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10 Gifts Every Backpacker Will Love

The right gear makes the backcountry feel like home.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Whether it's a thru-hike on the JMT or a quick overnighter in your local wilderness, having gear that works for you can make all the difference in the world. And how good does it feel when you invest in a piece of gear and it turns out to be a must-have on every backpacking trip? Pretty awesome, right? Almost as good as it feels when someone gives you gear that you love and use again and again. Lucky for you, you can give that feeling to your favorite backpacker this year! Here are 10 pieces of backpacking gear we've tested and love.

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL Tent: 2-Person 3-Season

Katie Yarborough says, "It can be tough sometimes to enjoy the scenery and the moment if your bag is weighing you down and killing your energy doing high elevation and miles. You won't have this problem with the Fly Creek HV UL2." Read her full review here


Gregory Baltoro 65

Will Cebron says, "The Gregory Baltoro is hands down the most comfortable pack I’ve ever worn." Read his review here


Therm-a-Rest Parsec Sleeping Bag: 20 Degree Down

Mike Fennel says, "That 800-fill hydrophobic down was quite apparent when it came to comfort, making it is easily the most comfortable sleeping bag I've ever used. In addition to the high fill count, I absolutely loved the extremely soft lining that is quiet and soothing to the skin. I was honestly surprised at how comfy and fluffy this bag felt for being so light to carry!" Read his full review here


Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad

Mike Fennel says, "The combo of the Parsec and the ProLite let me sleep like baby on that crazy rocky surface. Ten out of ten...I would highly recommend this bag and pad for any camping trip!" Read his full review here

Sony Alpha a6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera

John Entwistle says, "This is the perfect camera to use as either a backup camera or a camera to throw in your pocket when you want to pack light. I can't tell you how many times my a6500 has allowed me to capture a cool sunset when I didn't pack my full camera bag." See his full Kit here

MSR PocketRocket 2 Mini Stove Kit

Sarah Sheehy says, "With the PocketRocket 2, MSR has made small changes that improve the stove without messing with the features that make it a long-standing favorite." Read her full review here


Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

Kevin Abernethy says, "I can guarantee it’s definitely waterproof. The instructions say one meter for 30 minutes and while I wasn’t submerged in water, we did get caught in a rain storm and the Storm Headlamp (no pun intended) had zero issues during or after the rain. It also emits light for about 80 meters at full strength, which blows away any headlamp I have used in the past." Read his review here

PackTowl Personal Towel

Liam McNally says, "I never realized I needed this until I got one. Now I never leave town (or even my house, really) without it." Read his full review here

Buff UV National Park MFL Headware

Holly Mandarich says, "More so than an ice-cold, bubbly La Croix, getting a buff wet and keeping it on your neck or wearing it as a headband can bring you from feeling a 110 degrees to a breezy 70 degrees!" Read her review here

Leatherman Sidekick Multi-Tool

Liam McNally says, "I've had my Sidekick for over five years and it's still going strong. There is a certain appeal and cool factor to the single blade knives (like this one) but I love having the multi-tool. It's come in handy multiple times on virtually every camping trip I've ever been on."  


Cover photo: Katie Yaborough

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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