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Must Read: Backpacking Gear Checklist [Ultimate Guide]

Are you planning an upcoming backpacking trip? If you are new to backpacking, Then it’s very hard to know what gear to take, when it’s time to pack for a backpacking trip. To make it easy, you need an ultralight backpacking gear checklist.

We have written this article about backpacking checklist to help you stay organized. In this checklist, we’ve covered just about everything you’ll need, including cooking items, basic gear, clothing, Safety items etc. Here’s a list of gear you might need.

We recommend you follow our backpacking checklist every time you go backpacking.

Where Are You Going?

What gear you need to carry depends on where you are going. You have to consider the weather conditions of the place you’re going. For example, if you’re going on a trek through hot areas then you’ll need different gears than if you’re heading into the snow. You should check the weather forecast before you hit the road.

How To Use This List

1. Start with the basic/core backpacking gear.
2. Next, move on to food and clothing gear.
3. Now see the list of backpacking electronics and toiletries.
4. Next, see the list of additional backpacking gear. You may don’t need these but they might be very useful.
5. And finally, you have got your entire list!

Backpacking Gear Checklist

backpacking gear checklist

1. Basic/Core Backpacking Gear List

Backpack: A backpack is a must. But if you don’t have one. Then you should get one. You can try a Tumi backpack or Herschel pop quiz backpack. These two brand offers excellent quality travel backpacks. If you don’t know what to look for in a travel backpack, then read our guide on choosing a travel backpack.

Backpack Cover: Most backpack manufacturers sell covers to fit their packs. Get a cover for your backpack.

Sleeping Bag: Pick a good quality backpacking sleeping bag from a renowned brand.

Sleeping Pad: Get a lightweight, decent sleeping pad if you think you will be tired of sleeping on rocks.

Pocket Knife: A pocket knife will come to a lot of work.

Water Bottle: Take a traditional water bottle as well as the bladder. Water bladders are fantastic.

Stove With Fuel: Sometimes you may require a stove for cooking because some areas don’t allow open fire.

Ibuprofen: Take ibuprofen or painkiller with you. You may need it if someone gets hurt, dehydrated or get a headache.

Water Purifier: It’s good to use a water purifier. So, take one with you.

Map and Compass: Make sure that you have a map and compass and you know how to use them. Though, now most of the people use smartphone apps and GPS. But it’s good to have a paper map as a backup if your gadgets fail.

Rain Jacket: For outdoor adventures, it’s a versatile and most important item.

Multi-Tool: Multitool is better for backpacking. You may need to repair some gear along the way.

Hiking Boots: Rugged backpacking boots are best for rough terrain and heavy loads. Hiking boots will work for easier trails and lighter loads too.

Flashlight: You’ll need a flashlight when it gets dark. It will be better if the light is waterproof.

Matches: Never forget to take some waterproof matches into the woods. You will need emergency fire sometime.

First Aid Kit: Accidents can happen at any time in any place. So, buy a first aid kit for primary treatment. You can buy or build your own.

Cooking Pot: You will need to use hot water sometimes for cooking freeze-dried backpacking meals. So, the cooking pot is very necessary.

2. Clothing Gear

Light Jacket/Polar Fleece Shirt: Polar fleece is durable, warm and water resistant. They are inexpensive too. An ultralight down jacket is another best option.

Rain Jacket: A lightweight and decent quality breathable rain jacket is best.

T-Shirt: T-shirt is best to wear when the weather is hot

3. Cooking Gear

Freeze Dried Meals: you can choose a freeze-dried meal for dinners.

Hot Tea/ Coffee/ Chocolate/Tang: A hot tea/drink calm down the soul on a cold morning or evening.

Noodles: Take some flavored noodles packet or some sort of dried soup.

Instant Oatmeal: cream and peaches will be best.

Candy: Candies are great for sharing with your friends. You can take Peanut, Hot Tamales, skittles etc.

Other food you can take: Dried fruit, fruit leather, trail mix, energy bars, tortilla, Bagel, rolls etc.

4. Backpacking Electronics

Smartphone: Take a smartphone with you. You can make your smartphone waterproof by a sealed sandwich bag.

Charger: You need a battery charger to charge your battery. Especially if you’re going to use it for a long time.

HeadLamp: A headlamp is great for night time cooking, hiking with dark or bathroom breaks. You also need it inside the tent in the night.

5. Backpacking Toiletries

Toilet Tissue: You will need toilet tissue especially when you have to go to the bathroom.

Hand Sanitizer Gel: Take a small container of hand sanitizer gel or you can use anti-bacterial wet wipes.

Backpacking Trowel: It’s also a necessary item to have.

6. Additional Backpacking Gear

Hat: A hat will add warmth and keep the sun out of your eyes.

Boots/Snake Boots:  A good pair of snake boot will protect you from snake bites.

Sunscreen: Take some sunscreen with you to block the sun’s UV rays.

Gloves: A good pair of gloves are great for cold weather or high altitudes.

Book: It will also help you to enjoy your time especially if you’re a book lover.

Moleskin: Keep some moleskin in your first aid box. It will help in protecting/preventing blisters.

Waterproof pack Cover: You need a waterproof pack cover to protect your pack while you wear it. Most of the packs are not waterproof.

Earplugs: You will want earplugs if you’re sleeping a couple of feet away from a buddy who snores.

Bug Repellant: Sometimes you just can’t run from gnats or mosquitos. This time you will need bug repellant.

Fishing Gear: Fishing will give you extra fun. You can take a lightweight fly fishing rod with some minimal tackle with you.

You can also pack Hammock, Long spoon, stocking cap as extra gear.

You’ll also find some awesome article about backpacking on this outdoor blog.

Our backpacking gear checklist is done! Now it’s your turn. Was the article helpful? Have you any advice to give us? Or if we have missed something, then let us inform quickly via the comment box below and get ready for backpacking.

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