Going on a backpacking adventure doesn’t mean you have to leave the comforts of home…well, at home. Here are a handful of items to make your next excursion out on the trail an even more pleasant one.
Tom Bihn “Guide’s Edition” Synapse 25 backpack. ($240; comes in your choice of Black, Deep Blue, or Mars Red)
Tom Bihn’s “Guide’s Edition” Synapse 25 takes everything that was so clever about the original Synapse 25 and makes it feel even more at home in the great outdoors. It includes a removable/adjustable internal frame with a pre-bent aluminum stay, and you can add an optional ice axe loop and/or a pair of lash straps to secure outdoor gear externally.
On top of all that, that handsome Coyote brown trimming throughout takes the rugged good looks of the Synapse 25 to another level
Light My Fire titanium spork. ($13)
Light My Fire’s titanium spork has a fork on one side and a spoon on the other, with a serrated edge on one of the fork tines that cuts food without cutting your mouth. It’s rock solid, weighs less than an ounce (0.7 oz. to be exact), cleans easily, has an anti-slip middle grip, and won’t leave a metallic taste in your food. It might be the last eating utensil you ever buy.
Another great option in this category is the Outsmart 3-in-1 titanium spork.
Grubstick campfire roasting kit. ($25)
The Grubstick telescoping roasting kit features interchangeable attachments for cooking hot dogs, s’mores, and more over a campfire. The “Grubfork” attachment is a typical roasting fork for skewering marshmallows and hot dogs/hot links/bratwurst, while the “Grubcage” is useful for roasting entire s’mores (or veggies, if that’s your thing).
The stick extends from 34.25″ to 38.25″ with attachments. Also included is a “release tool” for safely opening the Grubcage while it’s hot. Everything in the kit is dishwasher-safe, and it comes with a drawstring backpack for easy travel.
Townsends folding frying pan. ($96)
This cool foldable handforged iron skillet is handmade by the folks at Jas. Townsend & Son, Inc, which you may recognize from the delightful Townsends YouTube channel focused on 18th-century living. It’s a bit thinner than cast iron so you’ll have to keep a closer eye on it while cooking, but the convenience of the 8″ folding handle when you’re done is worth the tradeoff.
Esbit’s super compact and lightweight camping cook set is made from hard anodized aluminum that weighs next to nothing in your pack. The set comes with a 585ml (~19.8 fl oz) pot, a lid, and a burner stand w/ wind deflector.
The two curved handles join to make a single extended grip when open, then fold flat around the body of the pot when you’re done. The stand also fits inside the pot when it’s time to pack up, making the whole setup extremely portable. As for your heat source, that comes from Esbit’s own smokeless and residue-free solid fuel cubes, which light easily with a match and burn for ~12 minutes (you should only need 8 to boil 500ml of water) and up to 1300°F.
The Warm Wool Blanket by Best Made Co. ($398)
Best Made Co’s Warm Wool Blanket is a modern take on the classic Hudson Bay “Point” Blanket — more specifically, the 72″ x 90″ full size. Made from 85% wool and 15% cotton, it lives up to its name by keeping you plenty warm and snug.
To produce this blanket, they worked closely with Faribault Woolen Mill Co., a fifth-generation vertical woolen mill in Minnesota that revels in combining old-world craftsmanship with modern technique. The naval-inspired stripe colors and red whipstitch along the end lend it a quite distinct look, and like the Hudson Bay blanket, this one will last for generations with proper care.