Backpacking List

A Must-Have Backpacking List

Using a backpacking list to help you pack for your outdoor adventure is a great way to ensure that you have everything you need with you. The excitement of the great outdoors can often lead to hasty packing which could mean that you are left up the creek without a paddle in the event of an emergency. Let’s take a look at the following backpacking list which contains a number of items that no backpacker should leave behind.

The Absolute Basics

Obviously you are going to need to start with a good quality backpack that is spacious enough to hold your gear yet light enough that you can actually travel with it on your back. If you are staying overnight, you will need a sleeping bag that can stand up to the elements in the area you will be traveling through. For instance, if you are trekking on a mountain where night time temperatures can get below freezing, then you should ensure that your sleeping bag can keep you warm enough during the night. A tent or tarp would also be a smart choice as you never know what kind of weather you are going to run into. Sure, sleeping under the stars is nice but what happens when that freak rain storm hits and you’ve got nothing but a sleeping bag to protect you? You should also ensure that the tent is capable of withstanding any weather that you might run into. And the final absolute basic items that every person should take on a backpacking trip are a multi-tool or utility knife and a first aid kit.

Cooking Accessories

Even if you plan to hunt or fish your own food, you will still need to bring items to help you prepare and cook the food safely. A portable stove and fuel would be ideal; however a campfire suits some people just fine. Brining a pot and a pan for cooking, as well as cooking utensils such as a spoon, spatula, and a sharp knife is also a good idea. A lightweight cup or mug, bowl, plate, spoon, and fork should also be on the backpacking list. A waterproof source of fire, such as a lighter or water-resistant matches, can make life in the outdoors much more enjoyable, as can a dish brush and water purification equipment. And finally, always remember to take plenty of bottled water with you.


The term “dress for the occasion” doesn’t only apply to fancy shindigs. If you are going to spend a great deal of time hiking outdoors, your first priority should be your feet. Weather proof trail shoes or hiking boots are a must and it’s a good idea to break them in before you set off for your trip. You don’t want to risk “new shoe blisters” getting infected! A weatherproof jacket or coat and waterproof pants also have to make the list. Then you have your everyday bits such as socks, underwear, and a warm (wool) hat. You may want to consider taking a couple of pairs of thermal shirts and pants (often referred to as long John’s) in case you find the temperature a bit cooler than you anticipated, especially at night.

Not-So Necessary (but a Good Idea) Items

The items that fall under this category may seem a little more “frivolous” to the hardcore backpackers out there, but many of us find that they can sure add that extra bit of comfort and enjoyment to the journey. A map, compass, toilet paper, sun screen, toothbrush and toothpaste, headlamp or flashlight, trash bag or waterproof backpack cover, and trapping/hunting/fishing equipment.