Backcountry Backpacking Gear List

Safety Tips for the Backcountry:

Bring a buddy to start. It’s best not to hike alone at first, especially on unfamiliar or remote trails. A partner or group can help you navigate and assist if you get hurt. As your skill level improves, you’ll feel more comfortable going solo.

Know before you go. Familiarize yourself with the trail map. Check the weather, and dress and pack accordingly. If storms are a possibility, rethink your plan. Follow marked paths and trails.


Be sure to have these essentials along

□  Fire – matches or fire starter
□  Shelter – tent, tarp, bivy
□  Navigation – map, compass, GPS
□  Weather protection – for sun, precipitation and cold
□  Illumination – flashlight or headlamp
□  First aid – appropriate for the activity and group size
□  Repair supplies – multi-tool, duct tape, sewing kit
□  Hydration – water bottles and/or bladders; filtration
□  Nutrition – one day’s extra calories for an emergency
□  Identification – license/passport/credit cards/cell phone

Large Camping Gear

□  Hiking Pack– properly fitted
□  Pack rain cover
□  Small fanny pack (optional)
□  Tent or bivy shelter, fly
□  Ground cloth/tent footprint
□  Tent stakes – include some spares
□  Sleeping bag – temperature appropriate
□  Waterproof stuff bag for sleeping bag
□  Sleeping pad
□  Technical tools for your trip, as needed – ice axe, climbing rope, crampons, etc.

Small Camping Essentials

□  Water bottles or hydration system
□  Water filtration/purification system
□  Water purification tablets (as a backup to filtration)
□  First aid kit – including foot care, tweezers
□  Survival kit – magnifying lens, fire starter, survival cards, whistle, etc.
□  Emergency fire starting supplies
□  Equipment repair supplies
□  Duct Tape
□  Rope
□  Sewing kit
□  Flashlight or head lamp and/or small lantern
□  Spare batteries
□  Whistle


□  Stove
□  Fuel for stove
□  Matches in waterproof container, lighter
□  Cook set/pot grip
□  Camping kitchen and/or cooking supplies – spatula, large spoon, pot holder
□  Knife – Swiss Army™ or other quality folding model
□  Cup, plate
□  Utensils – knife, fork, spoon or spork
□  Dishwashing supplies – remember to only use biodegradable soap, if anything
□  Trash bags
□  Flask (optional)
□  Food (see food suggestions below)


□  Breakfast foods – instant cereals, breakfast bars, high energy bars, etc.
□  Lunch foods – peanut butter, crackers, beef jerky, cheeses
□  Snacks – trail mix, nuts, granola bars, high energy bars, etc.
□  Dinner foods – freeze dried dinners, rice, easy to cook entrees
□  Beverages – powdered drink mixes such as Gatorade, Crystal Light or Tang, coffee, tea, hot cocoa
□  Optional food choices – camp oven, fresh veggies, meat or fruit for start of trip, spices


□  Waterproof boots
□  Camp shoes or sandals – you'll want to try to keep one pair of footwear dry at all times
□  Spare laces (optional)
□  Socks that wick moisture – Forget all cotton socks! Use merino wool.
□  Bandana
□  Waterproof hat
□  Brimmed hat (may be same as above)
□  Stocking cap or ear band (depending on weather and location)
□  Gloves
□  Raingear – waterproof, breathable jacket and pants
□  Fleece, or wool shirt or sweater
□  Long sleeve, light weight shirt – great for sun and bug protection
□  Long sleeve, medium weight shirt
□  Light weight camping pants
□  Shorts
□  T-shirts – synthetic, wicking are best in most situations
□  Underwear
□  Light weight synthetic thermal underwear
□  Swim suit
□  Belt (optional)
□  Watch – waterproof
□  Eyewear – sunglasses, prescription glasses, contact lenses and supplies
□  Glasses band


□  Personal medical supplies – prescriptions, inhaler, antibiotics, etc.
□  Pain reliever
□  Sun screen
□  Sunburn cream
□  Insect repellant
□  Lip balm – with SPF
□  Bathroom supplies – trowel, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products
□  Toothbrush & toothpaste
□  Hair brush/comb
□  Pack towel
□  Antibacterial gel (optional)
□  Moist wipes (optional)


□  Maps
□  Map Case
□  Compass
□  Altimeter, pedometer (optional)
□  Backup compass and maps
□  Field Guide (optional)


Nice to have, but each adds pack weight

□  Waterproof stuff sacks – for clothing and other gear. Highly recommended for organization, compression and dryness. 
□  Trekking poles – we also highly recommended these!
□  Camp pillow
□  Water shoes
□  Gaiters
□  1-2 gallon water bag/carrier
□  Mosquito head net
□  Candle lantern/candles
□  Book
□  Journal & pen
□  Playing cards
□  Binoculars
□  Spare batteries, battery packs, or solar charging panel
□  Fishing gear
□  Hammock
□  Spare eyewear