First is my handy piece of Tyvek.
I use it mostly as a ground cloth - especially if I’m ‘cowboy camping’ (that is, sleeping under the stars with no tent) but it’s super versatile. During heavy snow, I’m more likely to put it over my tent rather than under. Or even, between the tent and the rain fly for extra protection and warmth. During my thru-hike of the PCT in ‘12, my sister sewed a huge piece of Tyvek into kind of a pocket. Perfect as a makeshift bivvy. The piece I have now is about 8’X 4’ and it has about 2,500 miles on it. Super durable.
Next, is my Thermarest Z-Lite pad.
I’ve been through about three or four of these over the years. Not that they’re not durable but it gets used a lot - I sleep on one every single night. I sit on it when the ground is wet or I even use it like a picnic blanket to stop and cook up a meal. When it’s really cold, I combine it with an inflatable mattress to keep me warm at night.
Finally, I always bring bug netting.
Bug, sun and bullet proof!
Especially handy when the black flies and mosquitoes are swarming, I use this even if the gnats are getting in my eyes. Or on the Appalachian Trail, early in the morning when your face is breaking every spider web strung across the trail. Or even in the winter when the blowing snow is stinging your face and getting in your eyes. Put on your bug net for temporary relief.
So, what say you? What do you bring that other hikers might not? Leave me a comment below!