Backpacks at Gold Lake

Packing for a Backpacking Trip

Before we head out on a backpacking trip, we use a standard packing checklist to make sure we don't forget something. There are so many items--especially small things essential for safety and navigation--that keeping a list in our heads is simply impossible. We customize our list from the standardized one for each trip, adding and subtracting items based on anticipated weather conditions and if we're hiking in the mountains, desert, prairie, or wherever our trail takes us.

Because we want to make it easier for people to get outdoors and create their own adventures, we are happy to share this resource with you. Please feel welcome to leave a comment or send us a message if you think of something we have forgotten. We've added a handful of affiliate links to products on the list, too, for items that we have a strong preference for using. (We will likely add more over time.) Additionally, at the bottom of this post is a link to an editable and printable Google Doc if you would prefer to have the Backpacking Packing Checklist items in that format.



  • Footprint/Tarp
  • Tent
  • Fly
  • Tent Poles
  • Stakes
  • Tent Repair Kit


  • Dehydrated Meals
  • Snacks
  • Fuel
  • Stove
  • Weather-proof Matches
  • Lighter
  • Mess Kit
  • Quick Drying Towel
  • Spork
  • Bear Can(s) or Rat Sack
  • Trash Bag (for food waste)
  • Electrolyte Tablets/Mixes



  • Toilet Paper
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet Wipes
  • Storage Bag
  • Collapsible Small Shovel
  • Waste Trash Bag (one per person)
  • Toothbrush + Paste
  • Shower Wipes
  • Anti-Chafing Lubricant
  • Wipe Rag (for women)


  • Socks + Sock Liners
  • Handkerchief
  • Convertible Pants
  • Shirts
  • Backpacker Rain Poncho
  • Wool Hat
  • Down Jacket
  • Gloves
  • Underwear
  • Bras


  • Foam Pad
  • Sleeping Pad + Patch Kit
  • Sleeping Bag + Stuff Sack
  • Pillow(s)
  • Headlamp + Extra Batteries


Sun + Bugs

  • Sunscreen (body + face)
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip Balm
  • Hat
  • Bug Repellant


For Car Upon Exit

  • Change of Shoes
  • Change of Clothes
  • Full Water Bottle(s)
  • Call People Finished Trip


  • Camp Sandals
  • Coffee
  • Rain/Wind Jacket + Pants
  • Base Layers
  • Biodegradable Soap
  • GPS (if not on phone)
  • WAG Bags
  • Comb/Brush
  • Cooling Bandanas
  • Lotion/Aloe
  • Multi-tool
  • Kindle/Book
  • Deck of Cards/Games
  • Small Nalgene--16oz (for mixing electrolyte drinks)
  • Ponytail Holders
  • Spare Glasses
  • Eyewear Retainer
  • Camera, Batteries, Storage
  • Binoculars
  • Canned Oxygen
  • Gaiters
  • Mosquito Head Net
  • LED Lights for Tent
  • Balaclava
  • Tampons/Pads
  • Pocket Day Pack
  • Walkie-Talkies
  • $20
  • Solar Charger
  • Drain Screen (for washing)
  • Microspikes
  • Ice Axe
  • Tiny Sewing Kit
  • Wash Bag
  • Sleepwear
  • Passport/ID (if crossing borders)
  • Fishing Line + Lure
  • Backup Water Purification
  • Miniature Phone Tripod

Finally, the Google Doc that is editable and printable Backpacking Packing Checklist: General.