What's In My Pack | Solo Backpacking | 2021

I filmed a *what’s in my bag* style video when I went solo backpacking for the first time this fall at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This is what 40 lb of gear looks like! Thanks for watching ☺

Pictured Lakes National Lakeshore
October 2021

Backpacking in Pictured Rocks:
Part 1
Part 2

* Please be advised that some of the links provided are affiliate/referral links and I do receive a small commission/store credit if you make a purchase using those links.  This does not cost you any extra when you make a purchase. I very much appreciate your support of this channel in doing so! *

Backpacking Gear:
Osprey Kyte 56 Pack
Osprey Bite Valve Cover
Osprey 3 Liter Reservoir
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 Tent
Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad
Nemo Disco 15 Sleeping Bag
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles
REI Co-op Nalgene Water Bottle
Garmin inReach Mini
Bear Spray
Bear Spray Holster
Kula Cloth
Xero Shoes Z-Trail EV Sandals
Icebreaker Quantum II Zip Hood Jacket
The North Face Thermoball Hooded Jacket
Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cube Set
Arc’teryx Zeta SL Rain Jacket
Arc’teryx Zeta SL Rain Pants
Mini Towel
Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Water Filter Bottle
Sea to Summit Accessory Case
All Trails App
Injinji Liner Socks
Darn Tough Hiker Boot Socks
IceBreaker Underwear
Icebreaker Tech Liner Gloves
Smartwool Beanie
Arc’teryx Leggings
Icebreaker Thermals
Anker Portable Charger
Kindle Paperwhite
Goal Zero Crush Light
Sea To Summit Mini Stuff Sack Set
Storm-proof Matches
Hiker Medical Kit
Sea to Summit Wilderness Wipes
Black Diamond Storm 400 Headlamp
Emergency Blanket
Jetboil Minimo
Flash Sit Pad
Helinox One Chair
Sea to Summit 13L Dry Sack
GSI Backpacker Mug
Humangear GoBites Uno Spork
Repel Wipes
goMacro Bar
Solely Fruit Jerky
Honey Stinger Waffles
Nuun Hydration
Peak Refuel Cookie Bites
Mary Janes Farm Outpost Meals
AirPods Pro
OLight Warrior Mini Flashlight
Kershaw Cyro II Pocket Knife

What I’m Wearing:
Icebreaker Cool-Lite Merino Sphere T-Shirt
REI Quarter Zip Pullover
Icebreaker Collingwood Vest
Altra Lone Peak All-WTHR Mid Hiking Boots
Peloton Hat
Maui Jim Kipahulu Sunglasses
Sawyer Permethrin Pump Spray

Camera Gear:
iPhone 12 Pro Max
GoPro Hero9
Smatree Telescoping Selfie Stick

Music from Epidemic Sound
When the Sparks Fly by Christopher Malley

A portion of the proceeds from this video support:
The Loveland Foundation
The National Bail Out
The Conscious Kid
My Block My City My Hood
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Together Rising

Comments are closely monitored and subject to approval in an effort to maintain a positive environment. While constructive criticism and suggestions are welcome, negative comments with no purpose other than to spread malice will be deleted.

* Description contains affiliate links. This is not a sponsored video. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

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  • I got a lot of useful information about packaging. Thanks. But I would ask you if possible to tell (maybe give a link) where you bought the bags where you store your personal things like clothes and cosmetics because I like them very much and they look very useful for different bags.

  • I bought one of those osprey water hose magnets for my camelback and it makes a huge difference. Love a good gear vid! 🏕

  • Dang, all kitted up. 👍
    So thorough 😁

  • I don't go camping (maybe glamping one day, 😉) and this video is just motivating me to buy a backpack and start putting emergency items like yours to keep in my car trunk just in case.

  • You are amazing and I'm truly enjoying your videos. XOXO

  • Love the background @ the
    Beginning 🌲🏕…M❄️M of 5

  • Awesome jen! Hope you have many more adventures! Will you be doing a children’s gift haul this year? Love them! Happy holidays!

  • I am a regular viewer but rarely comment. I want you to know how much I enjoy watching your channel. I love the new direction for your channel. Merry Christmas and all the best for 2022!🇨🇦❤️

  • Jen, I think you would make a great scout leader. Perhaps when your kids are a bit older they could join the youngest section and you could volunteer in their group. It is also great to meet like minded people and give your kids an outlet you would enjoy too. My 4 kids boys and girls have gone through/are going through the various sections. They learn survival, social, and fun skills. They can hike for miles, kayak, rock climb, pitch tents, cook basics and made lovely friends. My older boy went to a venture scout ball at age 17 which is like a non alcohol prom in his tucks and the girls all seemed so different to them in nice gowns instead of their muddy hiking clothes. Just an idea for your future consideration. I’ve made my own best friends through volunteering with things my kids got involved in.

  • This is sooo Jen type of video😊 backpack organised to perfection. I quite enjoy the new content. Are you planning on doing Colorado hiking? This is my dream. All the best😘

  • Definitely missing original house life fancy videos. This whole out in the sticks things is just unwatchable.

  • Honestly don't think you over packed. But I'm not experienced 🤷🏼‍♀️

  • I think you packed great for your first trip! There are definitely a lot of things you can take out to save weight! My advice (only bc you asked for it): it’s good to bring too much food & snacks. That’s an important “waste of weight.” You have too many clothes for sure. Even if conditions were different, you could rinse, dry and rewear things. I think most of your extra weight is there. You also have a lot of towels and wipes and hankies and tissues. Pare that down. They add up! You can rinse and reuse. You didn’t need the emergency blanket. Even given the conditions, you have a sleeping bag and clothing, the blanket wasn’t necessary. You didn’t need the sitting pad. The medical kit can probably be halved. See what’s in there and for a short trip like this you can leave duplicate items behind. Also maybe the medications in your toiletry bag are dupes of things in the medical kit. You don’t need a lantern and a headlamp and a flashlight and extra batteries. You also have a flashlight on your phone. I bring a rechargeable headlamp only and none of the other items. I would trade one power bank for a mini solar panel. You don’t need a copy of your passport: you have your wallet and phone and In Reach. You don’t need two whistles. You can use a clothing pack for a pillow rather than bringing an extra one. And finally you’re carrying too much water. You are camping in an area with water so you don’t need to carry a full gallon between the two vessels (I do agree with the Nalgene bottle but hike with it empty in favor of the bladder.) and finally you have too many packing cubes and separate baggies. Those also add up weight wise. Being organized is important but see if you can combine or eliminate some of those extra bags. All that should cut down on weight significantly!

  • Thanks for putting this list together. Much appreciated!

  • I have so many questions 🙋‍♀️

  • When I was younger, much much younger, I did 3 week wilderness backpacking and at least 50% of the stuff you had I didn’t. Of course I had no technology so none of that weight.

  • Love this! I know you didn’t have any issue with your powerbanks running low, but I’d definitely recommend a solar powered power bank. I have one that I hang on the back of my pack while hiking so it’s charges up and is always full when I need it.

  • This was a great video. I appreciate you sharing everything you bring. You should put an extra spork in your emergency bag, just in case. Cant wait til the next video. 😊

  • I want a pair of those collapsable poles. Great gear and great trip.

  • You look great and truly happy !!!! You go girl!!!!

  • I bought a solar charger after we got stuck in Fla after hurricane Irma with no power. We had to keep going out to my parents car and charging our phones. So now when we visit I pack the solar charger and a fan that is USB. Could you put the clothes into a compression bag like for travel so they take up less space? Some of those really flatten them out. I don't hike, but I love ur videos, in case I ever decide to, I'll know what to bring.

  • I’d like to see at the beginning of the video when you do the recap, what month you traveled in. You kept talking about it being warm and I continuously forgot it wasn’t filmed in December

  • I don't hike, backpack or camp but yet thoroughly enjoyed this video. Lol. 😁

  • Wow, so interesting!!! Thanks Jen…..Merry Christmas!

  • I wish I looked cute camping. You’re adorable, Jen! ❤️

  • Jen are you listen to the musuc when you hiking or not love your videos we are so proud of you looks like you enjoyed your like more then ever…love you jen..🥰🥳🥳🥳🧿🧿🧿🙏🙏🙏

  • Loved seeing your pack setup, Jen! REI actually sells replacement buckles for the Sea to Summit bags. If you bring in your bag, a green vest should be able to find a new one in case your folding method ever fails you. I can also attest to both Arc'teryx and Icebreaker being brands well worth the price tag! One of my favorite bug repellents is Sawyer Picaridin if you ever get the chance to pick it up. It's a lotion and dries like a dream on the skin. Not tacky or greasy like some other brands. Can't wait to see how you use your gear in the future!

  • You look like you are having a wonderful time and I am genuinely thrilled for you. But, is your old content gone for good? Shopping hauls? Home organization? Vlogs? Those were definitely my favorites!

  • Thank you so much for sharing what you had in. your pack, Jen. I really enjoy these kinds of videos. I'll never forget my first hike ever I was carrying 55 pounds. It was so heavy it almost pulled me off the side of a mountain while trying to climb up a cliff. Never again!! Fortunately I wasn't alone and some kind young men came to my rescue 🙏🏼🙌🏼😀

  • I applaud you for figuring out and managing all the “stuff”. People kid me that I don’t travel light and I sure don’t! Knowing how heavy a 50 lb suitcase is, I admire that you can carry 41lbs on your back!

  • Wow!!!! That is alot of stuff to carry on you. All looks necessary though. Would I do it? Nope. Plus I'm a wuss anyway. Scared of all things in the woods ya know.

  • A pee rag is just…ugh.

  • This was so nice and helpful! And I just wanted to say that I genuinely appreciate you linking all of the items (makes this a wonderful resource video!) I have been a long time viewer and I adore all of your new content ^__^ Happy holidays! <3

  • I'm curious why you don't read on the phone Kindle app? It might drain the phone battery but you have the charger with you. I just wanted to say that fall is so hard to prepare which clothing you need. I fish with my husband and the days I think will be warm turn out to be much cooler on the lake. I've learned that lightweight rain gear works great to block the wind and therefore the cold even when it's not raining.

  • Back in the day when we used to camp a lot, we used to use the solar phone battery chargers and keep them clipped on the outside of our backpack that way we had a way of recharging our charger.. it would probably help with the weight so you don't have to bring 2 😊

  • Not just any pee rag… A designer pee rag.

  • Drooling over the color of your pack. Your pee cloth matches too. Nice! Headlamp is always a necessity–light or dark. I hope you found Miranda on REI helpful. Dixie at Homemade Wanderlust is another good one. You're bringing all the comforts of home, but I bet as you get more comfy on the trail you'll whittle it down a la Cheryl Strayed in Wild. A word of caution on the bear spray–it should be readily accessible, like on your hip belt. A charging bear will amp up your adrenaline which decreases your dexterity and it won't wait for you to fumble around to grab it from wherever it's stashed. (Ignore this if your bray spray is easily accessible, but from the camera angle it didn't look it.) I too find hip belt pockets difficult to access and use a pouch or a waist bag to hold items I use a lot on the trail like my camera, phone, map, a version of a go girl, hand sanitizer, lip balm, sunblock, etc. so I don't need to remove my pack every time I need something. If you ever get into dehydrating food at home to rehydrate on the trail, I'd like to see! It'd also give you the option to try what you're going to pack…I would not be happy about carrying around food that I didn't like. See ya next time!

  • My goodness it must have taken you a long time to put the long list and links together. Always very organised and super kind Jen. I love following you on your different and exciting journeys.❤️

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