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33 Things You Need On Every Backpacking Trip

33 Things You Need On Every Backpacking Trip

posted Fun Gear Guides Hammocks

When you go on a backpacking trip, there is no store around the corner to go pick up something you may have forgotten.  That’s why it’s best to follow your list and check it twice.  Here are our suggestions for the must haves on your back.  These items are worth the weight.  We have also broken these items down into categories to help you sort and plan.

Clothing And Such

1 – Extra clothes – we can’t stress that enough.  You will be unhappy if you get wet or cold. Here is how you should layer your clothing to stay warm and dry:

  • First layer: Tops and bottoms made of wicking material like Polypropylene or SmartWool to help carry moisture away from your body and insulate even if wet.
  • Second layer: Warm insulator, such as a fleece, down jacket or wool sweater (or both if it is super chilly).
  • Third layer: Windproof and waterproof pants and jackets made of “breathable” material, similar to GoreTex.

2 – Hat – sun hat and warm wool or fleece hat for evenings

3 – Sunglasses

4 – Gloves – lightweight for in the summer

5 – Socks and sock liners to help prevent blisters

6 – Boots – Make sure they are comfortable. Here are some tips for choosing the right boots.

7 – Handkerchief or sarong – This piece is valuable beyond the sweat.  It can serve as a washcloth, water filter and medical lifesaver to stop bleeding or to create a splint.  A sarong is larger so it can serve as a scarf, blanket or towel for men or women.

Camp Gear

These will depend on how you choose to sleep if this is an overnight or multiple night back packing trip.  Also, take into consideration that it will be much cooler at night even in the summer, especially in any higher elevation or desert setting.

7 – Tent

8 – Hammock if you choose – Along with extra seating or a place to take a quick nap, you can also use this as your bed so you can remove the other tent items for space.

9– Sleeping bag

10 – Sleeping pad or mat – Can be included right in the sleeping bag for easier packing.

11 – Cooking kit or equipment – Determine if you will need to cook while on this trip.


This needs an entire section since it is so critical. 

12 – Backpack –You’ll need a backpack to provide enough space for all your items and gear, but without any added pain.  Make sure that 80 percent of the pack weight is carried by your hips.  Here is some advice on selecting the right backpack for you.

The Needed Essentials

Be sure you do not forget these items.  Even though they may seem obvious, you need to make sure you don’t forget. This is called the essential list for a reason:

13 – Map and compass – Your phone may not have good coverage.

14 – First aid kitHere is a list of what this kit should include.

15 – Rain gear including a tarp for evenings

16 – Flashlight or headlamp (make sure to include extra batteries)

17 – Collapsible water bottle

18 – Extra food for energy, preferably small and high in protein for energy (i.e. nuts, energy bars)

19 – Extra strong bug spray (ones with DEET)

20 – Water and some idea how to filter additional water

21 – Lip balm with SPF of at least 30

22 – Utility knife

23 – Trekking pole – This useful device will help your knees going uphill.

24 – Matches or some other fire starter 

The Sometimes Missed Essentials

Not everyone thinks of these as essential for your backpacking trip, but if the need arises, you will be glad to have.

25 – Ziploc bags – You will be surprised how many uses these bags can have such as storing wet items or dirty items to avoid soiling other items in your backpack.

26 – Toilet paper and something to dig for your “cat holes” such as a trowel

27 – Duct tape – It is universal for fixing everything, and you can wrap it around your water bottle or poles for easier packing.

28 – Camping toothpaste and soap – These are biodegradable.

29 – Money belt – Use this to store all your documents and cash.  You need some money and identification.

30 – Spoon – This is much more versatile than a fork.

31 – Repair kits for your tent, sleeping pad or stove

Other Tools

In addition to the utility knife, here are a few other tools for you to consider:

32 – Rope

33 – Dental floss – It can also be used as string if needed, so it’s dual-purpose.

Everyone has his or her own preference for backpacking trips, but you have to pack based on your needs, your space and the length of your trip.

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