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near and far. 

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Complete Backpacking Gear Checklist


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What To Pack For A Backpacking Trip

Backpacking is where all the world’s distractions and expectations quietly fade into the distant background. It’s human-powered adventure. Type 2 fun. Proof that we can survive with only the things we can pack on our backs. And maybe, just maybe, be even happier that way. But first, you have to know what to pack!

Nothing can ruin a backpacking trip quicker than forgetting a key piece of gear. And with all the little things you have to remember when preparing for a camping trip, that can be all too easy to do. But never fear! With this Backpacking Gear Checklist, you’ll never find yourself out in the backcountry without the necessary gear again.

The Ten Essentials

When you have to carry all your gear, and there are already so many things to pack, it can be tempting to neglect the Ten Essentials. But, whether you’re going on a short day hike or camping deep in the backcountry, you should always carry The TEN ESSENTIALS for outdoor adventure with you. Luckily you will already be carrying most of the Ten Essentials like a shelter (tent), light (headlamp), hydration (water), etc. as part of your standard backpacking gear checklist. So you really aren’t adding that much extra weight to your pack by taking this important precaution.

It’s true, you may not use every one of the Ten Essentials on every trip. But, it’s when something goes awry that you’ll be glad you did. After all, they could literally save your life. The specific items from each “essential” that you take can be tailored to the trip and personal preference. For more information–including the specific items that I pack for day hikes and backpacking trips– check out my blog post dedicated to the Ten Essentials That Will Keep You Alive In The Outdoors!

Specific Backpacking Gear Recomendations

As you can see in the Backpacking Gear Checklist above there are a lot of items that you will want to pack for each backpacking trip that doesn’t necessarily fall under one of the Ten Essentials. For the specific items of gear and apparel that I pack, check out my Complete Hiking and Camping Gear Guide. In my Gear Guide, I’ve included the gear that I bring with me when I head out into the backcountry.  The items included in my guide are my personal favorites. I haven’t tried every piece of gear under the sun, and what works best for me, may not work for you. That being said, I’ve had the opportunity to try out a lot of hiking and backpacking gear over the years, and this is my go-to, tried and true, gear guide!

Did I miss anything on my Backpacking Gear Checklist? I’ve left a few lines open for you to fill in with any items that I may not have thought of, or that are unique to your needs. I’d love to hear if there’s something that you’re adding, that others might benefit from too. If you think of anything, drop me a message in the comments section!

The Ultimate Outdoor Gear Guide for Hiking & Camping

The Ultimate Guide For Beginner Backpackers

Camping 101: Complete Camping Guide For Beginners

The Ten Essentials That Will Keep You Alive In The Outdoors

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  1. pao garces says:

    i am an amateur camper , so this list is very helpful, thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience! i want to camp on the bright angel camp site on Grand Canyon

    • Jessica Dales says:

      That is so great to hear! I hope that this list will make you feel a bit more comfortable getting out there on the trial and having a great time. Bright Angel is quite beautiful.

  2. Audrey says:

    Really appreciate all your effort in these posts! What water filtration system do you recommend or like the best for filtration and purification? Thank you!

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Hi, I’m Jess, an outdoor enthusiast based in Seattle. I grew up exploring the Pacific Northwest, and early on was infected with the travel bug. I tried to suppress my wanderlust in pursuit of a traditional career path, but after a short stint as a lawyer, I left the confines of my office to get back in touch with my roots. Now, I wander the world taking photos, making memories, and sharing my love for travel with others!

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