We prefer lightweight backpacking because it’s more comfortable and it allows us to cover more ground with less effort. For recommendations on our favorite lightweight backpacking equipment, check out the CleverHiker Gear Guide and Top Picks page.
Depending on the time of year, we recommend neoprene socks paired with drainable hiking shoes or boots for navigating Coyote Gulch. A pair of lightweight sandals for camp will allow your feet to dry/air out after and between prolonged stream-drenched hikes.
What to Pack
TENT: We used the ZPacks Duplex tent on this trip for its ultralight livability. This tent is one of our all-time favorites and makes our list of the best lightweight backpacking tents.
BACKPACK: We used the HMG 2400 Southwest and Zpacks Arc Haul Ultra 60 backpacks on this trek. Both packs are lightweight, convenient, comfortable, and make our list of the best lightweight backpacking packs.
SLEEPING BAG: Nighttime temperatures in the desert vary greatly depending on the season. When evening lows dip around freezing, we use the REI Magma 15 and Feathered Friends Swallow YF 20 sleeping bags. When nighttime lows are 40°F or higher we prefer lightweight quilts like the Enlightened Equipment Revelation. Here’s a list of our favorite lightweight sleeping bags/quilts.
SLEEPING PAD: We used the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT and Sea to Summit UltraLight Insulated sleeping pads on this trip. Both are light, comfortable, warm, and make our list of the best backpacking sleeping pads.
COOKING SYSTEM: We used the BRS Stove, Snow Peak Mini Solo Cookset, and TOAKS Long Spoon on this hike, all of which make our top picks gear list and best lightweight stove list.
WATER PURIFIER: We used the SteriPEN Ultra as our main purification method on this trip. It’s lightweight, works fast, and doesn’t require any pumping/squeezing or chemicals. Check out our best water purifiers list for our other top recommendations.
SHOES OR BOOTS: We wore Saucony Peregrine hiking shoes (men’s and women’s) on this trail and they were excellent. Check out our other top footwear choices on our best hiking shoes list and best hiking boots list.
HEADLAMP: We used the Petzl Actik Core headlamp for this trip. It’s bright and has a great battery life, which is why it’s on our best headlamps list.
FOOD: When backpacking Coyote Gulch, carry your food in small critter/raven proof bags or storage containers. For some suggestions on common backpacking food options, check out our backpacking food guide or our list of the best freeze-dried meals.