Rocky Mountains near Sneffels

Selected Hiking Gear

Hiking & Backpacking Gear

There are all kinds of fun things you can take hiking. Below are a few necessities and some fun toys that I’ve purchased over the years.
Silva Ranger CL Compass

Silva Ranger CL Compass

This winner of the 2003 Backpacker Magazine 's Editors' Choice Gold Award keeps you moving in the right direction! This precise azimuth compass has a sighting mirror for taking accurate and quick bearings--great for serious and avid users. Liquid-filled rotating capsule with anti-static liquid stops needle swing in less than 4 seconds-- sapphire-jeweled needle for friction-free movement. Adjustable declination accounts for difference between true and magnetic north; lanyard key locks adjusted declination into place. Sighting mirror with vee notch allows quick bearing acquisition on landmarks and also folds down to protect compass. Includes a clinometer to measure slope angles- useful to winter travelers to help estimate danger on avalanche-prone slopes. Features luminous points for better viewing, silicon map grippers on base, and meridian lines to help orient compass to map. Uses 0 - 360 degree azimuth scale in 2-degree increments. Includes has a removable 15 inch lanyard (30 inch circumference) with declination adjustment screwdriver. Guaranteed to be accurate -40- +140 degrees Fahrenheit. Meets or exceeds all forest service and military standards.


REI Jungle Juice 100 - Spray Pump

REI Jungle Juice 100 - Spray Pump

Our low-odor, almost 100% DEET insect repellent now comes with a convenient spray pump applicator for an easy-to-apply, even coating. Field-tested Jungle Juice offers proven effectiveness against bugs for up to 10 hours. Protects exposed skin against mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, deer flies, black flies, stable flies, gnats and fleas. Can be applied to shoes, socks and some clothing.


REI Hiker First Aid Kit

REI Hiker First Aid Kit

The REI® Hiker is a four-panel, fold-out kit featuring 11 pockets for quick and immediate access to first aid and medical items. Zippered nylon case corrals contents, with hang loops for easy carrying or storage. Comes with ''The Wilderness First Aid Manual'' by Dr. William Forgey for quick reference while on the trail. Wound materials: five 0.75 x 3 inch adhesive bandages, five 1 x 3 inch adhesive bandages, five knuckle elastic bandages, five fingertip elastic. Two 2 x 2 inch gauze pads, 5 x 9 inch abdominal/pressure pad, six butterfly closure strips. Two 4 x 4 inch gauze pads, two 2 x 3 inch non-adherent pads, 2 inch x 4.1 yards stretch gauze roll. Sanidex wipe, four antibacterial wipes, three triple-antibiotic ointment packets, two pvp iodine wipes, three Soothe A Sting wipes. For sprains and blisters: 2-inch elastic bandage, two 3 x 4 inch moleskin, 1 inch x 10 yards porous tape. Medications: four Cetafen Extra®, four Nutralox®, four Proprinal®, two antihistamine, plus two pill vials and two labels. Equipment: 4.5-inch stainless-steel bandage scissors, 3.5-inch splinter forceps, NeoPro latex-free gloves, 3 safety pins, accident report form, pencil.


Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray - 230g

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray - 230g

Pepper spray is designed to drive away bears in the event of an attack. Contains 2% Capsaicin and other Capsaicinoids, red pepper derivatives that affect the eyes and respiratory system, staving off attack. Spray reaches 12 to 30 feet and empties in approximately 7 seconds. Features a safety cap to help prevent accidental discharge. .


REI Storm Proof Matches

REI Storm Proof Matches

These waterproof, windproof matches burn in heavy rain and even while wet! Match will not go out until chemical has burned out, then stick can be doused in water to completely extinguish the fire. Match sticks are 2 3/4 inches long for added safety to keep from burning fingertips. Two boxes of 25 matches each.


Silva Compass

First Aid Kit

REI Storm Proof Matches

REI Jungle Juice Insect Repellent

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent

Garcia Bear-Resistant Container

Garcia Bear-Resistant Container

Don't feed the bears! This bear-resistant container provides 614 cubic inches of storage to hold your backpacking food. Made from a tough ABS polymer with smooth sides and rounded edges so bears have nothing to grip onto. Stainless-steel locks are easy for humans to open with a coin or screwdriver, but are difficult for bears to open. Includes food-grade plastic bag for wrapping food for storage.


Garcia Bear Resistant Container

If you are serious about having a good compass, you should get one with a sighting mirror. The mirror is also good for signaling and putting in your contacts. A good compass should also have adjustable declination.
A basic first aid kit is all I carry because if it’s too heavy I won’t pack it. This is the one I use with about half the items removed.
Growing up in western Washington, these were the only matches I could trust. Like little torches when lit, I’ve had them burn while lying in the snow.
This is the good stuff. Get it in a pump or liquid, it repels everything that wants to bite you. Always get as close to 100% Deet and don’t believe all the stories you read about Deet. You’ll be fine.
I carry this on a few hikes each year, a nice security to have when I’m in bear country with nobody around.
I bought this bear container years ago and have only used it a few times. It’s nice to have though so I asked for it as a gift since I knew I wouldn’t use it a lot. A few National Parks require you have one to camp in the backcountry.
Sawyer Extractor Snake Bite Kit

Sawyer Extractor Snake Bite Kit

Use this vacuum pump for the safe extraction of venoms and poisons. Because no blades or knives are needed, the risk of infection is significantly reduced. Small, reusable vacuum pump draws venom from below your skin in one quick motion. Comes with 4 different sized plastic cups for suction to cover various sized stings or bites. Kit includes pump, antiseptic, bandages, razor (for hair removal), and instruction manual.


Sawyer Extractor Snake Bite Kit

Luckily I’ve never had to use it but I do bring it along when I think there could be snakes.
REI Candle Lantern - Painted

REI Candle Lantern - Painted

Super easy to use—just slide the glass down and light the exposed candle. Compact lantern is ideal for backpacking use or for home emergency kits. Dripless candle burns up to 10 hours. Spring-loaded system keeps candle at a consistent height. Lantern collapses to 4.25 inches for storage.


Candle Lantern

A candle lantern can warm up a tent or snow cave by several degrees. On backpacking trips without the kids, during the longer nights of fall and winter, I usually bring one along.
REI Insulated Mug

REI Insulated Mug

Drink 12 oz. of your favorite beverage from this insulated, spill-resistant mug—great for camping or traveling! Removable lid makes clean-up a snap. Two-ounce increments are marked on outside of mug, doubles as a camp measuring cup.


REI Insulated Mug

When I do cook hot chocolate, this is what I bring. I pretty much only bring it along on winter camping trips.
REI Ti Ware Nonstick Titanium Pot - 1.3 Liter

REI Ti Ware Nonstick Titanium Pot - 1.3 Liter

Our super-lightweight titanium Ti Ware™ cookware features a nonstick coating for even cooking, easy clean-up and excellent durability. Lighter than steel and stronger than aluminum, corrosion-resistant, chemically nonreactive titanium conducts heat efficiently. Extra-thick silicon ceramic coating is superior, passing tests for heat, corrosion, frying and scratch-resistant hardness. Rounded bottom edges offer lots of surface area to the flame and are easy to clean. Curved, silicone-covered handles swing out for a burn-free grip; handles pack flat against pot for compact storage. Marked with 500ml and 1,000ml gradations on side of pot to assist in measuring. Pot rim features a spout for spill-proof pouring; lid features silicon-covered handle to protect hands. Includes nylon stuff sack with drawcord and toggle. Maintain the integrity of coating and pot by avoiding the use of intense concentrated heat that can cause overheating, especially while pot is empty.


REI Ti Ware Nonstick Titanium Pot

Titanium pots were around a long time before I finally bought one. If you are really trying to go ultra-light, this is another way to save a few ounces.
Campsuds - 2 oz.

Campsuds - 2 oz.

This all-purpose, biodegradable soap in a compact bottle works in hot, cold or salt water to wash just about anything. Just a few drops gives quick, effective suds. Use sparingly in water to clean hands, face, hair, clothing, dishes and anything else that's washable. Convenient dispenser cap ensures that no soap goes to waste. Contains purified water, vegetable-based biodegradable anionic and non-ionic cleaning agents, natural fragrance, oils and germaben.


Campsuds

A good all-around soap for everything. Usually needs to be a long trip before I bring it.
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