The Smaller Gear: Backpacking Gear Review

For a novice backpacker, the larger backpacking camping gear needed is fairly obvious: tent, pack, and sleeping bag. It is always good to follow a backpacking gear review when choosing those items in order to make an informed decision. The smaller items needed in order to have an enjoyable backpacking excursion are the ones most likely to be forgotten by beginner hikers and campers. These smaller items fall into three categories: clothing/wearable’s, kitchen items, and miscellaneous but still essential items.

Clothing and Wearable’s

The focus of this backpacking gear review is weather conditions around 30F. For warmer or colder conditions, clothing choices would vary while the wearables will remain fairly constant.

There are certain items of clothing that should be carried in the pack, even though clothing can be bulky and add to the overall weight of the pack. Clothing carried should not weigh more than fifty ounces altogether in order to keep the pack weight within an enjoyable weight to carry for longer distances. Extra socks that wick water away are essential for warmth. Rain pants and jackets are also essential, but the material should be breathable. In addition, an insulated vest is essential for keeping the core of the body warm and a neck gaiter or hat is also needed for keeping in the heat. Again, all of these items can be found in particular in a backpacking gear review to decide on which brand is the one desired. Overall, clothing should be as warm, light and keep the backpacker as dry as possible.

Wearables include the layered and breathable clothing, boots and hat that a hiker normally wears. According to various backpacking gear reviews, boots need to be flexible in the soles for natural movement in the feet, but also give strong ankle support. The main issue with boots is that they are ultra comfortable and as light as possible. Other wearables are sunglasses, which are essential, not only for the sun but the glare of the sun off of the snow. Sunscreen, a compass, and a whistle are other essential items to have along.

Kitchen Items

The main item, of which there are multiple backpacking gear reviews, is a camping stove. There are many opinions about the type of stove that is best. The overall consensus regarding cooking stoves is that they are light, they are stackable, that they require as little fuel as possible, and that they have the capacity to melt snow at a reasonable rate. When shopping for stove, keep all of these factors in mind. In addition, any cookware, such as a pot or utensils should also fit neatly inside of each other for more compact packing.


Miscellaneous items include the water purification system, of which a backpacker must decide what works best. Boiling water is an option, but is tedious and time consuming. Tablets are another option, but they leave a certain flavor in the water. A water filtration system is heavier than tablets, but does not leave a flavor. Beyond that, a first aid kit and chap stick are beneficial to have on hand at all times.