My Favorite Gear of 2014

Apparently I’m late to the party.


Many backpackers with blogs do an end of the year review of their favorite gear. I spent most of the end of 2014 backpacking and camping, so there was no time or Internet access to write one.

Many of these bloggers’ favorite gear review includes only their favorite NEW gear of the year. And every year they have a dozen or so NEW pieces of gear to share. What’s up with that?

Alas, it has been almost two years since I purchased my last new gear item, a Victorinox “Little Vickie” paring knife for $9.95. I rarely take it backpacking; only on trips where I need to cut salami or spread peanut butter and honey. On most trips my knife is a lowly and simple single edge razor blade.

I have replaced a few inexpensive items that have worn out with the exact same thing, and I have bought a few items to repair or maintain gear: a couple tarp poles, some down wash, silicone sealer, guylines and linelocs. I call these “maintenance” purchases.

Backpacking gear is just a means to an end; the end being a safe trip with the lightest pack weight one cam assemble. I figure that if you know what you are doing and you backpack often, you don’t have time to be searching for the newest wonder gear, and you should probably have your gear dialed in so there is nothing you really need to buy.

So here is my favorite backpacking gear for 2014, which is exactly the same favorite gear for 2012 and 2013.

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