Always Use A Backpacking Checklist. It Is Safer.
Without a backpacking checklist, I inevitably forget something. Nothing can ruin a trip quicker than leaving behind a piece of important gear or some food. Get into the habit of using a backpacking checklist while you load your backpack at home.
The following is a checklist that has worked well for me for most three season backpacking trips. Add or delete items based on personal preference, time of year, and length, purpose, destination of trip.
To help you come up with your own backpacking checklist, consider consulting "The Complete Walker", a book which goes into amazing detail about every possible thing you might need.
3-Season Backpacking Checklist
1. Extra food
2. Extra water
3. Extra clothing (like a sweater, warm hat and rain jacket)
4. Map of the area
6. Flashlight, extra batteries extra bulb
7. Pocketknife or all-in-one-tool
8. Fire-making items (lighter, or matches in waterproof container, candle)
9. First aid kit
10. Sun protection (sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm, hat)
Pack rain cover
Tent, poles, pegs, groundsheet
Stove (with all accessories & parts)
Wide-mouth water bottles (two or three)
Small plastic dipping/measuring cup
Cup or mug
Boots or hiking shoes
Sandals (campwear, wading streams)
Waterproof clothing bag
Socks, inner and/or outer
Shirts (long-sleeve and short-sleeve)
Gore-Tex (or similar) Parka
Hat for sun protection
Cold-weather hat (covers ears)
Thin, lightweight gloves
Long Underwear *
Winter gloves or mittens *
Wool gloves *
Mitten shells *
Water purification system (iodine or filter, etc)
Biodegradable Liquid Soap (Campsuds)
G.I. can opener
Toilet paper in plastic
Plastic bags (grocery bags, garbage bags)
Extra flashlight bulbs
Extra pack buckles (waist buckle, 3/4" buckle)
Extra draw cord toggles
ThermaRest and tent patch kit
Stove maintenance kit
Tent pole repair tube
Sewing kit (w/heavy duty needle, thread)
Small length of wire
First Aid Kit
Extra-Strength Tylenol or aspirin (12 tablets)
Cold medicine, cough drops
Ibuprofin for pain anywhere on body (12 tablets)
Antacid tablets (6 tablets)
Antiseptic towelettes, wrapped singly (10 pckgs)
Adhesive bandages of various sizes (12 one-inch)
Butterfly adhesive bandages (6, various sizes)
Roller gauze (2 rolls, 2" x 5 yd.)
Medical tape (2" roll)
Scissors and/or razor blade
Camera and film
Entertainment (reading material, cards, ?)
Functionality (is it in working order?)
Reusables (do you need to buy/bring more?)
Sunscreen, lip balm
"Extra" Items sometimes forgotten
Spare batteries (camera, flashlight)
Change of clothing: socks, underwear
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