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Recommended Gear Checklist for Backpacking Trips



When you are headed out into the great outdoors, there is no check list that can be completely infallible.

That is why it is important to check up on the weather before you leave and prepare for the worst possible conditions that you can encounter when you are out there. You should make a plan that is based on your personal or your group’s abilities to tackle the situation. After you are done with your planning, make sure someone back home knows where you are going, with whom, and when you plan to return. Most importantly, you should know what gear you should have with you on your excursion. Here is the recommended gear checklist for backpacking trips.

Essential Gear

Always make it a point to have these essentials with you:


Carry at least a liter or two of water on your person and drink frequently. Make sure that you have some sort of purification equipment for the backcountry water sources like some sort of chemical treatment or a portable water filter. As basic as it is, water is something, which should always be the first thing in the recommended gear checklist for backpacking trips.

Fire and Light

Take along waterproof matches, petroleum jelly coated cotton balls or other easy to ignite kindling in case you ever have the need to start an emergency fire. A head lamp or a flashlight is recommended regardless of whether or not you are hiking at night time. Head lamps are ideal because they are hands-free and very less likely to be lost or dropped.

Survival Gear

Pack really heavy duty garbage bags which you can make use of in case of heavy rains for protection, shelter, warmth and also a loud whistle so you can signal for help.

First Aid Kit

At the very least, go for all the basic supplies which a first aid kit should comprise of. Elastic bandages, painkillers and all the basics for treating wounds, antibiotic ointments, sterile gauze and medical tape. The more well equipped your first aid kit is, the better.

Maps and Compass

The recommended gear checklist for backpacking trip includes maps and compasses – the best way to navigate when you are out in the great outdoors. It is recommended to take along the traditional magnetic compass and the good old paper maps instead of relying on your smartphones. As advanced as smartphones have become in the recent years, there is always a chance that their batteries will die out on you and there are no sockets to plug in your charger when you are out there in the wild. You should have detailed paper maps which contain specifics about the topography of the area that you are hiking in. That will enable you to recognize where you are with the least amount of landmarks. A compass in combination with the topographical map can help you orient yourself. These two items make the recommended gear checklist for backpacking trips because they can help you in case you get lost and possibly save your life from peril.


One of the most useful tools which a backpacker can have is the knife. It is considered to be the one piece of equipment which serves the most utility when you are out there in the wild. From stripping bark of tree branches to opening up a noncompliant piece of equipment, knives are surely one of the most important items on the recommended gear checklist for backpacking trips.

Extra Clothes and Food

Warm clothing is a must and it can be critical in a difficult situation when you are out there in the wild and there are no emergency services available to you. The weather can be unpredictable in the wild even in summer months so it is recommended to have a good supply of extra clothes along with you because you never know when you will need them. Extra food is also something which has to be emphasized on in the recommended gear checklist for backpacking trips.

Sun Protection

Protection against the sun is no joke. You should have the adequate sunscreen, sunglasses and hats when you are headed out into the wild. It does not matter if you are going into mountainous areas with very cold climate. Even in the cold weather, if your skin is exposed to the sun for more than 5 to 6 hours, your skin will take a significant amount of damage regardless of whether or not you feel hot. Never be dismissive of protection against the sun.

Usually how it works is that you should take into account all the factors pertaining to the location you are going to and make your checklist according to the weather conditions and the requirements according to the geography of the region. A backpacking trip is something that should always be given a lot of thought and preparation before you carry it out and the more experience you get, the more you can add to the recommended gear checklist for backpacking trips according to your needs.

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