I'm a mom of two who loves to get outside hiking, skiing, kayaking, and anything else as often as I can, with or without kids. With over 3,000 miles of backpacking under my belt, I'm a bit of a backpacking gear junkie and enjoy sharing what I've learned with others. Living in Vermont, I have a lot of opportunities to use my gear and am happy to share my experiences.
Enlightened Equipment Accomplice Quilt
This product is a game changer for my family! My husband and I are not large people and we have two kids 3 and under which means we’re the pack mules for the kids. I’m not sure how I’d carry four sleeping bags but with this, I don’t have to! We can comfortably fit three people inside for the weight of just one bag. I’m in love! It’s also great for just my husband and myself when we’re out alone but with kids it’s basically necessary. We’re in New England and nights can be chilly even in summer and this has been an awesome investment!
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System
I’ve owned two of these over the course of 6 years and recommend it to everyone. I love that you can basically DIY it into any configuration that you dream up. Mine is currently set up as a gravity system so that it’s easier for my family to filter larger quantities but I just use a bag to squeeze if I’m alone. Unfortunately the squeeze bags are very fragile and probably shouldn’t be taken into the backcountry without at least one backup. I did have one bag last around 2,000 miles on a thru-hike but then two bags failed in a row. I’ve found that Evernew, Platypus, and CNOC bags are a great replacement. I also choose not to carry the syringe and instead DIY’d a backflusher out of two bottle caps! I’ve found that a ziplock bag works really well as a scoop to fill up the larger squeeze bags. Just don’t let it freeze!
Tarptent Notch 1 Person Tent
My Favorite Tent!
I’ve owned the Notch for 5 years, before the Li was an option, and it is my favorite piece of gear. It thru-hiked the AT with me and I’m confident that it could handle at least one more hike that distance or longer. I opted for the partial solid interior which I think helped keep a lot of the splashback out. I live in the humid northeast and the double wall has never failed to keep me separated from condensation. I’ve set it up on numerous tent platforms, used it in the snow, and one terrible five day stretch of solid rain. I seam sealed it myself and it has been one of my best gear investments! I have no intention of ever purchasing a backpacking tent made by anyone other than Tarptent. That’s how much I love it!