What’s In My Backpack – Backpacking Gear Guide

Backpacking season is here! Thank you warm weather. I feel like recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about backpacking from people that I’d never expect would be interested, which is AWESOME. I love that more people are getting interested in nature, hiking, and the community! So I thought this would be a great time to share the basics of what I normally pack in my backpack. 


Osprey Ariel Plus 70 Pack - Women's

This backpack has been my VIP for many years. It was originally purchased to backpack Europe with, but it’s excellent for longer outdoor adventures. I especially like that it has a secondary backpack that unzips from the front of the bag, making it perfect for short trips as well. This pack holds way more than it looks and has all of the right loops and straps to connect tents and all of your overnight essentials. 


REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent

This is the tent that I’ve been rocking for the last 3 years. I believe that this is the older model of the REI Half Dome 2 Plus, however you can still find it on REI’s website. The pros are that it’s 3 seasons and it’s super easy to put up. The cons, it’s a tad too heavy for backpacking. If you are looking to lighten your pack, you may want to look at something like the Big Agnes tent I’ve dropped below. If you aren’t too worried about the weight, then this tent has been great!

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 1 Solution-Dyed Tent

I have heard amazing things about the Big Agnes Tiger Wall tents and the lightweight features are enough to pique my curiosity. If you’re in the market for something for backpacking season, you might want to give this bad boy a try.

Sleeping Pad

NEMO Tensor Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Pad

Having a comfortable sleeping pad is essential. We’ve recently upgraded to the Nemo Ultralight and the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir that I listed below. I can’t decide which is more comfortable. Everyone seems to love the Nemo. It takes seconds to inflate and it sleeps quiet. The negatives are that it’s a little short. If you’re a little taller, you may need to check the size before you purchase. 

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

As I mention above, we purchased the Therm-a-Rest in addition to the Nemo so we could see which one we liked more. While the Therma-a-Rest is a little longer than the Nemo, I thought it was also harder to inflate and way noisier. But still pretty comfortable when comparing light weight gear. 

Sleeping Bag

NEMO Forte 20 Sleeping Bag - Women's

The sleeping bag you need will vary for everyone. Things that you want to consider are size, weight, and how hot/cold it can sleep depending on what temperature you are going to be sleeping in. Always shoot for something that’s going to keep you warmer, so if you are going to sleep in 40 degrees, you’ll want to get something that is at least 10 degrees warmer. Nemo makes a great bag that will probably sleep well in most locations. 

Marmot Always Summer Sleeping Bag

If you are looking for a summer bag, I like the marmot sleeping bags a lot. 

Camera Equipment

Camera Body

Sony α7R IV

I shoot on a Sony, and love it. If you are still deciding your brand, the Sony Mirrorless cameras are a great option for beginners and advanced shooters. 


Sony - FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Wide-angle Lens

SONY FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM Lens


Peak Design Travel Tripod (5 Section Aluminum Camera Tripod)

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Peak Design Capture Camera Clip

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DJI Mini 3 Pro

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Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Hiker Medical Kit

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Garmin inReach Mini 2

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Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray

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Light and Chargers

Duracell 550 Lumen High-Intensity LED Headlamp

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LuminAID - 2-in-1 Camping Lantern/Solar Phone Charger

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Portable Charger

I always carry at least 1 portable charger per day for charging things like cameras, phones, and speakers. Don’t forget the correct cables. 

Bear Bin

BearVault Bear Canister for Backpacking

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Cooking Supplies

AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press

Jetboil Flash Cooking System

GasOne Camping Fuel

Portable Camp Stove with Piezo Ignition

Light, Long Spork

4oz Kettle with 2 Cups

Food Ideas

It varies, but the go-to is usually some type of dry food from mountain house, backpackers pantry, or any other yummy ones we find. We also pack ramen, coffee, nuun for rehydration, gu or something for an energy boost, and snacks that I like or give energy like Trail mix, nuts, etc. We like to also have some fruit, or a pre-made sandwich to start lunch on the first day. Also, don’t forget to pack a couple of packs of hot sauces or things to make your food taste better. 

Water Filtration

We have 2 that we use and love. The @Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System (3L) to filter into our bladders or the @saywer Squeeze Water Filter System to squeeze into our water bottles. BUT we found that it’s always good to have more than one filtration option with you in case something happens to one because WATER IS LIFE. 

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System

Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter System

Purifier+ Insulated Steel Bottle

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Aquamira - Chlorine Dioxide Water Treatment

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Hot Hands Warmers

Rechargeable Hand Warmers

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase from one of my links. If you do decide to use these links, thank you so much for your support! I recommend these products because I have experience with them and use them for my own business.

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