Backpacking Luxuries

These are things that I really don’t need to carry, but I find worth it.  As my buddy, Josh says, “I carry less so I can bring more”.

REI Flexlite Chair

REI Flexlite Chair:  This stupid chair is probably the most unnecessary item I carry, but I love it.  There is something incredibly nice about having a dry place to sit and relax your back, whether at a trailside lunch or around the fire.

Mora Campers Axe Backpacking

Mora Camper’s Axe:  A recent addition to my kit, this will likely go with me on any trip that isn’t focused fast-and-light travel.  Tending fire is just so much easier with a hatchet around.  Even better if you can have one of your buddies carry it.

UST Hex Tarp backpacking

UST Hex Tarp: While not as light as I’d like it to be, the 20oz (with lines and stakes) tarp has provided a great fire-side shelter on several backpacking and car camping trips.  With its affordable price, I’m not going to cry when an ember burns a hole in it.  That said, my next tarp will likely be lighter and more costly.

Vivobarefoot Ultra shoe camp shoes

Camp Shoes:  I was looking for the lightest, affordable camp shoes and found a pair of Vivobarefoot Ultra shoes on closeout.  They have a tendency to collect grit and pine needles through the holes but are worth it.  It’s nice to let my feet breathe and boots dry, while they also make great water shoes for rocky or mucky lake bottoms that instantly dry.

backpacking fishing kit

Fishing kit: I pieced together the smallest, lightest, cheap rod and reel that I thought wouldn’t immediately explode on the trail.  I picked a Shimano AXULSA reel and a Daiwa Wilderness sectional rod.  I’ve since used this setup on a few trips, and now keep this in my tackle bag to take car camping and when fishing with my daughter.

So light, they’re not even luxuries:

Starbucks Via Coffee:  You can burn in hell if you think coffee is a luxury on the trail.   Regardless, at this size and weight, it’s silly not to bring it.

Reflectix Sit-pad:  So cheap, they could be disposable, but I’ve used the same one for multiple years.  The mylar is wearing off, but it still keeps my butt warm and gives me a clean, dry place to stand when changing shoes or pants.  The stuff is versatile.  We’ve made cup cozies, dehydrated meal insulators, and extra sleeping pad insulation with it.

Dry Sack Washtub:  Just an extra ultra-sil dry sack.  Add a little camp soap and water, throw your clothes in, and shake.  PSA: remember to empty and rinse clothes away from shore.  Even biodegradable soap isn’t good for our waterways.

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