Outdoors Guide: A Complete Backpacking Checklist

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Before continuing to the main content, let’s presume that you are someone from regular life who is bored enough with your monotonous routine life. You can easily feel; how hectic it could be being immersed only in work months after months.

You know what you need most at this moment? An Adrenaline Rush!

We say, it’s high time you took a break. Just apply for a leave and seek for adventures. But practically, it isn’t as simple and easy as it sounds. To step forward to a successful hangout, you need a complete checklist for backpacking in hand, even before take the first step out of home.

backpacking checklist

I’ve seen many of my friends to forget to bring important things discovered in the midway of the trip. True to say, this also happened to me several times. Then, I’ve learned the importance of having a good preparation before going for a trip.

A good preparation involves a complete backpacking. So what are the things you need to carry with you when you are going for a hike or trip? In another term, what should be the Checklist for backpacking before you leave home? If you are looking for the answer, then this article is for you.

Backpacking Checklist

Backpacking isn’t merely having a backpack and a pair of shoes. But it refers to the ultimate planning to make you tour a success and ensure a secure trip as well.

Apart from the basic checklist for backpacking, there are some other things you need to plan.

  • Plan in which route you want to progress and understand the map. Don’t just study the route, also the surroundings. Know the geographic features.
  • Leave your entire itinerary to someone trusted. In any unwanted situation, that person will be able to contact you. It’s important for your security especially when you are in an unknown place. Itinerary means-
  • Your expected route details along with a map.
  • Your passport number in case you travel overseas.
  • Personal contact number. If you’re taking your car, then its model and plate number.
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of your group mates.
  • Check if there persists a favorable environment for traveling. Check whether-
    • The political environment is static on that place you are going
    • Weather is friendly or not.
    • Road condition is well.
  • Make an estimation how much expenses you’ll need visiting the place. This may include the costs of visa, food, accommodation, entertainment and other activities. Manage enough cash for any emergency situation.

Checklist for Backpacking

Carrying extra load is never desirable when you are going for a long relaxing tour. But certain things are essential both for your travel and safety. For making your backpack a true guide, following is the Checklist for backpacking.

Food and Drinks

If you are planning for a day’s or half day’s outing, then you must carry some light foods. Foods like protein bars, chews, cup nodules, dried fruit, and potato chips are light.

When it’s about drinks, the first thing comes to mind is water. But carrying water makes your backpack heavy. So it’s wise not to take a large water container. Rather use small flasks and bottles. You can refill them. Apart from water, you can also keep energy drinks with you.

If you are planning for a picnic, take a stove and fuel with you.


  • Warm weather (for tropical region): Synthetic T-shirt, Quick-drying shorts, Sleeveless tops
  • Cool weather (for the temperate region): Sweater, Jackets, Long sleeve dresses, Skullcap. If you plan to travel during the rainy season, don’t forget to take a raincoat with you. Carrying Umbrella all the time is a burden and also not cool.
  • Emergency clothing: You’ll never know when the mood of the weather changes. Anytime it may turn on you, and leave your dress unwearable. Therefore keep emergency clothing with you.


Hiking boots (in case you go for a hike), Synthetic or woolen socks, Sandals.


Local map, GPS, compass. Only carrying these items is not enough. You must have navigation skill especially when you are traveling alone.


Tent, sleeping bag, rope. These are for when you plan to travel along countryside, hilly terrain or desert.

Medicine and First-Aid Box

A first aid box normally contains bandage, gauge, thermometer, antiseptic, antibiotic, blade, scissor. Besides, keep mosquito repellent, water purification tablets, ice box.

Sun Protection

Sunscreen, Sunglass.

Fire and Illumination

Match, lighter or fire starter, torch, headlamp, extra batteries.


Must carry communication equipment like a cell phone. You can also take camera, recorder, headphones, guitar or other musical instruments.

Other accessories

Binoculars, hand sanitizer, mouthwash and toiletry kits, bath kits, knife.

What other things you carry, don’t just overload your backpack. Otherwise, it may become a burden and ruin your fun.

Final Verdict of Backpacking Checklist

See, carrying a backpack means you are carrying the whole fun of your trip. Therefore, making checklist for backpacking appears more important than fixing the destination. So make a favorable checklist for backpacking before you head off on the trip.

It may seem daunting to you seeing the long checklist above. But let me assure you, all the things aren’t essential for every trip. Some of them are mandatory to carry. Others are optional. It depends on the season, place and duration of your trip. So know the things you’ll need and their usage as well. Wish you a happy outing!

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