My Picks – August 2018

Big Agnes Copper Spur 3 Platinum Backpacking Tent

>>that backpacking tent you want because it’s so light and spacious.

This item hits close to home mainly because we opted out of doing the John Muir Trail because of the air quality and fires going on here in California. The fires are mostly contained, but the smoke is still there. See why we opted out in my post: John Muir Trail: Why We Opted Out of Doing the JMT. Either way, we bought this tent not too long ago. We were backpacking up in the Sabrina Lake Backcountry as we saw a group of people setting up this tent. We were in the market for one. Tent looked super easy to put up and there was enough space for our packs too; we got the 3 person tent. Guess what the best part was, what it weighed. I bet you didn’t know a 3 person tent can weigh under 3 pounds in total. Price doesn’t matter at this point for what you get. This tent will last you years!

The little things we looked for before buying this tent:

  • Weight – since we go backpacking a lot and our tent right now weighs about 5 lbs. This was a huge factor as to which tent we would buy; the packed weight combined is 2 lb. 10 oz.
  •  Size – one of us is tall, so space matters. We also wanted to be able to put our packs inside with us instead of having them linger outside the tent; that’s why we chose the 3 person.
  •  Doors – we all know we hate going over the other person in a tent just to go to the bathroom at night. This tent has two different entries so you can get in and out on your side without bothering your partner.

*Note the tent does not come with the Platinum Footprint.

>> $$699.95 – Amazon

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Foam Backpacking Mattress

>>that mattress you add to your gear for extra benefits

I already had a backpacking mattress, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress. I really didn’t need another mattress, but this one I couldn’t just take out onto a rock and lay on it without being worried it would get a hole in it. So we decided to get something more usable outdoors too. If we go on longer trips this is the choice we go with, if it’s just a one night trip I’ll take both of the mattresses and my comfort level goes up a lot.

outdoor gear


>> $$44.95 – Amazon


Sea to Summit X Pan

>that pan your sister buys you for your birthday so you can cook her quesadillas on the trail

My sister bought me this for my birthday one year and since then we have made quesadillas and tacos with it. Check out my: Tacos at 10,000 Feet recipe if you’d like to do some awesome cooking in the mountains. What I like about this is that it fits pretty easily in my pack and it weighs only 9.6oz. When I’m cooking on it, the handles don’t become hot.

Thinking we’ll have to cook up something else in it on our next backpacking trip over labor day, maybe some fajitas.



>> $39.95 – Amazon

GSI Outdoors Spice Missile

If you’ve been on a backpacking trip, you’ve tried freeze-dried food. Freeze dried food isn’t always the tastiest, so this Spice Rocket is just the thing you need. You can fit up to 4 spices in it, which is just a perfect amount. I take paprika powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Those ingredients are the most used in our kitchen anyway and I have added them to some backpacking meals and it made the food so much better.

It’s weight (2.1 oz.) and size are ideal for backpacking trips or even a short weekend camping trip where you don’t want to take all your spices.

outdoor gear

>> $9.95 – Amazon

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