backpacks, I would take a look at Osprey. Very comfortable and ergonomic at a reasonable price. For sleeping bags, if you are going to be in a humid wet climate (ie Northwest), I would go with synthetic over down. If down gets wet from moisture it losses it's loft and therefore warmth. For drier climates, I would recommend down with the highest down fill power you can afford (ie lighter and compresses smaller). For warm inner layers, Patagonia is always a good choice. For boots, unless you need crampons I would go with the lightest weight, water proof shoe/boot you can find. I actually think the Hoka One makes some nice hiking boots. Very light with excellent cushion. I have the Kaha and like it a lot.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo Da Vinci
hvaclorax
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:01 pm

Re: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag

Post by hvaclorax »

OP,
When people quote 12-20 lbs I think they are talking base weight. This excludes water and food. Mainly pack tent sleep system and stove. Not too hard to get it to 18-20#. Lower weight items are more costly and less durable.
HVAC
User avatar
kevinf
Posts: 400
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:35 pm

Re: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag

Post by kevinf »

I just purchased an Osprey Kestrel 58 (58 liter) that has the "airscape" mesh suspension back panel. I really hate sweaty back from packs so this was on my high priority list for a pack. I was able to fit everything I need for a 5-day backcountry hike at Yosemite into it.

I HIGHLY recommend trekking poles. They will absolutely save your knees downhill, and when used properly drastically reduce uphill fatigue. They turn a lower body workout into a full body workout, pretty much doubling your useful mechanical energy. They also prove useful for balance on water crossings, poking unknowns, and knocking away plants/limbs/pests. My tent uses them in place of tent poles so they do double duty here and save me some weight and space in lieu of something I'm going to be taking anyway.

Shoes are very personal, I used Amazon Wardrobe which is free with my Prime subscription to order 8 different pairs of shoes to try on (no charge unless you don't send them back before the week long trial is up). I ended up with a pair of Sketchers Tresman-Rivero Closed-Toe Sandals, as I have flat feet and the "ergonomic/anatomic" arch-support shoes were murderously painful. The Sketchers and a pair of bottom-padded wool socks feel like walking on clouds. I completed 11.5 miles in 4 hours over rough rocky terrain and my feet felt like I hadn't even taken a single step.


Packs/Storage:
58L Backpack $195
Dry sack for memory foam travel pillow $13
Backpacker's Cache Bear Can $75
Compression packing cubes (clothing) $30

Sun/Insect/Elements protection:
Trekker 2V 1.5 man tent w/ trekking poles $75
Permethrin insect repellent for clothing $30
Picariden insect repellent lotion 2-pack $20
Neutrogena Sunscreen SPF 70 non-greasy $9
Columbia Steens Mountain Fleece Vest $35
Spyder Core Conduct Sweater Gloves $15
Long sleeve SPF/UPF running shirt with mesh vents $19
Duluth Dry-on-the-Fly cargo pants $70
Sketchers Tresman-Rivero hiking sandals $53
Drake lightweight padded wool socks 2-pair $20
Adidas mesh-vent bucket/boonie hat $35
Packable rain jacket $30
Serengeti transitions gradient sunglasses $200

Food/Water and Cooking:
Peak Refuel freeze dried meals $12
Nescafe instant coffee w/ cream+sugar $20
Extra-Long handled titanium spoon $15
Ultralight camping stove w/ igniter $20
750ML titanium cooking pot (fits fuel can + stove inside) $30
Waterdrop filter straw $15
2-liter hydration bladder $19

Sanitation/Cleaning/First aid/Repair/Survival items:
Biodegradable toilet paper $6
Biodegradable wet wipes $7
Ultralight camping trowel $15
Gear Aid gore-tex repair tape $10
Elastic clothesline $10
Dr Scholl's Moleskin rolls $6
Cooling towel/washcloth $8
Tick-Key tick removal tool $10
Sighting compass w/ declination adjustment $11
Yosemite area map (use a current declination) $11
Nitecore rechargeable headlamp $38

Bedding:
Memory foam travel pillow $25
Water repellent down quilt w/ stuff sack $67
Hybern8 insulated inflatable sleeping pad R-value 4.5 $60

The pack base weight is 27lbs, and 35lbs with food and water for 5-days of backcountry.

https://bitjumble.com/files/photography ... 044527.jpg - Trekking poles in outside left pocket
https://bitjumble.com/files/photography ... 044512.jpg - Packable rain gear in outside right pocket
https://bitjumble.com/files/photography ... 044445.jpg - Hydration bladder in exterior bladder pocket
https://bitjumble.com/files/photography ... 044134.jpg - Bear can, bedroll, down quilt at bottom
https://bitjumble.com/files/photography ... 044037.jpg - Tent in middle, clothing & pillow at top
https://bitjumble.com/files/photography ... 043902.jpg - Water filter squeeze bottles in exterior pocket, poop kit + first-aid/repair-kit/water-filters in pack brain.
Last edited by kevinf on Sun May 09, 2021 12:38 am, edited 9 times in total.
SR7
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri May 15, 2020 4:06 am
Location: Down Under

Re: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag

Post by SR7 »

When I joined the army, they gave me all that stuff for free, and then paid me hard cash when they sent me out bush to use it.
During jungle warfare training, insect repellent and exhaustion got me sleeping soundly most nights (when I wasn’t on watch).

OK, trying to be more helpful now. As I did more and more time out bush, I carried less and less with me. You can’t carry too much nothing, less weight, less to pack, less to look after. Just enough for survival and enjoy the freedom of moving quick and light.

The biggest difference between a good and a bad outdoor experience is often fitness (bad luck aside). Get fit and travel light. If unsure about something, just get more exercise in beforehand and worry less about buying more gadgets.
I studied Physics not Finance, so best to ignore anything I say about money.
phxjcc
Posts: 883
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:47 pm

Re: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag

Post by phxjcc »

teCh0010 wrote: Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:15 am For shoes I have the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof. They aren’t as heavy as old hiking boots, but still haven ankle support. Love them.

Sleeping Bags depend on the conditions and length. I have a Kelty Tuck 20 degree bag, it’s fine for two day trips but you will want something that compresses more (down) for longer trips.

Some people are moving to sleep systems that don’t involve bags. Quilts in hammocks or just on the ground. Depends on the weather and how much you move around. I’ve used the tuck 20 on a trail lite pad down to 28 degrees, that’s probably the bottom of the comfort range for me.
Agree on the Moab.

If your feet perspire a lot, however, the non waterproof might be better.

My feet were swimming in the waterproof model.
stoptothink
Posts: 9469
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag

Post by stoptothink »

kevinf wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 9:09 pm
I HIGHLY recommend trekking poles. They will absolutely save your knees downhill, and when used properly drastically reduce uphill fatigue. They turn a lower body workout into a full body workout, pretty much doubling your useful mechanical energy. They also prove useful for balance on water crossings, poking unknowns, and knocking away plants/limbs/pests. My tent uses them in place of tent poles so they do double duty here and save me some weight and space in lieu of something I'm going to be taking anyway.
The utility of poles is very personal. Among my group of mountaineering buddies, every one of us has poles but realized we never used them. Nobody brings poles anymore.
User avatar
kevinf
Posts: 400
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:35 pm

Re: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag

Post by kevinf »

stoptothink wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 9:10 am
kevinf wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 9:09 pm
I HIGHLY recommend trekking poles. They will absolutely save your knees downhill, and when used properly drastically reduce uphill fatigue. They turn a lower body workout into a full body workout, pretty much doubling your useful mechanical energy. They also prove useful for balance on water crossings, poking unknowns, and knocking away plants/limbs/pests. My tent uses them in place of tent poles so they do double duty here and save me some weight and space in lieu of something I'm going to be taking anyway.
The utility of poles is very personal. Among my group of mountaineering buddies, every one of us has poles but realized we never used them. Nobody brings poles anymore.
Ehhhh... everyone should at least try a few hikes with them before writing them off. If you're mostly doing "scramble and slide" type routes on your hands and knees and booty... yea, they won't be very useful. Nor if your hikes are under 4-5 miles over mostly level terrain on well-trod trails.

But for the vast, vast majority of distance hiking with substantial elevation changes, the benefit they provide in reducing impact on your lower body joints can't be overstated. And if you're tenting, why not use a tent that uses trekking poles for setup so you have them anyway? You'd be carrying that weight as otherwise useless tent poles regardless (and on your back no less!) They also provide good, reliable means to splint an injured leg or provide walking support for ankle, knee, and foot injuries so a great idea as part of your first aid kit too!.. not to mention that simply using them reduces the odds of lower body injuries in the first place due to increased balance and reduced fatigue.

The stats that the ATC gathers show that roughly 90% of through hikers completing the Appalachian Trail used trekking poles. Humans have been using walking sticks when traveling, across cultures and regions for all of recorded history going back thousands of years. There is some useful knowledge to be gleaned from that fact.
stoptothink
Posts: 9469
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag

Post by stoptothink »

kevinf wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 11:59 am
stoptothink wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 9:10 am
kevinf wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 9:09 pm
I HIGHLY recommend trekking poles. They will absolutely save your knees downhill, and when used properly drastically reduce uphill fatigue. They turn a lower body workout into a full body workout, pretty much doubling your useful mechanical energy. They also prove useful for balance on water crossings, poking unknowns, and knocking away plants/limbs/pests. My tent uses them in place of tent poles so they do double duty here and save me some weight and space in lieu of something I'm going to be taking anyway.
The utility of poles is very personal. Among my group of mountaineering buddies, every one of us has poles but realized we never used them. Nobody brings poles anymore.
Ehhhh... everyone should at least try a few hikes with them before writing them off. If you're mostly doing "scramble and slide" type routes on your hands and knees and booty... yea, they won't be very useful. Nor if your hikes are under 4-5 miles over mostly level terrain on well-trod trails.

I don't disagree, you should give them a shot, but nobody I know uses them for hiking or snow shoeing.
teCh0010
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:20 am

Re: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag

Post by teCh0010 »

I use trekking poles when backpacking, but not day hiking.

I hammock camp and I need my poles to set my hammock up as a ground shelter if there is a lack of trees. I also find them helpful with elevation change with a pack.
Post Reply