Buying Guide for Backpacking Gear: The ultimate hiking and Backpacking checklist

The hiking & backpacking gear for tackling a multi-day adventure or planning an overnight hikers varies from that of the day hikers. Keeping in mind that such trips are based on challenges and milestones, your gear varies with the type of adventure, time of the year, the length of the hike, terrain and destination. The difference between hiking and backpacking can be demonstrated by the two images of backpacks above, read buying guide for backpack to understand more. There are various conditions of hiking with each its particular challenges. Thus it is always a good idea to research on the particular gear for your particular terrain. Clearly for someone crossing big snow patches would not necessarily require same gear as the one in a super-buggy conditions.

With backpacking the trick is to ensure your backpack is manageable as you are expected to carry it all through the expedition. Therefore it is prudent to travel with minimum luggage and frugal accommodations. In respect to backpacking we shall first look at the essentials then an elaboration of the same for the hikers.


  1. Navigation (Map / compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunscreen/sunglasses)
  3. Insulation (clothing)
  4. Illumination (flashlights)
  5. First aid supply
  6. Fire-starting gear
  7. Repair tools and kit (multi-tool)
  8. Nutrition(Food for the day and some extra)
  9. Hydration
  10. Emergency shelter (tent/ sleeping bag)

Campsite and Kitchen Gear

  • Backpack (Check out Best Rucksacks for backpacking and camping)
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad 
  • Stove and Fuel
  • pots and pot grabber
  • Utensils
  • Dishes and cups
  • Water treatment or filter
  • Hydration system or water bottles
  • food coffee
  • lighter or waterproof matches and fire starter
  • lightweight cord

Safety Essentials

  • First aid kit
  • Knife
  • Whistle
  • Repair kit
  • Route guide and map
  • GPS/Compass
  • Headlamp or flashlight + batteries
  • Sunscreen/sunglasses

Clothing (Warm condition)

When it comes to what you wear on the trip base it on the weather forecast. However, be prepared for a chance that the weather might change. Avoid dressing in cotton while trekking.

  • Wicking T-shirt
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Pants or shorts
  • Wicking underwear
  • Sun hat
  • Socks
  • Hiking boots

Additional clothing (Cool conditions)

  • Insulating top or jacket
  • Rainwear pants and jacket
  • Base layer top and bottom
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves or mitts (Check out Best Oven Mitts)
  • Gaiters

Personal Items

  • Trekking poles
  • Toothbrush and toiletries
  • Toilet paper
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Pack towel
  • Phone or communication device
  • Insect repellent / bug-proof shirt or hat
  • Sandals or camp footwear
  • Ear plugs
  • Trail permit
  • Bear spray
  • Stuff snacks
  • Pack cover
  • Tent footprint
  • Binoculars
  • Camera


Like any other outdoor activity, proper planning determines the success of the hiking adventure. Having a hiker’s checklist is one way of preparing while allowing you to enjoy your trip. Hikers should remember to check weather forecasts of their planned area. However, they should be well prepared for a wide range of temperature and weather conditions especially around mountains. As a safety measure you should have at least two itineraries, one under the car seat and the other left with a friend. The gear you trust you will make you enjoy your outdoor getaway.

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