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Staff Picks 2023

Our staff selects their favorite hiking, backpacking, and other backcountry gear that they’ve used in 2023 - 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.

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.

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.

2019 Staff Picks

The Backpacking Light staff offer their ultralight and other gear recommendations for lightweight backpacking, hiking, and camping.

Lightweight Chairs for Backpacking (Gear Guide & Reviews)

Reviews of lightweight chairs and other seating options for backcountry use, including backpacking - 18 chairs and seats less than 25 oz.

Upright Canister Stove Reviews, StoveBench Tests, and Gear Guide

This article features upright canister stove reviews that include extensive test data in inclement conditions and market analysis.

Navigation & GPS App Reviews & Gear Guide

This Gear Guide features GPS App Reviews, including AllTrails, Gaia, Google Maps Offline, Guthooks, Hiking Project, MapMyHike, Outdoor Active, Ramblr, REI - National Parks, Spyglass, and ViewRanger.

Staff Picks 2018: Our Favorite Backpacking Gear of the Year

Backpacking Light's editorial team, guides, contributors provide their favorite gear choices in BPL's Staff Picks gear guide for 2018.

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