Camping for Lightweights

The best lightweight camping gear for the modern sportsman.

Field & Stream Online Editors

There are no roads leading to the middle of nowhere, which is exactly where you can find some of the country's best-and most overlooked-fishing. Here's what you should strap to your back when you leave the truck at the trailhead and pack it in

1. Slumberjack Super Guide +30 Sleeping Bag
This 30-degree sack will keep you snoozing in comfort from spring through fall. A patented zippered foot box opens to bugproof mesh for extra ventilation on those muggy summer nights. The 2-pound 6-ounce Super Guide is a lot of bag for the bucks. $80; 800-233-6283; www.slumberjack.com

2. Brunton Liberty Mantleless Lantern
Aptly named, this tiny torch may be the new symbol of freedom for lightweight campers: No glass to break. No matches needed. No priming. And, most notably, no more cloth mantles to fuss with. Just thread the Liberty onto a butane canister and press the piezo ignition switch. It's virtually indestructible and weighs a mere 8.3 ounces. $110; 800-443-4871; brunton.com

**3. The North Face Talus 23 **
Two big guys can spread out on the Talus' 30-square-foot floor, and the twin side doors-each with a roomy vestibule-free you from climbing over each other in the middle of the night to hit the pee tree. This rock-solid, three-season tent battens down like a bomb shelter. Why the 6-pound Talus 23 doesn't cost over $200 is a mystery. $173; 800-447-2333; thenorthface.com

**4. InsulMat Max-thermo Sleeping Pad **
Would you rather sleep on the hard, cold ground or on a bed of insulated air? The 1-pound 7-ounce Max-thermo inflates to a cushy 21/2 inches thick, yet takes up less space than most models when stashed, leaving extra room in your pack. Synthetic fill insulation within the air tubes keeps you toasty on chilly nights. $55; 406-586-5258; pacoutdoor.com

5. InsulMat Si Pillow
On a backpacking trip, a pillow is considered a luxury item by some people (who happen to be the same ones who wake up rubbing their necks). For those of us who prefer to sleep all night, InsulMat's inflatable Si Pillow cushions your noggin with foam and air but adds a mere 9 ounces to your load. Deflated, it packs into a compact pouch. $14; 406-586-5258; pacoutdoor.com

6. Cabela's XPG4000 Internal Frame Pack
Leave it to Cabela's to create a lightweight pack perfect for both backpackers and sportsmen. Tough and comfortable, the size-adjustable XPG weighs just 4 pounds 13 ounces with 4,000 cubic inches of capacity. It includes a separate sleeping-bag compartment and tie-downs specifically designed to carry a rod case. $150; 800-237-4444; cabelas.com

**7. Brunton Atlas MNS **
An improved version of the original Atlas, the MNS adds Brunton's MultiNavigation System, including the StraightHome feature that points the way back even with the unit turned off. The real kicker is the integrated mapping software. Regional Topocards ($199) put true high-resolution USGS 1:24,000-scale maps on the GPS screen. $359; 800-443-4871; brunton.com