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So after a long dark and boring winter spring is almost here in oregon i'm currently gearing up for this year's backpacking season and could not be more excited to get back out there in today's video something a little bit different from my normal travel gear i wanted to share some of my favorite backpacking gear pieces all under 20.
First up here we have the Trekology Ultralight 2.0 inflatable pillow talked about this thing in years past for regular travel but i originally bought it mainly for backpacking it is so important to get good sleep while you're on the trail and this thing is such a good value i wanted to bring it up and include it in this list comes in right around 17 on amazon and it's just under 100 grams in weight so pretty lightweight not the lightest weight of pillows but definitely close especially considering the discount that you get compared to like the sea to summit ultralight pillows i've had this for three years now and it is absolutely excellent i haven't had any issues with holes or patches it's just really simple and expensive and has definitely made a huge improvement in my sleep now sleep is just so important especially if you're out on the trail hiking all day you have to get your rest for the next day and this has definitely been the best pillow i've used for the lower weight
Moving on to another really essential piece of my backpacking kit and that is the uv cool net buff by buff brand this thing is right at 20 the most expensive thing we're talking about today and it comes in at 33 grams as well and it's just so so useful if you're like me i'm really fair-skinned and burned really easily sunblock is really annoying when you're out on the trail especially if you're sweating and going through all that you know having to remember to apply sunblock every couple of hours is a huge pain and i absolutely hated it last year i picked this up and just have completely fallen in love just a buff is essentially just a tube of fabric that you wear around your neck and you can pull it up if you're facing the sun i did not get a single sunburn last year which is like the first year of my entire life i was really trying to take care of my skin you know skin cancer is a real and serious concern especially when you're out on the trail for days and days on end also too i will mention you know buff you might be worried about the heat if you're hiking on a hot day through the peak of summer you know 80 plus degrees trudging up you know huge inclines i didn't really have any issues with the heat you know it's nice and cool and lightweight you know it's kind of see-through but still works really well to block the sun and i would highly recommend this especially if you're someone that's really fair-skinned like me 20 bucks protect your skin save some hassle with the sunblock it was a huge game changer for me last year
Next up is something maybe a little bit less essential but a ton of fun and still really lightweight and inexpensive i'm a huge fan of building fires when i'm able to you know i know out west here fire restrictions throughout the summer there's a good portion of the year where i'm not able to but early in the season late in the season you know when the fire restrictions are out i love building a fire when i'm out on trail now fire building materials can be a little heavy to carry around though unfortunately but i did find this a couple years back and really love it it's a little pocket bellow essentially it's just this little telescoping tube that you can use to blow oxygen into your fire it makes a huge difference in keeping the fire going especially like i said for me i have to go really early season or late season if i want to be able to have a fire due to all of the restrictions here out west and a lot of times the wood's really wet and it's tough to keep a fire going well and you know you can try and wave things around but you risk kind of burning your gear and i actually used to use one of my little camera you know sensor cleaner poof things but that actually melted it's just really simple and lightweight it's eight bucks and comes in at 20 grams so less than an ounce and it makes a huge difference in being able to keep a fire going if you're in less than ideal fire conditions with you know really wet crappy wood so pick this up if that sounds interesting to you it actually does come with two pieces with a bigger piece of the telescope and it gets bigger i usually just use the smaller piece just because it's lighter weight for hiking but if i'm like car camping i'll bring the whole thing comes with a little case but yeah eight dollars would highly recommend this thing it is extremely effective really quick
Before we continue i want to thank nord green for sponsoring today's video nordgreen is a company that makes really great minimalist scandinavian design style watches i've been wearing nord green watches for a couple of years now and absolutely love them their entire lineup is beautiful they've worked with designers like jacob wagner which if you're not familiar with him over his long career he's worked with a ton of great companies like bang olufsen if you're familiar with their audio equipment just completely beautiful designs i'm a sucker for that sort of stuff the nord green watches definitely live up to his name in the design world for their new spring and summer lineup they have a few new watch face colors as well as band designs i'm currently using it's the philosopher watch in the gunmetal watch face it looks so cool to have that metal watch face compared to some of the more regular colors not only are the watches beautiful and affordable but nordgren does a whole lot as a company to help reduce their environmental impact as well as give back to communities in need all their watch packaging is made out of recycled paper and recycled plastic bottles and all of their cardboard shipping boxes are made from fsc certified cardboard so it comes from responsibly managed forests and a quick side note as well the unboxing experience is still pretty luxurious and premium feeling which i really appreciate that they're able to still do things ethically and use recycled materials but the unboxing experience is still nice and pleasant and luxurious someone that just really appreciates design i love that they were able to achieve both at once they also have their give back program which is great with every watch purchase you have the option of supporting one of three different charities that they've partnered with you can help save some of the rainforest in latin america you can help donate education to a child in india that needs it and you can also help the central african republic and their limited water supply help give them water so in addition to their ethical packaging and shipping efforts you have all these great social causes and on top of all of that they are just really beautiful affordable watches can't recommend them enough over my couple of years of wearing them they've all been great i haven't run into any issues so far so i would highly recommend it be sure to check the link in the description down below for a bit of a discount and check out their new collection like i said they have these metal watch faces now which are awesome and definitely my style they also have those new bright colors for the spring if that is what you're into
Next up we have the Govee Home smart thermometer this was actually something that was not designed for backpacking but has proven to be one of my most useful pieces of kit that i've picked up in recent years being able to know how your gear performs in a different range of weather conditions is extremely useful especially if you're testing gear in the beginning but even when you're not testing gear it just gives you more knowledge and information so you can be more prepared and safe in the future i do all of my backpacking completely solo and a lot of times you know i'm i might be a couple days away from help or something so i need to make sure when i'm preparing for a trip that i am properly equipped that's why i don't do a lot of winter backpacking unfortunately i'm just not really equipped for those like really extreme cold temperatures i'm good to about 20 degrees much below that i start running into some problems comes in at 22 grams and it is 15 um i think it's just a normal like cr2032 battery that comes in here i've not had to replace it i picked this up yeah about two years ago now and just really really love it it has proven so useful you know i tend to keep a log of all of my backpacking trips and i will usually keep a log of the highs and lows of the trip for the temperature so you know in future years when i'm planning trips in certain areas i can get a better idea of how things were and how my gear performed in those weather conditions very important for safety purposes and if you're just someone that enjoys collecting all of that data it is fun as well you know logs i have a widget on my phone so i can check it at my will you can actually download the temperature changes if you want just very useful very inexpensive and under an ounce you can throw it in your pack and just kind of forget about it
Getting back into something more essential a good backpacking stove i have been a huge fan of the BRS titanium ultralight stove now if you're already an avid backpacker especially if you're in the ultralight community i'm sure you're familiar with this but in case you haven't heard of it it is this little tiny inexpensive stove and it's absolutely great i weighed it before recording here and i think it was 24 grams these are under 20 bucks on amazon and it just works so well three years going strong i haven't had any issues with this and i actually use this car camping you know i've cooked burgers and like pork tenderloin and all sorts of stuff on this little tiny baby stove and it's really nice when things line up you know a lot of times you have to pay so much more money to get something really super ultra light this is lighter than most stoves you'll find on the market and it's also less expensive you know i know there are some you know more feature filled stove options out there but i just can't seem to break away from this thing it's so much lighter and it has worked perfectly for me for three years and counting
Next up is an important item for food storage and this is the Opsack essentially it's just a really thick heavyweight ziplock plastic bag if you're not familiar it is completely scent proof so if you're out there with any sort of animals you know especially if you're trying to protect yourself from you know bears or wolves or cougars or anything you want to make sure and keep those predators away from your food and away from your camp so they're not bothering you this is a great and safe way to do that and even aside from you know the bigger predators and bears that most people think about you have mini bears you know rats mice raccoons squirrels and those things can chew and eat and ruin your trip and eat all of your food in the process this is just a great layer to have to make sure that none of the wildlife in the area can smell your food while you're asleep i use this in conjunction with an ursac bear bag instead of using a bear canister a bear canister would take the place of this and the ursac but it is much heavier and bulkier to keep in your pack always practice good food storage practices you know most of the mountainous areas that i backpack in here out west just don't have good trees for bear hangs so this can be just tied around a tree with the ursac and it's completely scent proof and if a bear does get it they're not gonna be able to get inside keeping that bear's life safe as well as my own so i'd highly recommend these i think it's 15 bucks for a two pack or something very lightweight very essential and important if you want to have good food storage practices
Next up we have another safety item and this is a Nylofume pack liner a lot of times you can pick up those heavier weight you know nylon or whatever the material pack liners and they work great but they are a little heavy and bulky i know a lot of people also use thicker trash compactor bags those also are very effective but you're going to pay a bit of a price in weight nylofume is just a really lightweight but completely waterproof it's essentially just a big plastic bag that goes inside of your pack even if you're using you know dyneema or x-pack you know those things aren't completely waterproof 100 you know if you're submerged or if you run into any sort of extended rain you know they are extremely water resistant but not fully waterproof and if your gear gets wet if you're in questionable conditions that can not only ruin your trip but also put your life in danger to put it frankly so it's worth a little bit of annoyance to have this crunchy bag in your back and it's worth a little bit of weight to make sure that you're going to be safe and dry while you're on trail these come in at 25 grams and they're only two dollars so it really is a no-brainer just in the name of safety make sure your stuff is dry i found these at a site called garage grown gear really great small business that focuses on ultra light backpacking gear would highly recommend that you check them out if you haven't heard of them before
Next two items i'm going to cover in tandem because they work completely as a team first up this is the GSI outdoors ultralight java drip this is a little nine gram pour over system so if you are a bit of a coffee nerd like i am you can make really great pour over coffee while you're out on trail with basically no weight sacrifice nine grams is basically nothing and it's been really fun to use you know i used instant coffee packets for a while but they're nasty and a little wasteful from all the extra packaging i picked this up last year after seeing a couple of other youtubers use it and really had fun with it waking up in the mountains and making like actual pour over coffee is just such a joy for me when i'm out backpacking because you needed to pour your water from your cook pot i couldn't use my cook pot for coffee like i was so i did finally pick up a cup to bring with me while i'm out backpacking this is the sea to summit cool grip x tumbler comes in at 60 grams so a little heavier at a couple of ounces but definitely well worth the trade-off and i'll explain why in more detail in a second but essentially have little ridges on here so you're able to hold your cup without it getting too hot you know pouring boiling water into this some cups are going to burn your hands or just cause problems so this has a texture on it so you can hold it and have your hands not get too hot and uh all you need to do is just clip this on here and you make your pour over and and that's that a really nice simple lightweight setup you know all in all with both pieces you're right around 2 ounces 69 grams for both and pretty inexpensive this thing is less than 10 and i think this was 12.95 i got the tumbler size it's the smaller of the two this was more than enough capacity for what i needed and just to justify the weight cost of bringing this with me i do use it for a few other things as well it's great in the morning if you make oatmeal i've been using this to eat my oatmeal out of instead of my normal cook pot you know cooking dried up oatmeal out of a titanium cook pot is super annoying it's just a little easier using this and i've really enjoyed that and then i've also been able to ditch my normal cook pot lid and just put this over the cook pot so it doubles as a lid as a coffee cup and as a little food container you know just a little bit more humanity eating out of something else i really enjoyed it and i think it's been worth the couple ounce trade and most importantly just having like actual pour over coffee when i'm out in the mountains is just so satisfying so i'd highly recommend that both are inexpensive both are pretty lightweight and you know if you're someone that just really loves coffee ditch those instant coffees and look at some better options
This is actually going to wrap it up for the episode i hope you enjoyed this one if you're a new backpacker all this stuff is really great and inexpensive which is just an excellent combo to be able to find really good useful gear and save some money and if you are an experienced backpacker i'd love to hear if you have any unique gear items that you'd like to share to everyone down below or myself thank you all so much for watching i am so happy to be back and i'll talk to you next week