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Checklist

There are two approaches to backpacking: the "bring the kitchen sink" approach, and the minimalist's approach. Neither of the lists below approach these two extremes, but the list on the left, typical of lists found in published backpacking how-to guides, is certainly shaded towards the kitchen sink approach, while the list on the right, my own personal 3-season backpacking checklist, is just as shaded toward the minimalist's approach to backpacking.

This list is a good starting point for the novice backpacker. As you can see from the right-hand column, it contains many things that I would not bring on a typical weekend outing. When first starting out, however, it is better to bring too much, rather than risk bringing too little. My list has evolved over the years from a starting point that was much like the list you see on the left. It is a list that reflects both my own style of hiking and the region I primarily hike in (New England). Please read this disclaimer before you consider venturing forth using my personal list as your guide.

Clothing

  • Socks, wool, 2 pairs short, 2 pairs long.
  • Gaiters
  • Hiking boots
  • Waterproof parka
  • Upper-body insulation, 3 layers
  • Lower-body insulation, 1 layer
  • Wool pants
  • Windproof and/or waterproof pants
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Shorts
  • Camp shoes
  • Underwear
  • 2-3 bandanas
  • 2 Pairs Mittens, 1 Pair gloves
  • Hat with brim
  • Extra long belt

Clothing

  • Socks, wool, 2 pairs
  • Hiking boots
  • Waterproof parka
  • Upper-body insulation, 1 layer
  • Lower-body insulation, 1 layer
  • Shorts
  • Gloves and glove liners
  • Hat with brim

Sleeping Gear

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag stuff sack
  • Ground cloth

Sleeping Gear

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag stuff sack

Personal Gear

  • 3 small stuff sacks
  • 1 Ziplock bag for food
  • Backpack (3500 cubic inch minimum)
  • Daypack
  • 2 pairs lash straps
  • Sunglasses
  • Chapstick
  • Notebook and pencils
  • Foot powder
  • Sunblock
  • Hand cream
  • Cup, bowl, spoon
  • 1-quart water bottle
  • Small pocketknife
  • Insect repellent
  • 3 candles
  • 1 compass
  • Toilet articles
  • 1 small towel
  • 1 swimsuit

Personal Gear

  • 3 Ziplock bags for food
  • Small backpack (2500 cubic inch)
  • 100' of nylon cord
  • Sunglasses
  • Notebook and pencils
  • Sunblock
  • 1-quart waterbottle
  • Gerber Multi-plier Tool
  • Insect repellent
  • Compass
  • Toilet articles
  • Packtowel

Miscellaneous Gear

  • Shelter (tent, tarp, and/or bivy bag)
  • Camp stove, fuel, fuel bottles, funnels
  • Waterproof matches
  • First Aid kit
  • Maps
  • Trowel
  • Books
  • Cooking kit (pots, pans, pot grips, etc.)

Miscellaneous Gear

  • Outdoor Research Deluxe bivy bag
  • Camp stove, fuel, fuel bottles, funnels
  • Waterproof matches
  • First Aid kit
  • Maps
  • Trowel
  • PUR Hiker water purifier
  • Petzl Headlight
  • Cooking kit (pots, pans, pot grips, etc.)

Copyright © 1996, David Lister

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Document last modified on Friday, 19-Jan-2007 07:17:31 MST.