1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

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

A man and woman backpacking.
Jordan Siemens/Digital Vision/Getty Images
  • 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

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.