2013 Hiking Essentials

Round out your backpacking kit with some of our favorite new tools and accessories from the 2013 Summer Buyer’s Guide, including a lightweight stove and a knife built for TV's most famous survivor.

MSR Reactor 1.0L Stove

Because they’re efficient, compact (the stove and fuel canister both fit inside the pot), and, unlike virtually every other ultralight stove on the market, pretty much impervious to wind, we’re big fans of MSR’s larger Reactor stoves. The new 1.0L still does all that, just in a smaller size that’s ideal for fast-and-light outings. ($170)

(Inga Hendrickson)


Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .5

This kit weighs about as much as two energy bars, comes in its own waterproof sack, and can assuage all the little things—bug bites, ticks, blisters—that could otherwise spoil an adventure. Best for one or two people on one or two-day adventures. Bigger and smaller kits also available. ($17)

(Inga Hendrickson)


Vapur MicroFilter

Essentially a foldable water bottle with a removable straw that kills 99.9 percent of disease-causing bacteria and protozoa, the MicroFilter is one of the lightest and simplest water filters around. You simply fill up and drink. (Note: you have to draw pretty hard to get a good gulp.) Great as a just-in-case filter when traveling or backpacking. ($69)

(Inga Hendrickson)


Fjällräven Barents Pro Pants

Go ahead and get down and dirty—the Barents Pros have an extra layer of fabric that reinforces the seat and knees. The proprietary cotton-poly material isn’t as breathable as a lightweight all-synthetic fabric, but it dries quickly, and its weather resistance can be reinvigorated by applying some of the company’s Greenland wax ($10). ($140)

(Inga Hendrickson)


Gerber Bear Grylls Paracord Fixed Blade Knife

Chances are you won’t have to build a shelter or fashion a bow and drill. But it’s reassuring to know that this ultrastrong, full-tang (i.e., constructed from one long piece of metal) survival knife, with 45 inches of paracord wrapped around the handle, would be up to the task. ($37)

(Inga Hendrickson)


ExOfficio Insect Shield Paisley Bandanna

Its secret weapon is permethrin, a synthetic, longer-lasting cousin to a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemums. It works shockingly well. The EPA says it’s safe; that doesn’t mean you should use it to dry your pots, but it’s a lifesaver if you’re hiking or paddling someplace especially buggy. ($15)

(Inga Hendrickson)

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