Backpacking Gear List: The Essentials

Backpacking Gear List: The Essentials

Looking to get into backpacking but not sure what gear you need? We got you covered. Check out our list of essential backpacking gear:


While you are backpacking you need to be sure to have a sturdy and durable backpack to carry all your gear, supplies and food. You’ll want something with the right load bearing capacity and volume, but also something that is not too heavy.

Backpacking Tent

A good quality backpacking tent is another piece of gear that you will need to invest in. Backpacking tents are usually lightweight and pack down very compact. Make sure you have something appropriate for the weather. If there is rain or snow in the forecast get the corresponding tent for the job.

Sleeping Bag

You’ll want a compact but warm sleeping bag. How warm will depend on the climate that you are backpacking in. If it is cold out, you will want an appropriately warm sleeping bag. If it is hot, you may be fine without one.

Sleeping Pad

A sleeping pad is essential if you want good sleep. Have you every slept with a rock poking into your back… not fun. I recommend investing in a comfortable yet durable sleeping pad that ensure you are well rested for the next day.


Whenever you go outdoors you should have a flashlight. You never know what situation you can end up in the outdoors so you want to make sure that you can see when it is dark. Get something that is durable and that has a long battery life. Also be sure to bring extra batteries.

Water Bottle and Purifier

It is a fact of life that you need to drink water, so you will want to pack a full bottle when you hit the trail. However, chances are you will need more as you go along. Bringing too much water adds too much weight to your gear. A water purifier is a great way to turn fresh mountain water into drinkable mountain water.

Backcountry Kitchen

Make sure you bring the appropriate gear to eat while in the wilderness. Bringing a small camping stove and backpacking meals is a solid option. Some people can get along on trail mix and energy bars. Just make sure to plan ahead appropriately.

Appropriate Clothes

IF you are trekking through somewhere cold make sure to bring layers. If rain is in the forecast bring rain protection. IF snow is in the forecast bring a snow coat. If it is hot out, make sure that you can remove layers to cool off.

Also don’t forget appropriate hiking boots for the occasion.


Trust me, you do not want to risk getting lost in the wilderness. This is why you need to make sure you have navigation. If you know how to navigate with a map and a compass that will do the trick, but if you don’t have those skills bring a portable GPS to navigate. Just make sure it has enough battery to last you.

First Aid

Never forget to bring a First Aid kit. The outdoors are unpredictable and you never know what could happen. If you fall and hurt yourself or cut yourself on something sharp, you need to have a first aid kit and the skills to use it to prevent serious injury or death.


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