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Backpacking Checklist

While gear can add to your wilderness adventure, it is possible (and some say preferable) to take as little as possible. For some tips about lightening your load, read our Lightweight Packing article. Add or subtract items to match the weather, and your trip plans.

Photo: Rich Wheater

The Essentials

Map

Compass

Sunglasses and sunscreen

Food

Headlamp / flashlight

First-aid kit

Water

Matches – in waterproof container

Fire starter

Knife

Repair kit

Trip plan – left with a friend

Whistle

Clothing – Men's, Women's

Hiking boots

Gaiters

Socks (liner and outers)

Base layer top / bottoms

Insulated top

Long-sleeved shirt (for sun protection)

Underwear

Rainwear or outer shell top / bottoms

Short-sleeved shirt

Insulating hat

Pants

Shorts

Gloves or mitts

Sun hat

Camping Gear

Backpack

Tent

Sleeping bag

Sleeping pad

Stove and Fuel

Cooking and eating utensils

Water treatment or filter

Toiletries (including toilet paper)

Garbage bags

Extra Items

Altimeter

Binoculars

Rope

Camera and accessories

Notebook and pencil

Games

Sandals

Paperback

Biodegradable soap

GPS

Watch or alarm clock

Change of clothes – at trailhead

Vaccuum Flasks (Also known as Thermos Bottles)

Insect repellent or bug shirt