*DISCLAIMER: We are not experts, the following video is about gear that WE have found is not useful for us (anymore), and might not be the case for everyone. Certain trips will always require certain tools, and there may be exceptions to this list in the future.

Our first viewer requested video! Here we discuss 1.) Cooking related items we brought to I.R. and didn’t use, 2.) Other backpacking items we brought to I.R. and didn’t use, and 3.) Random backpacking items we used to take/see other people take/or bought and never ended up bringing.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Good video, first time watching you guys. Might I suggest keeping the compass and ditching all the tech? I don’t even bring a watch with me anymore, it just feels wrong. Interesting about the knife, not many people would go without a knife. I sold those little Swiss minis for years and have a bunch of them, too fragile though for a scissor, many returns for them breaking. Do you have a light my fire mora? Talk about killing 3 birds with one stone, fillet fish, baton wood and build a fire.

  2. Most binoculars are too heavy and bulky – like the pair you show.  But…  so much of the wildlife I see is far enough away that having a pair is really nice.  I searched around and eventually found a pair that is about 1/3 the size of what you have there, and only weighs 4 oz.  The way they get it so small and light is that it is infinite focus so there is no focusing mechanism.  Anything that is more than about 20' away will always be in focus.  And if it's closer than that, you don't need binoculars anyway.

  3. Regarding knives, most long distance hikers agree with you.  At most a tiny knife will suffice for nearly any necessary task.  That said, I still bring a mora knife.  It's a 5" blade, 3/4 tang, and weighs about 7 oz with the sheath.  I've shaved my base weight down to 15 lbs, and I know that leaving the knife behind will shave nearly another half pound.  But when I do want to build a fire (rare, but occasionally) being able to baton sticks and feather kindling makes that job about a million times easier.

  4. Yup, unless you are going to a single destination and then hiking back along very well marked trails, I'd always take a paper map and a good (not button) analog compass.  I grew up hiking in the mountains when cell phones were huge bricks only rich people owned so this good habit was the only nav solution there was.  Even today though, I'd say never leave your survival in the hands of something that relies on a battery.

  5. To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed in what these guys have decided to do.
    The fact that you are ditching the baseplate compass because you already have a button compass tells me you don't know how to use it anyways. They are used for much more than just point out the cardinal directions. Seeing this is unfortunate because backcountry navigation skills are incredibly valuable out-of-doors.

    Also, the knife is for general utility/survival-emergency needs. When you need a knife, you need a knife as nothing else is gonna do the job. Every self-respecting Search & Rescue organization always recommends hikers to carry knives and to be prepared to stay the night.

    Learn some basic skills in navigation and survivalcraft and you'll have a different take on what you should ditch and what you shouldn't.

  6. EXPERTS, true experts, consistently recommend:
    – compass / navigation: having a backup to GPS incase system or power fail, & not using button compasses as they are cheap / unreliable (& any compass near your watch will be at least 10-20 degrees inaccurate due to metal / magnet!)
    – cutting: having a knife (AT LEAST a multitool)
    – combustion / fire: having 3 DIFFERENT ways to start fire, not just 2 mini lighters
    – cordage: always having cordage & tape.
    The 10 C's matter.
    Yes go light. But don't be reckless about it, cos you put others (rescuers) at risk let alone yourself.
    Just saying.

  7. Great video guys. Makes me kinda nostalgic. On my first camping trip I brought two huge knifes (and a gun, smh stupid). One was a diving knife with a blade about 6 inches. The other was a huge Rambo style knife that probably weighed 2 pounds. I used it to cut potatoes. Lol, ridiculous. Now years later I use what you guys do, the tiny swiss army with the scissors. And on most trips even that never gets used. Live and learn.

  8. Great topic. After my trips I lay out all the gear and review usage. My first extended trip cut 10 pounds! Here are some things I still bring and wonder whether I should continue: Pack towel (never used but it's so soft), rain pants, too much food (end up giving away), extra jacket, swimsuit, parts of my first aid kit, and extra maps.

  9. Agreed on all the items to drop with the exception of the compass, useful for taking bearings and when bad visibility comes in, but I guess it depends on how well the trails are marked where you hike. I ditched the multitool, I never used it when hiking, useful on canoe or biking trips though, I switched to just a pair of scissors which live in my first aid kit, Westcott 2.5" ti scissors on Amazon I think.
    Love the vids, keep 'em coming guys

  10. There's always things I take and don't use but I'm close.
    Take the knife! You might have to amputate a limb and the little scissors won't cut it. 😉 seriously I knife is a must in my opinion even if you rarely use it.
    For a lantern, not necessary as you guys say, check out a Luci…. It's super light and solar. I love it and so will you.