Your AAA Magazine

A Well-Equipped Backpack

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

Mountainsmith's Clover backpack is full of pockets for hiking essentials.
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.