September 15

Hikin’ Jim’s Lightweight Backpacking Gear List

family gear list
Trail Ambassador Hikin’ Jim and Daughter Joyce

This is my general summer backpacking gear list for mountain regions (elevations up to 14,000′) in the Southwestern US for temperatures down to about 40F/5C. For lower altitude summer trips, delete the rain jacket, down vest, hat, and gloves. This list is suitable for locations that do not require a bear canister, but a bear canister can be swapped in as necessary (see notes in “Packing” section, below). Water sources in the Southwestern US are generally some distance apart, so I carry sufficient capacity for 4L as a default. If a specific trip requires it (desert hiking for example), I may carry up to 8L.

CategoryGear SelectionWeight (oz)Details
PackingGossamer Gear Mariposa Backpack29.21. Large enough to hold a Garcia bear canister.
2. Large enough to hold gear for my daughter and me if not carrying bear canister.
Ursack (Vectran Model)7.7Bearproof food storage. Substitute a Garcia bear canister, 44.9 oz, as needed.
SleepingWestern Mountaineering Summerlite Sleeping Bag incl stuff sack and waterproof cover23.5Rated at 32F/0C, but used without problem at lower temperatures when wearing down vest inside.
Thermarest Neoair (original) 3/4, incl stuff sack10.8Used in combo with (detachable) back pad of Mariposa backpack.
Thermarest Neoair Pillow (small), incl stuff sack2.2
ShelterSix Moon Designs Gatewood Cape12.5Add bivy sack (15.4 oz) in cold, wet, or windy weather.
Tyvek Ground Sheet4.2
Six Titanium Shepards Hook Stakes1.3
Packed ClothingPatagonia Capilene 2 top & bottom13.4Base layers
First Ascent Down Vest (800 fill)10.7Insulation layer
Fleece hat and gloves7.1
Windshirt and pants7.5
Marmot Essence Rain Jacket7.4Shell layer
Socks5.6Sleep socks and spare socks
Dollar Store flip flops4.5Camp shoes
Headnet from Peters Headnets1.4
HydrationPlatypus Plain top 1L bladders (4)3.5May carry up to eight bladders in desert.
Steri-Pen Traveller (with spare batts)6.1
CookingTrail Designs Ti-Tri w/ Evernew 1.3L Pot (alcohol only mode)8.9Add 2.1 ounces if bringing wood burning kit
Plastic bowl2.8
Snow Peak Ti Sierra Cup1.5Measuring cup, drinking cup, water & snow scoop.
Sea to Summit aluminum spoon0.4
Small EssentialsEmergency Kit12.5Duct tape, storm proof matches, signal mirror, etc.
First Aid Kit15.8Triangular bandage, med tape, gauze, scissors, etc
ACR ResAfix 406 MHz satellite PLB6.9
Potty kit (snow stake, sanitizer, TP)6.0Snow stake can also be used with my shelter
Mammut S-Flex Headlamp2.7
Ditty bag20.7chapstick, sunscreen, lighter, cordage, DEET, Ibuprofen, soap, patch kit, safety pins, etc.
Garmin eTrex20 GPS with case7.1Optional if you're a decent map reader
Paper Map1.8Sure nice to have if GPS runs out of juice
Sony DSC-HX30V camera w/ case11.9Gotta take pix.
Cyclops external battery6.6For recharging camera or smart phone
Pocket New Testament3.2For recharging soul
Total Base Weight (oz)267.5
Total Base Weight (lbs)16.7

This gear list was contributed by Trail Ambassador Jim Barbour, also known as Hikin’ Jim. Joyce there is a Jr. Trail Ambassador and an excellent hiking companion.