Here is a list of the gear I use and recommend! I have tried many different brands and products and have landed loyal to the below gear!
This is not the end-all-be-all of hiking and camping gear, but it will get the job done… and usually I pick the least expensive options 🙂
Let this be clear: gear doesn’t determine fun. Attitude does.
For the clothing I have stuck to men’s only… as that’s what I wear.
Table of Contents
- Hiking shirts & long-sleeves
- Fishing shirts
- Light Jackets (rain and insulation)
- Hiking pants
- Hiking and outdoors shorts
- Hiking and trail shoes
- Running shoes
- Baseball Hat
- Water Filter
- Sleeping Bags
- Sleeping Pad & Air Mattress
- Fixed-blade Knife
I take all blog pictures from December 2016 and forward with my Sony A5000 mirrorless camera. It has served me really well and has a flipping screen which is really helpful when I’m hiking by myself!
For video I will use that camera or my GoPro 4 Hero. I record in 1080p/60 and have found that to be the best resolution for the camera.
Hiking Shirts & Long-sleeves
I stick mostly to lightweight shirts that help with sweat-wicking because of hot Texas weather. Old Navy “Active” brand shirts work perfectly fine and are extremely cheap. For my long-sleeve of choice I wear Columbia gear.
This is extremely unnecessary… but if you are interested in fishing shirts I wear Magellan. I get them at Academy Sports & Outdoors stores because they are usually cheaper in store than online.
The benefits of a fishing shirt are the extra pockets, SPF protection from sun, and quick drying. If you fish like me, you spend most of your time baking in the sun so I think it was worth the money.
In Texas, anything less than 65 degrees is cold. So I wear a Columbia jacket that I absolutely love. It is water resistant and wind resistant. In fact, combined with a sweater, I could comfortably wear it in temperatures near freezing. Mine was a gift but cost about $70.
If you’ve read some of my posts you will realize I wear the same pair of pants almost always (they are always washed between wears, don’t fret). My Columbia hiking pants simply cannot be beat.
Look for pants that are quick drying, have additional pockets, and will reach all the way down to your shoe to prevent mosquitoes and bugs biting your ankles.
Hiking and Outdoors Shorts
I swear by my pair of Timberland Shorts, but they apparently don’t make them any longer. Just focus on comfortable shorts that stop before they reach your knees. Quick-drying is critical!
Hiking and Trail Shoes
I wear Salomon Trail Shoes for hiking and even casual outdoor events.
Running on trails is one of my favorite things to do… yet I never do it enough! I am fairly loyal to Brooks as a company but always try on different brands when I go to the local shoe store.
Some runners may relate to this: awesome shoes make me excited to run. So get a pair that you love!
I’m not much of a socks expert. Usually I go with whatever covers my feet up to the point I need. For short socks I stick to Nike black socks, but on trail I almost always wear my Timberland socks.
I often wear a baseball hat when I go out in the Texas sun. I alternate it between forward and backwards-facing every hour. Me and the sun are not friends.
I’d recommend you buy a baseball hat that represents something you love or like. I have a Timberland hat because it was cheap and I like the brand. I’ll buy a baseball cap from my alma mater as soon as I see a design I like!
So I use a hand-me-down… and I haven’t ever shopped for my own backpack! So take this advice with a grain of salt. Kelty has always been a reliable brand in my opinion, but they no longer make the backpack that I have. Here’s what I would look into buying for 2-4 day backpacking trips.
If you are going longer than 3-4 days, consider getting a larger capacity backpack with a frame. Your body will thank you.
It’s not the best, but it is the best-priced. And it gets the job done!
We used this during out 56 mile hike on the Superior Trail. Filtered from stagnant water and never got any stomach bugs. I’m loyal to Sawyer filters now! I hope to soon upgrade to a gravity filter.
I have four different sleeping bags, and I would recommend that most people get the same amount! In Texas, we have only two seasons, hot and cold, but other areas of the world have more seasons.
The one I use a lot for car camping is my double sleeping bag. Even if you aren’t being joined by someone else it is really nice to have the extra room.
For my winter bag (anytime it is below 55 degrees in Texas), I use an older X2O mummy sleeping bag, which they don’t appear to make anymore. I recommend choosing a sleeping bag with a “temperature rating” 20 degrees below what the actual forecast suggests (for 50 degree weather, bring a 30 degree bag).
It is simply better to warm than cold, in my opinion.
Sleeping Pad & Air Mattress
When weight or space is a concern, I bring my $20 sleeping pad roll. It got me through my whole Superior Hiking Trail sleeping over roots and rocks.
When car camping I much prefer an air mattress. It helps keep you further away from the ground (the ground will suck all the heat away from you body in the night).
A fixed-blade knife means that the blade doesn’t retract. Think like a regular kitchen or steak knife.
My brother gifted me an amazing Kershaw knife. I can’t find it on Amazon or the Kershaw website, so it will remain a mystery where it came from. Here is the little brother of the knife I have and recommend: