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Archive | Gear Lists

A backpacking gear list is extraordinarily useful, and developing one is time well spent. It:

  • Helps in assembling a gear kit, without commandeering floor space;
  • Calculates pack weight;
  • Creates a budget and shopping list;
  • Serves as a checklist during final pack-up; and,
  • Is a reference for future trips, especially if post-trip comments were added to the gear list after returning home.

If you have never created a gear list before, start with my Three-season gear checklist & template, which is user-friendly, comprehensive, and neutral to location, season, gender, and experience level. For gear lists and posts with more specific recommendations, follow its links or look elsewhere in this category.

Sierra Designs 35-deg mummy and Thermarest NeoAir, inside of the SD High Route Tent 1FL (fly only)

Gear List: Pfiffner Traverse || Colorado Rockies in July

It’s been years since I posted a complete backpacking gear list for a trip. Instead, I’ve been doing in-depth dives on specific categories (e.g. shelter systems, stove systems, first aid kits) that I believe are more instructive and universally relevant than lengthy gear lists that are specific to a single location, season, and group size. […]



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A tarp & bivy offers full -- albeit adequate -- protection against precip, insects, groundwater, and wind. It's an ultralight and compact package that will be too minimalist for most.

Gear List || Backpacking Tarp & Bivy: Ultralight minimalism

In a normal winter, the Sierra Nevada, Pacific Northwest, and Rocky Mountains get hammered by systems that roll off the Pacific Ocean and drop hundreds of inches of snow. The summers, however, are sunny and dry, with only occasional precipitation related to the North American monsoon. Storms can be violent, but they are normally short-lived and […]



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One of my three go-to shelter systems: the Sierra Designs High Route Tent, which has a full-sided 22-oz fly and interchangeable 14-oz inner tent.

Gear List || One-shelter quiver: Modular double-wall backpacking tent

What is a backpacking tent? I’ll define it as a full-sided, fixed-shaped, and holistically designed portable shelter that protects its occupants from precipitation, wind, groundwater, and insects. A few models do not fulfill this entire description, but it generally works. Tents grossly outsell tarps, hammocks, and bivy sacks. This is partly due to deeply embedded mindsets (“I […]



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My stove system for solo backpacking trips in the shoulder seasons, when I'm willing to carry a few extra ounces so that I can quickly heat up large amounts of water. With a larger pot and an additional eating container, mug, and utensil, this system would be suitable for couples, too.

Gear List || Fast & light backpacking stove for soloists & couples

While preparing for a backpacking trip in the Colorado Rockies this coming weekend (early-November), I had to consider the appropriateness of my ultralight alcohol stove and my powerful remote canister stove systems. I concluded that both would be functional, but that with an extra $50 purchase I could have a perfectly optimized kit. Intended applications This “Fast & Light” setup is suitable for solo backpackers and […]



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Hauling out 69 pounds of elk meat and gear last October in the Colorado Rockies.

Download instructions: Backpack hunt gear lists for elk & deer

In a recent series I shared my backpack hunting gear lists for big game like elk and deer. Each post contains a detailed list and an in-depth discussion of my selections: Introduction Before the Shot The Shot After the Shot For reader convenience, I have made these lists available for download as a set of PDF’s and […]



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Equipment and supplies for field dressing and packing out big game

Backpack Hunt Gear List || After the shot: Field dressing & packing out

Backpack Hunt Gear List: After the shot For good reason, hunters often comment that, “The real work begins after pulling the trigger.” I can’t understate the effort involved in field dressing an animal and then packing out the meat (150-200 pounds for an elk), in addition to gear. Hunt with a friend — you’ll be glad […]



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Safety clothing, optics, and calls, plus a hunting license

Backpack Hunt Gear List || Before the shot: Clothing, optics & calls

Backpack Hunt Gear List: Before the shot With the exception of a lucky outing, finding the game often constitutes the bulk of most hunts. In fact, about 75 percent of hunting trips in Colorado end without having taken a shot or packed out meat. If it were that easy, it’d be called shooting, not hunting. Optics and safety clothing […]



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A raked lodgepole in the Colorado Rockies

Backpack Hunt Gear Lists for Big Game (elk & deer) || Introduction

Next month I will be hunting elk and deer during Colorado’s third rifle season. As with my previous fall hunts, this will be a backpack hunt: I will carry an overnight load and have a mobile camp. I’ll be joined by Steve, a friend and running partner. Essentially, we’re going on a conventional backpacking trip in the Colorado […]



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Backpacking Gear Lists || First Aid, Foot Care & Repair Kits (Downloadable)

If I were to drop my first aid, foot care, and field repair kits directly into my master backpacking gear list, I would fear clogging it up. Already, the master list can be intimidating, and these kits contain dozens of items on their own. Moreover, their exact contents depend greatly on whether I am traveling solo or with a […]



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