• Bradee Smith

Outdoor Gear: Backpacks + Camping

Let me just start by saying, gear sure can be daunting! I remember wandering around the massive REI in downtown Denver right after I moved being both amazed + overwhelmed by all the different sections, options, and items I never even knew I would need. It also adds a level of stress because let's be honest, outdoor gear doesn't tend to be cheap. So when you purchase, you want to feel confident about what you're spending your hard earned money on. As a total newby back then, I needed a lot of assistance while purchasing anything from boots, to backpacks, to jackets. Not to say that I am an expert by any means now, but over the years I have learned which brands + products I love and can't live without during all seasons.


*Note: Backcountry + REI have great discounts happening in the month of February! If you purchase through my links, it helps me make a tiny bit of commission which is definitely appreciated- thank you!*


BACKPACKS:


Large Women's Backpack (65 L) - Ideal for backpacking trips with heavy gear.

Medium Women's Backpack (55L)- Still great for backpacking, just not quite as big.

Small Women's Day Pack- Perfect for day hikes of any size with minimal gear.


Large Men's Backpack (70 L)- Ideal for backpacking trips with heavy gear.

Medium Men's Backpack (55L)- Still great for backpacking, just not quite as big.

Small Men's Day Pack- Perfect for day hikes of any size with minimal gear.


Hydration Pack (2.5 L)- Not much room for other gear- solely designed for storing water.

Day Pack with built in Hydration for Men (2.5 L)- Medium sized day pack that has built in hydration bladder.

Day Pack with built in Hydration for Women (2.5L)- Medium sized day pack that has built in hydration bladder.

SLEEPING BAGS:


Women's Synthetic 20F Sleeping Bag- Bag meant for temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. 6 feet long (user should be no taller than 6 feet for this bag to be comfortable).


Men's Synthetic 20F Sleeping Bag- Bag meant for temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. 6 foot, 6 inches long (user should be no taller than 6'6" feet for this bag to be comfortable).


Unisex Down 40F Sleeping Bag- Bag meant for temperatures down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 6 foot, 6 inches long (user should be no taller than 6'6" feet for this bag to be comfortable).


Unisex Synthetic 50F Sleeping Bag- Warm weather sleeping bag meant for temperatures 50 degrees Fahrenheit and up. 6 foot, 6 inches long (user should be no taller than 6'6" feet for this bag to be comfortable).

TENTS:


REI Base Camp 6 Tent - Perfect camping tent (not backpacking) fit for 6 people. There are two doors and the packaged weight is about 20 LBS, 10 OZ.


REI Base Camp 4 Tent- Perfect camping tent (not backpacking) fit for 4 people. There are two doors and the packaged weight is about 16 LBS, 14 OZ.


REI Quarter Dome SL 2 Tent- The ideal backpacking tent fit for 2 people. There are two doors and the packaged weight is about 2 LBS, 14 OZ (extremely lightweight).


REI Groundbreaker 2 Tent- Perfect camping tent (not backpacking) fit for 2 people. There is 1 door and the packaged weight is about 4 LBS, 13 OZ.

OTHER CAMPING ACCESSORIES:


Footprint: A lightweight, typically nylon tarp that goes beneath your tent to provide extra protection from the elements and slows the wearing down of the bottom of the tent. Be sure the footprint you purchase matches the type of tent you are getting.


Sleeping pad: Extra padding to go beneath your sleeping bag. You definitely need one of these in order to stay warm and have a comfortable night sleep. And don't be fooled during warmer seasons- the ground still gets EXTREMELY cold at high elevations in the summer months. You need a sleeping pad year-round.


  • REI Stratus Insulated Air Sleeping Pad - R-value of 3.3 - which means it is ideal for cold weather camping. Weight is 1 LB, 13 OZ for the long-wide size, and 1 LB, 5 OZ for the regular size. This pad is made with synthetic insulation and is meant for 1 person (unisex).

  • REI AirRail Plus Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad - R-value of 3.3 - which means it is ideal for cold weather camping. This pad self-inflates. Weight is 1 LB, 11 OZ for the long-wide size, and 1 LB, 9 OZ for the regular size. This pad is made with open-cell foam insulation and is meant for 1 person (unisex).

Camping Chairs:


Inflatable Pillow: Especially handy for backpacking.


Camping Table: Trust me, these are super clutch when you have a big group of people camping and cooking.


Large Water Jug: You'll need a giant jug to store water for cooking, filling water bottles, etc while camping.



I hope this is helpful and you're able to find all the gear you need to feel confident this camping/hiking season! Please let me know if you'd like to see more blog posts like this :)


Happy Trails,


Bradee XOXO

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