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Backpacking Gear for Beginners Course

Welcome to the Backpacking Gear for Beginners Course.

This course will walk you through every piece of hiking gear you might need for a short backpacking trip. We’ll cover what every piece of gear is and tips for buying each.

What will this guide cover?

This guide isn’t going to cover every piece of gear under the sun. First, it would take forever to put together and read. And it would be out of date before you read it. 

Second, we want to provide just enough information for you to get out and play outside. There will be plenty of time to spend hours researching the latest and lightest gear after you know more about what you need. Here we’ll focus on the basics and get you back outside.

Every section in this guide will cover a few key things. What the gear is, why you might need it (or not) and a couple tips on finding the right one of you. This isn’t a degree in backpacking gear. It’s just enough information so you can buy gear for a weekend on the trail and have a great time. 

This guide is divided into 5 sections: 

Hiking gear is what you’ll need to hike and get from point A to point B. A lot of it crosses over with day hiking, like backpacks or hiking boots. If you’re just planning on day hiking and might backpack a couple times a year, you can use this gear for both. 

Sleeping gear is for staying dry and comfortable at night when you’re sleeping. Things like your tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag will let you get a good night sleep on the trail. You don’t have to use a tent and we offer a couple alternatives in this section.

Cooking gear is for making and eating food. Some suggestions on actual food to take backpacking is here as well as stoves, pots and dishes to help you eat it. 

Clothing is its own section and spans hiking and doing anything around camp. 

Miscellaneous is all the other bits that don’t quite fit into the other categories or may span multiple. 

You can also get this course as a PDF Ebook.

If you have any questions about the info in this guide or want to see more added, definitely let us know on our contact form

Table of Contents

Wait, Who is PureOutside?

Next up, who are we? Who is PureOutside?

PureOutside is an online magazine that covers human-powered outdoor adventure sports like hiking, trail running, paddle-boarding, mountain biking, backpacking and camping. We dive deep into gear reviews and instructions on how to get outside so you can spend less time looking around on the internet for answers and more time getting outside.

My name is Ross Collicutt. I’m the author of this guide and the editor of I’ve spent the last 15 years hiking, backpacking, kayaking, paddle-boarding and running around the Pacific Northwest from Vancouver Island, BC.

We’re almost there, just a little note on being safe when hiking and then we’ll hit the gear.

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