Traci’s Favorites

  • Patagonia Nano Puff
    • Okay, I LOVE this jacket! This is definitely one of the best purchases I’ve ever made, and is worth every penny! The thing I love most about the Nano Puff is the weight to warmth ratio.  It’s super lightweight, so it’s great for backpacking.  At the same time, it’s very warm and cozy, so you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for the weight.   It’s also very packable, which is another plus when it comes to backpacking, or traveling in general.
  • Osprey Sirrus 36
    • Alright, I might be a little biased when it comes to my pack because I feel like I have a special bond with this thing! I mean, it’s with me 100% of the time that I am on the trail, it holds everything that I need to survive, and does it’s best to keep me comfortable while I’m carrying all of it’s contents.  Not to mention, this one comes in my favorite color (I have the “Stealth Grey”, but it’s actually a teal-green)! So aside from the fact that I’m significantly attached to my pack, there are lots of functional things that I love about it, some of which are listed below.
      • Built in rain cover
      • Tensioned mesh back-panel that suspends the load off your back and allows for ventilation
      • Front Panel and Top Load Access – This is something that will be a requirement in any future pack that I purchase.  It’s so convenient to be able to open your pack from the top and the front.  If you only have one option, it can be difficult to get to the item you need without taking things out.
      • Sleeping Bag Compartment – I usually use this section to keep my dirty clothes or any  trash away from the rest of the stuff in my pack.
  • SmartWool Microweight Long Underwear
    • So, the reason I love these pants is because they really increase my sleep quality when I’m camping.   Before I owned these, we backpacked in Arkansas, and it was warm and humid and I kept sticking to my sleeping bag at night.  I decided to buy a pair of these pants because I knew I’d need them for cooler nights, but they also ended up being great for those warmer, sticky nights too! Since they are wool, they help regulate your temperature, keeping you cooler in the heat and warmer in the cold.  And, since your skin isn’t in direct contact with your sleeping bag, you won’t stick to it when its humid out. I won’t sleep in my sleeping bag without these!
  • Backpacker’s Pantry Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken
    • We’ve tried quite a few dehydrated meals throughout our adventures, and this one is by far my favorite.  In my opinion, most of these meals are edible, some you might even look forward to eating after a long day of hiking, but none so much that you would consider eating it at home….except this one.  I guess I should mention that it doesn’t actually taste like Fettuccine Alfredo, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious.  And for the record…I wouldn’t actually eat a freeze dried meal at home….I can cook real food…sort of.
  • Fleece lined Beanie with Ear Covers
    • On our Ecuador trip I picked up a beanie similar to the one pictured above for around 5.00.  It’s lined with fleece and incredibly warm! What I love most about it is that it keeps your ears warm and your skin off of the cold sleeping bag material on those colder nights in your tent! (I’m a big fan of gear that helps you sleep better in the wilderness).  If you’re like me, and you’re always cold, its really nice to have something like this that keeps your head and ears warm when you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors in the colder months.

Josh’s Favorites

  1. Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles
    • So I give Josh a hard time about his trekking poles, but in reality, they are pretty handy.  I always ask to borrow one when stepping over a river, or on those knee pounding downhill sections of a trail!  Josh has a bad knee from a sports injury so these poles really help! Josh usually takes his poles on any moderate to strenuous hikes. He loves how easy they collapse and stow away, as well as how quickly they can be ready for use.
  2. Leatherman Multitool
    • Josh loves having this tool since it is so versatile. The blades are very sharp so you can cut just about anything with it.  Some of the random things we’ve used it for are:
      • Cutting paracord
      • Trimming down freeze dried meal packages (to make them easier to eat out of)
      • Pulling stakes out of the ground
      • Clipping toenails
  3. Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter 
    • This filter is the only one we’ve ever had, so we can’t compare it to anything else, but we love how easy it is to use! All you have to do is fill the dirty bag with water and let gravity do the rest.  It’s that simple, and it only takes a couple of minutes to filter 4 liters of water.
  4. G2 Powder Packets
    • After Josh’s struggle in Zion, he decided that it would be nice to be able to drink something with electrolytes while hiking. The G2 packets are small and light, so they are easy to throw in your pack.  Josh usually fills up his camelback bottle with G2, and keeps his water bladder filled with plain water.
  5. Patagonia Nano Puff
    • Josh ended up buying his Nano Puff on a whim when I went to buy mine.  He had no previous interest in getting one, and he’d been making fun of me for all the research I’d been doing leading up to buying one, and for how excited I was to get it.  Needless to say, when he grabbed one off the rack at REI, I had to give him a hard time. Now, I’m glad he ended up copying me because he loves this jacket almost as much as I do.  His favorite things about it are how light and comfortable it is, and that it doesn’t stick to your skin.


What are your favorite backpacking products?  Are there any that you have to have with you on every trip?