Make sure to bring these sleeping essentials:
A quality lightweight sleeping bag. Backpacking bags generally weigh two to three pounds for three-season use and are available in synthetic and natural fill materials.
A durable and easy to set-up tent. The best backpacking tents weigh between five and six pounds packed and generally include the poles, stakes and rain fly.
A good ground tarp. The ground cloth should be large enough to cover the floor of the tent and should be waterproof.
Optional sleeping gear includes, a sleeping pad and packable pillow. These extras may provide added comfort while sleeping but also add weight and bulk to your backpack.
Be well and properly equipped with the following items:
A comfortably fitted backpack and pack cover
A headlamp or flashlight and batteries
A pocket knife or multi-tool
A trail map and compass or GPS device
Additional optional equipment might include trekking poles or walking sticks, a collapsible shovel, strong twine or rope and, depending on where you are hiking, bear bags.
Pack for a successful adventure by preparing for any eventuality with the following list:
Sturdy hiking shoes or boots
Gaiters for rough weather or snow
A full-brimmed hat (or stocking hat for winter hiking) and sunglasses
A jacket. Pack a lightweight jacket for summer and a heavy jacket for winter. Your jacket should be breathable and moisture wicking.
One pair of pants that are flexible and durable. Pants with zip-off legs are perfect for warmer days.
Two pairs of socks. Clean socks are vital to the health of your feet and your overall comfort; so don't skimp here.
Two T-shirts. Shirts that are lightweight and breathable are ideal for layering.
Two pairs of underwear. Pack thermal underwear for winter backpacking.
One supportive sports bra for women
For winter trips, remember a balaclava, gloves, liners, snow pants and hand warmers.
Eating and Drinking
Stay fueled and hydrated by including the following in your backpack:
Energy bars or nutrient-rich trail mix
Backpacking foods such as uncooked noodles, dehydrated potatoes and powdered soups
A portable lightweight stove. A quality backpacking stove should weigh between two and 20 ounces (not including fuel) and run on a variety of fuels, such as white gas, kerosene and unleaded vehicle gasoline.
Matches or fire source packed in a waterproof container
1 cooking pot; some stoves include the pot.
Cleaning supplies; wet-wipes work great.
Water purification, either a filter or chemical purifiers
A hydration pack is optional but handy.
First Aid and Toiletries
Stay safe and sanitary in the woods by remembering the following items:
A comprehensive first aid kit; homemade kits work best, and should include relevant medical information about your hiking group including, blood types and allergies.
Sun-block SPF 30 or higher
Bug repellent which contains DEET
A good emergency whistle
Plastic bags to carry out garbage and waste
Optional safety equipment may include an emergency tracker for more remote-access areas.