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Inflatable sleeping pads: finding comfort when sleeping on the ground

The product category of inflatable sleeping pad is trending towards larger, warmer, and more comfortable pads - with very little weight penalty.

Gear Guide: Satellite Messaging Devices (“Messengers”)

This gear guide summarizes the category of satellite messaging-centric devices, i.e., devices that focus on satellite messaging as its primary, rather than secondary, function. This is in contrast to navigation-centric devices (which usually offer integrated mapping on the device), such as the Garmin inReach Explorer or Garmin GPSMap.

A Place to Sit: A Perspective on Ultralight Camp Chairs

My perspective on camp chairs, and perspectives on how it has changed in the past five years.

New Gear Guides: REI & Cottage Brands (+2024 Sale Info)

Quick reference to information and links to the new REI and Cottage Brand gear guides & 2024 Spring Sales.

Bear Canisters: Design, Use Cases, and Reviews

We hope this guide will help you understand bear canisters a little bit better. You'll learn about various testing agencies, bear canister design, materials, usability, and user experiences. Lastly, we’ll make some recommendations for bear canisters that reflect unique combinations of value, weight, and capacity.

Navigation and Communication Devices: Strengths, Limitations, and Use Cases

In this video, I will cover various types of navigation and communications devices, their benefits and limitations, and use case scenarios where you might use one or a combination of multiple devices.

Backpacking Light Staff Picks: Our Favorite Gear

Our staff selects their favorite hiking, backpacking, and other backcountry gear that they’ve used over the past year - the next edition of our infamous Staff Picks!

Publisher’s Gear Guide Update (Nov ’23)

The Publisher's Gear Guide has been updated. This gear guide contains recommendations in various categories by Backpacking Light Publisher and Founder Ryan Jordan. This is the gear he actually chooses to use on his own trips.

LIVE: The Gear Q&A (Spring ’23 Edition)

Got a question about backpacking gear as you assemble your '23 kits and gear lists? Now's the time to ask it - this live event will be all about gear. In addition, Backpacking Light Publisher Ryan Jordan will discuss some of the gear he's using in '23, with updated recommendations in the categories of minimalist, high-performance, comfortable, and budget-friendly gear across several categories.

Tenkara Fishing Rods and Gear for Backpacking – Hane, Rhodo, Ito, Satoki, TF39TA

In this video overview, I present the five rods that I've been using over the past few years for most of my backcountry tenkara fishing. They include four models from Tenkara USA (including the new Satoki) and one model from Tenryu (the TF39TA) that remains the staple of my kit. In addition, I'll walk through the basic gear I use and take while tenkara fishing on hiking and backpacking trips.

Staff Picks 2022

Updated: Click here for 2023 Staff Picks. Each year, our staff selects their favorite backcountry gear from the past year, and we look forward to you sharing your favorite gear of the year as well in the forum comments below!

2022 Backpacking Light Members Choice Awards

First annual Members Choice Awards - what gear do our members use and love as we near the end of 2022?

BatteryBench Tests of Nitecore and Anker Portable Battery Chargers

Anker Powercore PD 10000 and PD 20000 and Nitecore NB10000 and NB20000 carbon fiber portable battery chargers are put through the BatteryBench testing protocol.

Publisher’s Gear Guide

Backpacking Light owner, founder, and publisher Ryan Jordan's commentary on the hiking, camping, and backpacking gear he's been using this year.

Staff Picks 2021

Each year, our staff selects their favorite hiking, backpacking, and other backcountry gear that they’ve used this year - our infamous Staff Picks!

Ultralight Rain Mitts for Backpacking: Reviews & Gear Guide

In this gear guide, we review 16 models of waterproof mitten shells ("rain mitts") weighing less than 4 ounces (113 g) within the primary context of 3-season backpacking.

My Year of Lentils: A Survey of Packaged Vegetarian and Vegan Backpacking Meals (Gear Guide)

Small and mid-sized companies are making increasingly delicious vegan and vegetarian backpacking food. This gear guide covers meals from six of those companies.

Staff Picks 2020

Backpacking Light staff and contributors give their 2020 staff picks - their favorite backpacking and hiking gear of the year.

Ultralight Water Treatment Options for Backpacking

The purpose of this article is to present three ultralight water treatment options for backpacking. We chose these three for their diversity and efficacy, and they include a chemical method, a physical method, and an electro-ultraviolet method. We included a video to demonstrate each technology in the field.

Lightweight Wood Saws for Backpacking

Lightweight wood saws for backpacking can be used for preparing firewood and more. Here's what affects saw performance and how that's revealed in four models from Bahco, Suluk46, Coghlan's, and Sven Saw.

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