My Favorite Gear

Is my gear the best? Highly unlikely. Do I love all of my belongings regardless? But of course.

I’ve had so many friends and acquaintances ask me for recommendations over the past couple years, so I figured I might as well compile a list with my favorite gear. Sometimes it really is worth it to buy the “expensive” thing. Other times you can buy the cheaper alternative and upgrade in a few years. Perhaps the most frustrating thing is not knowing when it’s time to shell out, so read reviews. Lots of them. On lots of different sites. If you see someone out and about with something you’ve had your eye on, ask them about it. A shout into the void of social media can also yield great results, so ask around.

No matter what you end up with, all that matters is if it works for you and if you love it.

Clothing

Point6 Socks

Why I love it

  • Never rub and keep my feet feeling fresh
  • Stellar appearance: Crew length is perfect and the colors are neat

I’m partial to the Firecracker light crew. Good socks are worth the cost, especially if they’re merino wool. I’ve bought my 3 pairs at Eddie Bauer thanks to $10 certificates, making a pair plenty affordable.

Prana Halle Pants & Shorts

Why I love them

  • So much stretch
  • Quality pockets that aren’t too small
  • Surprisingly wind and water resistant: I say “surprisingly” only because I was impressed with how warm the pants kept me on a breezy night in the 40s in southern Utah.

I got my pants and shorts on sale at Backcountry, so don’t fret over the price.

Adidas Terrex Swift R GTX

Why I love them

  • Quickdraw laces so they stay snug
  • Amazing tread and grip
  • Bright colors
  • Waterproof as heck

I got mine on a major REI sale (like 50% off). Similar Adidas shoes (and those made by other brands) are available for cheaper. For day hikes and short camping trips, buying trail runners and hiking shoes (rather than boots) is an excellent strategy.

Chacos (with and without toe strap!)

Why I love them

  • Comfortable all day long
  • Great day hike sandals
  • Dry fast (at least in Utah)

Make sure you try these on before buying. I’ve had a lot of friends need to choose sizes different from the norm. If you get the wrong size, you also risk having very uncomfortable shoes. Also, give the toe strap a chance if you can. It took my feet years to finally come around to it, but it was worth it.

Adidas Ultimate Tee

Why I love it

  • Light, breathable material that feels great
  • Any color you could ever want

I always managed to find mine on sale at Sports Authority (RIP), but you can definitely find them for less than $20 other places.

REI Midweight Base Layer

Why I love it

  • Still like a compression base layer but it can be worn as a mid-layer (especially the quarter zip)
  • Soft as heck
  • Thumb holes

Eddie Bauer Telemetry Freeride Jacket

Why I love it

  • So many pockets
  • Has an attached goggle wipe that I use to clean my glasses
  • If you buy the Telemetry pants, you can clip them to the jacket (meaning no snow up your back or down your pants)
  • Great length without being bulky

Sleeping

Klymit Static V

Why I love it

  • Side sleepers rejoice!
  • Ridiculously light and small
  • Cheap: It retails for $60, but you can find it for around $40 easy (I recommend buying on The Clymb)

This is the be all and end all of sleeping pads for me. I love and adore my Klymit and recommend it to everyone who’s in the market.

Thermarest Compressible Pillow

Why I love it

  • So dang compressible!

REI Lyra Women’s Sleeping Bag

Why I love it

  • Synthetic (never have to worry about it getting wet)
  • Small stuff sack
  • Plenty cozy

This bag is heavier than a lot of people would probably prefer, but I don’t do cold weather backpacking so it’s not a big deal. I have brought it on a snow camping trip, though. I used a liner inside it, but even without that I would’ve been plenty warm.

Some day I’ll probably get a quality down sleeping bag, but right now my needs are more than fulfilled by this bag. Thanks to an REI sale, I was able to get mine for well under $150.

Note: If you’re a woman, buy a women’s bag! You will not regret it. They fit our bodies better and the temperature ratings are more accurate.

Alps Mountaineering Razor Sleeping Bag

  • Small and light
  • Fleece lined with polyester exterior
  • Perfect for warm nights

I bought one after borrowing my significant other’s when I went on a camping trip with my old sleeping bag (it definitely couldn’t stand up to its previous rating). A lot of liners are synthetic and polyester, feeling just like a normal sleeping bag. This one gives you the feeling of being extra warm because of the fleece. There are better liners that will add more degrees of warmth, but this comes with the advantage of being an amazing standalone bag for summers.  Peter brings just this for summer backpacking trips in Utah, saving space and weight.

Packs

North Face Angstrom 20

Why I love it

  • Basic internal frame
  • Space for a water bladder
  • Packs very flat
  • Waist straps
  • Lots of internal pockets
  • Hidden rain cover

I don’t know if it’s worth the full retail price, so if you can find it on sale you likely won’t regret it. This is my go-to daypack because of how flat and narrow it is. I don’t have a particularly narrow frame, but I do find that a lot of backpacks are bigger than I prefer, so this was a great find. That being said, I don’t like how small the two side pockets are, so I usually just stuff them with Clif bars. If you like carrying water bottles, you’ll want something different.

REI Roadtripper Duffel

Why I love it

  • The perfect weekend bag: I can fit all of my clothes, my pillow, my sleeping bag liner and two sleeping pads in this duffel easy
  • Carry-on size for air travel
  • Lasts forever

Sustenance

Hydro Flask

Why I love it

  • Water stays cold for hours
  • All the colors you could ever want

I haven’t yet put warm/hot drinks in my bottle, but I’m sure it works splendidly. I don’t think I’ll ever use any other vacuum insulated bottle.

Hydrapak 2L

Why I love it

  • It turns inside out so you can actually clean and dry it
  • No chance of leaks

Glow-in-the-dark 32 oz. Nalgene

Why I love it

  • Easy to find in the middle of the night
  • Perfect with sipper lid
  • Nalgene baby for cold night cuddling

Light My Fire Lunch Kit

Why I love it

  • Small and light
  • Who doesn’t love a spork?

PocketRocket

Why I love it

  • Small and efficient

Note: I don’t actually own one, but my significant other does and it’s perfect for boiling water for Nalgene babies or my morning biscuits and gravy

Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy

Why I love it

  • Downright delicious
  • The font on the packaging is my favorite font: Big Noodle Titling (I am 100 percent serious about this)

Thoughts?

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