By Their Gear You Shall Know Them: Karen Robertson

My typical pack contents for a one to two night backpacking trip:

(fits with plenty of room to spare in my Deuter Act Lite 60 + 10)


  • Nemo Equipment Dagger 2P (just in case I take a friend) - Extras- Footprint to extend the life of my tent, and the gear loft to stow all the little things I keep in the tent with me (headlamp, knife, beanie, solar light, sunglasses)
  • Nemo Equipment Vector 20R Insulated sleeping pad - Foot pump is AWESOME! No more lightheadedness from blowing up my old thermarest! I can’t stand up in my tent, and my feet are usually tired from hiking so I use my hands CPR style to pump up the pad.
  • Coleman Fleece Sleeping Bag liner - If I’m too hot for my bag, I open it up and lay this blanket on top of me. If I’m too cold (usually the case) I put it inside my sleeping bag for another layer of warmth without having to add more uncomfortable layers of clothing.


  • Waterproof Shell
  • Fleece
  • Long-sleeve
  • Short-sleeve
  • Pants
  • 2 pair of wool socks (I like to sleep in a fresh, dry pair and hike in the other)
  • Swim suit and flip flops – For high mountain lakes and hot springs!!


  • Kovea Solo 3 - I usually bring just a pot and lid and store my fuel, lighter, and stove inside. My kit came with a handy mesh drawstring bag to keep it all together (not pictured, but definitely used).
  • Kovea Supalite Titanium Stove - This little guy is super light and my kid likes to “transform” it for me before attaching it to the isobutane tank.
  • Spoon & Camp Mug - I usually carry a couple of disposable spoons. I recommend a “shake spoon” as it has a longer handle and can reach to the bottom of backpacker meal bags without getting sauce all over your hands.


  • Camelback Bladder
  • Nalgene
  • Katadyn filter


  • Black Diamond Spot Headlamp – it's waterproof (I have kids so waterproof is always a plus) and bugs aren’t attracted to the red light option. Yes!! No swarms of gnats in my face!
  • LuminAID Spectra – perfect for soft diffused light in the tent. Has multiple color settings that are easy on tired eyes late at night and an excellent mood setter on a backpacking date!



  • Small first aid kit
  • Go Girl
  • Bandana Pee Rag (google it)
  • Action wipes
  • Toiletries – Sunblock!!
  • Trail Mix
  • Trekking Pole
  • Rain Cover for my pack

Watch me pack it up in this video!

There you have it! See anything you’d like to know more about? What are your must-have backpacking items? Let me know in the comments!

See you in the Sawtooths!