Backpacking Gear You Can Live Without

Backpacking Gear You Can Live Without

Backpacking Gear You Can Live Without


There’s typically a hefty list of gear and supplies you’re going to need when you backpack. Most of the time, this stuff is necessary for comfort and safety. While some things come in handy, others are just unnecessary. There’s some things you can really go without and leave at home:

This Hanging Cupboard:

without, hanging cupboard, gear

It might be an excellent idea for camping, but for those who need to lighten the load in their backpack, you can do without. You’re not hosting a party, folks. Your freezer dried meals don’t need to be on display for all the world to see…the world being a few of your hiking buddies, or perhaps just yourself

These Trail Chopsticks:

without, chopsticks, gear

Unless you plan on eating a meal that specifically requires chopsticks, or you’re hiking in Asia where they are the go-to, these are just unnecessary. If you lose one, you’re S.O.L unless you’re fine with stabbing your food the whole time (in which case, you could have just used a fork). Instead, bring along a few wooden ones from the Chinese Restaurant in your town.

The ‘Squat and Poop’ Strap:

without, strap, gear

If you’re knees are bad, having to go number #2 in the wilderness can be a pain in the butt (literally). That being said, it’s likely you won’t need to strap yourself to a tree with this product to aid in your ‘business’. That doesn’t stop some people from still buying a product like this.

This Water Drinking Tube:

without, tube, gear

You could stick this tube in a bottle of water that you’ve already spent time purifying, so you can drink it on the go. Or, you can just buy a Camelbak, which throws in a backpack and bladder along with the tube.

‘Waterproof’ Hiking Boots:

While many boots will say that they’re waterproof, the fact of the matter is the only part of the boot that can be waterproof is the outside layer. As soon as they’re drenched, the water will be getting into your socks. Best to go with a good pair of boots that is at least honest. Don’t let the tag fool you.

without, waterproof, boots, gear

This Three-Person Hammock:

without, hammock, gear

It may not be necessary, but we can understand why a hammock would be a nice idea to bring along. But this? Relaxing in a hammock near your buddies is cool, but who’s the unlucky one who has the carry it the entire time?

Any Snake-bite Kit:

snake-bite kit, gear, without

You should always take medical gear seriously when it comes to backpacking in the wilderness. However, there’s just some things you can’t heal on your own, and you will need additional help no matter what. One of these is a snake-bite. If you get bitten by a poisonous snake, you will need to be rushed to the nearest hospital to get anti-venom that only the hospital can distribute upon proper diagnoses. Snake-bite kits have actually been tested and proven not to work well. 

This Fancy French-Press:

french-press, gear, hiking, without

We’re not arguing the need to have coffee during a hike. But, lugging around this baby so you can have top-notch coffee while wearing the same socks for three days straight, is just a little bit over the top.

This Giant Camera:

camera, gear, without

If you love taking pictures, then you should absolutely listen to no one who tells you not to bring your camera. That being said, if it’s one of your first time hitting the trails as an amateur photographer, then consider taking a smaller camera like the GoPro, instead. It captures great shots and videos and barely takes up any space in your bag. You can do without cameras that use a bulky lens like this.

This Insane Swiss Army Knife:

knife, gear, without

Unless you’re a ninja or you plan to perform some intense surgeries while you’re out in the backcountry, leave this gadget at home. Yes, it’s cool, but it’s completely unnecessary for a backpacking trip.


canwiches, without, gear

There’s a lot of backpacking food out there that makes us turn our heads to the side like a confused dog, but none of those top Canwiches, which you can certainly live without. Why bring bread and jam when you can have it a can? Because. Just because.


hanalarock I'm Hana- a freelance travel writer and teacher who currently lives in South Korea. I'm originally from New York, but have spent the last two years traveling and living abroad. My first time hiking in the US was when I traveled around the country as a teenager. Though, my first adult backpacking trip was a year ago, when I hiked from Thailand down to Singapore for a month. I'm looking forward to many more adventures in the future. Visit my site for more information.