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A Well-Equipped Backpack

Make sure you’ve got the right gear before that big hike.

Well-equipped backpack, Mountainsmith's Clover, image
Photo caption
Mountainsmith's Clover backpack is full of pockets for hiking essentials.

Sure, you’ll carry a peanut butter sandwich and a bottle of water on a day hike, but there’s more. What if you get a blister or, worse, lose your way? For your comfort and safety on the trail, we’ve come up with 10 essentials that fit well in a pack—for instance, one like Mountainsmith’s pocket-rich Clover (above). It’s $60, available at; AAA members get 15 percent off.

  • GoLite’s Gamut Jacket blocks wind and rain—and makes a great picnic blanket. $100.
  • Coghlan’s Wind and Waterproof Matches, just in case. Two packs for $3.99.
  • Lost? The Suunto A-10 Compass (and a trail map) can point you back to where you want to go. $13.
  • Plastic residues won’t leach into your H2O with a stainless steel Klean Kanteen. $24.
  • Nuts, dried fruits, spices, and nothing more are packed into Larabars. $2 at many markets.
  • Scraped knee? Bee sting? Never fear: Lifeline’s First-Aid Kit is here. $6. AAA Travel stores, (888) 386-5386.
  • Leatherman Juice S2’s four ounces of steel are all you need to slice salami and tweeze a tick. $40.
  • Teko’s Ultralight Crew socks combine organic cotton and recycled pop bottles. $17.
  • With four LED bulbs, Petzl’s Tikka Plus Headlamp can help you find your way in the dark. $35.
  • Neutrogena SPF 55 Sunblock fends off sun damage with its Helioplex formula. $10.

Photography by Kevin Candland

This article was first published in July 2007. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.