Local Life | All You Need


Essential gear to make your backpacking adventure a success.

// by Dina Mishev

All other overnight backpacks have been dead to us since we first encountered Arc’teryx’s RotoGlide hipbelt; it swivels as your hips move (lock it out if you want). The Bora 65 has this hipbelt and enough space and external pockets to hold and organize everything you need for a trip up to a week long. $320, arcteryx.com

Chaco Bohdis are perfect for water crossings and hanging out at camp. A minimalist take on the brand’s iconic Z sandals, they’re 50 percent lighter but every bit as supportive and comfortable. Available in men’s and women’s, $95, chaco.com 

We once thought carrying a camp chair was excessive. Then we met Helinox’s Chair Zero, which allows for comfortably relaxing in camp and weighs only 17 ounces. $150, helinox.com

The Jet Boil Micro Mo boils .8 liters of water in a little more than two minutes. The cooking cup doubles as a measuring cup and bowl. $155, jetboil.com

Keep trail grit and burrs out of your shoes with Kahtoola’s new Renagaiter, the brand’s toughest gaiter. $69, kahtoola.com

Find boots too heavy? Check out Scarpa’s Rapid. Billed as a cross between an approach shoe and a trail running shoe, it’s great for backpacking because it’s light but still has solid support in the arch and midfoot. Available in men’s and women’s, from $155, scarpa.com 

Sleeping bags are highly personal. We often sleep cold, so, even for summer, like a bag rated to 20 degrees. A mummy shape is good, but we prefer it not too tight. And we like the light weight and compressibility of down. Given these preferences, 

Therm-a-Rest’s Hyperion 20 is our perfect bag. It weighs about as much as a package of hotdogs and keeps us wonderfully warm. From $470, thermarest.com

For short trips, BioLite’s HeadLamp 325 weighs only 50 grams and delivers 325 lumens of light. Fully charged—it’s rechargeable via a micro USB—it lasts for 40 hours on low and three hours on high. Black Diamond’s Spot 400-R is better for long trips. It, too, is rechargeable, and it can also run on three AAA batteries. $50, bioliteenergy.com; $50, blackdiamondequipment.com

Made in the French Alps, TSL Outdoors’s Connect Carbon 5 Trekking Poles have magnetic straps, the ability to be quickly and easily folded (and unfolded), and come with multiple tips. And, as much as we’ve tried, there seems to be no breaking them. $179, backcountry.com

Sorry guys, Indyeva’s Vicolo Convertible Hiking Pants is only made for women. These pants, which are stretchy and quick-drying, are the most stylish zip-off pants we’ve seen yet. $130, indyeva.com

Recently we’ve paid less attention to socks and more attention to insoles. Superfeet’s new Adapt Hike Max insoles keep our feet feeling fresh all day long. $50, superfeet.com

The Ursack Major, alightweight bear bag, is an alternative to traditional bear-proof canisters. It holds about 10 liters and weighs about as much as an adult hamster. A warning: while certified bear-proof, ground critters can eat through it, so you should still hang it from a tree. $110, ursack.com

Ladies, you no longer have to carry three times as much toilet paper as guys. Instead carry a reusable, antimicrobial Kula pee cloth. Use a Kula Cloth to wipe yourself after you pee, and then snap it to the exterior of your backpack. When you’re near water, rinse it; the silver-infused cloth dries quickly. From $20, garagegrowngear.com.

If you’re a hiker who likes the support of boots, the La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX has that, and also the agility of a trail runner. Available in men’s and women’s, $169, lasportiva.com

The newly reengineered Nemo Tensor is the holy grail of sleeping pads: it’s lightweight, warm, and, much more rare, quiet. From $180, nemoequipment.com

This is by no means a complete packing list for a backpacking trip; rather it’s a list of our essential items and/or things you might not know to bring with you. JH

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