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Backpacker Magazine – April 2009

Get This Gear: Essentials From A to Z

We tested more than 500 products–stoves, clothes, cameras, filters, tech tools, knives, and meals–to find these proven performers.

by: The Backpacker Editors, Courtesy Photos

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L
M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ

W
Watch
High Gear's AltiTech 2 High Gear's AltiTech 2 is our favorite digital altimeter/barometer this year for three reasons: 1) the carabiner design is more versatile than a standard wristband; 2) a bar graph tracks climbing and weather data over 24 hours; and 3) it costs lots less than top-end models. The compass adjusts from continuous to single readings to save power. The big face reads well, and you get a thermometer, stopwatch, and alarm. The clip lets you hang it from tent, pack, or harness, so you don't have to dig through winter layers or scratch it up jamming cracks. $150; 2 oz.; highgear.com

Water bag
Sea To Summit's Folding Bucket packs down to hockey-puck-size, weighs only 2.5 ounces, and easily lugs an evening's worth of water (10 liters) from river to camp. It stands without tipping, making short work of after-dinner dishes. $25; seatosummit.com

Water treatment
DROPS Ultralight Aquamira drops neutralize bacteria and viruses with chlorine dioxide, and the purified water doesn't taste like chemicals. $15; 3 oz. (treats 30 gallons); aquamira.com

FILTER MSR's HyperFlow is the fastest, lightest, most reliable filter we've tested. It won an Editors' Choice Award last year (4/08). $100; 7.4 oz; msrgear.com

TABLETS Treatment doesn't get any simpler: Drop in one of Katadyn's chlorine dioxide MicroPur Tablets and wait 15 minutes to an hour depending on temperature and turbidity. The taste is clean, but the foil packaging is a tad excessive and a pain to open. $16; 0.8 oz. (treats 30 liters); katadyn.com

Wine bladder
Bring your favorite Syrah, but not the heavy bottle. Platypus's Platypreserve keeps wine fresh better than a Lexan bottle by letting you squeeze out the extra air. Made of BPA-free plastic. $13; 0.9 oz.; platy.com


PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

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Reader Rating: Star Star Star Star

READERS COMMENTS

Jun
Dec 28, 2010

What an excellent list you've put together. Honestly, this is by far the best essential gear list I have seen online so far. I am going to be buying several things off this list as both presents for others and treats for myself. So thank you for sharing this!<a href="http://www.bladehq.com/cat--Kershaw-Scallion-Knives--402">.</a>

Shane
Nov 13, 2009

Are you kidding me with the $30 chopsticks?? I thought this magazine was about appreciating outdoors, not marketing a bunch of needless crap.

Lost Keys
May 27, 2009

I use the nite ize s biner as a key chaine. I hook it to my belt loop. Numeros times my keys have fallen off. I usually can hear the sound of keys hitting the ground. On a recent end of Fly fishing adventure. I turned the car around to do a final check for any forgoten equipment. The metalic reflection came from the ground. I got out and there was the nite Ize S-biner. BackPacker Editors award and all. Spring not strong enough!

dropkick
May 16, 2009

How many backpackers do you know that carry $600 binoculars? Get real.

AN
May 14, 2009

I'm really surprised to see MSR's quick 2 system at the same time that GSI's dualist system is not mentioned yet it has the 2008 editor's choice and lighter than MSR's. This really makes me question the credibility of the whole backpacker's site that I have always had it as a flagship.

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