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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

T
Tea

Slightly spicy, slightly sweet Good Earth Original tea makes the perfect backcountry warm-up. "One sip and you can feel your attitude getting better, even on the cruddiest, coldest night," says one staff fan. When conditions get really bad, add brandy. $5 for 25 bags; goodearth.com

trekking poles">

Trekking poles
ALL-PURPOSE A tough titanium/aluminum alloy enables Komperdell to save weight by building the Contour Titanal with a smaller-diameter pole that matches the strength of larger, heavier models. "It's light and comfortable to hold, with a natural swing weight that made me feel balanced," said a tester. $100; 1 lb. 4 oz.; komperdell.com

KILLER DEAL Here's why we like Black Diamond's Trail Ergo Corks. The natural cork handles don't get slimy; the flick-locks are easier and faster to operate with gloves than twist-locks; and foam grip extenders let you choke up on the fly for steep ascents. $100; 1 lb. 2 oz.; bdel.com

ULTRALIGHT Our Rocky Mountain editor has broken his fair share of poles, so when he calls Leki's Carbon Lites the best sticks he's used, it pays to listen. "They weigh nothing. They collapse supershort. The handles are made with mega-comfortable foam, and the straps adjust securely." From Utah's high Uintas to Denali National Park, his sample poles suffered no cracks. $200 (add $20 for shocks); 13 oz.; leki.com

Trowel
Sticking to LNT ethics is easy with MontBell's Handy Scoop. It's essentially a big, stainless-steel spoon with a sharp edge; it gouges catholes out of hardscrabble and weighs just over an ounce. $8; montbell.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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