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Here it is, our Recommended Hiking Gear for 2014!

Looking for the perfect outdoor gift for a hiker, backpacker, or camper? Arizona Hiking Adventures’ gift guide features handpicked hiking, backpacking and camping gifts suggested by our company’s guides.

We test gear over the hundreds of hiking and backpacking miles we trek through each year. We’ve listed our favorite hiking & backpacking gear into our gift guide to make shopping easy for the outdoor enthusiast on your gift list.

Find the perfect gift – or find some new gear for your own outdoor adventures.



Osprey Aether 70



This backpack is my go-to pack for multi-day trips with our guests. It easily carries our group’s camp supplies as well as my personal items with ease and comfort. The top cover separates from the main pack and works great as a small carry sack on hikes away from camp where the larger pack is not required.

Lightweight (4lbs 15oz) and comfortable, this is a versatile pack with adequate space and organization for weekend or weeklong trips lasting 3 to 7 days. With a 70-liter capacity this pack comfortably carries up to 65lbs of weight thanks to its aluminum supports. Features include: hip belt pockets, lumbar pack, sleeping bag compartment, dual ice axe loops, top pocket and external hydration compatibility.

Retail price $279.00


Osprey Manta 28


This is a great pack for full day or quick overnight hikes, when you need to carry a fair bit of extra clothing, food, and water. It has lots of capacity, good organization, easy access, and carries a load efficiently. A bonus is that your back stays cool, thanks to the suspension system. The hydration bag compartment is outside of the storage area and it is easy to remove and fill even with a full pack.

Lightweight (2lbs 5oz) and comfortable day hiking and multi-sport pack. It features a dual comportment zip front pocket and mesh side pockets for easy storage as well dual hip belt pockets, dual side compression straps, built in rain cover and an included 3 liter hydration system.

Retail price: $149.00



Trekking Poles

Leki Speed Lock Carbon Ti


Leki make the best trekking poles, period! I particularly like this pole due to the quick releasing length adjustment system. It is very sturdy and extremely light. I have yet to have one break even after putting them through many tough miles of desert climbing.

Best-designed pole on the market with the patented Speed Lock System! Thanks to this locking system, the Carbon Ti can be adjusted quickly and is super light (16.6oz/pair). This is due to its 100% carbon middle and lower sections. In addition, the extended Thermo grip makes reaching around to a perfect grip quick and easy. This trekking pole provides the highest-quality components, which you can rely on during any hike or trek.

Retail Price: $199.95/pair



Backpacking Shoes

Zamberlan 310 Skill GT (men’s/women’s)


This is my first pair of Zamberlans and now I can confidently say; that after using them for several months, hiking through the Arizona terrain, they are my favorite. This pair is comfortable, waterproof, damage resistant, and fairly light for a leather boot.

Designed for trekking & hiking, this shoe features outstanding old-world workmanship and modern day technology combined to provide comfort, support, and stability. The perforated leather lining in the heel and ankle areas and one-piece leather tongue and gusset grip the feet snugly to ensure a great fit. The Gore-Tex lining and premium full-grain, single-leather upper combines to provide superior water repellency. The Zamberlan Vibram sole with moderate gauged lugging will ensure stability while traversing uneven terrain and comfort on flat surfaces. Hand-made in Italy.

Retail Price: $250.00/pair



Hiking Shoes

Patagonia (men’s/women’s) Drifter A/C Waterproof


I have many pairs of hiking shoes and although these are not the lightest I believe they are the most comfortable. I can hike full days without having any discomfort. They have a great outer sole that grips the rocks and the inner membrane prevents my feet from sweating and prevents water from leaking in.

The Drifter A/C Waterproof is made of breathable air mesh and durable nubuck leather, this waterproof hiking shoe has a breathable bellows tongue that sloughs off loose debris. A recycled EVA foot bed contours to the foot for cushioning, comfort and support, while Patagonia’s Air Cushion Plus absorbs shock. The Bi-Fit (80% post-consumer recycled) polyurethane waterproof insole board lends stability. The Vibram outsole with 30% recycled rubber has excellent traction for all terrain.

Retail Price: $155.00/pair



Sleeping Bag

Kelty TrailLogic SB 20


Kelty make great products and this sleeping bag is no exception. Our guests always comment on how comfortable and warm they are. We have used other bags in the past and they tend to have zipper problems and the head/feet areas get damp from tent condensation. NOT the Kelty. Thanks to the compression sack they pack down very small.

This highly technical and lightweight (2lbs1oz) bag features 800-fill Dri-Down technology that defends against moisture and keeps you wrapped in warmth no matter how quick the temperature drops. With unique ‘Head 2 Toe Dri’ waterproof protection at the head and foot, you’ll be guarded from condensation when the chill sets in. Features include box baffle construction, natural fit toe box, top draft collar, dual-slider locking zipper with draft tube and includes a stuff sack and mesh storage sack. Temperature rating: 20f.

Retail Price: $299.95



Sleeping Pad

REI Flash Insulated Air Sleeping Pad


When we first saw these green REI air pads we were concerned that they would not be as comfortable as other brands. We were wrong! They are very good pads and to date I have not had any issues with any of them leaking air through the night.

This is the lightest (1lb1oz) backcountry-sleeping pad that REI makes. The pad baffles are insulated (3.2R value) and it takes up very little space (4inx10in) in your backpack. It will insure you a well-deserved nights sleep. Includes a stuff sack.

Retail Price: $99.50




Mutha Hubba NX 3-Person Backpacking Tent


FINALLY, a lightweight durable tent that comfortably sleeps 3. These tents can easily sleep 3 adults or comfortably sleep 2 with all gear stored inside. They set up quickly and are very weather resistant. I love the 2-door system, and the vestibules keep the entries dry.

This ultra-light (4lb7oz) freestanding tent has been redesigned and has reinvented lightweight livability for three. The MSR Mutha Hubba NX is the ideal tent for a minimalist trio-backpacking trip. The easy-to-assemble 3-person tent features a unified, symmetrical frame and non-tapered floor to maximize space, two easy setup options, plenty of head (44inch) and elbow room (41.5 sq ft) throughout, and the most livable accommodations for 3-season conditions. Features include a double door entry each with its own vestibule for gear storage and an integrated rain fly system.
Retail Price: $489.95

Terra Nova Solar Photon 2 Tent


Lightest 2 man tent in the world. Enough said!! What a treat for backpacking trips, light and extremely weather resistant. I have had this tent out in an Arizona monsoon and all stayed dry and in place through the storm. It is expensive, but well worth the price if you are an avid backpacker.

The Solar Photon 2 tent is the lightest (2lb2oz) 2-person self-supporting tent in the world! 

Featuring front and rear fly hoods for great ventilation and its stable shape has been designed for use in poor weather. The large vestibule allows for dry gear storage during wet conditions. Tents dimensions of 40-inch maximum height, 89-inch length and a tapering width of 52 inch to 33 inch width, lead to cozy accommodations for 2 or plenty of room to sleep 1 with inside storage capacity for gear.

Retail Price: $489.95



GPS Watch

Suunto Ambit 3 Peak Saphire Watch


A GPS device of any kind is an essential component for any trekking trip. This watch exceeds all others on the market. It is very accurate and the long-life battery is better than others I have owned. The sapphire crystal appears to be damage proof and to date I have yet to have any issues connecting to the satellite. It gives a great trip recap that I share with our guests as a follow-up to their adventure.

This is a GPS watch with heart rate monitoring option, weather functions and mobile connections. Highlights include: advanced outdoor and multisport functions including, route navigation, compass, altitude, temperature and sunrise/sunset times. Smart mobile connection with iPhone/iPad including, push notifications with call and message display. Battery life is up to 50hrs with active GPS, rechargeable.

Retail Price: $600.00, $650.00 with heart rate monitor.



Backpacking Stove

Primus Omnifuel


I have used this stove in many extreme conditions, including: wind, rain, snow, heat and to date I have yet to have it light and stay lit in order to prepare our camp meals. It is loud when turned high, but I can live with that for the few minutes required to boil water or cook my food. I highly recommend this stove and believe it to be the best I have ever used.

This stove holds the most international awards and is widely known as uncompromising in the world of backpacking. It has been tested extensively over many years and has been used on countless expeditions. It is extremely robust, reliable and powerful and was designed to handle demanding situations, extreme altitudes and both low and high temperatures. OmniFuel has a very high output and can be used with virtually any kind of fuel, including gas, gasoline/petrol, diesel, kerosene/paraffin, and even aviation fuel. Using the separate control knob, you can adjust the flame to the heat you want. Ergo-Pump, a multi-tool with a cleaning needle, a windscreen, a heat reflector, and a convenient and durable storage bag are included.
Unit weight 441gms, dimensions 5.6″ x 3.5″ x 2.6″. Burn time 70min on 230g.

Retail Price: $169.95, fuel bottles and fuel sold separately.



Global Satellite Tracking Device

Spot Gen3


This device give my family and friends the comfort in knowing that all is okay when I am hiking out of cellular range. It is an essential safety device that allows us to signal for assistance should an emergency arise during our trips. We take this device on all of our hiking trips where cellular service is suspect. It is a nice to know that we can still communicate as desired or as needed even in the most remote of areas.

This device allows you to take adventures beyond cellular service. SPOT Gen3 lets family and friends know you’re ok or sends emergency responders your GPS location, all at the push of a button. SPOT Gen3’s customized tracking features takes your SPOT experience to the next level. Only with SPOT Gen3, is tracking motion-activated regardless of the level of tracking you choose. A vibration sensor tells your SPOT to send track updates when you are moving and to stop when you do. (This is a great new battery-saving feature!). Features include: tracking, custom messages, check-in message, help-assist signal and the S.O.S. signal.

Retail Price: $149.95 plus an annual service plan.




So there you have it, our recommended hiking gear for 2014. If you know of a piece of great gear that you would like to see recommended or reviewed please make a comment below. Have a great rest of the year!