A Backpacking Gear List – What to Pack

If you’ve got an adventure planned in the near future then you’ll want to make sure that you take just the right amount of kit. Too little and you might not have the essential items you need for your travels. Too much and you’ll be paying the price whenever you have to carry your heavily-laden backpack between places. This backpacking gear list will help identify the most important items that you need to carry so you can live comfortably whilst away.


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Where are you Going?

Obviously where you are going and the expected weather conditions plays a big part in the gear that you need to carry. For example if you’re heading into snow then you’ll need different items than if you’re planning a trek through hot areas. Always make sure you check the weather forecast before you set out, here are a few official weather sites:

What you Should Pack in Your Backpack

Here is a list of the items you are likely to need on a backpacking / hiking trip. The exact items you carry will depend on your exact route itinerary and the conditions – so just pick and choose between the items below so you have the most important ones for your specific trip. If you’re looking for an ideal backpack for multi-day trips then check out the Teton 3700, it’s great value for money.

Shelter

  • Tent / bivvy / tarp – here’s a list of tents for backpacking, arranged by the most popular or newly released.
  • Tent poles, pegs & guy lines
  • Tent repair kit
  • Tent groundsheet (if required)
  • Foam / inflatable mattresses (with hand pump if needed)
  • Sleeping bags (appropriate one for the time of year eg: 2 / 3 / 4 season) & pillow (optional)

Cooking & Food

  • Camp stove
  • Fuel for stove
  • Firelighting equipment – gas lighter, matches, flint strike
  • Pan / pan set
  • Pan holder
  • Small bottle of frying oil?
  • Utensils & cutlery
  • Knife / pen-knife
  • Dishes / plates
  • Scouring sponge for cleaning pans
  • Packable fast-drying towel
  • Cups / Mugs
  • Water holder / collapsible container
  • Water treatment tablets if you’ll be using ‘wild water’
  • Bear holder for handing food, and cord (if in bear country)
  • Food for each day in the wilderness
  • Snacks / energy bars
  • Coffee and sugar sachets (?)

Navigation & On the Trail

  • Relevant maps
  • Waterproof map cover
  • Compass
  • GPS (?) and batteries
  • Guidebook if required

Clothing & Personal Gear

  • Hiking / walking boots
  • Socks
  • Trousers
  • Underwear
  • Thermals if it’s really cold
  • Wicking Tshirts & vest
  • Fleece
  • Waterproof coat with hood
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Gaiters
  • Gloves, mittens
  • Hat / balaclava

Safety & Health Items

  • First aid kit
  • Any  medication you take
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm
  • Torch / Headlamp and batteries
  • Flint fire starter
  • Repair kits for mattress, tent, stove etc.
  • Reflective emergency blanket
  • Emergency rations of food
  • Crampons and ice axe (condition dependent)
  • Insect repellant / bear spray
  • Headnet if the bugs are really bad
High Shelf Backpacking

A picture of a tent in front of ‘High Shelf’, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Personal Effects

  • Cell phone
  • Solar charger?
  • Radio / mp3 for entertainment
  • Toothbrush
  • Toiletries in small bottles
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wallet / cards / cash
  • Notepad and pencil
  • Camera with memory cards
  • Biodegradable Soap

As you can see there is quite a lot that you could possibly fit into your pack, and the list above isn’t completely exhaustive either. The above backpacking gear list should give you quite a comprehensive list of the items you should consider taking for your next backpacking trip. As mentioned at the beginning you should use your discretion according to the conditions and climate of your destination.

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