Gear Kits

Overnight Backpacking In The Cascades

These are my go-to items for some of my most frequent overnights.

Curated by Scott Kranz

This is my kit for a typical overnight backpacking trip or similar alpine outing in the Pacific Northwest. The listed items below make up my current kit. My gear kit can change from trip to trip and season to season, as I am constantly testing out new gear to meet the needs of the next adventure.

When the trip involves more challenging terrain, potential rock fall, or any climbing, or if any travel over snow or ice is possible, I often bring my Black Diamond Vapor Helmet and my Black Diamond Raven Pro ice ax, to ensure I get from A to B both safe and sound.

When the trip involves more challenging terrain, potential rock fall, or any climbing, or if any travel over snow or ice is possible, I often bring my Black Diamond Vapor Helmet and my Black Diamond Raven Pro ice ax, to ensure I get from A to B both safe and sound.

An essential piece of gear for every trip I’m on. I use a Black Diamond Spot Headlamp with a maximum light output of 200 lumens, plenty bright for my needs. It has both flood and spot modes, as well as a red night vision—so you don’t accidentally blind your tent mate.

I have a variety of sleeping bags of varying materials and temperature ratings. In the summer and fall in the Cascades, I’m often bringing my Eddie Bauer Kara Koram 20-Degree StormDown Sleeping Bag, which is sufficiently warm and lofty, but also packs down into a small pouch when I need to store it in my pack.

I generally use the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm, especially if the trip involves colder weather or snow. This inflatable air mattress has a solid R-Value of 5.7, which works wonders in frigid night temps.

I have a variety of tents. One option I use is my Black Diamond Firstlight, a compact, single-wall, two-person ultralight tent. It’s minimum weight is under 3 pounds, which is an awesome feature on big trips. Another tent option I use is the Eddie Bauer Stargazer tent, a guide-built, double-wall tent with double door entry. It’s fully waterproof, and lightweight as well. A great backpacking tent.

I own a variety of packs, of varying sizes and uses. I often use my Black Diamond Speed 55 Pack, which is lightweight and streamlined.

Although I own several cameras, I often go with this full-frame 42-megapixel mirrorless camera. It’s a more lightweight option (about 22 ounces with a battery) than my DSLR, a plus for trips covering greater mileage and elevation gain. The camera’s functionality and features work for me, whether I’m shooting for a commercial client or gathering content for a personal project.

I often bring multiple camera lenses on any outing, covering a range of speeds and focal lengths. I often shoot with my Sony Vario-Tessar T 24-70mm f/4 lens, a versatile, all-purpose focal range.

When I need to shoot wider, in low light, or during the night, I often use my Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II lens, paired with a Metabones T Smart Adapter Mark IV.

For compressed landscape imagery or wildlife shots, I often use my Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS lens, a very lightweight telephoto lens option.

Having my camera accessible and ready to use is essential for my outdoor photography. As a result, I use this pro-grade camera carrying clip with quick-release locking action. It’s on my backpack strap every single trip I take.

This camera wrist strap never leaves my camera. It’s ergonomic and quick to cinch, ensuring my camera and my hand don’t accidentally part ways when I’m hiking or climbing.

My camera gear has been a significant investment, so why not protect that gear from the elements? I use this lightweight protective cover which shields my camera from rain, dust, snow, and dings.

This is my go-to tripod for most outings. It’s very light, weighing in at 3.7 pounds. It’s tall enough when fully extended that I am not hunching over to look through my camera’s viewfinder or screen (I’m 6-feet tall for reference), but collapses down small to fit well inside my pack. Most importantly, it’s plenty sturdy to stand up against strong winds and other elements.

This is a great all-purpose polarizing filter, which reduces unwanted glare and reflections and produces finer colors and tones. I also often bring a 10-stop neutral density filter.

Because my outings are often in the Pacific Northwest, bringing a solid rain jacket or shell is imperative on any trip. I often pack the Eddie Bauer Sandstone Shield Hooded Jacket, a hybrid soft shell that is both waterproof and breathable, while allowing mobility.

It’s all about layers in the mountains, and a rain shell pairs well with more insulated layers. A great puffy I often use is the Eddie Bauer Microtherm StormDown Jacket.

Whether moseying around camp or jumping in your sleeping bag on a cold night, these down booties are often clutch. One of the few “luxuries” I lug into the backcountry.

I often bring my BioLite PowerLight into the backcountry, an off-the-grid energy source for charging my cell phone and other small electronics. And it doubles as a warm light around camp and a great light source when composing night shots.

Whether on a backpack or climb, the awesomeness of a warm meal in your belly cannot be overstated. My personal favorite is Chili Mac with Beef.

I try to bring a variety of snacks for the trail, but I’m often bringing Clif Bars and other easy-to-grab sources of calories.