Backpack Packing List

Backpack Packing List
The key to packing for a backpack trip is good organization. By categorizing your packing list, you can be sure to pack everything you need while at the same time optimizing space and reducing weight.

Sleeping Gear

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

Rain gear

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.

Eating utensils

Cleaning supplies; wet-wipes work great.

Water bottles

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

Toilet paper

Plastic bags to carry out garbage and waste

Optional safety equipment may include an emergency tracker for more remote-access areas.

Article Written By Hollie Reina

Based in St. George, Utah, Hollie Reina recently started her professional writing career writing outdoor-related articles for She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah.

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