The Handy Dandy Backpacking Checklist
Got backpacking on the mind? Know what you'll need to pack? Don't worry. We've got the perfect checklist for all your gear.


Previously, our friend Tyler covered hiking essentials and made a fun, slightly serious list of what he brings on the trail when he’s setting out for a day hike. But backpacking is a different kind of beast: you’re lugging a lot more gear over more than just 6 or less hours, weather and trail conditions permitting The F.I.N.I.S.H.E.R.S. List Setting out for a trail, it’s a pretty safe assumption to say that you plan on finishing it. It’s our hope you pack the same way you think, that’s why we suggest you pack like the F.I.N.I.S.H.E.R.S. (The following items are not in order of an importance). Fire

Insulation (aka Warmth)

  • Garments (jacket, pants, gloves, hats, socks)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad

Navigation

Illumination

Sun Protection

Hydration

Emergency Supplies

Repair kit and tools

Sustenance

  • 2-3 meals per day
  • Extra day’s worth of food

This is the initial backpacking checklist. As long as you have an item in your pack that fits under each of these categories, you’ll be prepared for whatever the trail decides to throw at you.   Putting the F.I.N.I.S.H.E.R.S. Approach Into Practice what to pack when backpacking

Depending on a number of days you’ll be out on the trail, you’ll always want to pack accordingly. Like the picture above, lay out all the gear you plan on bringing before packing.

For a 1-day backpacking checklist, we recommend packing the following essentials based on what we just learned from how the F.I.N.I.S.H.E.R.S. pack it: x1 Backpack x1 Tent x1 Knife/multi-tool x1 Duct tape strips x1 Stove x1 Fuel canister x1 Stowaway pot x1 Set of plastic utensils (fork, knife, spoon x1 Lighter/Matches x1 Fire starter x1 Map x1 Sleeping Bag x1 Sleeping Pad x1 Shirt x1 Jacket x1 Pants x2 Pairs of socks x1 Pair of gloves x2 Pairs of underwear x1 Beanie x1 Hat x1 Sunglasses x1 Friend back home who knows where you’re going x1 Headlamp x1 Set of back-up batteries x1 Osprey reservoir x1 Water filter (life straw or gravity filter) x2 Chlorine water tablet x1 Pair of Hiking boots x2 Meals x2 Snacks x1 Emergency meal x1 Sunscreen x1 Toothbrush x1 Toothpaste x4 Sheets of toilet paper x1 Shovel/Something to dig a hole for bathroom purposes x1 Trash bag x1 Backup water bladder (filled) in the car     (Printable version goes here)   And now we’ll do a 3-day backpacking checklist, still following the F.I.N.I.S.H.E.R.S. rule of packing:     x1 Backpack x1 Tent x1 Knife/multi-tool x1 Duct tape strips x1 Lighter/Matches x3 Fire starter x1 Map x1 Sleeping Bag x1 Sleeping Pad x2 Shirt x1 Jacket x1 Pants x4 Pairs of socks x1 Pair of gloves x4 Pairs of underwear x1 Beanie x1 Hat x1 Sunglasses x1 Friend back home who knows where you’re going x1 Headlamp x1 Set of back-up batteries x1 Osprey reservoir x1 Water filter (life straw or gravity filter) x6 Chlorine water tablet x1 Pair of Hiking boots x6 Meals x6 Snacks x2 Emergency meal x1 Sunscreen x1 Toothbrush x1 Toothpaste x12 Sheets of toilet paper the car x1 Shovel/something to dig a hole for bathroom purposes x1 Trash bag x1 Backup water bladder (filled) in the car (Printable version goes here) As you can see, most of the items stay the same with only the amount changing. Feel free to distribute some of these items between your group: one person carry the tent while another packs the water filter and trash Depending on the weather, though, you might not have to bring some of the items on the list above. Here’s the difference in how we pack for cold weather vs. warm weather destinations: Warm Weather Clothing and Footwear backpacking in summer

  • Wicking T-shirt
  • Wicking underwear
  • Convertible pants
  • Long-sleeve shirt (protection from bugs and
  • Sun hat
  • Bandana
  • GORE-TEX®SURROUND Footwear
  • _____________ *

Cool Weather Clothing and Footwear backpacking in winter

  • Long sleeve wicking shirt
  • Wicking long underwear (you want to sleep in)
  • Down, fleece or synthetic jacket
  • Rainwear (waterproof jacket, pants, and gloves)
  • Wool socks
  • Beanie
  • GORE-TEX Performance Comfort Footwear
  • _____________ *

* Spaces left blank intentionally for you to add based on needs Feel like you’re good on the checklist, but want to learn more about the actually backpacking part? We got you covered with Backpacking for Beginners (coming soon!), written by yours truly! What would you add to this list or change? Let us know in the comments! And as always, stay safe


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