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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

M
Map tool

Meet the most useful 4-by-7-inch piece of plastic we've seen. The Brooks Range Map Tool is gridded with all of the UTMs, mileage scales, and slope indices found on maps published in North America, Europe, New Zealand, and Japan–great for geek-precise plotting. $18; 2 oz.; brooks-range.com

Mapping software Topo Explorer Deluxe Web-based Topo! Explorer Deluxe gives you surfing access to USGS maps, aerial photos, and map tools for all 50 states. Add trail overlays and info boxes by accessing National Geographic's National Recreation Database. Start with 25 free topo downloads; additional quads and hybrid aerial photos are $1 apiece. $50; shop.nationalgeographic.com

MP3 player
Waterproof, shockproof, and featherweight, Freestyle's Audio Soundwave 2GB has a built-in FM radio tuner, waterproof ear buds, and holds 320 songs. It rocks for 18 hours on a single USB charge. $90; 1.25 oz.; freestyleaudio.com

Mug
For hikers who want the perfect cup, damn the price, get Snow Peak's Double Wall Titanium Mug. It weighs only 4.2 ounces, but it's big enough for a Ramen dinner, and it keeps your coffee hot without scorching your lips. $50; snowpeak.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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