17 Things You Need To Pack on Your Backpacking Trip

In this post, I’m going to share with you 17 things you need to pack on your next backpacking trip.

After years of hiking in the backcountry - both through the mountains and the desert - I’ve really come to understand what gear I need to pack for each trip.

If you’re new to backpacking, I hope this backcountry essentials checklist will help you get organized and have a safe trip.

Watch the video below for a description of all the items and a little bit about why I take them.

The complete written list is below with some links to the specific gear I mentioned in the video.

While I consider this list to have all the essentials, it’s your responsibility to make sure you pack appropriately taking into consideration the distance, duration, remoteness, expected weather and your experience level.

Please make sure you know how to use your gear and that you tell someone where you’re going. Be prepared to navigate if your GPS fails.



  1. Backpack

  2. Water purifier/filter (I currently use the Sawyer Squeeze system)

  3. Sleeping bag (This is the sleeping bag I use. I know it’s expensive, but I think this brand the best you can buy, and after years of being cold at night, I finally invested in this and it’s AMAZING!)

  4. Sleeping pad (I LOVE this one)

  5. Tent

  6. Food/Coffee (The best backpacking food!)

    • Also, don’t forget either a bear canister or a food sack and cord to hang it

  7. Med kit

  8. Backpacking stove (don’t forget the lighter and fuel!)

  9. Multitool

  10. Trowel and toilet paper

  11. Headlamp

  12. Clothing, rain gear, and layers for expected weather

  13. Hiking boots and socks

  14. Navigation (map, GPS, compass)

  15. Sun protection

  16. Strips of duck tape or tenacious tape for repairs

  17. Kitchen utensils - coffee cup, spork 


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