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Lightweight Backpacking Gift Guide: The 10 Non-Essentials

10 Non-Essentials Backpacking Gifts

The biggest benefit of lightweight backpacking gear is that you can add a few luxury items back in without having to worry so much about the extra weight. So, after you’ve cut your toothbrush in half and removed all of the tags from your clothing, here are some lightweight backpack gifts you can bring along to make your trip safer and more enjoyable.

1. Garmin inReach Mini Satellite Messenger

The Garmin inReach Mini is a pocket-sized satellite messenger that can send an SOS message to Search and Rescue in an emergency when you’re out of cell phone range. It can also send email messages and text messages to friends and family, or share your GPS coordinates. It has an easy to use push-button interface but can also pair with a Smartphone via bluetooth to display GPS maps and navigational information. Weighing just 3.5 oz, it’s small enough to tuck into your pants pocket.

Garmin inreach mini satellite Messanger
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REI | Moosejaw | Amazon

2. Extra-wide 30″ Sleeping Pad

There’s nothing like a 30″ wide sleeping bag to add a little luxury to a backpacking trip. If you’re sick of having your arms slip off the sides of your pad at night, you know what I mean. Kymit’s 26.5 ounce Static V Luxe Sleeping Pad is a full 30 inches wide for extra rolling room that crams down to a tiny pack size with minimum weight.

30 inch wide Klymit Static V Luxe Sleeping Pad ($99.95) 26 ounces

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Klymit | Amazon

3. Titanium French Press

Fresh coffee is all that separates humans from wild beasts. Make a strong brew every morning with the Snowpeak Titanium French Press. Weighing just 6.3 ounces, the 24 fluid oz (0.7 L) mug can be used for general cooking as well and is the perfect way to enjoy great coffee while camping or backpacking, without adding a bunch of extra weight to your pack.

Snowpeak Titanium French Press

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4. Solar Powered Lantern

There’s nothing like the glow of a lantern when you need to hang out in your tent during stormy weather or in winter when the sun goes down early. The MPowered Inflatable Luci Lantern collapses down to just 1 in. thick, giving you plenty of room for all your other gear. Weighing just 4.4 oz, it lasts up to 24 hrs. on low setting from a 7 hr. charge, w/ a charge indicator that shows remaining battery life.

Mpowered Luci Solar LanternCheck for the latest price at:
REI | Moosejaw | Amazon

5. Ultralight Camp Chair

You really can’t beat a camp chair for hanging out in front of a campfire with an ultralight and portable camp chair like the Helinox Chair Zero. Weighing just one pound, this four-legged camp chair that packs down to the width of a standard 32 oz. water bottle.  It is well made, durable, stable and most of all comfortable

Helinox Chair Zero

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REI | Moosejaw | Amazon

6. Hip Flask

There’s nothing quite like sipping a little whiskey or bourbon after a hard day’s hiking or passing a flask around the campfire to new friends and old. Weighing 7.7 ounces, the stainless steel GSI Outdoors Glacier Hip Flask with a tethered cap, slips discretely into your back pocket.
GSI Stainless Steel Hip Flask
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Amazon | Campsaver

7. Kindle Book Reader

Many backpackers love to lie in their sleeping bags and catch up on a little reading with a good book. But many also bring a Kindle along because having 1000 books is so much better than just one! Weighing just 6.7 ounces, a 6″ Kindle Book Reader is easy to pack, holds a 10 hour charge, and weighs less than many paperbacks!
Kindle 6 inch Glare Free Book Reader
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8. Cushy Camping Pillow

Put an end to restless nights of backpacking and camping and upgrade your sleep system with a cushy pillow. Covered with velvety soft microfiber, the NEMO Fillo Backpacking Pillow combines a baffled 3 in. air bladder with 1 in. of luxury foam on top, allowing you to dial in the perfect amount of comfort. Weighing 10.8 ounces, this pillow is worth its weight in gold!
NEMO Fillo Backpacking Pillow ($39.95) 10 ounces
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REI | Moosejaw | Amazon

9. Tilley Endurables Hiking Hat

Tilley Hats are famous because they’re practical, comfortable, last forever, and are very easy to care for. They even come with a manufacturer guarantee. Tilley’s most popular hiking hat is the LTM6 Airflo Hat. Available in a wide range of sizes, it has a wide sun-blocking brim to blocking with mesh in the crown for those hot days. Closed-cell foam in the top makes hat float if it goes overboard, while a hidden pocket in the crown is good for storing emergency cash or keys.

Tilley LTM6 Airflo HatCheck for the latest price at:
REI | Moosejaw | Amazon

10. Fast Charging Battery Pack

Power. Recharge your book reader, tablet, phone, mp3 player, and LED camp lights with the latest generation of fast charging battery packs. The RAVPower 20100 mAh External Battery Pack weighs just 13.4 ounces and has plenty of juice for you and your friends to top off your gadgets. Featuring Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 technology, the RAVPower charges devices 75% faster and can charges an iPhone 6S & 6 almost 7 times, a Galaxy S6 almost 5 times or an iPad Air more than once.

Fast Charginng RAVPower 20100mAh External Battery Pack Power Bank ($69.00) - 13.4 ounces

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  1. What an excellent set of choices! I either have or want every item on that list.

  2. The Inreach Mini is great! I am an insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetic, and having the Inreach has provided so much peace of mind when I go solo hiking or backpacking out of cell range. I can easily communicate with my wife, she can check online to see where I am if she doesn’t hear from me and I have the option of requesting emergency services if needed. Highly recommended.

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