Hiking and Camping Gear
Find the best hiking, backpacking, and camping gear and outdoor essentials right here. We’ve got your ultimate gear list covered for your next day, weekend, or thru-hike trip, whether you're hitting the backcountry or the local frontcountry.
See our top hike and camp gear picks, including price comparisons, in any outdoor product category: backpacks to tents, sleeping bags to pads, camp stoves to cookware and food, knives to multi-tools, lights to navigation and electronics, trekking poles to water treatment, even dog gear.
Browse thousands of independent equipment reviews and ratings by real hikers, backpackers, alpinists, and paddlers, to select appropriate, dependable, field-tested gear for your next adventure.
10 Essentials for Backcountry Travel
While a comprehensive hiking, backpacking, or camping gear list depends on many factors (season, climate, terrain, distance, activities, and personal preference), certain outdoor gear is essential whether you’re exploring the trails in your local woods or heading off on an extended backcountry climb or ski.
Wherever you're going, always bring appropriate hiking and outdoor gear for each of the 10 Essentials:
- Sun protection
- Insulation (extra clothing)
- Illumination (lights)
- First-aid supplies
- Fire (starters)
- Repair kit and tools
- Nutrition (extra food)
- Hydration (extra water)
- Emergency shelter
Recent Hiking/Camping Product Reviews
Big Agnes Q-Core SLX
Typically I'd be drawn to a lighter weight foam pad where there is no worry of puncture. But, the ability to pack small, sleep on my side, and the awesome warranty from Big Agnes all make this pad worth it. This pad is awesome. I recently broke it in with a summit trip to Mount Baker. The valve system works great, although it does take more breaths than I would prefer at high altitude. It seems durable, we were sleeping on rocks and I didn't feel that I had to worry about the pad, and I was never… Full review
Black Diamond Cosmo
Bright enough for night hiking. Could use some padding against the forehead. REI recently put this on sale, and I snagged one because my old Black Diamond kept turning on by itself in my pack. This one does not have that problem because the on/off switch is recessed and protects from accidental activation. I haven't measured, but I recently did some hiking on the AT in the darkness as I left camp at 5:30 am. I could see just fine with this headlamp. I have used it liberally for 6 nights on the… Full review
Naturehike Sleeping Pad
This is NataureHike brand CCF sleeping pad that is comparable to the Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol, complete with the aluminum coating on one side. At only $16.83, including shipping, it's a great deal. I held the NatureHike side-by-side with the Therm-a-rest, and it's the same in all the dimensions, except mine is blue instead of the yellow Therm-a-rest. I needed a CCF pad, and didn't want to pay $40 for the Therm-a-rest. I found this one online, and took a chance. It was $16.83 including the shipping. Full review
MSR WhisperLite Internationale
The only reason this isn't a 5 star review is because of the weight of this item compared to other stoves. But, I've used this same stove for 16 years. It has seen countless nights in temps down to the teens. It has NEVER EVER failed me. This is a workhorse stove that gets the job done! There is a reason that MSR continues to make this stove. It works. It's reliable. It's easy to use. And, on and on.. I bought my stove for my 2000 AT thru hike. It has never failed. It works no matter how cold it… Full review
Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2
For the backpacker who can afford to purchase an ultralight tent and who doesn’t mind compromising on space (and therefore also a measure of comfort), the Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2 offers a well-made, viable option for a double-wall two-person tent. Introduction For backpackers intent on lightening their loads, reducing shelter weight is often a priority. Weight reduction almost invariably means a push-and-pull among item characteristics: if quality is maintained as weight goes down, cost generally… Full review
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Max SV
It's comfortable, but you're going to have to learn how to work the finicky speed valve or you'll be re-inflating in the middle of the night. I'll avoid the debate about inflatables vs. closed cell foam pads, and just say that this pad would be great if you don't mind the extra weight, increased set up time, and singular purpose. Otherwise, I prefer a CCF because it sets up faster, and I can throw it down on any irregular surface in seconds. I found this new on eBay at a price I couldn't resist… Full review
REI Half Dome 2
I LOVE this tent! It is easy to set up in daylight or at night and works in the snow or on dirt. It easily fits two people and because I'm short I can even stow my pack at my feet. This tent has met all of my expectations and I would recommend it for backpacking, mountaineering, and just general camping. I love this tent. It is incredibly easy to set up and cane be done easily even in the dark. The fly is a little more difficult to set up in the dark and sometimes I don't stake it, I just attach… Full review