The Great Wall and Beyond: Essential Gear for Exploring China
Be prepared and pack light as you venture into the Far East.
Curated by Michael Gabbert
When traveling internationally, I've found that the key to solid gear and packing centers around versatility and weight. Adventures throughout the Far East echo these keys even further. When hiking, camping, and exploring a variety of landscapes, ensuring you have everything you need in something as small as a backpack can be a difficult task. Over the past three years I’ve been lucky enough to camp on the Great Wall, hang out with and observe Cormorant Fishermen on the Li River, and hike the Rice Terraces of Longji across the vast Chinese landscape. While I’m not as hardcore as Mr. Kyle Obermann, this is my go-to gear when backpacking in China.
Whether it be the long flight over, traveling within the country, or sleeping on the rocky ground of the Great Wall, a little comfort in the form of a travel pillow is a downright necessity. The Aeros Pillow packs extremely small, but is still hella comfy.Get it Now
Super light (2 lbs. 12 oz) but manages to still be 'roomy' for 2 people. If you're hauling a tent internationally, this is a damn good choice.Get it Now
To pack small, my goal is to only bring 1 pair of shoes. These Vasque hiking shoes are comfortable enough to wear on the plane but rugged enough for the various terrain you’ll encounter across China. Being waterproof also gives me peace of mind that I won’t regret bringing just one pair if the weather is less than ideal.Get it Now
It truly amazes me how many people have inquired about the shirt during my travels. It’s serves as a great icebreaker. I’ve met some amazing people and shared some great stories with this shirt being a catalyst to these conversations. The cotton/polyester blend is ridiculously comfortable as well.Get it Now
A majority of my travels occur in the spring and fall. This jacket packs small and provides a ton of warmth. Whether I was staying up to watch the stars over the Great Wall of China or the sunrise over the rice terraces of Longji, this jacket served as a life saver.Get it Now
Each trip I take want to resist the temptation to bring a tripod. They tend to take up far much space for the amount of time I actually use them. This MeFoto tripod is perfect as its compact (the size of a Nalgene bottle) and serves my needs. It only extends to 36” tall, but I’m more than willing to sacrifice height for the added space savings.Get it Now
A camera is a no-brainer. But the other no brainer for me is a wide angle lens. With the sweeping, panoramic views and unique, surreal landscapes abound in the Far East, the wider the better. I really dig this Sigma lens from a price to quality ratio.Get it Now