A Base Backpacking Gear Kit For Summer

Base Backpacking Kit

Snow may still be dumping on much of the country, but backpacking season is already in full swing here in California. With a bunch of summer backpacking adventures lined up, I put together a gear kit that will form the base of every trip. I took the gear out for a test backpacking run in the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite earlier this week and had a blast. Below you will find my base gear list.

  1. Backpack: I will be switching between the Osprey Viva 65 and the Boreas Sapa Trek (55L). The Osprey pack worked great for Hetch Hetchy with a larger size that is conducive to bear can country.
  2. Wild Country Zephyros 2 Lite: Weighing under 3 lbs, this affordable and versatile peg out tent can be deconstructed into a tarp, summer tent, or dual tent for more inclement weather.
  3. Therm-a-Rest Antares 20: This lightweight sleeping bag has zoned insulation, putting down fill only where you need it. The SynergyLink Connectors hook on to your sleeping pad so you don’t slide off during the night.
  4. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite: This super comfortable yet ultralight sleeping pad is the perfect accompaniment to the Antares sleeping bag, adding warmth beneath you.
  5. Cocoon Ultralight Air-Core Pillow: Sleep comes easier with some sort of pillow and this super compact blow up version does just the trick. One side is even lined with microfiber for extra comfort.
  6. Jetboil: For short solo trips, I take the Sol Ti but for group trips, I take the Helios. So far, I like the cooking versatility of the Helios.
  7. Alite Designs Clover Cook Set: Again, more for cooking on group trips. If going solo, I normally just bring my titanium spork.
  8. Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter: The quickest and easiest way to filter 4L of water at once.
  9. Headlamp

Food, apparel, first aid kit contents, and other added accessories will vary from trip to trip, but the above list will always form the base. Full reviews of most of the listed gear will follow.

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