Packing Guide

This is a fairly minimalist packing list for trips so you don’t forget anything critical. The links show you examples of the items in more detail, they are not necessarily recommended suppliers. Much of this can be found cheaply used at thrift stores or on craigslist or ebay. Remember: smaller and lighter is always better, but not always affordable.

R = Required
O = Optional
W = Weather dependent
– = Not necessary
Car camping – camping close to your vehicle, usually has running water
Hike/paddle in – wilderness camping with no amenities
Cabin – a solid structure in the wilderness, usually has beds
Couchsurfing – a solid structure in a residential area, often without beds but with kitchen
Day trip – returning home to sleep
Car Camp Hike in Paddle in Cabin Couchsurfing Day trip
Tent (any size) R R
Tent (backpacking) R O
Sleeping bag R R R R R
Sleeping pad (nice vs cheap) R R R R
Cooking equipment * R R R R O O
Backpacking stove R R
Daypack (store vs DIY) R R R R R
Backpacking pack R
Dry bags (nice vs cheap) R R O
Trekking poles O O O O O O
Water bottle R R R R R R
Water filter or purification R R
Toiletries ** R R R R R
First aid kit *** O R R O O O
Headlamp/flashlight O R R O
Camera O O O O O O
Binoculars O O O O O O
Appropriate maps O R R O O O
Space heater W O
Rain poncho W R R W W W
Jacket W W W W W W
Long underwear W W W W W W
Hat W W W W W W
Gloves/mittens W W W W W W
Wind breaker W W W W W W
Bathing suit W W W W W W

*Cooking Equipment
Stove
Fuel
Lighter/matches
Pots/pans
Dishes/bowls/utensils
Can/bottle opener
**Toiletries
Toilet paper
Toothbrush/paste
Deoderant
***First Aid Kit
Bandages
ACE Bandage
Moleskin
Ibuprofen and Aspirin
Forceps

Additional gear needed for specialized activities.

Skiing Rock climbing Paddling Biking Caving Whitewater
Skis R
Ski or trekking poles R
Rope R O
Harness R O
Climbing hardware R O
Climbing shoes R
Helmet O R O R R R
Canoe/kayak R R
Paddles R R
Personal floatation device R R
Bicycle R
Spare tube/ repair kit R
Air pump R
Knee pads O O O R
Three flashlights R
Nose clip R
Spare batteries R
Spray skirt O R

Items that are usually not necessary but may be useful or desired.
Fire starter
Pre-cut fire wood
Pillow
Air mattress
Sewing kit
Eyeglass repair kit
Multi-tool of knife
Small shovel
Lantern
Fishing gear
Biodegradable soap
Insect repellent
Star charts
Notebook/pencil
Compass
GPS receiver
Alarm clock

Food suggestions – It’s preferable to avoid cooking for breakfast or lunch and have food ready to eat (cooking can be difficult on the trail/river/road/etc). Dinners can be more elaborate as they are usually cooked at the night’s resting spot. Cans are fine when not wilderness camping, otherwise everything should be dried or ‘add water’ to cut down on weight. Coolers should always be avoided as they are heavy and take up lots of space. These are only suggestions, you should be creative.

Breakfast
Energy bars
Oatmeal
Dried or fresh fruit
Lunch

Sandwich (PB&J)
Bagels and cheddar cheese

Dinner
Flavored rice packets
Dehydrated meals
Pasta
Mac and cheese
Snacks
Trail mix
Energy bars
1 Comment

One thought on “Packing Guide

  1. Pingback: Packing checklist | Based out of Kansas

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