Canoeing and Paddling Gear Checklist

Canoeing and Paddling Gear Checklist

Getting ready for whitewater or maybe just a relaxing paddle down a remote river? We’ve got you covered.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Clothing
Outerwear

  • waterproof/breathable jacket
  • waterproof/breathable pants
  • fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • waterproof gaiters
  • synthetic hiking pants
  • synthetic shorts

Base Layer

  • midweight long john top
  • midweight long john bottoms
  • long sleeve T-shirt
  • synthetic briefs
  • synthetic sports bra
  • synthetic T-shirt

Accessories

  • wool or fleece hat
  • midweight wool or fleece gloves
  • Footwear
  • boots, sneakers, or sandals
  • camp footwear (optional)
  • wool or synthetic socks (3)
  • liner socks (2)

Extras

  • sun hat
  • personal locator beacon (optional)
  • bandanna

Gear
Canoeing Specific Gear

  • tripping-style canoe (16-17′)
  • personal flotation device (PFD)
  • throw rope
  • paddle (straight or bent shaft) and spare
  • drybags
  • plastic map case
  • waterproof binoculars
  • duck boots (optional)

Other Gear

  • Internal or external frame backpack
  • three-season tent
  • down or synthetic sleeping bag (15° to 30°F)
  • inflatable sleeping pad
  • canister stove and fuel canisters
  • lighter and waterproof matches
  • cookset
  • eating utensils, bowl, and insulated mug
  • headlamp w/extra batteries and bulb
  • 32 oz. water bottles (2)
  • water treatment (filter, tablets, or drops)
  • pocket knife or multitool
  • compass or GPS (and map)
  • sunglasses
  • first-aid kit with personal medications
  • stuff sacks
  • assorted zipper-lock bags
  • bear-bagging rope (or canister)
  • insect repellent (optional)
  • mesh head net or suit
  • sunscreen (SPF 15+)
  • lip balm (SPF 15+)
  • toilet paper and trowel

Swamp Hiking / Paddling Gear Packing Checklist

Swamp Gear Packing Checklist

Ready to get wet and wild? This packing list will prepare you for any swamp trek.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Clothing
Outerwear

  • waterproof/breathable jacket
  • waterproof/breathable pants
  • fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • waterproof gaiters
  • synthetic hiking pants
  • synthetic shorts

Base Layer

  • cotton T-shirt
  • synthetic T-shirt
  • synthetic briefs
  • synthetic sports bra

Accessories

  • synthetic liner gloves

Footwear

  • camp footwear (optional)
  • waterproof hiking boots
  • wool or synthetic socks (3)
  • liner socks (2)

Extras

  • sun hat
  • rain hat
  • bandanna

Gear

  • internal or external frame backpack
  • screen tent or tarp
  • synthetic sleeping bag (30° to 50°F)
  • inflatable sleeping pad
  • trekking poles
  • canister stove and fuel canisters
  • lighter and waterproof matches
  • cookset
  • eating utensils, bowl, and insulated mug
  • headlamp w/extra batteries and bulb
  • 32 oz. water bottles (filter, tablets, or drops) (2)
  • pocket knife or multitool
  • compass or GPS (and map)
  • sunglasses
  • first-aid kit with personal medications
  • personal locator beacon (optional)
  • stuff sacks
  • assorted zipper-lock bags
  • sunscreen (SPF 15+)
  • lip balm (SPF 15+)
  • toilet paper and trowel

Dayhiking Gear Checklist

Dayhiking Gear Checklist

Ready your gear quiver for a for a full day outing.

by: The Backpacker Editors

ON YOUR BODY

  • Synthetic short-sleeve t-shirt
  • Lightweight synthetic shorts or trekking pants
  • Synthetic briefs or boxers
  • Synthetic bra
  • Wool hiking socks (liner socks optional)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Gaiters (optional)
  • Hiking shoes or boots

 

IN YOUR PACK

  • Midweight synthetic or fleece long-sleeve top
  • Waterproof/breathable jacket or windproof shell
  • Waterproof/breathable pants (optional)
  • Extra pair of socks (optional)
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
  • Map
  • Compass or GPS
  • Headlamp
  • Extra food
  • Water bottles and water treatment (drops, tablets, or filter)
  • First-aid kit (with personal meds)
  • Firestarting kit
  • Toiletries and trowel
  • Personal locator beacon (optional)

COLD WEATHER ADDITIONS

  • Down or synthetic insulated jacket
  • Emergency shelter (bivy sack, tent, tarp)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Fleece pants
  • Insulated gloves or mittens

Snow / Winter Hiking Gear Packing Checklist

 

Snow/Winter Gear Packing Checklist

Get ready for winter with this comprehensive packing list.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Clothing
Outerwear

  • waterproof/breathable jacket
  • waterproof/breathable pants
  • insulated parka
  • fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • waterproof gaiters
  • synthetic or softshell hiking pants
  • fleece pants

Base Layer

  • expedition-weight long john bottoms
  • expedition-weight long john top
  • midweight long john top
  • midweight long john bottoms
  • long sleeve T-shirt
  • synthetic briefs
  • synthetic sports bra

Accessories

  • wool or fleece hat
  • balaclava
  • midweight wool or fleece gloves
  • heavyweight wool or fleece mittens
  • synthetic liner gloves
  • waterproof overmitts

Footwear

  • insulated camp booties
  • waterproof hiking boots (insulated is best)
  • wool or synthetic socks (3)
  • liner socks (2)

Extras

  • sun hat
  • bandanna

Gear

    • internal or external frame backpack
    • convertible or four-season tent
    • down sleeping bag (-30° to 0°F)
    • inflatable sleeping pad
    • closed-cell foam sleeping pad
    • trekking poles
    • white gas stove and fuel bottles
    • lighter and waterproof matches
    • cookset w/ heat exchanger
    • eating utensils, bowl, and insulated mug
    • headlamp w/extra batteries and bulb
    • 32 oz. water bottles (2)
    • water bottle parkas (2)
    • pocket knife or multitool
    • compass or GPS (and map)
    • sunglasses
    • first-aid kit with personal medications
    • personal locator beacon (optional)
    • chemical heat packs
    • stuff sacks
    • assorted zipper-lock bags
    • sunscreen (SPF 15+)
    • lip balm (SPF 15+)
    • toilet paper and trowel

 

  • pee bottle

 

 

Ultralight Hiking Gear Checklist

Ultralight Gear Checklist

Strip off the pounds with our ultralight checklist and hit the trail light as a feather.

by: The Backpacker Editors

CLOTHING

  • Synthetic short-sleeve t-shirt
  • Midweight synthetic or fleece long-sleeve top
  • Wind or rain shell (not both, under 12 ounces)
  • Rainpants (optional)
  • Lightweight synthetic trekking pants (zip-offs preferable)
  • Lightweight synthetic shorts (optional)
  • Down jacket (10 to 12 ounces)
  • Socks (two pair, one doubles as mittens)
  • Underwear (optional)
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Sun hat

 

GEAR

  • Internal frame pack or frameless rucksack (3,000 cubic inches or less, 2 pounds or less)
  • Down sleeping bag (750 fill or better)
  • Short sleeping pad (60″, closed foam or uninsulated air mattress)
  • Tarp (siliconized nylon)
  • Trekking poles (if needed for pitching tarp)
  • Headlamp (small LED)
  • Water bladder
  • Alcohol or canister stove, fuel, and lighter (optional)
  • Cookpot with lid (titanium or ultralight aluminum)
  • Mug and spork
  • Water treatment drops or tablets (chlorine dioxide or iodine)
  • Bear canister (optional)
  • First aid kit with razor blade (instead of knife)
  • Map and compass
  • Toiletries and trowel
  • Stuff sacks (siliconized nylon)
  • Sunscreen

 

Hot Desert Hiking Checklist

Hot Desert Gear Checklist

From New Mexico to the Sahara, this gear checklist will have to prepped for any desert adventure.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Clothing
Outerwear

  • waterproof/breathable jacket
  • fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • synthetic or softshell hiking pants
  • synthetic shorts

Base Layer

  • midweight long john top
  • midweight long john bottoms
  • synthetic briefs
  • synthetic sports bra
  • synthetic T-shirt
  • cotton T-shirt

Accessories

  • wool or fleece hat
  • synthetic liner gloves

Footwear

  • camp footwear (optional)
  • wool or synthetic socks (3)
  • liner socks (2)

Extras

  • sun hat
  • personal locator beacon (optional)
  • bandanna

Gear

  • Internal or external frame backpack
  • screen tent or tarp
  • down sleeping bag (-30° to 20°F)
  • inflatable sleeping pad
  • closed-cell foam sleeping pad
  • trekking poles
  • canister stove and fuel canisters
  • lighter and waterproof matches
  • cookset
  • eating utensils, bowl, and insulated mug
  • headlamp w/extra batteries and bulb
  • 32 oz. water bottles (2)
  • water treatment (filter, tablets, or drops)
  • pocket knife or multitool
  • compass or GPS (and map)
  • sunglasses
  • first-aid kit with personal medications
  • stuff sacks
  • assorted zipper-lock bags
  • insect repellent (optional)
  • sunscreen (SPF 15+)
  • lip balm (SPF 15+)
  • toilet paper and trowel
tent and boat 2017

Annual Tent and Boat Sale

Our annual Tent and Boat Sale is here! Get ready for your upcoming adventures with new camping and outdoor products from your favorite brands! We’ll have special prices and packages available Saturday only!

Buy a $5 raffle ticket to enter to win a Goal Zero Sherpa 1250 solar generator package valued at $2000!  All proceeds will go to our local Habitat for Humanity chapters and their ongoing flood recovery response.

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You’ll also be able to learn more about and meet members of Everybody Plays Foundation, UpTown Climbing, Wonder South, Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club and Baton Rouge Group of the Sierra Club CommunityPaddle BR at our Baton Rouge store, and Southern Stone Indoor Climbing, LASOAR, and the LA Hiking Club in Lafayette!

 

tent and boat 2017

Backpacker Kayak Demos

2017 Backpacker Kayak Demo Dates

The best way to decide which kayak is right for you is to try it out on the water!  The Backpacker offers opportunities to “try before you buy” in and around our Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana locations.  Our knowledgeable team will show you each kayak’s particular features and get you on the water to try out for yourself!  For the anglers, we have our Hobie and Wilderness Systems fishing team members attend many of our dates to share their love for catching BIG fish in little boats!
Brands represented are Hobie, Wilderness Systems, Perception, KC Kayaks, Mad River Canoe, YOLO, and Dagger!  We always have over a dozen models to try but please contact us to make sure your requested model will be available.
All times and dates are subject to change due to in-climate weather.
Check out full details by visiting the Backpacker Events page or see all dates below!
2/19  LSU Lakes 12-2
3/4  Chicot State Park South Landing 10am-2pm
3/11 LSU Lakes “Intro to Kayak Fishing” class starts at 8:30…On Water demo is 12-2
4/8 Sugar Mill Pond 10-2
4/15 LSU Lakes 10-2
5/13 Sugar Mill Pond 10/2
5/20 LSU Lakes 10-2
6/10 Sugar Mill Pond 10-2
6/17 LSU Lakes 10-2
7/8 Sugar Mill Pond 10-2
7/15 LSU Lakes 10-2
8/5 LSU Lakes 10-2
8/12 Sugar Mill Pond 10-2
9/9 Sugar Mill Pond 10-2
9/16 LSU Lakes 10-2
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#BACKPACKERPHOTO CONTEST IS BACK!

JacksonTeamBackpacker

WE WANT TO SEE YOUR PICTURES FROM WHEN YOU #GEAUXOUTTHERE!!

Have you ever purchased gear from The Backpacker?  Well now you can use your gear to win a $500 GIFT CARD!! This February submit a picture of yourself using gear from The Backpacker on Instagram and your photo will be entered to win a $500 Gift Card!!  Multiple photos can be entered.  ANYTHING BACKPACKER GEAR COUNTS**!  Show us your adventures!  Skiing, Snowboarding, Hammock days, hiking, exercising, paddling, kayak fishing, or ANYTHING RELATED to BACKPACKER OUTDOORS gear counts!

To enter the Instagram #BackpackerPhotoContest, post your picture using Backpacker Gear on Instagram* and include these 3 tags –

@backpackeroutdoors #geauxoutthere #backpackerphotocontest

The winner may be chosen based upon combination of factors including but not limited to originality, likes, shares, and whether or not you applied the tags as stated above**.

TIPS for increasing your chances to WIN:

  • Your Instagram account needs to be visible our judges.  Private accounts may be difficult to see.
  • Be original & make it about the outdoors
  • Make sure you get “@backpackeroutdoors #backpackerphotocontest #geauxoutthere”  all into your post.  This could make or break the winning decision.
  • Email customerservice@backpackeroutdoors.com a link to your post and a copy of your picture to ensure that our judges can see your post.

The winner will be announced on Friday March 3RD!

*IMAGES POSTED TO PRIVATE ACCOUNTS MAY NOT BE SEEN BY OUR JUDGES, SO BE SURE TO CHANGE YOUR PRIVACY SETTINGS ON INSTAGRAM IF YOU WANT TO WIN!

**The Backpacker withholds the right to make final determination of winner.

*** Photos of an offensive nature or depicting dangerous acts will not be considered.  All photos must be submitted by midnight on Tuesday February 28, 2017.  

2017 Camo Hobie Outback

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By: Eric Fey

In my mind, the Hobie Pro Angler 14 is the ultimate fishing kayak. I have been fishing one for a couple of years now and the arrival of the Mirage Drive 180 was sure to improve the performance of this kayak.  With the arrival of this new Drive system came the 2017 line of Hobie kayaks.  In addition to the new drive, the Pro Angler and Outback would be offered in a camo version.  Aside from looking cool, the camo model had some upgrades on each model.  Once I found out that the new Camo Outback would be equipped with turbo fins and a larger sailing rudder, I made the decision to swap over from the PA and give the Outback a try for the upcoming year.  I was able to take to the waters of Delacroix, LA recently to try out the new kayak.  The following review is comprised of my opinion of the new model having only fished it one time.

 

2017 Camo Hobie Outback with 180 Mirage Drive

Home Storage

Unlike the Pro Angler, there isn’t much flat space on the bottom of the Outback hull. I normally store my kayaks on a set of saw horses with towels to soften the contacting surfaces.  On the Pro Angler, the surface is flat and therefore very stable.  The Outback however, has a rounded midsection of the hull that forces the hull to lean one way or the other.  I was able to solve the issue by using a strap on the front and back to anchor the kayak to the horses.  No biggy.  The Outback is noticeably lighter than the PA so getting it up onto the horses and down from them was a bit easier.  Another option would be to build a cradle out of PVC and 2×4’s.  Instructions for build are online and easy to find.  Or, you could purchase the Hobie cradles, but they are a little pricey.

IMG_5285

Transport

The Outback is approximately 2 feet shorter than the PA. I no longer need to use a truck hitch bed extender when hauling the kayak.  Again, the kayak does not sit flush in the bed and I highly recommend building a cheap cradle to help it out.  This will make it much easier to tie down without any wiggling.  Once again, the Outback is lighter and easier to load and unload without any assistance.  I cannot stress enough the importance of having a cart of some sort.  The cart will take the kayak to and from the water.  If you intend to fish alone, a cart is a necessity.  This is just as true with the Outback as it was with the PA.

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Launching/Picking Up

I did not notice much difference when launching the Outback. I use the same method of carting it down to the water, lifting the back and letting the cart fall from the rear scuppers, then pushing the kayak into the water.  Since the Outback is a little lighter, I give the edge to the Outback when launching and picking up.

Speed

When it comes to speed, the Outback is a clear winner…..maybe. Here is the problem.  I can say definitely that the 2017 Outback is faster than the 2016 Pro Angler.  But the drives are different.  The 2017 Pro Angler may be just as fast but I can say without a doubt that the 2017 Outback FLIES!!!  Without having actually measured the speed, I would be comfortable saying that it could be 2-3 mph faster.  It makes sense that the Outback would be faster.  It is lighter, sleeker, and therefore has less drag.  Keep in mind that I was using turbo fins since they came with the camo version of the Outback.

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Layout/Storage

The PA is a clear winner for layout and storage in my eyes. In fact, this was my biggest complaint about the Outback platform.  There are no in hull rod holder which I have come to love.  There is very little in hull storage in the front hatch and even less in the middle circular hatch.  The back of the kayak is much smaller than the PA and could barely hold my 35 qt Yeti and Hobie cart.  I would be much better served with a soft sided cooler on this kayak.  I know plenty of anglers that have solved this issue and rig milk crates and fashion extra PVC rod holders.  I am into keeping my kayaks simple and basic so this type of solution doesn’t appeal to me.  I did however like the forward facing rod holders on the Outback.  While sight fishing it was nice to have my rod at the ready and in front of me for when I spot fish.

Stability

I found no issue with the stability of this kayak. I fish nearly all day from the standing position.  I never once fell like I was at risk for going overboard.  The PA is more stable as you would expect, but the Outback was plenty stable enough.  There is nothing more to say on stability other than don’t let the size or shape of this kayak scare you out of standing.

Control/Steering

Being that the Outback is a smaller kayak, it obviously handles a bit better than the PA. Turning is more responsive, at least with the sailing rudder.  One thing that did surprise me was that the Outback seemed to track better than the PA as well.  When I took it out, the wind was blowing pretty good (10-12mph).  On the way back to the launch around noon, I was traveling North-Northwest into a Northeast wind.  I rarely had to make any adjustments to my rudder to stay on course.  This may be because it has a lower profile than the PA and therefore catches less wind.  I am not sure, but it was noticeable.  One HUGE benefit to the Outback is its paddle-abilityishness when the fins are locked up to the bottom of the hull.  Often when I am sight fishing, I pick up the fins and use my paddle to push pole or paddle across the flats.  The Outback was very easy to propel from the standing position.  This alone almost entirely makes it a more pleasant kayak to sight fish reds from.

Options/Aesthetics

The PA is rigger friendly. You can attach almost anything that you could want without putting unnecessary holes in the hull.  This is not the case with the Outback.  Both kayaks look really sharp but the Outback is seriously lacking in modular rigging options.  Again, many people have no issue tearing into their brand new hull.  I am always a little more hesitant.  That being said, it is more than possible to rig the Outback anyway that you could ever want if you have the stomach for it.  I find the circular hatch in the middle of the Outback next to useless and would seriously consider changing it out to the rectangular hatch.  It is worth noting one more time that the Camo version of the Outback comes with extras which in my mind, more than justify the extra $150.  One of those options is the Turbo fins on the new Mirage Drive.  The other is the larger sailing rudder.  Aside from these two extras, you also get a sweet camo paint job.

New Mirage Drive with Reverse

I will start off by saying that even if you never use the reverse feature, it seems like Hobie has found a way to make the Mirage Drive perform even better. The new drive seems faster and feels like it requires less effort.  Once again, I am comparing a 2017 Outback to a 2016 PA, but I will make an effort to get in a new PA soon.  Now, on to the reverse function.  For the first part of the day I found it difficult to switch the drive into reverse.  Or rather I thought it was difficult.  It turns out that in the water you cannot hear the audible “click” of the drive spinning around, WHICH IS A GOOD THING!  Quiet is always better.  But, since I was expecting to hear it, I wasn’t recognizing when the drive was flipping.  Once I came to that realization, it seemed quite easy to engage the reverse.  Once the fins were locked in, you have the benefit of full power, full speed reverse.  This drive is capable of pushing the kayak in reverse at unnecessary speeds.  When you are in super skinny water, you will not be able to reverse the fins.  They need to be in almost a full upright position to switch.  I did find that because of the reverse, I did not have a need to anchor all day.  In fact, I think that I will fish without an anchor for a while to see if this holds true.  If for any reason it doesn’t I have a PowerPole Micro ready to fill that gap.  All in all, I really like the new drive and cannot wait to see if it is more rugged than the last model.  Previously I had a bad habit of bending the fin masts.  I am told that the new masts are stronger and less prone to bending.

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Both the Pro Angler and Outback are industry leading kayaks and you really can’t go wrong with either. If I was forced to choose one, I would most likely choose the Pro Angler with the reversible Mirage Drive.  That being said, I loved the Outback and look forward to fishing from it this year.  Who knows, maybe my opinion will change.  As of now I just like the in hull rod storage and overall layout of the PA a little better.  I encourage anyone who might be interested in checking out these kayaks to visit The Backpacker or give them a call.  They can get you into both of these models so that you can try for yourself.