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Backpacking Checklist

Pack your bag (lightly, of course)ーyou're going camping!
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. 😎

Backpacking Checklist
0
Category
Item
Notes
Packed
Group
17
Alcohol
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!
Bear Canister
Bug Spray
Dish soap/sponge
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
Hand sanitizer
Lighter(s)
Permit and photo ID
Rope
Two lengths for tying on items to your pack, etc.
Sharp Knife
A reliable pocket knife works well here
Stove
Jetboil is greatーyou’ll need at least one, maybe more depending on the size of your group
Sunscreen
Tent(s)
Trail map (USGS)
Water filter
I’ve used a Katadyn Hiker Microfilter for years and like it
Water filtration tablets
Emergency tablets are handy if the water filter breaks
17
Count
Food
6
Breakfast
Instant oatmeal, cereal bars, etc.
Coffee or tea
For coffee, try instant or else you’ll need a filter
Dessert
Optional
. Try freeze-dried ice cream or freeze-dried desserts
Dinners (freeze-dried)
I usually go with Mountain House or Backpacker’s Pantry
Lunch
Tuna (in a packet, not a can that you can’t easily flatten and carry out), Easy Mac, instant ramen
Snacks
Dried fruit, trail mix, energy bars, cereal bars, nuts
6
Count
Personal
33
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.
Bowl
Collapsible silicone is great
Chair
Optional.
It’s a luxury I now love, but keep it lightweight, like the Helinox Chair Zero (only 1.2 lb!)
Cup
Deodorant
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.
Garbage bag(s)
Helpful to store wet clothes or used as a poncho in a pinch
Hair tie
Hats
1 wide-brimmed hat or cap for day and 1 beanie or knit headband for night
Headlamp
An additional flashlight or lightweight lantern is a nice-to-have, but not essential
Hiking Boots
Hiking shorts
Beware the chub rub! Wear longer shorts or compression shorts, as needed
Jacket (rain)
Lip balm
Medicine
Daily meds, contacts, etc.
Pants/leggings
One pair can be re-used to stay warm at night
Poles for trekking
Shirts
Shoes (water/camping)
Tevas are a classic and lightweight option. For night, enjoy the wool socks + sandals lewk. 💅
Sleeping Bag with stuff sack
Sleeping Pad
Soap/wipes
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
Spork
Sunglasses
Sweater
An insulating layer or second, lightweight jacket works too, depending on temperatures
Swimsuit
Tampons/menstrual cup
Toilet paper
Toothbrush/toothpaste
Towel (small microfiber)
Underwear
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.
Ziploc(s)
Good for carrying trash and storing used toilet paper (separately!)
33
Count
56
Count
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