What are the things we carry when hiking and backpacking?
Day pack. Water bottles. Snacks. Map. Insect Repellent. Sun Protection (sunscreen, sunglasses, hat). Custom first aid kit. Rain jacket. Small flashlight. Camera and spare batteries. Cell phone. Whistle.
Backpack. Hydration bladder. Tent. Hiking poles. Sleeping bag. Sleeping pad. Headlamp. Food in food bag. Water filter. Water bottle. Extra socks. Dry clothes to sleep in. Toilet paper. Lightweight folding trowel. Custom first aid kit. Trash bag. Insect Repellent. Sun Protection. Map. Rain jacket. Camera and spare batteries. Cell phone. Whistle. Bandana. Hand sanitizer / soap. Camp shoes. Plastic bags to keep electronics dry.
Optionally: Bear canister. Camp stove and fuel plus matches or lighter. Fleece. Extra shirt. Pack cover.
These are trail-tested items in our gear closet that we use when headed outdoors. Most of this gear was with us on our Appalachian Trail journey, and all of it has seen time on the Florida Trail as well. Here’s what we use and why we chose it.
- Choosing Gear for a Florida Trail Hike- Our detailed recommendations and reviews of the best hiking and backpacking gear for your thru-hike or section hike of the Florida Trail based on our own successful use of certain tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, and more.
DISCLOSURE: Our reviews may contain include affiliate links so you may purchase the item if you are interested in it. We earn a small commission on each purchase.
Reviews of the gear we use
- Backpacks- John's first backpack is now a museum piece. Sandy went through a variety of packs before settling on the comfortable Osprey Ariel. Here's what we now carry, and why.
- Tilley Hats- When we met, both of us owned Tilley hats and wore them for most of our outdoor activities. Sandy's had the same one for years; I've gone through several. Here's why.
- Big Agnes Cabin Creek double- For a couple of backpackers that want to share a sleeping bag, the Big Agnes Cabin Creek turns out to be an economical but bulky solution.
- Columbia Omni-Freeze Zero T-shirt- John trail-tests the Columbia Omni-Freeze Zero T-shirt after being introduced to the new fabric by a Columbia rep at the grand opening of REI Jacksonville.
- Dirty Girl Gaiters- If it's tick season, or if it's going to be wet and muddy, we break out our Dirty Girl Gaiters. Here's why we don't leave home with this piece of gear.
- Hydrapak- Hydrapak has served us well as an extremely compact day pack and hydration for both hiking and bicycle rides. Whenever one of us wants to "go light," we pull the Hydrapak from our wall of packs and go.
- Jetboil Stoves- After trying an array of camp stoves over the years, from Whisperlite to Zip and Esbit, I found the Jetboil. Now I feel comfortable cooking in the woods again.
- Lightheart Gear Tents- A fan of lightweight backpacking tents (not tarps) since they first became available, my favorites are those produced by Lightheart Gear. We have two. Here's why
- Xmas with Zpacks- A field trip, Florida Hikes style, to a lightweight backpacking gear manufacturer creating great products - and jobs - on Florida's Space Coast.