My Backpacking / Hiking and Camping Gear

I like to carry as much stuff as necessary to be comfortable, but with as little weight as possible in my pack, so as to increase mileage and comfort while on the trail.
Right now, I like to average about 25 - 30 pounds for a weekender. That's not exactly ultra-light weight, but I'm happy with my pack weight for now.

Sleeping Gear / Shelter

The most visible item in a backpacker's campsite is the tent. When I got to looking into buying a tent, I was pretty dismayed. Most were bulky, heavy, expensive, or hard to set up. Then I stumbled upon the REI Half Dome. It just looked interesting. It was moderately priced ($125), not too heavy (just over 5 lbs.), free standing, and easy to set up.

My sleeping bags are also pretty ordinary. I have 2 Kelty Clear Creek +20 mummy bags that cost me about $90 each. For the price, they are nice sleeping bags. I also have 2 REI Travelsack +55 bags. I also have 2 Therm-a-Rest self-inflating full-length sleeping pads, 1 is " and the other is 1" in thickness.

Item Weight (lb, oz) Source
REI Half Dome Tent (w/ footprint, gear loft & rainfly) 5,13 REI
Kelty Clear Creek +20 (1997 model) Sleeping Bag 3,14 REI
Kelty Clear Creek +20 (1999 model) Sleeping Bag 3,14 REI
REI Travelsack +55 Sleeping Bag (x2)   REI
Therm-A-Rest Ultralight (") full-length Sleeping Pad 1,08 REI
Therm-A-Rest Backpacker (1") full-length Sleeping Pad 2,04 Campmor
Compressible Camp Pillow (w/ stuffsack) 0,06 Galyan's
Hennessey Hammock - Scout Classic   REI
Hennessey Hammock - Ultralite Backpacker Asym Classic   REI


Food and Water Preparation

I prefer the Mountain House line of freeze dried foods, so these are the main cooked foods I choose to pack and eat while on outings. I use an MSR Whisperlite 600 Internationale stove. The stove itself weighs less than a pound and it runs on White Gas, Unleaded Automotive Gasoline, Kerosene, or Aviation Fuel.

I carry a PUR Voyageur (Level I) Purifier, mainly for convenience. It's great to come across a stream and start drinking clean water two minutes later. Sure, iodine works. It kills Giardia, viruses, and almost everything else, and I don't mind its taste (too much).

Item Weight (lb, oz) Source
MSR Whisperlite 600 Internationale Stove 0,14 REI
MSR Mightylight Stove Stand .0,4.3 REI
MSR Black Lite Gourmet Cook Set 1,7.5 REI
MSR 11oz Fuel Bottle 0,2.8 REI
MSR 22oz Fuel Bottle 0,4.9 REI
MSR 33oz Fuel Bottle 0,7.3 REI
PUR Voyageur Level I Purifier   REI


Rappelling Gear

Thanks to several friends of mine, a renewed interest in climbing and rappelling has been reborn in me.

Item Weight (lb, oz) Source
Blue Water Assault Line II (150') 8,3 Bass Pro Shops
Blue Water Rope Bag 0,13.7 Bass Pro Shops
Black Diamond Super 8 Descender 87 grams REI
REI Locking Carabineer (x1) 54 grams REI
REI Classic D Carabineer (x2) 51 grams REI
U.S. Military Issue Oval Carabineers (x2)   Gift
Black Diamond Bod Harness 1,2 REI
REI Spire Men's Harness 0,12.5 REI
PMI Rappelling Gloves 0,4.7 REI


Other stuff

Clothes are a big deal to some people. After all, you're not a "real" hiker or backpacker until you have that $400, waterproof, bombproof, super-insulated, hyper-wicking, ultra-light-weight pair of socks! Or are you?

Some of the other things I like to carry are listed below.  I just want to stay warm (or cool -- depending upon the season that it may be at the time) and dry and have comfort both on the trail and in the campsite. Ok, so I could probably do without most of these things. But I'm not going to! For a little extra weight, they make the trip much more enjoyable. I used to carry my Canon A-1 35mm film camera, and any combination of the lenses listed below, and it takes great pictures. Recently, I made the leap from film camera to digital camera (I am not, however, getting rid of any of my film cameras though) so now I take my Canon Digital Rebel XT with me on trips and it takes incredible pictures at 8.2 Megapixels and since I have a high-speed 4G Compact Flash II card, I can store a vacation's worth of shots usually on one card.  However, ...

Recently, I have upgraded my camera (again!), this time, opting for a Professional Level camera...

I now own a Canon EOS 6D Mark II (at 26.2MP) ...
I simply cannot wait to get out on a camp out, backpacking trip, or other outing to see what kind of Wizardry I can do with this new camera!

Item Weight (lb, oz) Source
Motorola Talkabout T5420 Radio (x2)   Galyan's
New Balance All Terrain 410v5 trail running shoes 0,13.5 (each) New Balance Store
Travel Anywhere Chair (x2) 3,5 (each) Campmor
Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots   REI
Cabela's 10-inch 1200 Gram Thinsulate Boots   Cabela's
REI Halfdome Daypack   REI
North Face Recon Daypack   REI
Garmin eTrex Venture GPS Receiver 0,5.3 REI
Silva 515 Compass 0,3 REI
REI Mini Compass 0,0.33 REI
Mylar Space Blanket   Wal-Mart
Mesh Hammock 1,0 Wal-Mart
First-Aid kit   REI
Swiss Army Knife   Military PX
Mini-Mag Maglite   Gift
Black Diamond Spot 325 Headlamp 0,3.03 REI
Canon A-1 35mm camera ((assorted lenses - 28mm, 50mm, 75-200mm) and other accessories) varies Military PX
Canon Digital Rebel XT ((assorted lenses - 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 75-300mm, 2x Teleconverter, Fisheye Adapter) and other assorted accessories) varies Porter's Camera
Canon EOS 6D Mark II (using most of the above mentioned lenses and accessories, plus newer/other things, like my New Pluto Trigger) varies


Cold/Wet Weather Clothing

What can I say... other than, "The North Face"!

However, since so many people today wear this particular brand as a "fashion statement" or for "bragging rights", or to otherwise "show off" that they can afford to pay for the brand without ever having actually participated in and/or been to a place and/or event and/or location as to where the particular item would be applicable... I don't put or place as much 'stock' into the name any longer ... The quality is still there, but, the 'attitude' has changed, and not for the better... this brand has become a "commercialized" instead of "specialized" clothing item.

Item Weight (lb,oz) Source
North Face Cerro Torre Jacket 1,1 REI
North Face Denali Polartec 300 Fleece Midlayer 1,11 Track n Trail
North Face Explorer Jacket/Shell   Sun n Ski Sports
North Face Mountain Light Jacket - Summit Series (Gore-Tex XCR) 1,12 Sun n Ski Sports
North Face Carve Gore-Tex Gloves (w/ fleece liners)   REI
REI Full-length Zip Gore-Tex Pants   REI
North Face A/T Ventilation Shirt   Campmor
North Face Sojourner Pants   Campmor
North Face VaporWick Shirts (assorted colors and various styles)   Galyan's,
Sports Authority, etc.



So, where do I keep all this stuff? I made a decision early on to go with an internal frame pack. I picked up the Mountainsmith Circuit II backpack when Gander Mtn. Sporting Goods came to Sherman.  I was looking for a pack that was larger in capacity than my REI pack (below) and for longer trips.

I liked this pack from the moment I saw it, and with its 6000 cubic inch capacity, there's not a lot I can't carry on a backpacking trip now. I wanted to stay with the internal frame models simply because I am comfortable with them. This is now my Main Pack.

If you click on the image at the right you will see a larger image of the pack.

Mountainsmith Circuit II Backpack
Mountainsmith Circuit II $114 5,13 Gander Mtn.
I bought the 2000 model REI Cima 60 Large for $238.

It's not really heavy and is an internal frame model, and it carries a 4,400 cubic inch load well.
Not to mention that I'm quite happy with it.

If you click on the image at the right you will see a larger image of the pack.

REI Cima 60 Large
REI Cima 60 Large $238 5,15 REI

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This page was last edited or changed on Thursday, March 30, 2023 05:17:35 PM -0500.