Items For Your Backpacking Checklist

When you're half a day's walk out on a trail, it'd be a pretty awful feeling to need something and find that it's been forgotten. Similarly, if you pack too much, you'll weigh down your backpack and make your trip more uncomfortable than it needs to be. The best way to avoid forgetting things or packing too much is to prepare a backpacking checklist so you can get ready for your trip efficiently and bring just what you need. Ultimately, your final backpacking checklist will be a result of trial, error, and personal preferences, but there are a few things that should be on any list.

First-Aid Kit

Every backpacking checklist should have a first-aid kit listed on it, and it's probably good to have a separate checklist for the kit as well. Some common items on your backpacking checklist for your first-aid kit include bandages and disinfectant for wounds. You'll want to carry small amounts of common medicines such as aspirin in case they're needed, as well. One commonly-overlooked item for the first-aid kit is a pair of tweezers, which can be useful if you need to pull a splinter or thorn.


Even small backpacking trips require a change of clothes, and so your backpacking checklist should detail which clothes you will use. For day trips, you should keep, at the very least, a change of socks, which can work wonders for putting a spring back in your step while you're on the trail. For longer trips, bring a few changes of pants and shirts as well. Try to bring one more set of clothing than you need, since there's always the chance of getting caught in a rainstorm or trekking through muddy ground and needing some fresh clothes.

Sleeping Bag

For overnight trips, you'll want a sleeping bag, of course, but there are other items that will add to the comfort of your sleeping bag. For instance, a sleeping pad or even a blanket can help add cover on the ground and support you as you sleep. An extra blanket can also prove useful if the night ends up colder than expected, giving you another layer of warmth, so add one to your backpacking checklist.

Food And Drinks

Backpacking takes a lot of energy, since you'll be walking long distances and carrying a load, and because of that, it's essential to bring food that gives plenty of energy. For day trips and when you're on the trail, some granola bars or trail mix will help keep you feeling energetic and ready to hike, and in the evenings, items such as pasta and rice will give you the carbohydrates you need to replenish yourself.

Make sure to pack water as well. A canteen will be your best friend on the trail, and water when you make camp will help you to cook food. Dehydration is a definite danger when you're out backpacking, so be sure to add something to carry water with to your backpacking checklist. This and the other items listed will form the basis for what will become your ultimate backpacking checklist, preventing you from packing too little or too much.