After years of fine-tuning our backpacking gear to achieve the optimum combination of weight, comfort, and readiness, these are the components you’ll find in our backpacking checklist.
We prefer lightweight gear since hiking with light packs is more pleasurable, but we carry a few luxury things worth the extra weight.
To help gather your backpacking gear for your next trip more accessible, we’ve structured the Ultimate Backpacking Checklist into categories.
A free downloadable checklist is also available. Print it down and keep a paper copy with you as you go through your gear bins.
Table of Contents
Some Essentials Backpacking Checklist you Need to Pack
- Tent Body
- Stive & Lighter
- Map & Compass
- Watch & GPS
- First Aid Kit
- Hand Sanitizer
- Digging tool
- Hair essentials
- Provisions & Supplements
- Sleeping bag pump sack
- lightweight hammock
- Waterproof phone case
- Power bank
- 2 – 4 bottles to stay hydrated
- Rain clothes
- Warm gloves
- Hiking pants & Shoes
Begin by getting rid of whatever you don’t need. Be cautious with every decision you make; a few ounces here and there can quickly add up to a significant amount of weight.
A simple backpacking checklist, such as the one provided here, will assist you in focusing on the essential items.
After that, concentrate on lightening your heaviest items, such as your shelter, backpack, and sleeping bag. Switching out your conventional big three for lighter options is the easiest way to shed pounds, especially if you’re starting.
You may easily trim ten or more pounds by investing in a lightweight shelter, backpack, and sleeping bag, and be well on your way to having ultralight backpacking gear.
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The clothing you carry will differ slightly depending on the conditions you anticipate on individual journeys, but the basics will remain the same.
To assist your body thermoregulation and be comfortable in both hot and cold conditions, wear clothing made of quick-drying fabrics that drain moisture away from your skin. Synthetic blends, nylon, polyester, wool, bamboo, silk, and synthetic mixes are viable possibilities.
Cotton should be avoided since it absorbs moisture and takes a long time to dry, leading to blisters and chafing. Choose elements that can be layered together.
The finest insulation materials for hikers are fleece and goose-down, which have the best warmth-to-weight ratio. Lightweight, breathable, and waterproof rain clothing is ideal.
Good food is essential for any backpacking trip, so putting out a simple meal plan ahead of time is well worth the effort. Food weight management is a crucial backpacking skill that requires a lot of practice.
Our Guide to Lightweight Backpacking Food is a beautiful place to start. Most experienced travelers choose light, calorie-dense snacks that are simple to prepare.
Packaged freeze-dried meals and snacks are convenient, but bear in mind that they are often rich in sodium and sugar, which can be harmful if consumed in excess.
Another option is to make your hiking meals by drying meats, fruits, vegetables, and sauces in a food dehydrator.
It’s easy to build healthy meals by combining them with spices and quick-cooking or quickly rehydrating dried goods like pasta, couscous, instant potatoes, instant refried beans, and minute rice.
Making your meals is more cost-effective and healthier for lengthy excursions, but it takes more time and effort, and you must be willing to carry extra weight.
In most cases, we use a combination of the two approaches. Check out our Best Lightweight Backpacking Food Guide for more food information, including our general backpacking food approach and some of our favorite meals.
Start with two to three liters of water. Be sure to carry the equipment to make safe water, such as filters or tablets of iodine in case you’re out longer than you anticipated, or drop a bottle and leak all the moisture. Tablets of iodine or similar are good to put in an emergency kit with first aid.
The emergency shelter protects from the elements. It is designed to keep you comfortable and dry if you get trapped or injured in the wilderness.
When day hiking in remote areas, the best guideline is to pack if you were to stay the night there. It is recommended to fill at least one of the following items:
- Ultralight tarp
- Bivvy sack
- Emergency space blanket
- Large plastic trash bag
First Aid kit
Prevention is the best cure. Many backcountry ailments are easily prevented from the beginning or treated at an early stage. The consequences can be more severe when the conditions become more severe or are combined with other issues or injuries.
You can fix minor issues before they turn into significant problems. The most important thing is to stay healthy, hydrated, and layer your food appropriately.
Learn your strengths, improve your skills: Your first aid kit will only be as effective as your capacity to utilize it, so be certified through a variety of classes, many of which AMC provides:
Wilderness First Aid (16 hours); Wilderness First Responder (72plus hrs); Wilderness EMT (170+ hours) or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
The perfect kit for those injuries or ailments that we’re not prepared for, a fully-stocked first-aid kit could save your life or the life of your loved ones.
Create a kit that’s at the very least well-stocked for you, though kits that are already made work well.
Be sure to be aware of how to use all the items included in the kit. A basic first-aid kit must comprise the following components:
- Aspirin– Prevents clotting and heart attacks
- Ibuprofen– Anti-inflammatory, reduces swelling [Note: ibuprofen has blood-thinning properties, so it should not be taken for head injuries.]
- Acetaminophen– pain and fever reducer (good for head injuries)
- Antihistamines (diphenhydramine, cetirizine, etc.) – for allergic reactions
- Imodium – Anti-diarrheal
- Electrolyte powder packets
Minor injury care
- Assorted Band-Aids
- Gauze – 4×4, 5×5, roller gauze
- Medical tape
- Feminine pads – great at absorbency for significant contusions/cuts
- Moleskin – for blister care
- Antibiotic ointment
- Burn gel
A friendly laptop
I would only suggest bringing the laptop due to a couple of reasons. 1.) You earn money or are required to work on the internet, or) you genuinely appreciate your computer.
To Digital Nomads or laptop users, You’ll need a top-quality device, and I’ve got the right thing.
One of the most beneficial investments I’ve ever made was purchasing one of the best investments I’ve ever made: my MacBook Pro. It has a fantastic user interface, it’s robust, and has helped me grow my company to the highest step.
Travel world adapter
Travelers worldwide are hoping for the same thing: someday, the world will come together, and everyone will agree on a standard size for adapters for power.
In the meantime, the next time you travel, you’ll require an adapter for travel.
It is currently fifteen kinds of adapters for power! 15! Using a universal adapter is the most effective way to ensure that your electronics are powered regardless of where you live.
It’s worth investing in getting one that can charge a laptop and two USB devices simultaneously.
Best Backpacking Clothes Checklist
Choosing the appropriate clothes for backpacking is extremely important. Here are some tips.
- Wear light clothes. If you are heading to cold or hot weather, Pack clothes that fold down small and don’t weigh a lot. Avoid denim jeans! If you’re going to have colder weather, it’s best to bring layered clothes rather than a bulky jacket. Cotton is lightweight and breathable. Choose sweat-resistant cotton when you can.
- Dress Dark Get your goth on and dress in dark! Darker clothing can hide staining and can be worn for longer. This is particularly important as you can count on your backpacking clothing to be in a faster change schedule than your usual clothes.
- Bringing fewer clothes is affordable in many parts of the world. Rather than overpack, pack a little less than you’ll require and buy anything you’ll need along the road.
Permits and Access
Before you begin your journey, be familiar with the fees for your location, permit regulations, and the areas for access.
- Passes, permits, and licenses
Tools and Personal Gear
Ensure you are safe during your travels with the proper equipment and personal gear to help you stay on the trail. As you gain experience in the wilderness,
Some of these tips will become second nature, but no checklist for backpacking is complete without these essential items.
- Walking poles
- Powerbanks and batteries for other batteries
- Cash, ID, and insurance cards, as well as insurance
Toiletries and Hygiene
Being clean is a critical factor for the most enjoyable backpacking trip. Be sure to pack these essential items for your toiletries.
- Lip balm for lips
- Paper towels or wipes for toilets
- Toothbrush with toothpaste, floss, and toothbrush
- Bug repellant
- Eye drops
- Hair tyes
- Prescription medicines
- Hand Sanitizer
- Products for menstrual flow
- The digging trowel or shovel
- Contact lens, solutions, and glasses
- Nail clippers