No need to reinvent the wheel. Use a handy checklist to ensure you have everything you need for a weekend away from the bustle of the city. Many estimates say your pack weight should not exceed 20% of your body weight, though your mileage may vary.
This checklist was used recently for a 2-night trip in Yosemite during the summer. Adapt this checklist to your own needs, and don't forget the sunscreen. 😎
Optional. Nice to have at the end of a long hiking day, but stick to whiskey or another liquor. Wine and beer adds weight quickly!
Optional. If you want this level of cleanliness, cut away 3/4 of an older sponge to save space and siphon soap into a small container since you only need a little.
First Aid Kit basics
I typically pack: Neosporin, bandages, gauze, blister bandages, athletic tape, tweezers, alcohol pads, moleskin. For meds, I pack a few pills of each: anti-diarrheal, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, antacid, antihistamine
Fuel (for stove)
I use Jetboil Jetpower fuel
Permit and photo ID
Two lengths for tying on items to your pack, etc.
A reliable pocket knife works well here
Jetboil is greatーyou’ll need at least one, maybe more depending on the size of your group
Trail map (USGS)
I’ve used a Katadyn Hiker Microfilter for years and like it
Water filtration tablets
Emergency tablets are handy if the water filter breaks
Instant oatmeal, cereal bars, etc.
Coffee or tea
For coffee, try instant or else you’ll need a filter
Optional. Try freeze-dried ice cream or freeze-dried desserts
I usually go with Mountain House or Backpacker’s Pantry
Tuna (in a packet, not a can that you can’t easily flatten and carry out), Easy Mac, instant ramen
Dried fruit, trail mix, energy bars, cereal bars, nuts
Backpack to carry it all
Get fitted by a professional who can measure your torso at a place like REI. It will make a huge difference.
Collapsible silicone is great
Optional. It’s a luxury I now love, but keep it lightweight, like the Helinox Chair Zero (only 1.2 lb!)
Scentless, ideally. Even travel-sized deodorant can take up way too much room. If you’re OK with a finger application, I pack some in a tiny container to save space.
Helpful to store wet clothes or used as a poncho in a pinch
1 wide-brimmed hat or cap for day and 1 beanie or knit headband for night
An additional flashlight or lightweight lantern is a nice-to-have, but not essential
Beware the chub rub! Wear longer shorts or compression shorts, as needed
Daily meds, contacts, etc.
One pair can be re-used to stay warm at night
Poles for trekking
Tevas are a classic and lightweight option. For night, enjoy the wool socks + sandals lewk. 💅
Sleeping Bag with stuff sack
Good for a micro-bath at the end of the day
Socks for every day of hiking
Wool is best, and they should be tall enough to sit above the top of your boot
An insulating layer or second, lightweight jacket works too, depending on temperatures
Towel (small microfiber)
For every day of hiking, plus one or two extra
Water bottles + blister pack
Calculate how much water you’ll expect to drink between water sources. To give you an idea, I brought one 3L HydraPak and two 32oz Nalgenes, which was an appropriate amount for my body and hiking conditions, where I refilled 1-2x/day.
Good for carrying trash and storing used toilet paper (separately!)
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