1. Travel
Send to a Friend via Email

Backpacking Gear Checklist

Make sure you pack these essential items for your backpacking adventure.

By

This backpacking gear checklist list is intended to be more than complete -- you will not need everything on this list. In fact, it is best to pack a minimal amount of backpacking gear and leave luxury items at home. Be sure to research the weather and climate of your destination and adjust your packing accordingly.

Backpacking Essentials

  • Backpack
  • Tent or tarp with poles or guy lines
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Camp Stove and lighter
  • Food
  • Water bottle and water purification system
  • Headlamp
  • Sun protection
  • Extra layers of clothing

Camping Shelter

  • Tent or Tarp
  • Tent poles, stakes, and / or guy lines
  • Ground cloth or tarp
  • Sleeping bag
  • Waterproof stuff sack for sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Camp pillow
  • Mosquito netting

Clothing for Backpacking

  • Sandals (select a pair that will work for wading streams)
  • Zip-off convertible pants/shorts
  • Thermal underwear top and bottom
  • Lightweight down or synthetic jacket
  • Fleece jacket or vest
  • Fleece pants
  • Raincoat
  • Beanie
  • Gloves
  • Moisture-wicking t-shirt
  • Hiking socks (an extra pair is recommended)
  • Camp socks
  • Down booties

Backcountry Kitchen

  • Food (dehydrated or quick cook food items are recommended)
  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Pots
  • Pot grabber
  • Utensils
  • Utility knife or multi tool
  • Lighter and /or matches
  • Water bottle (an extra water bottle is recommended)
  • Water filter or other purification system
  • Biodegradable soap
  • French Press
  • Coffee Cup
  • Dishes or bowls
  • Bear canister or hang bags and ropes for food storage

First-aid and Safety

  • Wilderness First Aid Kit
  • Cell-phone, two-way radio or satellite phone
  • Emergency tarp (reflective blanket)
  • Whistle
  • Watch (with altimeter and barometer)
  • Duct tape

Navigation

  • Map
  • Compass
  • GPS (optional)
  • Wilderness Permit
  • Field Guide
  • Guidebook

Sun and Weather Protection

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm
  • Hat
  • Mosquito head net
  • Insect Repellant
  • Bandana or neck gaiter

Personal Items

  • Camp towel
  • Toilet paper
  • Small shovel
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Headlamp
  • Vitamins
  • Prescription medicines
  • Prescription glasses

Other Optional Backpacking Gear

  • Trekking Poles
  • Energy Food (bars and drink mixes)
  • Bandana
  • Gaiters
  • Binoculars
  • Digital Camera
  • Waterproof pack cover
  • Journal
  • Book
  • Backpacker guitar or other instrument
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Rope
  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. Camping
  4. Backpacking
  5. Backpacking Checklist - What to Pack in Your Backpack

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.