Essentials Backpacking Checklist

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Backpacking & Hiking Checklists – great tools to help keep you organized and prepared to make your hiking and backpacking trips an exciting and enjoyably experience. One of the the goals of your checklist is to avoid that, “Oh, no, I forgot …” situation 🙂


Whenever you head into the woods for longer than a few hours, you’ll need to gear up. Base your equipment selection on the season, region and length of your trip. It’s very important to remember, in mountainous areas, weather can change quickly and dramatically. Check on min/max weather projections & history for your area. Regulatory agencies at your destination will be more than happy to answer your questions and provide advice.

Don’t hit the trail without these items.


For backpacking adventures longer than one day add the following items to the day hike list:

  • Quick-drying nylon pants or shorts
  • Shirts
    • Short-sleeved T-shirts
    • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Underwear
  • Colder weather Trips
    • Fleece or wool pants
    • Fleece or wool top
    • Fleece or wool vest
    • Two pair wicking long underwear



  • Wool or synthetic socks
  • Synthetic or silk sock liners
  • Hiking boots
  • Extra laces
  • Gaiters

Camping Gear

Personal Items

  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Small bath towel
  • Brush or comb
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Head net
  • Whistle or signal mirror
  • Pocketknife or multi-tool
  • Trowel or shovel
  • 100 feet of parachute cord
  • Watch
  • Repair and spare-parts kit

Other Stuff

  • Field guide
  • Journal
  • Book
  • Camera (with extra battery)
  • Binoculars
  • Playing cards or other games
  • Fishing license and tackle
  • Large fixed-blade knife or Folding Saw