So, I've already done a Budget Gear List. But let's say quality of gear is more important than low prices. I still stand by my recommendations on the above list, and it'll probably be a LIGHTER list than this one, but I'm somebody who wants durable equipment, and I've learned that it's often better to buy a piece of gear that lasts, once, than to buy cheaply and have to buy again.
Backpack: Gregory Baltoro 65
Store: REI $299
Notes: I've got the 2014 version of this pack, and the worst thing I can say about it, is that the pockets on the belt are too small. the 2015 version of this pack remedies that, and even comes with a built-in rain cover. I would not hesitate for one moment to recommend this pack. Try one on!
Trekking Poles: REI Traverse
Store: REI $90
Notes: Another piece of gear I own, these poles have not been PERFECT, but they've been darn good. If I had one complaint, it would be the need to periodically tighten the screws on the locks. If I were thankful for one thing, it would be that I have the ability to tighten the screws on the locks. They've got cork handles, they've got fliplocks with user-tightening screws, and they've survived a year of my abuse.
Tent: REI Passage 2
Store: REI $159
Notes: More gear I own, though I picked up mine for a third of the price at a garage sale. I considered more expensive tents but honestly, they all looked more complicated to set up. At the end of the day, with my energy spent, and my body aching, I'd rather have a simple tent. The Passage 2 is a two-pole X configuration, and it's hard to get simpler than that.
Sleeping Bag: Kelty Cosmic Down 20
Store: Amazon, $137
Notes: The slightly warmer version of the bag I recommend for my budget list. I got a 2014 closeout version of this for cheap at Scheels Sports in the Fox River Mall, but Amazon's price is the best I saw tonight. I'm a cold cold sleeper, and the Cosmic Down is so warm that I'm reluctant to leave it come morning.
Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout
Store: REI $60
Notes: The first gear on this list I don't own. I'd like to have an inflatable pad for the cushioning it would provide, though my Blue Foam Pad has done a fine job of insulating.
Cookware: Snow Peak 900 Titanium Pot
Store: REI $53
Notes: an awesome lightweight and durable pot, perfect size for cooking and eating the trail meals I've been listing on this blog. I'm quite sold on titanium, even if it commands a premium.
Stove: Canister Stove
Store: Amazon $7
Notes: I love this cheap canister stove so much.
Water Filter: Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L
Store: REI $90
Notes: Only design I've found that has a standing cylinder for the filter. I believe that this combination of standing filter and gravity feed is the best option available.
Food Bag: 10L Food Bag
Store: REI $9
Notes: Combine with Paracord, Carabiner and Stick and you can use the PCT Hang on the bag and prevent Yogi from getting into your pick-a-nick basket. Yup! Same one from the other list. Some items there's just no need to spend more on.
Knife: Buck 110 Folding Knife
Store: Amazon $42
Notes: Buck Knives are my go-to for blades, and I'm quite happy with both my 110 folder, and 105 pathfinder fixed blade. When I'm hiking though, I prefer the 110. it fits better in my pack.
Utensil: Sea to Summit Alphalight Spork
Store: REI $9
Notes: I'm still quite happy with mine. Puts up with a good deal of my abuse with nary a sign of wear.
Chair: REI Camp Stowaway
Store: REI $31
Notes: a camp chair is one of the few things I don't have, that I might like to. For now, my blue foam pad will serve, if I need to keep off the ground. But, it'd be nice to have a proper backrest in camp on the trail