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
Rivendell Mountain Works Jensen
Great design and great construction. Got one of Eric Hardee's current-version Jensens about four years ago. Stupendous pack for backcountry hut touring on skis. The weight stays close to the back (have not experienced a better pack in that regard), and capacity is perfect for about four nights out with no tent and with a light sleeping bag. I do have the optional snap-on side pockets and wouldn't be able to make those trips work without them. Full review
Rivendell Mountain Works Jensen
An aesthetically delightful and comfortable specialty pack for shorter trips in mild weather for the purists. Utterly miserable if pushed beyond its weight/capacity limits. Like the previous reviewer, I lusted after the Rivendell Jensen pack when I was a poor graduate student in the '70s. By the time I could afford that, it was long out of production. Fast forward 40 years, after a very long search I bought a 1970s Jensen pack on eBay. It is the original version with two zippers opening the top… Full review
Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Mat
Supremely comfortable. Comfort: This is with no doubt the most comfortable pad I have ever used. It simply feels like a nice mattress. Size: I have the Regular Tapered and at my 172 cm (5'8") with relatively wide shoulders it is plenty wide enough to easily lie on my back with my arms to my sides and roll around (I am a side sleeper). Inflation: The pad has two independent air chambers and this offers two main advantages. First, you can adjust the pad very easily, and second, it has a lot of built-in… Full review
ULA Equipment Circuit
This pack works for everything. It is the most comfortable pack I have ever used. It has good pockets on the waist belt, good pockets for water bottle that can be reached with the pack on, and an outside pocket for food items and a jacket. I rarely have to open the pack to get what I want from it. I used to carry packs to haul equipment, external frames for long overnight trips, ski packs, day packs, and a hunting pack. Now I just use the Circuit for everything. They come in different torso lengths… Full review
Helinox Chair One
These chairs are light, pack small, and are pretty comfortable. Who says they are not for backpacking? I take mine on every trip. Just wait until you get a little older. A chair changes everything when it comes to comfort in the outdoors. Easy to set up. Works like it is supposed to. Well made. The first thing I do at the end of a day on the trail when backpacking is take off the pack, set up the chair, and sit down and take off the hiking boats and slip into a pair of crocs. That is living. On… Full review
Therm-a-Rest Men's NeoAir XLite
Light, but fragile and uncomfortable. It is a relatively light pad, but you get what you ... ask for. My pad had a leak on the first night. Just luck of the draw but it brought home the problem with this type of design: one tiny leak means your sleeping night is over. I am 172 cm (5'8"), relatively broad shouldered, and the pad was not large enough for my arms if I slept on my back; it is thin, and it has a very narrow range of inflation that somewhat works for comfort. Too little and you hit the… Full review
Lightweight traction for winter hiking. A great solution unless you see enough ice or snow conditions that require crampons. Best worn with a boot that has a reasonably rigid midsole and/or partial or full shank. When I threw these into my pack on Saturday, it occurred to me that I hadn't reviewed them. Though the snow held off and conditions weren't icy enough to need them, Kahtoola's Microspikes are like a security blanket—effectively one of the ten essentials for a cold weather hike that doesn't… Full review