Ultimate Backpacker's Packing List

Ultimate Backpacker's Packing List

Packing correctly for your backpacking trip is critical. If you happen to forget your deodorant when traveling, you can always stop by a drugstore and grab one. However, when you are out in the backcountry, that is obviously not an option. You want to make sure that you have everything that you will need.

However, it is also important not to over pack. Every item that you add to your pack increases weight and will make it that much tougher to make it over the next pass. There is nothing quite as frustrating as finishing a week-long trip, cleaning out your pack, and realizing that you lugged several things that you didn't even need.

To help you plan for the next trip, we've put together the following packing list along with links to some of our favorite products that we have personal experience with. It has been refined over many trips and hopefully we've settled on the things that you really need.

One caveat, it is important to factor in the location that you'll be hiking in. If you're planning a late fall trip to Glacier National Park, you may need to pack additional clothes to stay warm. On the flipside, a trip to the desert Southwest likely requires a large water bladder and 2-3 water bottles to make sure you have plenty of water storage. Keep that in mind when you prepare.




  • Boots
  • Sock Liners
  • Camp Footwear
  • Underwear
  • T-Shirts
  • Shorts
  • Long Underwear
  • Sleepwear
  • Warm Fleece
  • Fleece Pants
  • Long Pants
  • Jacket
  • Gloves
  • Light Hat or Bandana
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm Cap

Food Water


Other Items


  • Gaiters
  • Note Pad & Pencil
  • Book
  • Cards or Other Games
  • Binoculars
  • Thermometer
  • Tripod

Packing List

To help make this easy, we've put together a great printable packing list with all of this information. It's a good idea to print one out and use it to track everything while you prepare and also the day that you head out. You can download a copy by clicking on the image below.

Ultimate Backpacker's Packing List

Another great idea that we have used in the past is developing a list in Google Drive. This is especially helpful if you plan to travel with others that live in other parts of the country. You can share Google Drive files with the other members in your party to keep track of those items that can be shared by the group (ie. stove, fuel, bear spray, etc.)

Has this post been helpful to you or do you have suggestions on items that should be added? If so, let's hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments.

Backpacking 101 Expert Articles Gear


  • Sean

    A compass would be a good addition as well.

  • Will

    Hi Bart,

    I notice that a small shovel or a trowel is missing. Is that something you can live without, or is it an oversight?


  • Bart

    Thanks Don! Good catch, we’ll need to update that.

    I’m glad you’re excited about the quilt, it should be here in the next few days. We’ll be sending an email blast as soon as it’s available.

  • Don Washburn

    Hey Bart – still loving your products and blog.

    Just a note – the sleeping pad link in the Ultimate Backpacking List is not going to your new sleeping pad.

    Just wanted to give you a heads up – I love when people find links or needed info on my site and let me know.

    Keep up the good work – can’t wait for the new quilt to come out – we will be purchasing 2 as soon as they him the market.

    Thanks again for your passion and service!


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