Ultralight Gear Picks

My favorite pieces of ultralight backpacking gear, hand picked and trail tested. Many of these items are used in my Ultralight Thru Hike Gear List.

Nitecore NU25 USB Rechargeable Headlamp
Nitecore NU25 USB Rechargeable Headlamp

Amazingly light, bright (360 lumens), and compact, yet full featured. Compared to the Black Diamond Spot it feels tiny. Ditch the batteries and recharge via micro USB. DIY hack: swap the headband out for 3/32" shockcord and a cordlock.

Camouflage Gaffer Tape
Camouflage Gaffer Tape

Better than duct tape because it uses a different adhesive that is less gooey, breathes better, and is generally more versatile. Use it for gear repairs, first aid bandages, and blister/hot spot prevention.

Victorinox Swiss Army Pocket Knife
Victorinox Swiss Army Pocket Knife

The classic pocket knife for a reason. Aluminum scales make the Alox model a bit slimmer and lighter, while providing all your favorite features. The scissors and nail file are incredibly useful on trail.

HandClens Non-Alcohol Hand Sanitizer
HandClens Non-Alcohol Hand Sanitizer

This foaming hand sanitizer kills 99.99% of germs in 15 seconds, helping to stop cold, flu, MRSA, SARS, and other illnesses. It's very gentle on the skin, and doesn't sting on cuts. Active ingredient: Benzalkonium Chloride.

Sawyer Insect Repellent 20% Picaridin
Sawyer Insect Repellent 20% Picaridin

The best natural alternative to DEET insect repellents. Fragrance free, won't harm clothing or gear, and most importantly it works. The liquid spray is preferred over the lotion variant. Active ingredient: Icaridin.

Gear Aid Tenacious Tape Patches
Gear Aid Tenacious Tape Patches

These pre-cut rectangles mini-patches with rounded edges are less likely to snag and peel after application. The black and clear variety is handy for sleeping bags and dyneema composite fabric (DCF, cuben fiber).