Backpacking ChecklistClick here for a printable checklist!
Whether you are going for a short three day trip or a week long excursion you'll need to make sure you've brought the right stuff with you. Here are some suggestions to help make sure you have everything you need:
Essentials - Items You Can't Do Without
Tent - There are few things that humans have absolute need of and shelter is one of them. Backpacking tents come in all shapes and sizes; in general a lighter-weight tent is a good choice.
Sleeping Bag - Everybody needs a bed right? Look for super light weight bags that can be crammed down to very small sizes.
Sleeping Pad - Unless you like the way the ground feels on your back it's a good idea to have one of these.
Clothing and Personal Items - Plan on wearing more than one outfit? Then bring some extra clothes. You also might want some toilet paper and a toothbrush while you're out.
Food - Take extra if you have space, it's always better to have more food.
Water - Your best bet for saving space is a water filtration unit.
Fire - Bring matches or a lighter and some kindling if you have room.
Kitchen Items - Grab yourself a cup, thermos or water bottle to drink out of, drop in some utensils or at least a spork, add a backpacking stove and something to cook in and you'll be ready to cook.
Tools - Bring a knife or multi-tool it's sure to come in handy. A repair kit for your backpack, tent or sleeping pad is also a good idea.
Map and Compass - Don't get lost; also learn to use a compass if you plan on bringing one.
Light - A headlamp or flashlight will get the job done.
First Aid - Make a first aid kit or grab one that has been pre-assembled. Also bring along sunscreen, UV rays are more intense at higher altitudes.
Other Nice to Have Items
- Inflatable Pillow
- Trekking Poles
- Signal Mirror
- Bug Spray
- Fishing Gear
- Paper and Pencil
- Bear Spray
- Big Foot Repellant
- Duct Tape
Backpacking Gear Buyer's Guide
If you're not a backpacker already, there are many reasons to start. While family camping at regular campgrounds is great, it doesn't provide the same sense of unspoiled nature that you get while backpacking. Backpacking and hiking in general are great ways to get away from the crowds and the noise of city life. There are many health benefits to the exercise involved in backpacking and hiking. While backpacking, staying light is very important because everything you have with you will be on your back, and every ounce counts. Taking the wrong backpacking supplies can hold you back and make your trip much less enjoyable.