REI Co-op Sahara Convertible Pant
A good lightweight convertible nylon pant is arguably the most versatile piece of clothing you can own. They dry fast, keep off bugs, and protect your legs from the sun. Remove the legs, and you have shorts, and in a pinch, a swimsuit. I had a couple of pairs of convertible pants made by Early Winters for over a quarter-century. Thanks to losing weight, these pants no longer fit. Sadly, Early Winters is no more and I had to look elsewhere for a suitable replacement.
My current hiking pant of choice is the REI Co-op Sahara Convertible Pant. I’ve worn these for several seasons, and they have held up well. I love the snap cuff and the vertical zipper on the lower leg so I can take off the pant leg without having to remove my shoe. The pants come in different inseam lengths, waist sizes, and a handful of colors. I recommend waiting to buy them when they go on sale.
Patagonia® Silkweight Capilene T-Shirt
My purple Silkweight Patagonia t-shirt is over twenty years old, has been with me on many hundreds of hikes, and still has no holes in it. It is my warm weather day hiking shirt of choice. Yes, there are newer shirts with better SPF ratings and better odor control (my t-shirt starts to smell after a day or two of hard hiking which is why I use lightweight merino wool on longer trips), but this shirt has stood the test of time. It is comfortable and functional, as well as a gentle reminder I don’t need the “latest and greatest” materials or the newest style and colors. Plain, simple, and durable are what’s important.
Long Handle Titanium Spoon
A spoon? Are you kidding me? No, I’m not. This spoon goes with me on all my overnight trips. At 8 1/2 inches long and only 0.4 ounces (~12 grams) it is perfect for eating meals right out of the pouch. You read correctly: out of the pouch. Most of my meals, especially on shorter trips, consist of pouring boiling water into a prepackaged food bag and eating right out of the bag. No dishes to deal with, just the spoon. The long handle keeps my fingers clean while I dig into the deep recesses of the food sack. BackpackingLight.com no longer sells this spoon, but similar items are available.
Sea-to-Summit® Aeros Pillow Ultra Light
It is impossible to overstate the value of a good night’s sleep. The Sea-to-Summit Aeros Pillow Ultra Light is the best pillow I’ve ever used. I tuck the Aeros pillow into a piece of fleece or other fabric (using the fleece/fabric as a pillowcase) and then it’s off to dreamland. A good night’s sleep for about the weight of a Clif Bar®. Best of all, my pillow was given to me as a gift. (Thanks, Chris!)
DISCLAIMER: This is my standard note that the opinions in the gear reviews are my own. All the equipment was purchased with my own funds (unless it was a gift from a friend or family member) and I didn’t receive any compensation from any of the vendors. All links are for your convenience, and I don’t receive any ‘click’ revenue, or even track that sort of thing. In fact, I don’t include links for many of the items mentioned since links change, and you can just google the product yourself.