Overnight Hiking Equipment Checklist (What to Bring Backpacking)

Are you planning your first backpacking trip and not sure what to bring?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

This comprehensive packing list will help ensure you have everything you need for a successful trip.

Backpacking checklist

When it comes to packing for a backpacking trip, the options can seem endless.

What do you need to bring with you to ensure your trip is safe and enjoyable?

This checklist will help you pack everything you need without overloading yourself.

Sleep

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad

Clothing

  • Warm jacket
  • Hat and gloves
  • Hiking boots
  • Raincoat
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Underwear and socks

Food and drink

  • Canned food or lightweight food items that don’t require cooking
  • A stove, fuel, and pots if you’re cooking your food
  • Water filter or iodine tablets to purify water
  • Cup, bowl, and utensils
  • Nourishment for the hike – snacks, trail mix, energy bars, etc.
  • Bear canister or other means of protecting your food from animals

First Aid

  • A first aid kit that includes supplies for blisters, snake bites, and other emergencies
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses

Other items

  • Multi-tool or Swiss Army knife
  • Maps of the area
  • Compass
  • Headlamp with fresh batteries
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Toilet paper
  • Garbage bag for packing out your trash

Keep this list in mind when planning your next backpacking trip.

Make sure you have everything on this list before heading out on your backpacking trip.

You’ll be glad you did.

Tip: You can find more equipment for hiking in my other blog article. Follow the link to read the article.

Apparel and footwear

As a backpacker, one of the most important considerations when choosing what to bring with you on your journey is what clothes and footwear to take.

Clothing

When it comes to clothing, try to think in terms of layers.

This will allow you to adjust your outfit depending on the temperature and weather conditions.

Some essential items include:

  • A warm jacket: Even if the temperatures are supposed to be warm during your trip, it’s always a good idea to have a warm layer on hand just in case
  • A hat and gloves: Essential for keeping warm on colder days/nights
  • Raincoat: Precipitation is always a possibility when backpacking, so it’s important to have a raincoat with you
  • Shorts and T-shirts: Comfortable clothing that will allow you to move easily

Hiking Shoes

  • Hiking boots: Your footwear will be one of the most important pieces of gear you have, so make sure to choose a good pair of hiking boots that are right for the type of terrain you’ll be hiking on
  • Sandals: Comfortable sandals that you can wear when hiking in warmer weather and for wearing around camp

Socks

  • Thick socks: Socks that will keep your feet warm on colder days/nights
  • Summer socks: Thin socks that are ideal for wearing in warmer weather

Backpack

A sturdy and comfortable backpack is essential for any backpacking trip.

Make sure to choose a pack that is the right size and fit for you.

Pack Features to Look for: 

  • A waist belt: A waist belt will help distribute the weight of the pack more evenly across your body, making it more comfortable to wear
  • An internal frame: An internal frame backpack will help keep the pack close to your body, making it more comfortable to carry
  • Multiple compartments and pockets: This will allow you to organize your belongings more easily

Sleeping setup

There are a few essentials you’ll need to bring with you when it comes to sleeping gear.

Sleeping Bag

A good-quality sleeping bag is a must-have for any backpacking trip.

Make sure to choose one that is the right temperature rating for the conditions you’ll be encountering.

Sleeping Pad

A sleeping pad is not essential, but it can make your sleep more comfortable.

If you’re carrying one, make sure to choose a lightweight model.

Headlamp

A headlamp is a must-have for any overnight camping trip – An alternative is a flashlight.

Make sure to bring one that has fresh batteries.

You can also use a headlamp for reading, cooking, or cleaning up camp in the dark.

Cooking gear

When it comes to cooking gear, there are a few essentials you’ll need to bring with you.

Stove

A stove is not essential, but it can make cooking easier and more convenient.

If you’re bringing a stove, choose a lightweight model.

Pots and pans

Pots and pans are a must-have if you’re cooking meals on your trip.

Make sure to choose a lightweight model that is easy to transport and store.

Tip: Read my other blog article all about cooking gear when hiking and backpacking.

Water and food

Every backpacker knows that water and food are essential for any outdoor adventure.

But not all backpackers know how to plan and pack for the best possible food and water experience.

Here are a few tips:

  • Plan for at least 1 gallon of water per person per day. This is enough to meet your hydration needs and to cook with.
  • Pack high-calorie and nutrient-rich foods. This will help keep you energized during your trip.
  • Pack food that is easy to prepare and doesn’t require a lot of utensils or cookware.
  • Pack food that doesn’t require refrigeration. This will save you from having to carry a cooler with you.

Tip: Check out my other article for a complete list of recommended foods that last. Just follow the link.

Personal hygiene

It’s no secret that personal hygiene is important when you’re backpacking.

Not only do you want to feel your best, but you also don’t want to attract any unwanted attention from fellow travelers or locals.

While you can do a few things to stay fresh on the go, some basic toiletries are always a good idea.

Do you know the best way to stay clean while hiking and camping?

Here are some tips for keeping yourself healthy and smelling fresh on your next backpacking trip.

  • Pack a small bag with your hygiene supplies. This should include soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
  • Pack a towel. A small towel is essential for drying off after a swim or shower.
  • Pack a deodorant. This will help keep you smelling fresh during your trip.

Emergency kit and personal Items

When you are out on the trail, there are many things that you need to keep in mind.

One of the most important is making sure that you have an emergency kit with you.

This kit should include items such as:

  • First Aid kit
  • Emergency shelter
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellent
  • Firestarter
  • Multi-tool
  • Map and compass
  • Headlamp

In addition to your emergency kit, you should also bring along some personal items like your ID and some cash.

Tips for the first night out backpacking

Are you planning your first backpacking trip and feeling a little anxious?

Backpacking can be fun, but it also requires some preparation.

The best way to ensure a successful first outing is to develop a plan and pack accordingly.

I’ll discuss some tips for the first night out backpacking.

  1. Plan your route. This will help you avoid getting lost on your first night out.
  2. Pack a headlamp. This is essential for cooking, cleaning up camp, and hiking in the dark.
  3. Pack a first aid kit. This is important for any trip, but especially your first backpacking trip.
  4. Pack a tent and sleeping bag. This will provide you with shelter and a place to sleep on your first night out.
  5. Make sure to pack plenty of food and water. You’ll need these to stay hydrated and energized on your first night out.
  6. Pack a stove, pots, and pans if you plan to cook meals on your first night out.
  7. Pack any other personal items you might need, such as sunscreen, insect repellent, etc.

It can be a strange feeling to spend the night alone in nowhere.

Let these tips help you feel confident and prepared as you venture out on your first backpacking trip.

Happy Backpacking!

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Hi, I'm Dave. I'm an avid outdoors and sports enthusiast who loves to share my passion with others. I publish the experiences I've gained over the years on Outdoormeta to give beginners helpful tips and bring people closer to the outdoors.

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