Prepare Properly With A Backpacking Check List

Ever gotten out on an adventure only to realize that you’ve left a useful (or necessary!) item behind? Betcha don’t want that to happen again. Use a backpacking check list to make sure you don’t forget anything.

A backpacking gear list will make packing much easier, reduce your stress while preparing, and make sure that you have everything you need to enjoy yourself during your backpacking trip.

When you’re done with the backpacking check list below, be sure to check out our article on staying organized while packing.

Basic Backpacking Check List

The Ten Essentials

  • Map
  • Compass
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
  • Extra food
  • Extra clothing
  • Sunglasses
  • First-aid kit
  • Knife
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Firestarter

Sleeping Gear

Cooking Equipment

  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Pot
  • Cup/mug
  • Spork
  • Cutting board
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Scrub sponge


  • T-shirt
  • Shorts
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Pants
  • Fleece jacket or sweater
  • Rain jacket
  • Rain pants
  • Wool or synthetic hat
  • Fleece gloves or glove liners
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 2 pairs of underwear
  • Sun hat
  • Rain hat
  • Bandanna

Personal Care

  • Sunblock
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Alcohol wipes or hand sanitizer
  • Pocket-size tissue pack
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Deodorant


  • Gear repair kit
  • Backpack rain cover
  • Waterproof stuff sacks or Ziploc bags
  • Water bottle(s)
  • Hydration reservoir
  • GPS device
  • Camera
  • Cell phone
  • MP3 player
  • Spare batteries
  • Trekking poles
  • Umbrella
  • Bear repellent
  • Bear-proof food canister
  • Guidebooks
  • Binoculars

Feel free to use our list as a base and update to your needs. Happy trails!

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