Do not go crazy making a backpacking gear list. Choose wisely. If you are a beginner, take short trips on safe trails you are familiar with. Go on some overnights in good weather on a trail you know well. Stay close to home and within cell phone communication range. Your standard gear should include a satellite messenger in case you get in trouble. That should go with you on every trip, and you should always have fresh batteries in it. I am all for triple redundancy for safety items, but backpacking is all about weight and quality gear.
Take your time and only get the best gear you have thoroughly researched. It has to survive field use in all kinds of conditions. Some experienced backpackers like to camp in all four seasons. (more…)