Gear Recommendations

I'm a true gear lover and I've put the equipment below through the ringer.  The gear listed on this page is only here because I'm confident it can serve you well too.  Adventure16 Outdoor and Travel Outfitters (A16), Backcountry, Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS), and Recreational Equipment Inc (REI), are all reputable outdoor gear sellers.  The benefit of A16, EMS, and REI is that they have stores where you can go and get a feel for the gear in-person before you buy.

Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail, California

Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail, California


  • (Multi-day hike) Arcteryx Altra 75: comfortable rotating disk hipbelt, durable

  • Arcteryx Pack Shelter: rain cover for your multi-day hike backpack

  • (Long day hike) Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30: waterproof (from rain, cannot submerge in water), large amount of storage, comfortable, durable

  • (Summit hike/short day hike) Black Diamond Bullet: lightweight, durable


  • (1 person) MSR Hubba NX: durable, vented

  • (2-3 person) MSR Elixir 3: durable, vented

  • MSR Groundhog Stakes (tent stakes): durable, sharp (good for hard ground), their color makes them easy to find

  • Coghlan's Tent Peg Mallet/Puller: lightweight hammer to get your tent stakes in the ground in those tough spots

Sleeping Bags/Pads:

  • (Warm weather) Feathered Friends Flicker 40 UL Quilt Sleeping Bag: water resistant, 950+ goose down, lightweight, packs down small, can zipper completely open into a quilt

  • (Cold weather) Feathered Friends Snowbunting EX 0 Sleeping Bag: waterproof, 900+ goose down, lightweight for a 0 degree bag

  • Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Sleeping Pad: most comfortable, least noisy, easy to inflate, double sided

  • Cocoon Silk Mummy Liner (sleeping bag liner): keeps your bag fresh, adds extra warmth

  • Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack: waterproof, keeps your sleeping bag dry and small

  • Thermarest Compressible Pillow: most comfortable camping pillow you will find

Food & Water Prep/Storage:

  • MSR WindBurner Stove System: fast boiling, durable, wind proof, compact

  • Wild Ideas Bearikade Bear Canister: strongest and lightest bear canister

  • Sea to Summit X-Mug: expandable cup, folds down to nothing, weighs nothing, measurements in both cups and milliliters

  • Platypus Gravityworks Water Filter System 4 Liter: lightweight, convenient to setup at camp

  • MSR Dromedary Bag 6 Liter (hydration bag): durable, can attach anywhere, easy screw cap

  • MSR Hydration Kit: upgrades your MSR Dromedary bag into a hands-free hydration bag

  • Nalgene Wide-Mouth Loop-Top Water Bottle 32 fl. oz.: durable, lightweight, multi-use, measurements in both ounces and milliliters


  • Arcteryx Alpha AR Jacket: waterproof, durable, chest pockets reachable when wearing pack

  • Arcteryx Alpha SV Jacket: same qualities as the jacket above, but even more durable - this jacket is only meant as a shell jacket for the MOST extreme conditions

  • Black Rock Gear Foldback Mitts: down filled gloves that fold back and allow your fingers to sneak out if needed - great to keep your hands warm, but will need a weather proof outer layer if it gets wet outside, your best friend if you're a photographer out in the cold

  • Patagonia Down Sweater: great 800-fill rating (warmer and weighs less), packs into pocket, lifetime warranty, comfortable

  • Northface Paramount Peak II Pants: water resistant, durable, convertible to shorts, many pockets

  • Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots: little if any break-in period, comfortable, waterproof

  • Wrightsock CoolMesh II Socks: 2 layer sock, inner layer maximizes moisture wicking for cool and dry feet, helps prevent blisters


  • U-Dig-It Stainless Steel Hand Shovel: durable, sharp (good for harder ground)

  • Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles: light, durable, easy to adjust

  • Limefuel USB Portable Battery Rugged L150XR: waterproof, fast charging 2.1A, 15,000mah


  • Maplets: free downloadable maps that are GPS enabled and are usable without a cell phone signal