Backpacking Gear Checklist: What to Bring Backpacking
by Lauren Mason
August 24, 2020
Determining what to bring and what to leave behind when planning a backpacking trip can raise lots of questions, so we’ve compiled a list of all the necessities to ensure you'll be prepared with everything you need and nothing you don't!
Whether you’re heading out on your first backpacking trip or you’re a seasoned pro, it’s great to have a go-to checklist to review before you head out. Keep in mind that the idea behind backpacking is that you need nothing more than the bare essentials. When figuring out your list, remember that it will need to be adjusted based on weather conditions and the length of your trip.
If you find this list intimidating, make sure to read our post on Backpacking 101 for some help preparing before you head out on your trip! Our customer experience team is also always available to answer any questions you have on gear or planning: Say hello here.
What to Bring Backpacking:
- Camping pillow
Clothesline with clips (can be used to hang wet clothes and suspend food off the ground)
Pro Tip: Plan each meal ahead of time so you know exactly what utensils you need and which ones you can leave behind.
Water filter/purification (it’s very helpful to backpack and camp near a water source)
- Water bottles
Energy and protein food/drinks (bars, trail mix, drink mix etc)
Food (try dehydrated meals or meal plan in advance)
Extra day’s supply of food (you can never be too safe)
Mesh bag (for organizing kitchen items)
- Marshmallow/hot dog roasting forks
- Bottle opener
Tools and Repair
Clothing and Footwear
The key is to pack as little as possible - air on the side of packing less clothing items than more. Clothing list will depend on weather conditions and your destination!
Lightweight camp shoes (easy to slip on and off - ex. Flip flops, durable sandals)
Bandana (has infinite uses!)
- Dry sacks
Phone and portable charger
- Credit card/cash and ID
Campsite reservation confirmation/Park pass (if needed)
First Aid Kit
*Feel free to buy a pre-made First Aid Kit and add extras, or compile your own!
Moleskin (for blisters)
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antibacterial ointment
- Prescription medication
- Ibuprofen, antacids (stomachache), and an antihistamine (allergies)
Health and Hygiene
- Trowel/shovel (if outhouses are unavailable)
- SPF chapstick
- Hand sanitizer
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Menstrual products
- Sunscreen (water-safe sunscreen is ideal!)
- Insect repellent (try to buy non-toxic products)
- Comb or small brush
- Toilet paper (bring small trash bags or ziplocs for used toilet paper)
- Face and body wipes
- Small games and activities (cards, coloring book and pens etc)
- Portable speaker
Glow sticks (DIY night light!)