2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

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

Firestarter AMK sparklight firestarter Trust us, rubbing two sticks together ain't gonna cut it in an emergency. AMK's Sparklite Fire Starter is a tiny rolling flint that's easy to spark with one hand and comes with a four-pack of tinder. $11; 0.2 oz.;

First-aid kits
Ultralight Here's one for the hiker who's good with duct tape but wants a tiny bit more. Helenbac's Pocket Ultralight is pared down to just the essentials for wound care (bandages and ointment) and a couple of doses of ibuprofen. Supplies come in a sturdy zip-top bag. $8; 1.8 oz.;

WEEKEND Get the perfect compromise between weight and supplies with AMK's Ultralight .9. It includes bandages, meds, blister treatment, and wound care essentials (including duct tape), all packed neatly in waterproof pouches inside a zippered silnylon sack. $35; 10 oz.;

WEEKLONG For large groups or longer trips, nothing beats the REI Backpacker First Aid Kit for value and user-friendly organization. Fold-out panels display all the contents for easy access, and small vials let you personalize the kit (they come empty). Bonus items: a compact first-aid manual and aloe gel for burns. Missing item: a triangular bandage. $42; 1 lb. 7 oz.;

EXPEDITION Designed for remote trips and long-term wound care, Helenbac's Basecamp First Aid Kit has plenty of commonly used items (like bandages), plus tools to handle more serious injuries, like EMT shears and a Sam Splint. $96; 1 lb. 9 oz.

Fleece jacket Patagonia R2 A midweight fleece is to hikers what a wetsuit is to surfers: indispensable. Make yours Patagonia's R2 Jacket. The latest rendition of the classic Regulator fleece is still tops for warmth, breathability, and weight. The secret: variable length fibers that trap warm air and make this jacket lighter and more compressible than equally warm competitors. $150; 13 oz. (w's M);

Give any boot or trail runner a custom-fit feel with Sole's Softec Ultra heat-moldable inserts (requires warming the footbeds in an oven). The moldable EVA layer is topped with soft foam and wicking polyester. Try the Regular for most boots, or the Slim Sport for lower-volume shoes. $45; 5.2 oz.;

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

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: Star Star Star Star


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="">.</a>

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!

May 16, 2009

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

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.


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Hiking on rocks
Posted On: Aug 28, 2014
Submitted By: GoBlueHiker
Finally going Backpacking!
Posted On: Aug 28, 2014
Submitted By: 92hatchattack

View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions