Top 10 Gear for The Backcountry for Weekend Warriors

Top 10 Gear For the Backcountry – Weekend Warriors Ready for Battle

By Brent Johnson / May 14, 2016

The countless hours spent behind the wheel to go and sit at the desk all day with your eyes heavily glued to the computer screen is probably not your idea of getting your fix on dopamine.  People have mixed feelings about their 9-5, but as a general consensus, I believe people dread the thought of Mondays because it means the start to another one of those weeks where they forget what it means to live life to the fullest.

frustration in office makes you a great weekend warrior hiker

It doesn’t have to be this way. Bring that spring back into your step at your place of employment by looking ahead to the weekends! Take advantage of those days off and get a little adventure in your life. Whether going alone, with a partner, or with a crew, make sure you’re prepared for 2 days and 1 night with the essential pieces of gear. After all, you are a weekend warrior and a warrior is only as good as their equipment. Brace yourself! Weekend is coming!

Top 10 Gear for The Backcountry

FYI, fast forward to these products on Amazon by clicking the product titles!

Top 10 Gear for The Backcountry

1.) Mountaintop Water-Resistant Hiking/Camping Backpack 40L

Probably the piece of gear that represents backpacking the most is the pack itself. Among all those packs competing to be the best with positive reviews, high rate of comments, and great value is the Mountaintop Camping Backpack 40L.

daypack-for-hiking-campingIt’s a great pack to get you started on overnight trips and isn’t too large with a light weight of 1.8 pounds. You’ll be delighted to know that it’s on sale very often; truly exciting once you know what it sports. Its tough and water resistant because of the nylon, so it can handle some abuse in the backcountry. Its comfortable with cushioned shoulder straps while being breathable on your back. Attachments for tools, ripstop cord, small pockets, 2 mesh water bottle pockets, compression straps to tighten up, and an option for a hydration sleeve inside are the details of a great all-round pack. You won’t find a better weekender pack anywhere for a price like this.

Find out more.

Patagonia ascensionist 35L backpack

Need a different backpack? We’ve got you covered with our Top 10 Backpacks post. Find the one that suits you the best, wether you are a hard-core hiker or an enthusiastic day-traveler, we have the ultimate list here.


For those looking for the ultra-light backpack, check the Camelbak Mule NV. It wont’t fit too much of stuff inside, but for a half day hike, or those who really-really-REALLY travel light, or hike light, this is the perfect gear.

Not enough for your needs? Then look at our article where we listed the best expedition backpacks in 2016.

2.) Kelty Salida 2 Tent

Your home away from home, the tent is your 4-walled sanctuary in the outdoors. It’s understandable why it’s one of the heaviest of your gear essentials, but there’s no reason you can’t find a light weight shelter without compromising strength and budget. That’s why the Kelty Salida 2 is a top choice.


It isn’t the cheapest tent on Amazon, but for that price you won’t find a better shelter. This award- winning lightweight backpacking tent is easy to setup with just 2 poles and is freestanding. At 4 and a half pounds, the Kelty shelter provides plenty of room for two and can be used for 3 seasons of the year. Hike light and sleep soundly knowing you made the right purchase with the Kelty Salida 2.

Find out more.

Other considerations about tents you might find in our article about the best lightweight tent.

3.) Outdoor Vitals OV Light 35 Mummy Sleeping Bag

After a hard day’s hike you will probably sleep like a rock, but don’t take a chance and just get in any old sleeping bag. Be confident getting into your overnight cocoon that you’ll feel refreshed the next day. That’s why the Outdoor Vitals OV Light 35 Mummy sleeping bag is worth your time.

With thousands sold, Outdoor Vitals are proud of their product and have taken customer feedback from zipper malfunctions to make even better bags over time with reinforced zippers and zipper guards.


The synthetic mummy weights 2 lbs. 2oz but can fit a man over 6 ft., making this a bag well-rounded for most body lengths. And a fun feature to mention, if you don’t mind sharing warmth with a fellow camper, is to join two separate bags to make a double. Of course, this requires buying one blue (zipper on right side) and one orange (zipper on left side) to make your double, but on cold nights you’ll be thankful for the extra 25% warmth. This is a pretty solid bag, which guarantees you a good sleep on any spring, summer or fall evening.

Find out more.

4.) Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad

It might feel hot during the day, but night temperatures can plummet to make for a chilling place to lay your head. Of course a sleeping bag is essential, but a mat to pair it with will keep you from losing heat and prop you away from the earth in a cozy fashion.

Make the Klymit Static V pad part of your sleeping kit!


Sticking with the lightweight theme, this pad weighs under a pound and a half and has been compared to rolling up to the size of a nalgene bottle! That is some serious packability. There are built-in side rails to keep you from rolling off in the night and the V-chamber design keeps the air in one place. You have to manually inflate the mat, but it’s a quick and quiet process. A repair kit is included as well as a lifetime warranty, two huge pluses. Get on this mat and sleep like a champ!

Find out more.

5.) Footwear: Keen Targhee II Hiking Shoe (men and women)

It’s time to get moving those feet but treat them right! They bear the heaviest load of your equipment and take a beating over whatever terrain you abuse them with. Comfort and stability is an absolute must, so let’s discuss the Keen Targhee II.



Find out more.

Great for any walk, Keen stands by a shoe that can endure “beaches to mountains to city streets.” The Targhee II, which comes in two separate models for men and women, is well-ventilated but also has a waterproof membrane. It’s no boot, but is as tough as one made from leather with a rubber sole. One of the most reviewed products on this article, it scores 4.4 out of 5 stars from nearly 1,600 customers on Amazon.



Find out more.

Pick this one and you can own a good pair of shoes that will keep those feet pounding the hills. Keep in mind the product description states these shoes run ½ size small.

6.) LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with 1000-Liter Filter

Thirsty, but hesitant about the source? You don’t have to be with LifeStraw, the award-winning H2O filter that removes at least 99.9% of the names you want to stay away from: E.Coli, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and other names that would worry you.


Now, the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Integrated 1000-Liter Lifestraw Filter widens your opportunity to more than just drinking water, but carrying it too! It can be used again and again until it reaches its 1000 liter capacity. Water will not pass through after 1000 liters and will prevent you from drinking from a questionable source. You can trust this lightweight tool to keep you safely hydrating from any source.

Find out more.

7.) Mountain House Just in Case food kit

Everything tastes better out there, especially once you’ve earned it. Don’t skimp on what you’ll put into your body for the weekend; Look into Mountain House’s Just in Case… Classic Assortment Bucket. Arguably the tastiest when it comes to camp food, these dehydrated Mountain House meals only require water.


The Classic Assortment Bucket includes their top 6 selling meals and two of each. They include Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Teriyaki, Beef Stew, Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Noodles and Chicken, and Granola with Milk & Blueberries. This amount claims to feed a person for 3.5 days, so 2 people could live well on these meals for a weekend. Eat like the kings you are and enjoy these lightweight backcountry meals outdoors.

Find out more.

8.) MSR PocketRocket Stove + Propane Isopro Fuel and Camping Cookset

You’ve got the food and the water, but you’ll need the outdoor kitchen equipment to make the meal nice. Adventure dining will be so much finer with these 3 very important pieces of gear, which are the MSR PocketRocket Stove, MSR IsoPro Fuel, and the Mallome Camping Cookset.


As yummy as they already are, you don’t want those Mountain House meals cold. The MSR PocketRocket stove may be mini, yet doesn’t lack the power and efficiency of its larger rivals, coming to boil in 3.5 minutes. The flame is protected by a triangular Windclip in breezier environments and can be adjusted to a desired preference from boil to simmer and anywhere in between. Flame on, or as Metallica would say: Gimme Fuel, Gimme Fire!

This 3 oz. stove functions at the top of a IsoPro Fuel 8oz. canister (seen above, attached to the stove) but keep an eye out for cheaper varieties. MSR believes 4oz.of fuel per person per day is sufficient.


To complete the cooking experience, find somethinig like a Mallome 10 piece set is on sale on Amazon. It should include an “anodized aluminum nonstick pot, nonstick pan, pot cover, 2 BPA Free bowls, folding stainless steel spork, BPA Free soup spoon, wooden spoon spatula, cleaning loofah, nylon travel bag drawstring pouch, and ‘Perfect Marshmallow Roasting and S’mores Making Guide’ with 10 Recipes Ebook!”


You will notice everything inside the kit when unpacking it, but won’t know it’s there in your bag because it collapses down to save storage space and is lightweight.

Find out more.

9.) LifeLine Trail Light Dayhiker First Aid Kit

Warriors take a beating sometimes. That’s just the nature of the game. You always want to be prepared for emergencies, so the Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker First Aid Kit should do you well on a weekend excursion. For a price that is not even worth mentioning, you will have 57 items in this basic yet essential medical kit (other medical kits explained here). It’s a lightweight package for a great price that will provide relief if an accident does take place.


Included is a basic first aid guide, bandages, gauze pads, medication for pain relief, and other items you’ll need if the occasion arises. Stay safe out there!

Find out more.

10.) Shining Buddy LED Headlamp – Water and Shock Resistant

Small gear with a big purpose, headlamps light the path for evening warriors. Cheap but great, the Shining Buddy LED Headlamp provides all the light you need in nocturnal times.. This hands-free, 4 setting headlamp is easy to use, water resistant and has a bulb of 100,000 hour life. 3 AAA batteries included (for once!). Fight the night with Shining Buddy.


Find out more.

Of course, there are other essential pieces of equipment that could be substituted or added to complete your individual weekend trip, but this a start-up kit to take into consideration for all your weekends to come.

All products have been rated highly, by many, and can all be found on Amazon.

Don’t miss another chance to release the inner warrior out into the wild!

About the author

    Brent Johnson

    Brent is busy bouncing around the globe, scribbling pen onto paper along his way. He finds inspiration in nature, extraordinary people, and the experience of adventure from challenging hikes and boardsports. He also likes to play guitar and is traveling with his fiancee, Kirsty.

    Leave a comment: