Backpacking for Couples

Essential Gear

When you are going on a backpacking trip, whether it is overnight or for a week, you need the right gear! While there are many possible variations and tons of alternatives, this is what we use on our single night to 5-day trips:

  • REI Flash Backpack (super-light, roomy, and comfortable)
  • Camelbak Bladder (72 oz.)
  • Camelbak insulated bicycling water bottle (for flavored water)
  • REI down Igneo men’s bag and Joule woman’s bag (warm!)
  • Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad (super-light)
  • MSR Pocket Rocket stove (tiny)
  • GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Cookset
  • REI Quarter Dome T3 tent (roomy, but if we were upgrading we’d buy a T2 Plus to save weight)
  • REI Quarter Dome footprint
  • Therm-A-Rest compressible pillow
  • Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter
  • Eddie Bauer MicroTherm Down Jacket (light and versatile)
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Convertible pants for summer hiking
  • Regular hiking pants for fall and spring hiking
  • Good boots
  • Hiking socks (2 pair)
  • Underwear (2 pair)
  • T-shirt
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Food (more on that here)
  • First-aid kit
  • Headlamp
  • GPS (optional but fun – we use a DeLorme Earthmate PN-60)
  • Camera
  • Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (light and long battery life)
  • Maps
  • Extra batteries
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Sunglasses
  • Toilet paper
  • Zip lock bags (for carrying out TP and trash)
  • Sunscreen
  • Bear Vault cannister (only when needed)
  • Pocket Knife
  • Rope (for hanging food)

Backpacking4Couples believes in using the latest in ultralight backpacking gear. We have recently upgraded our backpacks and sleeping bags and reduced our pack weight by 7 pounds! By hiking light, you will be able to go farther, faster, and enjoy the walk instead of constantly complaining about pack weight.

A man should carry no more than 25 pounds and a woman should carry much less, depending on strength and body type. There are times when more weight is unavoidable (when hiking in cold climates, carrying a bear canister, or trying to go out for more than 4 nights). The good news is that with each day on the trail, your pack will be lighter as you consume your food!