Backpacking Checklist

Use our reliable backpacking checklist to reduce the weight of your gear and be prepared to handle the elements. Our list is solid and has been tested around the country. We have been dragging packs through sun, rain and snow and have developed this 3 season backpacking list based on our experiences.

The benefit of using a checklist is the simple fact that you will not leave important gear behind. I have been caught in a rainstorm while my rain jacket was sitting on the front seat of my car and I once left my stove behind and had to skip out on half of my meals. Now I never hit the trail without checking the list.

A great backpacking checklist will:

  • Be lightweight without leaving behind important gear.
  • Be durable.
  • Be comfortable to carry.
  • Be organized with all the gear easily accessible.

The Basics

Tent or Bivy Sack
Sleeping Bag
Backpack Rain Cover
Rain Jacket
Sleeping Pad
Hiking Poles

Food and Water

Water Purification (iodine, aqua mira, steri pen, filter)
Water Carrying System (bladder, 2 liter soda bottle)
Food (bring enough for an extra day)
Garbage Bag

Navigation, Hygeine and Safety

First aid Kit
Flash Light and Extra Batteries
Bear Spray if necessary
Fire Starters
Waterproof Matches
Pocket Knife or Multi Tool
Insect Repellant
Biodegradable Soap, Toothbrush, Toothpaste
Toilet Paper
Duct Tape
Nylon Cord


Base Layer
Hiking Boots
Quick Dry Pants
Lightweight Jacket


GPS Unit

You may have noticed that we have left out a few things that you consider necessary in your backpacking checklist. We reduce the weight of our packs by using a single pot for everything involving cooking. Lightweight titanium pots are the best and can be used for cooking food and for drinking tea or coffee. We stuff our pot with gear while it is in the pack to reduce the volume of the pack itself.

We also do not carry any cleaning supplies for the pot. Some water and abbrasive vegetaion is effective for cleaning any cookware you choose to bring along.

Test your gear before putting it to use. Break in your boots and spend some time on short hikes to make sure everything is comfortable and in working order.

Lightweight gear is more expensive than the heavy stuff but you will never regret purchasing it. A heavy pack makes for a long day on the trail and requires more energy to carry. Leave behind the camp chairs and anything that is not important. Remember, backpacking is simple and enjoyable when you are not weighed down by all the extras.

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