Photo by Ville Koivisto

Packing for a long hike can be tricky. You don’t want to take a lot of unnecessary gear and overburden yourself, but you do want to have all of the essentials to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. Here are a few light and portable gadgets that can make a hike easy, safe, and comfortable without weighing down your pack.


Photo by popofatticus

Water Filter

A water filter is a safety must for any serious hiker. If you run out of water on the trail, a water filter will literally save your life.

We recommend LifeStraw personal water filter systems. The LifeStraw is a long, thin “straw” that filters out 99.999 percent of water-borne bacteria, parasites, and microplastics. One straw can filter a thousand gallons of water, and it’s easy to clean. The best part is, it only weighs two ounces! If kneeling down to drink straight out of a stream isn’t your thing, try the new LifeStraw bottle as an alternative.


Photo by patchattack

Campfire Stove

A long day of hiking really burns calories. After you pitch your tent, you’re going to want to fuel up on more than just trail mix and granola bars. With a campfire stove, you can eat from a huge variety of dehydrated backpacking meals.

We recommend Jetboil cooking systems because they can boil a half-liter of water in as little as one hundred seconds, even faster than your kitchen stove back home. These stoves weigh only about thirteen ounces, and they’re designed to fit all the stove’s components into a matching cup. They offer several models and accessories, so you can travel light and eat well whether you’re hiking with a group or by yourself.

Photo by Greg Hoggard

Eating Utensils

Camping utensils can quickly get frustrating to use, pack, store, and clean. But they’re necessary for cooking a real meal out in the open. A better utensil can really improve your cookout.

We recommend the Morsel Spork. The Morsel Spork replaces all of your old camping utensils. It’s designed to act as a spoon, fork, knife, and spatula all in one. It features a long design and a rubber edge, allowing it to easily scrape the insides of abnormal shapes such as dehydrated meal pouches or deep thermoses.

Written by Elizabeth Edwards