A Clever Essentials Guide for Beginner Backpackers

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There’s nothing better than disconnecting from life’s stressors and heading into the backcountry. When there’s time to spend more than one day on the trail, it opens up new terrain, fewer hikers, and a chance to spend time with friends new and old. Plus, spending time outside with nothing but the essentials strapped to your back is satisfying, to say the least. 

For beginners, however, the task of choosing the right gear can feel overwhelming. What do you really need to bring? How do you maximize comfort on the trail while minimizing weight? 

If you’re intrigued by backpacking, but these questions are on your mind, we’ve got some useful tips. While we won’t be addressing the true essentials (think: sleeping bag, tent, and backpack), we’re here to recommend those pieces of gear that bring extra comfort and convenience to the experience– without adding much weight or bulk to your pack. 

So, check out A Clever Essentials Guide for Beginner Backpackers. 

Big Agnes Twister Cane Hiking Seat
Big Agnes TwisterCane Bio Foam Hiking Seat

Nothing feels better than letting gravity do its job after a big day on your feet. And while the idea of throwing a chair (even a collapsible one) in your pack certainly sounds nice, is the extra weight really worth it? Our friends at Big Agnes recognized this dilemma and created the TwisterCane Bio Foam Hiking Seat as a solution. 

This innovative seat made from eco-friendly, bio-based foam is light, portable, and can easily be packed away in your backpack– a small luxury that makes a big difference. The cushion is constructed from closed-cell foam that provides an insulated barrier between your body and the ground, helpful while keeping warm on cold days. 

And while this piece of gear was made specifically for backpacking, many swear by it off the trail as well, using it as a portable, lightweight cushion to have around for the nuisances of the everyday, including wet picnic tables and dewy grass. 

Jetboil Stash Backpacking Stove

Jetboil Stash Cooking System 

Whether you’re boiling water for coffee and oats in the morning or flexing your backcountry chef skills, we can’t recommend the Jetboil Stash Cooking System enough. This compact, lightweight system is perfect for on-the-go meals. The stove consists of a burner and pot, neatly nested together for convenient transportation. 

Weighing only 200g, the stove is lighter than an iPhone and more compact than most stove systems on the market. But don't be fooled by its small size– the Stash provides fast boil times and fuel-efficient performance without unnecessary weight. 

For stirring, flipping, and, of course, eating, pair the Stash with Jetboil’s JetSet Utensil Kit for lightweight utensils that collapse to save space. Think the utensils will melt from the high heat of the stove? Think again. Heat-resistant nylon is built to withstand extreme heat, perfect for all stages of the cooking process. 

Fossils Snapfold Backing Bowls

Fozzil Collapsible Bowls

Once your meal is prepared, it’s time to serve up your creation in Fozzil Collapsible Bowls. With their space-saving design, these bowls take dining in the wilderness to a new level. They fold completely flat, saving valuable space in your pack, and when it's time to eat, they snap into shape, providing a sturdy and easy-to-clean surface for your meals. These bowls offer a smart solution to managing your dining needs without adding unnecessary weight or bulk to your pack. When preparing food, your collapsed bowl doubles as a cutting board and extra space to display snacks. After all, you never know when you’ll need an extra surface to keep food items off the ground. 

Once your trip is complete, Fozzil Collapsible Bowls continue to serve up convenience. This time, when it comes to the cleaning process. Simply throw your bowls into the dishwasher for easy cleaning– allowing you to spend your time elsewhere. 

Wildland Coffee Backpacking Coffee

Wildland Coffee Single Serve Coffee Bags

For many, a cup of coffee (or two) is essential before hitting the trail in the morning. If this sounds like you, Wildland Coffee's Single Serve Coffee Bags are here to revolutionize your outdoor caffeine fix.

Gone are the days of making space for coffee-making equipment or settling for lackluster instant coffee. With Wildland Coffee's Single Serve Coffee Bags, backpackers are able to enjoy the taste of freshly brewed coffee– without the hassle of a complicated brew process or additional equipment.  

Each single-serve bag contains precisely measured portions of high-quality coffee, ensuring consistent flavor and strength with every brew. Simply add hot water to the bag, steep for a few minutes, and voila—your perfect cup of coffee is ready to kickstart your day.

For those specific about the type of brew they consume in the morning, Wildland has you covered. Choose between a variety of roasts (or a variety pack to try them all), because waking up outside doesn’t have to mean subpar coffee. 

Arcade Backpacking Belt

Arcade Belt

And of course, we couldn’t sign off without recommending our lightweight hiking belts. With performance webbing, stretch, and a low-profile buckle, our durable, elastic hiking belts are built for adventures big and small. And, as anyone who’s ever spent time in the outdoors knows, the addition of even the smallest piece of gear can make or break your overall experience in the backcountry. Our extremely durable, water friendly, hiking belts have revolutionized the traditional belt experience, ensuring that your pants stay put and your gear stays secure without restricting your movement, no matter what the conditions are outside. Plus, with a variety of designs, you can choose a belt for hiking that complements your personal style. 

And while the best adventures are often marked by mud, sweat, and grime, this isn’t a problem for our belts. Simply toss your hiking pants belt in the wash with the rest of your dirty clothes for an easy post-adventure clean.

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