The list author says: "Only two self-imposed survival tests under my belt. The first a two night stay and the second a three night stay. For the second trip, I brought less gear and faired okay. The first test was a nightmare."
"The Garmin GPS V is an extremely slow, a black and white screen that is hard to see, and obsolete compared to the high tech gadgets out there today. But its cheap, uses 4 AA batteries, is uber-rugged, and waterproof. For basic coordinates and military grade reliability, this GPS is hard to beat."
"This little bucket folds small and if there's one thing I learned when backpacking, it's always good to have a bucket of water nearby. The multitude of uses for a bucket of water make this a near indispensable tool"
"It's a single piece, so nothing to really lose. And it has no rigid surfaces so never worry about part of it breaking in your pack. if you want to backpack, but are addicted to coffee, you can get one of these, carry the big weight of a percolator or french press, or suffer through cowboy coffee. Get this, you won't regret it."
"With backpacking, every ounce counts, so this drylite towel, with it's incredible lightness, ability to soak tons of water, and speed in drying, is an absolutel godsend compared to the rag I was using before. It takes up so little space, I highly recommend getting it."
"While this is a bit overkill for backpacking, if you're not going alone, and can distribute load, this compact kettle, holding 32 ounces of water is a mighty hard worker. the silicone wrapped handle is resistant to heat, and stays cool enough to pick up even when water is boiling."
"This is my all time favorite backpacking food container. it holds coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon, a cool beverage when it's hot, soup in the evening, instant ramen, or my favorite, a bowl rice with a bullion cube and some freeze dried chicken all boiled together for a hot chicken and rice stew. Yum."
"This is a sheer luxury for backpacking, but really useful for car-based tent camping. in the tent, you can have this to hold a lamp or rest some food on. Next to a low chair, this is a perfect little end table. And if it's raining, you can put your shoes on it in the vestibule area to keep the inside of your tent dry. It's so useful for car camping that, well, I bought two."
"This makes tying things up super easy. When your hands are cold, numb and clumsy, this is the way to go. While not strictly a necessity, it makes a world of difference. If you can afford the ounces, get it."
"There are a lot of magnesium fire starters out there. But one problem with magnesium is that it degrades around other minerals like salt water. this Aurora comes with a seal cap complete with rubber ring to protect the magnesium from the elements. It's more expensive, but worth it."
"This is really for pets, but it works on people too. It's basically like super glue, but the chemical makeup has been modified to be safe for bio-use. You essentially glue a gash together. It includes disinfectant and is non-toxic. This should get most small gashes taken care of until proper care is available."
"If you've been backpacking when it's raining, then you know that even with a rain protector, the area of the backpack against your back gets wet, heavy, and starts to smell after a while in humid weather. So in wet weather, what you really need is a poncho with back extension. You need this."
"Don't let the intimidating name turn you away. This little multi-purpose bandage is a godsend. it comes in a sterilized package and can be used in a number of different ways as the elastic bandage has some clever pockets and tie-overs. whether creating a brace, and arm sling, a wraparound bandage, this is one seriously versatile injury dressing."
"Okay, if you're a little wimpy when it comes to cold weather camping, you might find yourself in a situation where your body isn't producing heat fast enough. sometimes you need a little help. These guys pack a lot of heat over many hours in a tiny little package. Get it."
"Not a backpacker's fishing rod, but as portable fishing equipment goes, this rod and reel is hard to be. With 5 pieces that are fit together, this makes a full size 6' flexing rod for some decent lake fishing. in a backpack, I'd take a plastic frame with fishing line, but for fun, this is something to have in the car."
"For a primary water purifying device, it's hard to be the steripen. if you have a usb solar charger, the steripen freedom is definitely the steripen to get as it's the only one with a li-ion battery and usb charging port. it's also smaller than other steripens. Also good on business trips where water safety is a tad suspect."
"When it rains, staying dry is important, especially in colder weather. The last thing you want to do is sit, take your shoes/boots off thrown on a second layer and then go through the same process in reverse. Full zip pants are the way to go. These are among the best out there."
"This bottle packs pain relief, burn healing, and disinfectant built right into one neat little package. it's effective against most basic burns, makes a helps blisters from forming and aids healing. As a clutz, I burn myself a lot, and this burn jel has made a marked difference in healing, with much less pain over successive days."
"If you need a solar charger with integrated battery, this is really the only one on the market that actually allows you to use your usb devices every day, and not just be an emergency quick juicer. While no solar charger is very efficient, this is the best set of compromises there is: big solar panel, charges under cloudy skies, tough and waterproof."
"if you're an iphone 4/4s user, then this waterproofing case is a must have for backpacking. sometimes it's just impossible to stay dry, and the last thing you want under wet conditions is a broken phone. if you drop it in a puddle, you'll be fine. The only problem is you will have to dry it to charge it as you have to open a port to do so."
"considering how compact this sleeping bag is, it's shockingly warm. This sleeping bag is about as warm as it gets considering it's compact size. even better, it's cheap compared to a lot of other 0 degree sleeping bags I've seen on the market."
"Rated for 2 people, it's really for 1 with a little extra room, but they are very light, structurally sound, fairly spacious in head room, compact, and offer good rain protection. There are lighter tents out there, but this is probably the best compromise in price to weight to size if you want a 1 person tent with some extra room for gear."
"If you're backpacking, you need paracord. Most paracord sold on amazon isn't the real deal, so they won't hold 550lbs. but they will hold about 120-150 lbs. whether creating guy lines, tarp line, clothes line or for setting traps or other odd rope required jobs, paracord is simply incomparably valuable as a light and strong rope."
"Okay, you know the emergency mylar blankets that are uber thin and compact? this tarp/mylar blanket is basically that, but a little thicker, tougher, and therefore reusable. they still reflect close to 90% heat though, and are waterproof and durable enough to reuse. they also have grommets like many small tarps do."
"A sharpener on a backpacking trip is important as there's no way to sharpen a knife otherwise while out on a hike. Having said that, tho, do you really need an super sharpener? no. you just need to keep your knife sharp enough for camp duty, where the most sharpness-required task is whittling wood to make guy line stakes."
"I see a lot of lists for backpacking, and none list knee pads. Whether to work a campfire, setup guy lines on a tent, chop some wood low to the ground to avoid injury, or prep food, knee pads make a huge difference in comfort. These knee pads are so light and pack so easy, it's a no brainer."
"This little set is hardly larger than a pack of cigarettes. When hands are cold, the ground is wet, this little fire starting package is a life saver. When closed, this case holds 4 gels still in their packaging. that's a whole lot of fuel in a tiny package."
"I got this cheap knife before heading out on my first trip, and while most would probably say the steel isn't good or the construction isn't professional enough, I have to say, this cheap $20 knife is the most valuable tool in my pack. I use it constantly for a multitude of tasks and as long as it's legal, will be with me on every trip I take."
"It's not water proof, doesn't have all the nifty features of expensive packs, and isn't as light as new packs. But it's a true expedition pack, built to last and survive rough treatment. Nothing broken after two multi-day backpacking trips plus a car camping trip. It isn't water proof. But that's what ponchos are for."
"though very corny, if you're going on a long backpacking trip, you might consider a thigh rig for a first aid kit or maybe additional storage. it can be really hot, but thigh rigs offer extra storage and quick access that frees up space in a backpack and also avoid having to take it off. worth considering on very long hikes."