So you are going backpacking soon and need the right gear? We have created several resources for you to use by creating a Google Sheet, Downloadable Excel Sheet, and a Table down below with the ultimate backpacking checklist.
You’ll be sure to have everything you need using any of the below resources.
Google Sheet | Excel Spreadsheet | On Site Checklist | Why Are These Items Important?
A Google Sheet
Use this link and simply go to “File” and select “Make a Copy” to have your own checklist to use on your Google drive at any time.
Don’t like Google Sheets? No Problem. We have a download link for an Excel document.
Download your backpacking checklist here.
On Site Checklist
Going for a camping sounds great. But if you don’t pack your bags right, then it could turn out to be a nightmare. Now, while selecting the essential backpacking gear, you’ll need to make the right choices. Bringing enough to be safe, and comfortable, but not so much that your backpack is weighing you down.
|Item||Is it packed?|
|Walking / Hiking Items|
|Backpack & Raincover|
|Hiking / Trekking Poles|
|Food & Water|
|Water Bottles & Reservoir|
|Water Filtration System or Chemical System|
|Meals for Camp|
|Snacks & Energy for hiking (bars, nuts, gels, etc)|
|Extra food for emergencies|
|Clothing & Footwear|
|Moisture Wicking Underwear|
|Moisture Wicking Shirt|
|Pants / Shorts|
|Long Sleeve (For sun or warmth)|
|Fleece / jacket|
|Boots / Trail Runners|
|Sandals / Flip flops|
|Bandana / Neck Gaiter / Buff|
|Gloves / Mittens|
|Map of Area|
|Watch and/or GPS|
|Emergency Satellite Device / Beacon|
|Tent / hammock, stakes, rain fly, tent footprint (optional)|
|Pillow / Clothes to make pillow|
|Headlamp / Flashlight & Extra Batteries|
|Bear Box / Bear Bag / Bear Spray (depending on location)|
|Nylon Rope (50 ish feet to hang bear bag)|
|Camping chair (optional)|
|(Lantern / camp light)|
|Sleeping Bag Liner|
|Tools & Repair Items:|
|First Aid Kit|
|Extra line / rope|
|Knife / Saw / Axe / Shovel|
|Tent pole repair sleeve|
|Sleeping pad repair kit|
|Stove & Fuel|
|Lighter / Matches|
|Plates / Bowls|
|Dish cleaning soap / scrubber|
|Bottle opener / can opener|
|Hygiene & Health|
|Toothbrush & Toothpaste|
|Prescription Medication (Inhaler, pills, epipen, etc)|
|Hygiene & Health: Optional|
|Soap / Shampoo / Hand Sanitizer|
|Mental & Backup:|
|Are you healthy?|
|Did you give your itinerary to someone not on your trip?|
|Do you have the proper permits?|
|Credit Card / Cash|
|ID / License|
|Daypack / extra backpack for day hikes|
|Book / Cards / Entertainment|
Why Are Some Of These Items So Important?
1. Sleeping Bag And Pad:
Lying on the grassy ground with leaves here and there seems soothing. Reality is, it could be a short term pastime. You need a good and warm sleeping bag for sleeping when the night comes and the temperature falls. Besides, insects could get into your clothes if you sleep at an open place.
Don’t ever forget a sleeping pad. Not only will it enable you to sleep more comfortable, but most importantly, sleeping pads keep you warm. Sleeping on the ground without a pad will pull the heat away from you and reduce the effectiveness of your sleeping bag.
If you aren’t in the backcountry, you may want a larger blow up mattress. Or if you are with your significant other, a camping mattress for couples might be of interest to you.
2. Tent / Hammock
If you want to keep dry, you need a tent or hammock setup. It will protect you from the elements, and is an essential piece of your camping gear.
3. Fire Arrangements
If you are in an area where fires are allowed, there is pretty much nothing better than a fire in the wilderness. Even if you aren’t you should have gear in case of an emergency or survival situation.
4. Water Supply
Water is the key that keeps you hydrated during the camping or backpacking adventure. You need enough to drink, make your food, and maybe clean up a bit. Having a water filtration system is an absolute life saver.
5. First-Aid Kit
Simply put, just be prepared for injuries. You’ll be happy you have this on you.
6. Toilet Paper
You’ll want a clean butt for when nature calls.
7. Flashlight / Headlamp & Extra Batteries
Humans aren’t good at seeing at night. This is an essential item if you don’t want to have to do nothing from sunset to sunrise.
8. Navigation Items
You’ll want an old fashioned map and compass for backup, but GPS devices are also fantastic to have. Stay safe by knowing where you are, having bailout points, and making the right route decisions.
From cutting a rope to slicing butter, a knife is your ultimate tool during camping chores. A multipurpose knife will serve you for tons of activities. They are also important survival tools.
10. Money & Phone
Be ready in case something goes wrong, or you need to head back to civilization. A phone is a big safety net, just make sure it is charged.
Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about