Miscellaneous Gear

This category contains items that are not necessarily “essential” to carry with you, or that don’t fall within a specific category of their own. Some people may find they can’t live without some of these items, while others could easily leave them behind. Many “miscellaneous” items are optional to carry, and may fall under the description of “survival gear” in some cases. There are of course endless items which can fall under the “miscellaneous” category, but here are some very common ones to give you and idea.

I used this knife for my entire AT hike and it was a beast! I whittled, shaved sticks, cleaned fish, squirrels, and snakes with it. I dug up wild edibles with it; opened cans, opened packages, cut rope, and sliced my food with it. It only weighs a few ounces, and there are slightly lighter options out there, but for the price, weight, durability, and functionality… this knife holds a special place in my heart.

  • Pocket Knife/Swiss Army Knife

    You can’t go wrong with a Swiss Army Knife. As I’m sure everyone knows, these some in a myriad of sizes and weighs, as well as functions. It’s up to you to decide what/how much you want in your knife/multi tool if you decide to take one of these on trail with you.

If you’re looking for light, strong, sharp, and functional, then look no further. This knife is a little bit pricey, but I have never received a knife this sharp right out of the box. At less than 3 ounces, this is by far one of the most practical backpacking knives I’ve found. Throw it in your pack or wear it as a neck knife for instant access. All I can say is… you won’t be disapointed.

Carrying a length of 550 Para-cord on the trail is never a bad thing. When long distance hiking, paracord isn’t a “must,” but you never know when it might come in handy. I’ve never needed it in a life or death type situation, but I’ve used it as a clothes line to hang gear out to dry. Also, sometimes it’s fun to practice knots or other skills with when you’re bored.

Some people don’t even carry lighter, but I’d never be caught dead without one; start fires, light your stove, melt frayed rope together, etc. The ability to easily start a fire is an important thing to possess, and it doesn’t get much easier than having  a lighter. I usually carry two, in case one runs out, breaks, or gets wet. Store them someplace dry in your pack, maybe even separately.

A flint isn’t a “must have” item, but it can be fun to practice making fires with, and it’s usefulness in an emergency situation is undeniable. Whether you carry one or not is totally your call. I am extremely careful with my lighters, so I opt not to carry one.

This is one of those things not everybody carries, but can come in great handy. I always carry one to use as a wipe rag for my dishes (if I have any), but it can also come in handy as a filter. No it’s not going to filter out any major waterborne illnesses, but it will filter out the majority of dirt and grit should your filter become compromised (assuming you even carry one). If you’re not filtering and you’d like your water to have less texture, then fold your bandanna several times, hold it over the end your bottle and strain that water  into another bottle/container. It also serves as a sweat rag that can be worn under a hat or on your neck for extra sun protection. Many women will also use a cotton bandanna as a “pee rag.” Completely optional item, but it weighs next to nothing, and I enjoy having one.

Sewing Kit

Your gear will take a beating out there, and some if it wont make it all the way. Some people simply throw stuff away hen it tears or breaks. Others like to fix their gear themselves and take great pride in doing so. Some people consider a survival sewing kit essential, others wouldn’t give it a second thought. You don’t have to carry everything that’s in the kit; only the items you deem necessary.

G-Shock Watch

Some people always wear a watch, some people never wear a watch. I tend to alternate between wearing one all the time and not wearing one at all. I think they come in excellent handy on the trail when you want to check the time without digging out your phone, or when you want to time your pace between points. I owned this G-Shock watch for many years, and I must say I’m impressed. I’ve used it for hiking, running and swimming. You may have a favorite brand, but I found this G-Shock to be stupidly rugged and nearly indestructible to daily hiking use.

Sun Cloud Polarized Sun Glasses

You probably have a favorite brand of sunglasses, but the pair you own now may not be polarized. I always recommend having a pair of sunglasses; especially when trekking over snow pack in the day time. Having a pair of polarized glasses will help further protect you from the sun and cut the glare. They are also very beneficial when it comes to fishing. I found the Sun Cloud brand to be a very stylish brand of glasses that aren’t too cheap or too expensive.

Tilly Sun Hat

If you burn easy, or just like to wear a hat; few compare to the Tilly. It’s like the Indiana Jones Fedora of the future. They are quite pricey, but they are guaranteed for life, and they are incredibly well made and well suited for their function. I absolutely love my Tilly Hat, and it’s one of the few hats (I think) I actually look good in.

Dakine Fanny Pack

I never thought I’d be a Fanny Pack guy, but alas… I am. Since getting this fanny pack, I can’t imagine hiking without one. They are great for stowing snacks, cell phones, or anything else within convenient reach while you’re hiking; especially if your pack doesn’t have hip belt pockets, or even if they do. You can still wear them perfectly fine even with your hip belt buckled around your waist as well. They also come in great handy when you’re walking around town and don’t have any pockets in your clothes to store money or other items. Obviously you don’t have to get this exact fanny pack, as there are endless styles and weights out there to suit your preferences/needs.

100% Deet Bug Spray

One of the most brutal aspects of any long hike can be the biting insects. They can reach unholy proportions depending on where and when you are. Sometimes there is nothing you can do, but I’ve found no less than 100% Deet bug spray to be extremely effective. I now carry a small spray bottle just like this one every time I hike. It’s very light and compact; well worth the tiny bit of extra weight. Don’t get it in your eyes, mouth.


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