If you enjoy nerding out on backpacking gear as much as I do, then this post is for you! I love to see what other people are carrying so I figured why not share what I use in case anyone else is a gear dork like me and loves to read this stuff! Bonus points if you also enjoy meowing the lyrics to songs…

My campsite set up in Hetch Hetchy Yosemite Natl Park

I am not an ultralight hiker and try to hover my base weight around 12-15 lbs depending on the trip/bear can requirements etc.  My main gear is pretty dialed in. I do tend to switch out some smaller items and clothing almost every trip depending on where I am going or whatever odd whims I am having in the moment. When I backpacked the John Muir Trail last summer my total pack weight with gear, bear can, 6 days of food, and water was 34 lbs…would I like it to be lower? Sure! However I am okay with carrying a few comfort items, like a book or extra layers, for a few more ounces. The main thing is to find what works for you and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing or judging on. You are carrying the shit, not them.  Anyway… Below is a breakdown of most of my backpacking gear and some of the weights for the items I regularly use.  I have a basic google sheet version of this printed at home and go through it every time I am packing for a trip so I do not forget anything.  Because it really sucks when you do forget something important and you are miles away from it, le sigh.  Well hope you enjoy my list!

Sleeping set up:
Approx. Weight
Tarptent Double Rainbow w/ 6 MSR mini groundhog stakes – see tent info below. These stakes are tough, light, & cheap.
 Image result for tarptent double rainbow  Image result for msr mini groundhog 2.6 lbs/ 43 oz
Tyvek Ground Sheet – Lightweight, cheap, great for spreading out on during breaks, dries fast
 Image result for tyvek ground sheet 6.8 oz
Kelty Ignite Dridown 20 degree – I got the women’s since I am 5’2″ and didn’t want the extra cold space. Plus womens bags tend to have more warmth in the foot box and torso…also why are sleeping bags F-ing gendered? Stupid.
 Image result for kelty dridown sleeping bag 2lb 11 oz/33.7 oz
Big Agnes AXL Wide Reg. sleeping pad vs Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Short  Image result for big agnes axl air vs thermarest  Big Agnes on L. & Thermarest on R. See below for thoughts on these…  14 oz vs 12 oz
Gossamer Gear Thinlight foam pad – Great for breaks and underneath my sleeping pad so it does not slide around in the tent  Image result for gossamer gear foam pad I Love this thing and they are often on sale! Light As F&*% 2.4 oz

Total weight: ~6.0 lbs 

I just recently purchased the new Big Agnes AXL 25″ Regular wide pad with my REI coupon as I found the Thermarest mummy shape 20″ width was not that comfortable for me. I’m a side sleeper, who tosses and turns a lot, and I usually wake up with sore hips and pain in my lower back. I also fall off the sides of the NeoAir a lot or slide down during the night so my feet hung off the end.  I have only used the Big Agnes AXL one night so far and liked it a lot.  I was not sliding off of the sides or slipping down with my feet hanging off. And my back and hips were not uncomfortable in the morning, but it was only one night so the jury is still out for the final decision.  However it’s looking good.

I have had the Tarptent Double Rainbow for about 4 years and used it over hundreds of miles and it’s still going strong!  I seam sealed it myself at home, which was super easy, and I reapplied a coat this spring just to be on the safe side.  It is roomy enough for me and Sarah (she is 5’6″) and our bags/misc gear fit inside well or in the dual vestibules. I love having 2 doors so we do not have to crawl over each other and the weight is great too!  Tarptent has fantastic customer service as well.

My sleeping bag is nice and warm and has retained loft well the last few years of use. I did wash it recently since it was getting a little yucky from years of sweating/bug spray/sunscreen inside it. It took FOREVER to dry it/fluff it back up in the dryer with tennis balls to help get the down un-lumped (that’s definitely not a word but whatever) but when it came out it was good as new!  I should probably get a liner but I don’t want to carry one…and I sleep hot often so I don’t like to wear long sleeves/pants most of the time.  These are really just my own problems, haha. I do have interest in trying a quilt out instead of a mummy bag in the future. I feel restricted in the bag with my tossing around and tend to sleep hot so a quilt might work great for me. However I do not have unlimited money to buy all my whims so will be holding on purchasing that for a while.

Me and Jen’s Tarptent Double Rainbows in the Sierras last summer
Kitchen & Water
MSR Pocket Rocket Stove
(older version)
 Image result for msr pocket rocket older style  Bomber proof! I’ve had mine for years with no issues! 3 oz
MSR IsoPro fuel Can
8 oz can
Optimus Terra Pot
 Image result for optimus terra pot  The coils on the bottom help water boil faster and they really do work! 7.8 oz
Long metal spoon
 Image result for long handled spoon
Platypus Gravity Works: 4 Liter Water Purifier
 Image result for platypus gravity water filter  LOVE this water filter, no pumping or long waits! 11.5 oz
Mini Leatherman multi-tool
 Image result for mini leatherman rei  Scissors are great and I love the tiny clip attachment
Sea to Summit collapsible Bucket
 Image result for sea to summit collapsible bucket Great for dishes, laundry, cleaning off with. I do not carry the bag it came in. 2.8 oz
N-Rit mini dish towel
Image result for n rit mini dish towel  Nice to dry off with or clean up dishes etc. Quick dry 0.5 oz
Dr. Bronners mini soap -eucalyptus/lemon mixture
 Image result for dr bronners mini soap Eucalyptus and lemon are bug deterrents and smell great together  1 oz
Smartwater & Gatorade bottles
 Image result for smartwater backpacking Fits with the sawyer mini (which I sometimes use if solo hiking) and just a good style bottle for backpacking
GSI Mug  Image result for gsi backpacking mug Has measurements on the inside of the mug, lightweight and comfy to hold
Lighter1 – Lil Sami Bear Can
 Image result for lighter1 beaR CAN Sarah has the large version and I have the small, light weight and lid can be used to boil water. 1 lbs 5 oz
Zpacks Bear Bag kit
 Image result for zpacks bear bag Gear lightweight, tough, and smell proof material. Used when bear cans are not required 3 oz
Mini Bic Lighter  

Approx total base weight: 4.0 lbs (or 6 lbs with bear can)

More Gear Approx. Weight
Gossamer Gear Mariposa 
– Fantastic bag, lightweight, comfortable, and wonderful customer service! I also have an Osprey Atmos that I have used when I need to carry more than 40 lbs…the Mariposa fits my body better though.

Image result for gossamer gear mariposa


2 lbs/33oz
Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles – I regret I did not spend a little bit more and get the cork handled ones, otherwise these have stood up to lots of abuse & miles!

Image result for black diamond trekking poles


1 lb/16 oz
Sea to Summit, Mini stuff sack set – 3 sizes: holds my first aid kit, toiletries, headlamp etc. Super light weight and last longer then ziplock bags/better for the environment  Image result for sea to summit mini stuff sack set
Big Agnes Pumphouse – blows up your bag so you don’t pass out, waterproof, can be used as a stuff sack for your clothes etc.  Image result for big agnes pump sack
Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp – USB Rechargeable!  You can also use AAA batteries and the charge last a long time.
 Image result for black diamond revolt headlamp 3.5 oz
Duece of Spades Trowel – Lightweight, lots of great colors, strong metal, inexpensive  Image result for deuce of spades trowel 0.6 oz
EZ wipes biodegradable towelettes – AWESOME, just add water! Pack it out or bury as they do break down quickly. Purchase on Amazon.com

Image result for ez wipes biodegradable wipes


Trash compactor bag pack liner – Tough, cheap, lightweight rain protection for your stuff.
 Image result for trash compactor pack liner
Large freezer Ziplocs – for garbage bags, maps etc.
 GoToob 3oz size – Bidet (cuts down on TP & packing out waste!) Use the others for sunscreen etc.  Image result for goob tube 3 oz


Camp kitchen: Platypus water filter, Zpacks bear bag, MSR cup and Sarah 🙂
Toiletries/First Aid Kit: Antiseptic/alcohol wipe – 1 each Duct tape on poles
Travel toothbrush and paste
 Mole Skin Tiny Vaseline
Glide Stick – for chafe Small nail clippers Athletic Tape
Chapstick – with SPF Suture Sting/bite kit
Sunscreen A few band aids Leukotape on poles
Bug Spray – usually Cutter Lemon/Eucalyptus or DEET for really bag places 22g sterile Needle for blisters Turmeric capsules to help cut down on Ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory)
Allergy pills Benadryl Ibuprofen

For the list below I often change out these items on different trips or sometimes do not bring them at all.  Especially the rain tarp, binoculars, or different layers like a fleece jacket etc.

Clothes Etc:  Crocs – camp shoe  Compass
Beanie  Brimmed hat  Paper Map/Guide book pages if avail.
Gloves  Pants – Kuhl Renegade Waterproof Matches
Bandanas x3 (2 for snots etc & 1 pee rag)
Patagonia boxer briefs x 1-2 pairs  Bear Spray where needed
Base Layer PJ’s – synthetic lightweight  Running shorts – w/ or w/o a liner (hey extra pair of underwear!) Buff & 2 rubber bands – I put my puffy in this for a pillow at night  iPhone Charger/Headlamp charger/Anker charger for longer trips
Fleece hoodie – Marmot lightweight  Marmot Down Jacket w/o hood  Journal/Pen
Socks- Darn Tough x 2-3 pairs (1 pair for sleeping in)
 Dirty Girl Gaiters  Book
Long Sleeve Shirt- North Face lightweight synthetic w/ hood
 Marmot Precip Rain Jacket or Frogg Toggs poncho Sm. Ziploc w/ ID, CC, Cash, medical card Small Binoculars
Trail Runners – Brooks Cascadia or Altra Lone Peaks  Mountain Hardwear – Mens AC Tshirt Rain tarp – weighs 1 lb, bring on short trips w/ expected showers. Paracord to hang laundry etc.

Tip: Leave clean clothes and comfy shoes in the car to change into after a trip, it really is awesome to get out of your stinky stuff!  Plus it’s more pleasant for the car ride home and kind to those you may encounter in the outside world.

Me at the Mt Whitney Junction

Got any questions about my gear?  Please comment below, I am always down to nerd out on backpacking gear!  A disclaimer that the comments on my page are a safe space, no judgment or bullying allowed. What others are carrying or using are their decisions and we all have our own tastes, preferences, budgets, privilege, and circumstances to access gear and the spaces to use it.  Thank you.