Thank goodness spring is on the horizon. It’s been a brutal winter in these parts. Lots of snow and rain. And all this cabin fever has me really excited to plan some outdoor adventures once the weather warms up. Hopefully, I have one or two left in me before the baby arrives.
Adventure must be on your minds too because I’ve gotten a few DM’s lately about my camping and hiking essentials so I think it’s time to do a little blog post about them. As an FYI, I link all my gear via Amazon here. But for the sake of this post let’s review some essential items I can’t explore without.
TENT: Finding the right tent is a lot like shopping for a new car in my opinion. A tent is one of the most important pieces of gear you will invest in for backpacking or even quick weekend trips. As your home away from home, you want to be dry, comfortable and safe. There are a lot of options out there, but key considerations include price, weight, interior space, design and set up time, just to name a few.
Chance and I have tested quite a few tents over the years so below you’ll find a few of our favorites!
- Best for car camping: Big Agnes Big House
- Best for solo backpacking: Nemo Hornet
- Best for couples backpacking: Big Agnes Copper Spur
- Best spacious ultra lightweight for backpacking: Big Agnes Tiger Wall (I used this tent at Havasupai)
- Best universal: Marmont Limestone
JETBOIL: We take our Jetboil everywhere we go. It’s great for backpacking, car camping and even for whipping up your morning cup of joe. I swear it is one of the greatest camping tools ever invented. It’s small, compact and lightweight. Out of all the things, we use this one so dang much.
SLEEPING BAG: Becuase I love color, choosing a sleeping bag was a ton of fun because they come in every color of the rainbow. Beyond aesthetic, when choosing a bag think of the kind of conditions you’ll be in. I run cold naturally, so I chose a bag that could keep me comfortable and warm in most conditions.
- My bag: Sea to Summit Trek Tkl (The women’s specific cut offers a narrower shoulder area while providing a bit of extra room in the hip section while its roomy fit allows you to roll around, curl up, and adjust your sleeping position all through the night.)
- Chance’s bag: Mountain Hardware Phantom Spark
- Best sleeping bag for couples: NEMO Jazz Duo
SLEEPING PAD: In my opinion, a sleeping pad can make or break your night’s sleep when camping. Sleeping pads play two very important roles for getting a solid night’s sleep in the great outdoors: cushioning and insulation. I always recommend trying them out in persona before buying one or finding a good place online that has a great return policy. There are basically three types of pads and how they perform — air, self-inflating, and closed-cell foam.
- My sleeping pad: NEMO Cosmo 3D
- Chance’s sleeping pad: Exped MegaMat (he’s a sleep diva!)
CAMPING PILLOW: To be honest, if we’re car camping, I usually just bring my pillow from home but if we’re backpacking, an inflatable camping pillow is a nice touch. I used to bundle up my layers and use my jackets as pillows but I recently bought one for my last two trips and loved it! I’m super weird about textures against my face, so I knew I wanted something that closely resembled a cotton pillowcase. You can also use these for long flights and other types of travel. Both pillows compress really small.
- My camping pillow: NEMO Fillo Elite Pillow
- Runner up and comes in 8 colors: Therm-a-rest Compressible Pillow
BACKPACK: I totally believe in investing in a good quality backpack. For long trips, finding one that fits well and is functional is super important. If it doesn’t fit right, it could end up causing aches and pains in your back and hips. These backpacks are great for backpacking in the backcountry or surfing around Bali. I love my pack because the top unfolds to create a smaller day pack that I use on all my hikes!
- My pack: Osprey Xena
- Chance’s pack: Patagonia Descensionist 40L
CAMELBAK: If you’re doing a long hike or in the desert chance’s are you’ll need to stay hydrated. Camelbaks are tried and true.
- Heavy Duty but stylish: Northface Vals Mid WP
- Waterproof and heavy: Northface Endurus Hike Mid
- The cutest blush hikers: Northface Back to Berkley Redux(ON MY WISHLIST!)
- Light Weight: Teva Arrowood Bootie
- Teva low top sneaker
- Nike ACG Trail Boot
GARMIN: Having a Garmin is key for me when out hiking, backpacking, trail running and all the above. I feel safe and confident when I have mine on.
- Watch: Fenix 5S
- Device: InReach Mini
OTHER FUN STUFF!
- Hammock: ENO
- Mocs: Teva Ember Mocs in Blush(Wishlist!)
- Rumpl throw blanket
- Lightweight chair: Helinox
- Twinkle lights: ENO twilight
- Dog sleeping bag: Ruffwear
- Drysack: Osprey Packs Ultralight Drysack (great for paddle boarding!)
ON OUR RADAR FOR BABY: