Complete Backpacking Checklist

Our comprehensive backpacking checklist is your guide to packing smart and remembering to pack everything you need to bring.  Of course, we think our app is a very useful tool to help manage you packing.  Hopefully you will find our gear suggestions helpful.

The Big 10 Essentials – to make sure you’re at least safe and sound

  1. Navigation
    1. Map with protective case
    2. Compass
  2. Sun protection
    1. Sunscreen
    2. Lip balm
    3. Sunglasses (optional)
  3. Warm clothing (lots more below)
    1. Jacket / vest
    2. Pants
    3. Gloves
    4. Hat
  4. Light
    1. Headlamp
    2. Batteries, possibly install new batteries before trip
  5. First-aid kit
  6. Fire
    1. Waterproof matches
    2. Fire starter
  7. Utility
    1. Knife or multi-tool
  8. Food, including an extra day’s supply of food
  9. Hydration
    1. Water bottle
    2. Water filter or scoop-n-go bottle
  10. Shelter
    1. Tent, tarp, bivy, or reflective blanket

Beyond the essentials

Here are some categorized suggestions of gear you should consider bringing on any backpacking trip:

  • Backpack
    Day pack
    Extra straps w/ buckles
    Fanny pack
    Full pack w/ frame
    Padded hip belt
  • Bags
    Duffle bag
    Extra stuff sack
    Plastic for trash or keep things dry
    Zip lock
    Bear hang bag
    Water bag, collapsible
  • Bedding
    Air mattress and pump
    Blankets
    Blue foam ground pad
    Pillow
    Air mattress repair kit
    Self-inflating sleeping pad
    Thermarest Chair Converter
    Sleeping bag
  • Cleaning
    Dish towel
    Pot scrubber
    Soap (biodegradable)
    Sponge or dish cloth
    Tent broom
  • Clothes
    Bathing suit
    Belt
    Booties (down – tentwear/sleeping)
    Boots – extra laces
    Boots – hiking
    Boots – rubber/waterproof
    Cap – baseball
    Cap – wool
    Jacket – windbreaker
    Longjohns
    Pants – jeans
    Pants – wool
    Pants – sweats
    Rain gear/poncho
    Sandals/moccassins
    Scarf/bandana
    Shirts – longsleeve
    Shirts – t-shirts
    Shoes – sneakers
    Shoes – extra laces
    Shorts
    Sleepwear
    Socks – hiking – 2 pair per day
    Socks – undersocks – 2 pair per day
    Sun visor
    Suspenders
    Sweater – wool
    Sweatshirt – hooded
    Sweatshirt – regular
    Underwear
    Vest, down
    Climbing shoes
    Croqs
  • Cooking Gear
    Aluminum foil
    Bota bag
    Can/bottle opener
    Canteen
    Corkscrew
    Measuring cup
    Drinking cup
    Cutting board
    Egg carrier
    Frying pan
    Grill, backpacker
    Ice or frozen gel type
    Ice chest
    Knife, butcher
    Knife, sharpener
    Lunch bags
    Mess kit
    Metal pot grabber
    Napkins
    Paper towels
    Plastic containers for food
    Plates/bowls
    Pots & pans
    Pot, coffee
    Spatula
    Stove – single burner
    Stove – Jetboil
    Stove – Jetboil fuel
    Stove – backpack
    Stove – camp stove lighter
    Stove – 2-burner type
    Stove – fuel eye dropper
    Stove – fuel bottle
    Stove – extra fuel canister
    Stove – funnel for fuel
    Stove – pump
    Stove – windscreen
    Tablecloth
    Toothpicks
    Utensils – cooking
    Utensils – eating
  • Equipment
    Altimeter
    Axe – large for camp
    Axe – small for backpack
    Backpack poncho/cover
    Bear canister
    Candles
    Carabiners
    Chain or steel cable
    Chains – tire
    Come-along
    File
    Flares
    Flashlight
    Flashlight – extra bulb
    Flashlight – LED headlamp
    Flashlight – Incandescent headlamp
    Hammer – tent stakes etc.
    Lantern – candle-type for backpacking
    Lantern – gas type
    Lantern – extra mantles
    Lantern – fuel
    Mosquito netting
    Sink – plastic tub
    Rope
    Rubber bands – large & small
    Saw – camp
    Saw – collapsible
    Shovel – army/backpack
    Shovel – large camp
    Stool or folding chair
    Stretch cords
    Sunshower
    Tape – utility
    Tent – backpack
    Tent – groundcloth
    Tent – large camp
    Tent – rainfly
    Tent – poles
    Tent – stakes
    Tent – string
    Multi-tool (e.g. Leatherman)
    Water purifier
    Waterproofing – boots
    Waterproofing – tent
    Zipper repair plus lubricant
    Climbing bag / chalk
    GPS
    Battery AA
    Battery C
    Bivvy
  • First Aid
    Adhesive bandages
    Alcohol swabs
    Aspirin
    Burn ointment
    Butterfly bandages
    Calamine lotion
    Collapsed wire splint
    Cotton swabs
    Cough drops
    Elastic bandage
    First aid handbook
    Eye drops
    First aid cream
    Footpowder
    Gauze compresses
    Gauze pads
    Gloves – latex
    Insect repellent
    Iodine
    Lip balm
    Magnifying glass
    Metal mirror
    Moleskin
    Needle and thread
    Ointment – anti-bacterial
    Prescription medications
    Safety pins
    Salt tablets
    Scissors
    Small knife
    Snake bite kit
    Soap towelettes
    Sunscreen
    Tape – medical
    Thermometer with case
    Triangular bandage
    Tweezers
    Vitamins
  • Food
    Beef jerky
    Boullion cubes
    Bread
    Candy bars
    Cheese
    Coffee
    Condiment – Mayo Packet
    Condiment – Ketchup Packet
    Condiment – Mustard Packet
    Condiment – Salsa Packet
    Cookies
    Crackers
    Eggs – cooking
    Eggs – hardboiled
    Fruit – fresh
    Fruit – canned
    Fruit – dried
    Fruit juice
    Gravy mix
    Hot chocolate mix
    Hot dogs
    Marshmallows
    Meal, Ready-to-Eat
    Milk – powdered
    Pasta/noodles
    Oatmeal
    Peanut butter
    Peanuts
    Pepper
    Potato chips
    Salt
    Raisins
    Rice
    Potatoes – raw/instant
    Sandwich makings
    Sandwiches
    Soft drinks
    Soup
    Spices in bottle
    Sweetener packet
    Sugar packet
    Tea – bags
    Tea – iced
    Trail mix
    Trail snacks
    Vegetables – raw/canned
    Water – quart bottle
    Water – 5 gallon jug
  • Personal Gear
    Comb or brush
    Facial tissue
    Glasses – restraining strap
    Glasses – extra pair
    Glasses – sunglasses
    Glasses – case
    Handkerchief
    Hand wipes – wet paper/cloth
    Lotion – hand & face
    Sewing kit
    Shampoo – biodegradable
    Soap – bar or hand soap
    Toilet paper
    Toothbrush
    Toothpaste
    Towels – hand and large
    Wallet
    Watch – alarm
    Watch – wrist
  • Recreation
    Binoculars
    Binoculars – cleaning cloth
    Book
    Camera
    Camera – bag
    Camera – strap
    Camera – extra batteries
    Fishing pole and gear
    Games – baseball/football
    Games – cribbage board
    Games – playing cards
    Games – flying saucer
    Games – Kite
    Games – chess
    Gold pan – and permit if necessary
    Hammock
    Musical instrument
    Pen/pencil & paper
  • Survival
    Candle – small for pack
    Compass
    Emergency survival handbook
    Emergency thermal blanket
    Fire starter
    Flashlight – small for pack
    Knife – pocket
    Knife – lock-back
    Knife – sharpener
    Knife – sheath type
    Knife – Swiss army
    Maps
    Match – flint type
    Fire – butane lighter
    Fire – matches book
    Fire – waterproof matches
    Fire – waterproof match holder
    Mirror – metal
    Rope – thin nylon
    Saw – wire for pack
    Water – purification tablets
    Water – pump / filter
    Water – scoop-n-go filter
    Weather thermometer
    Whistle
  • Winter Camping
    Cap – balaclava
    Crampons – with straps and cover
    Cross-county skis – skis, poles & boots etc
    Face mask
    Flags
    Fuel – handwarmer
    Handwarmer
    Gaiters
    Gloves – X-country ski
    Glove liners
    Goggles
    Head band
    Ice axe
    Mittens – thinsulate
    Mittens – shell
    Mittens – wool
    Jacket/Parka – down
    Snow shovel – backpack type
    Snowshoes & accessories
    Socks – wool / thermal
    Hiking pole
    Snowpants
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