During my early years of traveling, I used to forget some essential things required while Backpacking. The situation gets more severe when you are leaving for camping. Camping is mostly done in the remote areas. So, few chances are in your favor to find the certain gears.
When I was Camping at Nag Tibba , I had forgotten to carry the Mosquito repellent that made my camping experience so harsh.
When I was trekking to Tungnath- Chandrashila , I had forgotten to carry eatable items such as dry fruits or chocolate bars.
So, I decided to make my checklist. I keep on adding the items in my checklist with more experience in trekking and camping while backpacking.
So, I urge you all travelers to have this checklist to list down the things while backpacking.
Download PDF of Backpacking Checklist
- Tent :- Your tent serves both as protection from outside conditions and a refuge while sleeping in the backcountry.
- Ground Cloth
- Extra Canopy
- Axe or hammer
- Sleeping Bag :- One should invest in Sleeping bag.
- Sleeping pad/Mattress
- Air Pump :- Used to fill the air in sleeping pad
- Repair kit for air Mattress, pad, tent, tarp
- Eye mask
- Ear Plugs
- Power Bank
- Extra Camera Batteries :- Need not to forget if planning a long trip
- Tripod :- The must accessory for Long Exposure and shutter speed Photography
- Camera and Lens
- Mobile Phone
- USB cables
- Music player/Ipod
- Bluetooth Speakers
- Extra DSLR Memory Card :- Should carry Extra Camera Memory Card. You never know when you need it.
- Extra Shoes/boots
- Rain Coat/Poncho
- Neck Pillow
- Trek Pants/Trousers
- Swim Suit if required
- Sunscreen:- With higher SPF while travelling
- Paper Soap:- Highly useful with using local toilets and while camping
- Tongue Scraper or Tongue Brush
- Lip Balm
- Hair Gel
- Flip Flops
- Make up Products as required
- Soap in plastic bag
- Sanitary Napkin
- Make-Up Kit
- Ready to Eat recipes
- Dish or Fry Pan
- BBQ grill
- Scrub Pad
- Chip Clip
- Cooking oil
- Aluminum Foil
- Propane Stove
- Bottle Opener
- Trash Bag
- Roasting stick for Marshmallows
- Backpack Bag :- Picking the right Backpack is an important part while planning your trip.
- Health Insurance card :- Must carry your travel insurance card when traveling to other country
- Permits (if required)
- ID proof
- Toilet Paper
- Water Bottle
- Credit/Debit/Credit Cards :- One can’t afford to forget to carry any of them
- Games/Children toys
- Mosquito Repellent
- Tissue Paper
- Hand Wipes
- Reservations and confirmation documents
- Contact numbers of reserved booking :- Place the hard copy of the documents in one of your pockets.
- Books/Magazines :- Avid reader can’t miss carrying a book along.
- Compass :- Highly useful in Navigation
- Swiss Knife
- Smart Watch or Fitness Tracker
- Hot Coffee/Tea Bags
- Lantern with fuel
- Water Filters/Purification treatment
- Chocolate bars
- Nail Cutter
- Pet food if carrying the pet along with you
- Compact Tool Kit
First Aid Kit
- Hand Sanitizer
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antibiotic cream
- Sunburn Lotion
- Blood Pressure medicines
- Snake bit kit
- Antibacterial Soap
- Adhesive Tapes
- Eye drops
- Anti-motion sickness medication
- Mild laxative(Constipation)
- Antacid (Bloating, Belching)
- Cough drops
- Water purification Tablets
- Medicine to prevent altitude sickness
- Digital thermometer
- Oral rehydration sachets
- Antidiarrheal medication
- Other medications
You can’t afford to miss tent gears if you are going to set up your tent in the remote area. When you are hiking to mountain areas, there are chances of mountain huts or resorts in some trekking places but that has its own drawbacks. As sometimes, the huts are overcrowded and even people don’t clean after themselves.
I would encourage you to pack your tent and its gears if you are backpacking for multi-day.
I love trekking to the beautiful areas, unplugging myself from social media and enjoying, adoring and admiring the beauty of nature.
Your tent serves both as protection from outside conditions and a refuge while sleeping in the backcountry. Backpacking tents range from 2 to 5 pounds for a 2-person model. Missing any gear would surely spoil your journey. So, tick off the items from the list while backpacking your essential items.
So, One should add tent in personal list and camp around the world.
If you are backpacking for longer days, staying in hostels won’t be best option every time. So, if are carrying your tent, you are self-reliable in unfavorable conditions.
Camping allows you to be closer to the nature but that doesn’t mean to get deprived of comfort and sound sleep. The last thing you want after a long day on the trail is a restless, chilly night. So, Bedding items play a crucial role in your checklist. A quality sleeping bag is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make, but it can last for many years if treated well.
Once you’ve chosen your bag, next up is your sleeping pad. In addition to comfort considerations, sleeping pads help insulate your body from the cold ground (the higher the R-value, the more insulation a pad offers).
When car camping, carrying a thick, heavy and wider pad is not an issue.
But when backpacking, carrying a super lightweight air pad is an optimal choice.
Backpacking sleeping bags are mummy shaped bags for warmer fit and light in weight. They are quite efficient in retaining body temperature.
Pillows are essential for people who feel discomfort without pillow while sleeping. Some down feather jackets have a pocket that converts into pillow with folding up the jacket in pocket.
Blankets are required in case of freezing weather. Carrying these items won’t only help you in having a sound and comfortable sleep but also help you in making you cozy in harsh weather.
Eye mask and ear plugs are essentials for sound sleep and blocking the abundant light and sound.
They play a supreme role in your list. Missing these items will surely make you regret. You won’t be able to capture the memories. If you into area with less light pollution and want to click the Milky way, forgetting the tripod or prime lens would impact your image quality.
If you are planning a long weekend trip, extra batteries for Cameras and Power Bank for Mobiles are required. As I had forgotten extra batteries of my Camera while camping at Prashar Lake. By evening, the battery had exhausted. I missed the chance to capturing the memories of Sunset, Bonfire and Stars and Milky Way.
“If the winter is too cold and the summer is too hot, you are not a Hiker.” ~ Bitter Hiker
Backpacking is worthless without good pair of waterproof Boots/Shoes, Socks and Trouser pants. One must invest in Shoes. There’s a good argument that no piece of backpacking gear is as important as footwear. The market is moving away from stiff, high-top models to more agile, light and comfortable hiking boots and shoes.
Along with hiking boot or shoes, you should invest in nice pair of socks.
Hiking pants matter a lot while travelling. The pants should be comfortable and durable providing a good freedom of movement with a little stretch.
Along with the hiking pants, shirt choice matters a lot. There are lot of options from short to long, light weight to heavy weight, stretchable to non-stretchable, cotton to woolen etc. I would recommend you go for long shirts as they are protection from sun, cooler conditions as well as from mosquitoes and bugs.
Textile industry has done a magnificent work in providing the lightweight down jackets that insulate us from the freezing conditions in very efficient ways. These jackets are ultimate in terms of warmth-to-weight ratio as well as they are easy to carry and acquire very less space in backpack. My favorite overall down jacket is the Wildcraft Jacket, which is extremely well built, comfortable, warm, and impressively light and compressible.
Do carry the waterproof shell even if there is no rain in the forecast. Carrying the rain coat or poncho is most economical. But if you travelling to areas where there is probability of harsh conditions, hard shell jackets are a smart choice. They are the most versatile jackets for tough conditions. The fabrics from which they are made of range from Polar Tec Neoshell, PVC, HyVent from The North Face to so-called breathable fabrics like Gore-Tex and eVent.
Innerwears or Base layers are a reliable source to add warmth while trekking or in your camps. Their moisture-wicking and quick drying properties provide comfort in addition to warmth to the human body.
These items are for your body care. If you are hiking to high altitude, you need to carry a sunscreen with you or you can have skin burns. The personal items vary from person to person. I have included all the personal items considering both men and women. Download this check list and tick off the items that you need and pack accordingly so that you don’t miss any essential item.
I have mentioned all the items in “Other Items” that don’t fall in the above-mentioned categories. These items are most essential other than my personal and tent gear items. These items are savior in many situations and are helpful in unfavorable conditions.
If you going for a long trek , then forgetting any of the essential items related to cooking would be troublesome. So I would suggest to backpack your items precisely considering the duration of travel.
Do carry prepackaged meals and chocolate bars/marshmallows that would help in providing strength while hiking. Food works the same way to the body as the fuel works to the machines.
Backpacking stoves to heat up the meals and boil the water range from lightweight, compact and inexpensive.
You do need one cup for tea, coffee or other beverages and spork to eat the meals. Don’t over luggage yourself. The more unnecessary luggage in your rucksack bag , the more difficult to carry.
There are many choices to filter your water. Such choices are gravity filters, pumps and UV and chemical items.
Never ever forget to carry the water bottles along with you when you start for hiking or on the way, if no water resources are available, you will get dehydrated and your hike would be tiresome. So ,water storage is essential for hydration on the trail.
First Aid Kit
Regardless of the length of your backpacking trip, bringing First Aid Kit is a smart idea. First aid kit allows you to treat the injuries timely as well as prevents infections and other complications. At the very least, you can carry basic medications, band aids and/or bandages.
Even water purification tablets are in the market. These tablets have chlorine as ingredient that deactivates the harmful effects of bacteria and virus.
Before You start Your Journey:-
- Check the list to be sure that you miss nothing.
- Clear your DLSR memory cards.
- Make sure your phone and camera batteries are fully charged.
- Get your travel insurance done.
- Check the weather forecast during your days of travel.
This checklist comes handy while packing your bags. In case , I have skipped anything in the list, I would highly appreciate if you let me know in comment section. I will add that item in the list to make it the thorough list.