1. An Osprey Daylite pack so you can carry all of your outdoor essentials comfortably and conveniently for almost any activity. Its 13-liter size should be just right for plenty of water, snacks, and emergency first aid.
2. A tiny tube of Blister Balm to avoid any dreaded foot pain caused by friction. Even with outdoor shoes that really work for me, I always swipe some of this on to make doubly sure my feet stay A-OK.
3. A Goal Zero Flip 24 Power Bank so you can charge your devices, no problem — from phones to navigation devices to headlamps, it'll be a relief to know you won't have any essential electronics poop out without a backup battery.
4. A Coleman lantern perfect for car camping trips — it's essential to keep your path illuminated (and stay safe) with this classic piece of gear.
5. An Aeropress coffee and espresso maker that brews top-notch coffee anywhere boiling water is available. It's also small, durable, and easy to clean, so bringing it to the ends of the earth with you is a no-brainer.
6. A few backpacking meals for a hearty, low-effort meal to refuel on longer trips. Nothing like a bag of freeze-dried meat and sauce to put a smile on your face after a day of trekking through the rain (but really, these are a real treat)!
7. And a long-handled spoon so when you have to reach deeeep down into backpacker food pouches, you don't get your hands covered in sauce. An ultralight fancy-schmancy spoon is one of those luxury items scoffed at until I tried one and was like, "...OK yeah, that rules."
8. A Sawyer Squeeze water filtration system that blows any other system out of the — say it with me — water. It's adaptable and easy to use in almost any situation. I've encountered some pretty sad excuses for water sources and have still been able to get liquid into the bag to be filtered and consumed.
9. Or a Lifestraw personal water filter if you only need a "just in case" filtration solution. that allows you to safely drink from any water source.
10. The Deuce #2 — a lightweight trowel for digging cat holes, aka holes to poop in. Hey, it's a backwoods necessity when you're backpacking, and in my experience, using this trowel is preferable to using a stick or a beloved trekking pole to dig.
11. A pair of Injinji sock liners that may look silly at first but will truly help keep your feet *so* much more comfortable on hikes of any length (or just in regular life, tbh!). They prevent blisters, wick moisture, and give your toes their full range of motion so you can rock scramble with the best of 'em.
12. Extendable skewers so no knuckle hair is harmed in the making of scrumptious s'mores. Gathering around the fire just got even better (aka tastier).
13. An ultralight titanium pot for backpacking to whip up quick little meals, use as a bowl, and boil water in an emergency. I love having a pot on trail, and this one is big enough to make two servings of a meal, and is well worth the weight in your bag at only 3.7 ounces, lid and all!
14. A Sea to Summit roll-top dry sack...or two...or five, because the uses for these bad boys are pretty much limitless. Waterproofing all of your gear is a must during tons of outdoor fun from backpacking trips to boat trips, and Sea to Summit's are simply the best in the biz.
15. A 32-ounce lightweight Nalgene that's a super simple and lightweight way to carry just the right amount of water with ya wherever you may roam. My love of Nalgenes is well-documented, and this particular one fits the bill for utilitarian water storage while hiking.
16. A Coleman three-burner camp stove perfect for whipping up a full meal in the great outdoors. With two burners and heat control, you're gonna be the head chef of the wilderness.
17. A Helinox ultralight chair, because after a long day of putting on the miles, playing sports, or enjoying other outdoor fun, the last thing anyone wants to do is perch on a rock or lug around a heavy chair. This seat weighs just over a pound, packs down super small.
18. A Yeti Rambler mug with a lid whose double-wall vacuum-insulated construction has a single-minded focus on keeping your hot beverages hot. Coffee outdoors on a brisk morning just got even better.
19. A pair of Teva sandals if your least favorite part of backpacking or camping is not having a comfy pair of "camp shoes" to bring along. These are shockingly supportive and will feel so good after a long day spent in boots.
20. A pull-string fire starter because you're probably a little rusty on your Boy Scouts skills and no one in your camp crew is going to give you a badge anyway. Put the sticks down – this'll do all the hard work for you!
21. An inflatable lounge chair that will make a sunny outdoor nap feel like the height of luxury. You inflate it just by whipping it in the wind, meaning no pesky hand pumps or electricity needed!
22. A Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 firepit — a smokeless bonfire ring that burns wood super efficiently using vent holes that direct oxygen right into the flame. I have this model and absolutely adore it, especially for hosting backyard hangs without bothering my neighbors with an intense smoky smell.
23. A Coleman camping chair that has its own side table (with a built-in cupholder!) so you can keep your drinks, snacks, and speaker on hand while you kick back and bask in the natural ambience.
24. A Yeti Tundra 35 cooler because they really do make some seriously splurge-worthy coolers to accompany you to games or camping weekends. This one has an impressive 4.8-star overall rating for its durability and, of course, ability to keep things cold for a wildly long time.
25. A Jetboil backpacking stove, aka the Cadillac of backpacking stoves, which boils water in just 100 seconds, has a color-changing boil indicator, and is super light and easy to travel with. It also comes with an insulating cozy, helping to keep your eats nice and hot.
26. A portable and waterproof Bluetooth speaker to pump up the jams during summer pool hangs with pals without worrying that you're gonna break it with the splash from your mighty cannonball.
27. A collapsible camp table if you're going camping or picnicing with a big crew and need some extra space to spread out and chill.
28. A puffy Rumpl indoor/outdoor blanket to keep you warm and cozy no matter what the weather's up to — whether you grab it for some time around the bonfire or add it to your sleep setup. Its smooth surface is water- and dirt-resistant, so there are no worries about exposing it to the elements.
The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.