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Backpacking Checklist

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    Backpacking Checklist

    Issue Time:2017-11-14
     Our backpacking checklist is your tried-and-true guide to packing smart for overnight hiking trips. The list is intentionally comprehensive so you don’t forget anything important.

    The Ten Essentials
    The must-haves for safety, survival, and basic comfort:

    1. Navigation

    Map (with protective case)
    GPS (optional)
    Altimeter (optional)
    2. Sun protection

    Lip balm
    3. Insulation

    Jacket, vest, pants, gloves, hat (see Clothing, below)
    4. Illumination

    Headlamp or flashlight
    Extra batteries
    5. First-aid supplies

    First-aid kit (see our First-Aid Checklist)
    6. Fire

    Matches or lighter
    Waterproof container
    Fire starter (for emergency survival fire)
    7. Repair kit and tools

    Knife or multi-tool
    Repair kits for stove, mattress; duct tape strips
    8. Nutrition

    Extra day's supply of food
    9. Hydration

    Water bottles or hydration reservoirs
    Water filter or other treatment system
    10. Emergency shelter

    Tent, tarp, bivy or reflective blanket
    Beyond the Ten Essentials
    Daypack or summit pack
    Pack cover
    Tent, tarp or bivy sack (with stakes, guylines)
    Tent-pole repair sleeve
    Footprint (if desired for tent)
    Sleeping bag
    Stuff sack or compression sack
    Sleeping pad
    Pillow or stuffable pillow case
    Whistle (plus signaling mirror)
    Multifunction watch with altimeter
    Trekking poles
    Ice axe
    Energy food (bars, gels, chews, trail mix)
    Energy beverages or drink mixes
    Cookset (with pot grabber)
    Dishes or bowls
    Cups (measuring cups)
    Bear canister (or hang bags for food)
    Nylon cord (50' for hanging food)
    Backup water treatment
    Collapsible sink or container
    Packable lantern
    Clothing: Warm Weather
    Wicking T-shirt (synthetic or wool)
    Wicking underwear
    Quick-drying pants or shorts
    Long-sleeve shirt (for sun, bugs)
    Sun-shielding hat
    Bandana or Buff
    Clothing: Cool Weather
    Wicking long-sleeve T-shirt
    Wicking long underwear (good sleepwear)
    Hat, cap, skullcap, balaclava or headband
    Gloves or mittens
    Rainwear (jacket, pants)
    Fleece jacket or vest, and pants
    Footwear; Assorted Personal Items
    Hiking Boots or hiking shoes suited to terrain
    Socks (synthetic or wool) plus spares
    Sandals (for fording, in camp)
    Camera or helmet cam
    Extra memory cards
    Route description or guidebook
    Field guide(s); star identifier
    Outdoor journal and pen or pencil
    Credit card; small amount of cash
    Earplugs and eye shade
    Toilet paper
    Sanitation trowel
    Hand sanitizer
    Insect repellent
    Bear spray
    Toothbrush and/or toiletry kit
    Biodegradable soap (and shower bag)
    Quick-dry towel
    Cell phone / satellite communicator / 2-way radios
    Personal locator beacon
    Post-hike snacks, water, towel, clothing change
    Trip itinerary left with friend and under car seat