Travel Tips: The Backpackers Checklist

There is always that one crucial thing you forget, no matter how small... like a fork! How are you going to eat those mountain meals without a utensil? Each adventure will vary with specific items depending on the location, i.e. backpacking Colorado in the fall or spring will require a bear canister (which you can rent there).

Below is our backpackers checklist with all of the essentials you will need to master any multi-day hike. Many of these items crossover to day hikes too, just be smart about packing only what you need for the shorter hikes if you have the option of going back to your car or campsite.

Trust me, I know this list looks intimidating. Backpacking is an investment, but once you have the essentials you will be set for quite some time. Be sure to purchase crucial items that rely on comfortability (i.e. hiking boots and your pack) in an outdoor store like REI. If your boots don't fit or your pack does not sit quite right, REI will exchange used gear until you feel confident with what you have. Click on each item to follow our personal recommendations!

MULTI-DAY PACK

DAY PACK

SHELTER

Navigation

Sun protection

Fire

LIGHT

First-Aid & toiletries

tools

 

     

     

    FOOD PREP AND Nutrition

    Note: We also supplement with apples, nuts, beef jerky, etc.

    Hydration

    ADDITIONAL ITEMS

    • Paracord (always useful)
    • Trekking poles
    • Permits (before you leave or when you arrive at the location)
    • ZipLock bags (to store clothes or trash)

    WARM WEATHER CLOTHING

    • Moisture wicking t-shirt (synthetic or wool)
    • Moisture wicking underwear
    • Quick-drying pants or shorts
    • Hat
    • Bandana or Buff
    • Light jacket (if cool at night)
    • Wool or synthetic socks
    • Hiking boots (try on before purchase for best fit)

     COLD WEATHER CLOTHING

    • Moisture Wicking t-shirt (long sleeve optional if you have under layers)
    • Moisture wicking underwear/tops/bottoms (helps retain heat close to your body, and make good sleepwear)
    • Long pants
    • Down Jacket
    • Hat or Beanie
    • Water-resistant gloves
    • Raingear (optional)
    • Wool or synthetic socks
    • Hiking boots (try on before purchase for best fit)