Backpacking Essentials: What’s In My Pack

I got a text from a friend recently telling me she was looking into getting all new gear and asking what I used. It made me realize that after months of research and slowly cultivating my pack it might be useful to lay down a list for all of you about the items I have in my overnight pack without fail!

I want to be transparent and make note that a lot of my gear doesn’t clock in cheap. I’ve been collecting it over almost a year so that the price tag didn’t seem so steep. Some things I’ve had longer, and a lot of them I waited to get on sale or found using deals.

Backpack: Gregory Jade 53

I literally cannot speak enough about how much I love my pack. I’ll be detailing a full review post on it in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime, if you’re thinking about getting a Gregory backpack, go for it!!


First Aid Kit

My medical kit NEVER comes out of my bag. I know they add a little weight and take up space, but being out in the woods is inherently dangerous- things can and will go wrong no matter how prepared you are. Don’t be an idiot about this. Please, please, please if you take nothing else away from my blog- always carry a first aid kit with you!

REI ultralight first aid kit

Tent: Nemo Dagger 2P

It was really important for me to have a completely free-standing ultralight tent and this one fits the bill! The only downside I’ve encountered is that because it’s so great it’s constantly sold out. For similar tents click here or here.


Sleeping Bag: EMS Solstice 20

Honestly, This is the First piece of serious gear I ever purchased. The EMS by my house was closing, it was on sale- so I went for it. It’s bulkier than I’d like, so I am going to have to replace it eventually, but for the time being I’m happy enough. When I do these are the bags I’ve got my eyes on: This one by Sierra Designs and this one by Nemo.

sleeping bag

Sleeping Bag Liner: Sea to Summit Thermorest Liner – Extreme

I talked about the backpacking trip I went on where none of us got any sleep because it was just so darn cold. I went out and got this the day I got back and never looked back. This one adds 20 degrees of warmth to your bag and has been a total game changer for me!


Pillow: Sea to Summit – Aeros Pillow Ultra Light

This was an impulse purchase- picked up as I was eyeing the sleeping bags and dreaming of the day I can replace my current bag. It inflates in only 4 breaths and so far I love it!


Cooking Stove: Jetboil Zip

Nothing will ever beat a warm dinner as the cold night air settles over the mountains; having a camp stove gives you that! Full disclosure, this is actually my boyfriends’ Jetboil that I’ve been using. It works out really well though since I was planning on buying a MicroMo version of this same stove! 


Water Bladder: Osprey 3L

I really love the closure system on this bladder. It’s kind of a pain to clean, but I think it’s worth while. Plus, it has a loop so I can hang it inside my pack!


Water Filter: Sawyer Squeeze

I never want to be caught without a way to drink water if I run out. I figure if I don’t take it out of my pack I can’t forget it.

water filter

Mug: Sea to Summit X-Mug

I know this seems silly to have as a staple in my pack, but drinking my morning coffee out of it or eating meals just feels so much better this way!



Hear me out, you never know when your feet are going to need an extra little bit of warmth, or need to double as makeshift mittens! I have an extra pair of ski cocks with me rain or shine.




So there you have it! The things you’ll find in my backpack at all times!

Question: What’s always in your pack?

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