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The 10 Backpacking Essentials + Complete Checklist (PDF)

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What should I bring backpacking?

It’s very important to be prepared when you’re out on a day backpacking or hiking. Whether you’re a total beginner or an experienced hiker, you should always carry these ten essentials.

It’s very important to understand what you need (and don’t need!) to pack is very important. Here is a checklist of the 10 backpacking essentials for a weekend trip or an extended long-distance thru-hike.

We cut the fluff and kept it light. Again, these are only the essentials required for your backpacking trip.

Please consider adding extra gear ( it’s not limit ) depending on weather and terrain conditions.

Open the Google Doc and download our one-page printable PDF version.

The 10 Backpacking Essentials:

  1. Kitchen
  2. Backpack 
  3. Sleep System
  4. Shelter
  5. Clothes
  6. Food and Water
  7. Light
  8. Toiletries
  9. Extra
  10. (Optional Extras)

1. Kitchen

  • Cup
  • Spork
  • Fuel
  • Stove
  • Lighter or Waterproof Matches
  • Hand Sanitizer or Soap

2. Food and Water

  • Food (~2 lbs per day)
  • Water (carry 1L minimum at all times)
  • Bottle (1L for Clean Water)
  • Bottle (1L for Dirty Water)
  • Filter or Purification Drops
  • Stuff Sack (~10L capacity) (optional)

3. Backpack Syestem:

  • Pack
  • Pack Liner or Pack Cover

4. Sleep System

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Pillow (inflatable) or Lined Stuff Sack
  • (optional) Sleeping Bag Liner

5. Light

  • Headlamp or Flashlight
  • Extra Batteries (optional)

6. Toiletries

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet Paper
  • Medicine/ Pain Reliever

7. Shelter

  • Tent
  • Fly/ Rain Tarp
  • Poles
  • Stakes
  • Guylines (optional)
  • Footprint/ Ground Cloth (optional)

8. Clothes

  • Top Layers
  • Bottom Layers
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Rain Shell
  • Headwear/ Bandana
  • Trail Runners or Boots
  • Camp Shoes

9. Extra

  • Band Aids or Duct Tape
  • Map or Navigation
  • Watch
  • Knife
  • Bugspray
  • Phone/ Camera

10. (Optional Extras)

  • Towel
  • Trekking Poles
  • Gaiters
  • Ear Plugs
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses

Conclusion:
If you have any questions about any of the stuff please let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer.

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