Dec 16, 2018

What is your most precious piece of backpacking gear?

Which piece of gear is always in your kit? The one thing you don’t hit the trail without, whether it be extremely useful and versatile or something sentimental that’s brings a sense of comfort to you. For me, it’s my ridge rest foam pad and my Sigg cook pot. I can’t picture ever hiking anywhere without a foam pad. I’ve used it for: a wind screen, a blanket, an umbrella, celebratory flag, bear deterent, makeshift sled (not recommended), flotation device (also not recommended), and it magically turns a cheap air pad into an expensive one. The usefulness of this thing is only limited by your imagination. I’ve heard they wear out but in four years of use, I haven’t noticed. My cook pot is more of a sentimental/comfort piece. It was the first and only pot I’ve ever used. Every piece of gear I started with was a hand me down of some sort ( a jansport d4, a trailwise chevron 0 which I still use, egg crate foam pad a tarp, Sierra cup, Enders baby stove which I still use mainly as a conversation piece). My cook pot was given to me by my dad who carried it cross country and up through Canada, it’s been through a lot to say the least, but it’s still goin strong. It’s aged very well as far as comparisons to today’s pots; it’s light and durable, has a wide stance that boils very quickly, and a cool locking handle. Most of all though, it me reminds me of my parents and home, if I ever found myself in a “Cast Away” situation that pot would be my Wilson. Whats your never leave home without it piece of gear?

MSR Whisperlite International Stove. I have had it for 20+ years, it has never let me down, and always performs. I dont go on any trip without it.
Thanks for the reply landrvrnut22! I’ve always wanted one of those or a dragonfly, the first stove I ever used was a Ender’s baby, which I still use sometimes as a conversation piece. I love how hands on they are and I love that sound the burner makes!
I no longer carry it but I still have my Dad's Army issue mess kit. I did carry it all through scouts and my younger's made a few trips. I also have an old Buck pen knife that was my Grandfather's. It doesn't travel any longer has been retired. Currently, its my kids....
Thanks for the reply sanclt! I also have some hand me down gear from my parents which I still use. I love vintage gear, rock solid construction and great conversation starters.
A decades old SAK (Victorinox Tinker). I'm positive it's logged more miles with me than anything else.
Thanks for reply idoc72! That’s impressive you’ve been able to hold on to a easily misplacable item like that. I totally dig on vintage gear because of the stories they hold and character they possess
Bear deterrent?  Off topic but I think that's a story worth telling. I'm not an experienced outdoorsman/backpacker, but I have to think that the one thing I literally wouldn't leave without is my knife...ESEE4.
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That IS terrifying - I've never had a wild encounter like that! Also, drop just went up it looks like - the Leek in carbon fiber:

Yeah I saw that, definitely on my radar. I found this checking out the brands you reccomended, out of my price range but I might have to treat myself: i really like the look of it