Wilderness Mermaid: Gear List

Wilderness Mermaid: Gear List

Jacq wants to go back! Backpacking, that is! I feel pretty lucky to have met the Bubbly Mermaid and Lemonhead on the dusty trail up to Little Jimmy Camp a couple weeks ago on her first overnight backpacking trip.

The best part is, she’s hooked. Well, my Bubbly Little Mermaid, since you have been lucky enough to borrow and test some gear, I thought I’d write up a gear list for you! Based on our weekend trip to Mt Islip, I think I know just what you need.

Let’s start with the Big 3, pack, shelter and sleeping system. People say to get your pack last, but as we already know, you have one! Luckily, it carries a great capacity, so lets focus on the rest.

Big 3

Pack – Osprey Aura 65 – You already have this and it’s cute as all heck. I also noticed it carried everything you brought on our last trip, so it will definitely fit the recommended items below.

Pad – Klymit Insulated Static V – There is something about this pad that keeps me warm and cozy at night. Oh yeah, its the loft and high R value. Rated around 4, this pad is sure to keep you off the ground and it almost radiates your body heat. Light luxury for a lady and her Lemon.

PRO TIP: Eliminate moisture in your pad by waving out a trash bag, trapping the air, and filing it up that way. Takes some practice, but worth saving 10-12 breaths for, especially at elevation.

Bag – Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 2.5 season – This quilt is amazing and I’m so glad I switched to it from a mummy bag. Rated for around 40 degrees comfort, its not a winter bag, but I have no doubt it will be suitable for you and Lemon who likes to adventure and won’t be confined within a zipper

Tent – Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 – Fitting for a girl and her little pup, and cozy for two. I love the ultralight weight of this tent, easy setup and stability. You’d think a 2lb tent couldn’t make it through a storm but it has stood up to the test!

PRO TIP: Instead of buying a footprint, I use a piece of Tyvek (multipurpose, can also be used as a tarp in the rain!)


Camp Kitchen

So glad you already have a Sawyer Products water filter! All you really need is two smart water bottles and the squeeze and you’re good to go.

Anyway, let’s get to the stove situation. Titanium, titanium, titanium. Save your weight for the food you want to cook! What you eat is up to you but I recommend a couple packets of Ramen, Backpackers Pantry and some kind of sweet treat! As for the gear:

Snow Peak Hybrid Solo Cookset – I love this because of the rubber lid that doubles as a pot holder, and the cup for sharing.  It is also light as heck!

Snow Peak Spork (others prefer a long handled spoon) – Your preference on color, but I love my purple spork!

MSR Pocket Rocket – A lightweight and powerful stove, what more can you ask for?

Don’t forget the backpackers meals, Ramen, fuel and a mini bic to light it with!



With that pink hair, one must not forget to coordinate clothes that may very well save your life. Thats right, warm, moisture wicking, breathable clothing. Wool is the best and I wouldn’t recommend anything less. But lets start with accessories

Neck Buff – Protect your neck, face, hair or whatever else you can wrap this useful little piece of fabric around. Buffs come in all shapes, sizes and colors, theres something for everyone!

Patagonia Duckbill Cap – I love the mesh on this guy and the light color doesn’t attract more heat to my head. And its cute as hell, duh! I’m sure there’s a lovely color way fit for a Mermaid.


Sunglasses – no specific recommendation, just don’t bring your favorite, most expensive pair that will likely get blown off your face on a windy summit. I prefer 99 Cent Store sunnies, easily replaceable and never missed.

Hiking Shoes – I love my Adidas gsg9 Trail Runners, but most people prefer boots. It’s really up to you, and your lovely Merrell boots seemed to work just fine

Socks – Darn Tough wool socks, guaranteed for life. Need I say more? They come in cute patterns too! OK, moving on…

Base layers – Don’t whip out that credit card unless you’ve found some 100% Merino Wool. I recommend Smartwool or IceBreaker, but there are a lot of brands on the scene!

That about sums it up! Everyone should brush up on Leave No Trace ethics and the 10 Survival Essentials every once and a while. I had a fabulous time with you and Lemonhead, I can’t wait to see you guys on the trail again! Promise I’ll bring sweet treats, always!

Gear photography brought to you by @GearTales!


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