Bear Creek, John Muir Wilderness, CA

Backpacking Gear

Bear Creek

Backpacking Gear Suggestions


Undoubtedly the most widely acclaimed backpacking stoves today are the Jetboil line of stoves. Light weight, durability, compactness, reliability, speed and fuel efficiency are among the attributes most commoinly cited. For its purpose of boiling water, it is hard to beat. The Jetboil stoves come in a variety of styles with a range of prices. Carry matches or a lighter as a backup to its ignition system.

For those seeking lighter weight, the MSR PocketRocket Stove is popular. It works well. Efficiency can be improved by a loosely fitted aluminum foil wind screen. The PocketRocket is best for small pots. Use caution around it to avoid knocking it over.

Water Filters

To avoid the risk of getting sick, most Sierra backpackers filter or treat their drinking water. Sawyer Water Filters are popular because of their light weight and ease of use, but the bags they provide are suseptible to developing leaks. Some soft-sided water bottles such as the Platypus will thread onto the filter and work just as well.

The SteriPen uses UV light to kill the germs. The SteriPen Adventurer has become popular because it is more reliable than earlier models. Those who use the SteriPen, or any other filter system, are wise to carry a backup such as Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets.


Big Agnus Tents and other Big Agnus Products have become popular recently. The tents are lightweight. As such, care should be taken in using them. We recommend placing a separate lightweight ground tarp under the tent to protect its floor. Some people buy the matching Big Agnus Footprint. Others simply use plastic sheeting or Tyvek. Be sure the ground tarp is tucked completely under the tent so that rainwater does not gather between the ground tarp and the tent floor.

The Big Agnus Fly Creek UL 2 is advertised for two people. For tw0 it is cozy, but it is more comfortable as a one-person tent.

Emergency Flashlight

Pick up a tiny LED flashlight to carry in your pocket in case of an emergency. LED lights, such as the Princeton Tec Pulsar LED Flashlight, weigh almost nothing and could be a lifesaver.