Backpacking Checklist

checklist for backpack tripsBegin to List the Items Needed

A backpacking checklist is something essential as you get ready to set off onto your wilderness hike. There's no going back if you've forgotten something. And there's no room for unessential items. Even the smallest item will seem to triple in weight after a morning on the trail!

Suggestions that make sense are always helpful. So what do we need to know...

One thing is, what type of terrain will be encountered. Another is the time of the year. These will affect some of the essential pack items to have along.

But there are certain essential categories to include - and then you can itemize the variable items accordingly. So, after considering that you will of course have a backpack - start out with these categories:

backpacking checklistMake Your Own Personalized Backpacking Checklist...
  • Cooking/eating Gear
  • Food
  • Sleeping Gear
  • Water container/purification
  • Shelter Needs
  • Sun Protection
  • First Aid kit
  • Compass/hiking map
  • Toilet/personal care items
  • Knife/small ax
  • Rope
  • Bug protection
  • Zip-lock bags for trash/storage
  • Lighting
  • Rain protection
  • Extra clothing

Backpacking Checklist Tips

Backpacking Requires PlanningBackpacking is a Great Adventure When Well-Planned

Remember that less is more. As you walk a trail, you want to enjoy your hike. It's not to be a chore! Too much weight will make it more work.

All the items in the list should be chosen by what is the lightest, smallest choice you can make. Plus the most practical for hiking. Is there something that can serve a dual purpose?

For instance:

  • With lighting - a headlamp can be much more practical than a flashlight. 
  • The right size tarp can serve as a rain coat/umbrella substitute - including for your backpack, as well as a ground cover, and/or a make-shift pup tent. 
  • Zip-lock bags can serve to stash dried food items, and then hold trash to pack out. 
  • The right knife could have multiple tools built in.

Good hydration is always a concern when hiking. Even more-so in the Arizona sun! Your backpacking checklist will always include methods for water storage. It's better to include purification methods such as tablets, which take much less pack room than purification filtering systems.

A water bag or bladder is a convenient method for carrying about 2 liters of water along with you. Since they are flexible containers, these systems take up less space as the water is used.

An important thing to remember is to always pre-hydrate before beginning any hike. See important tips on Arizona hiking safety by clicking here >

Best of all -  here's a great checklist to download. It has all of the essential items, that you need. You can print it out - get it by clicking here>