Backcountry Backpacking Checklist

One of the most popular backcountry activities is backpacking trips. A backpacking trip is a camping expedition in which you only have what you bring along with you. While these trips can be a ton of fun and a great opportunity to get in touch with nature, they also can be dangerous if people are not prepared with the gear they need. Here is a quick list of the most important gear to bring on your first backpacking trip:

  1. Tent 

When out on a backpacking trip, the most important piece of gear you are going to need is a tent. When out in the wilderness, your tent is your main form of shelter from the elements and protection from bugs and other curious creatures that might want to get a closer look. Before heading out on the trail, make sure to inspect your tent for any possible rips or holes in the canvas. A good tent will last you for years of adventures. Choose a tent based on the type of backcountry camping you are doing and how many people will be sleeping in the tent.

  1. Sleeping Bag & Sleeping Pad

Including a sleeping bag in your camp supplies is equally as important as having a tent, especially at higher altitudes where the temperature can drop dramatically after sunset. To keep you safe from possible hypothermia, you need a sleeping bag that is rated to withstand the cold. There are a plethora of different types of sleeping bags out there made for every grade of camping and weather. Be sure to check the weather conditions forecast for the area you will be backpacking beforehand to ensure you have a sleeping bag rated for the temperature.

  1. Emergency Supplies

In the wilderness, there is no emergency clinic you can go to in the event of an injury or illness. An emergency supply bag with essential first aid tools like bandages, gauze, antiseptic ointment, and pain medication is your first line of defense should you get hurt while out on the trail. Since cell phone reception can be spotty, at best, in remote areas, bringing along a GPS navigational device or a two-way radio can be a huge help.

  1. Flashlight

When out past dark, you are going to want more help than the light of the moon and stars to navigate the trails. A light source like a hand-held flashlight, LED headlamp, or even a small pocket flashlight can be helpful if you are trying to keep your pack as light as possible. Should you become disoriented and lost while out in the backcountry, having a powerful flashlight on hand with an SOS feature can be a true lifesaver to signal for help or to indicate your location to search and rescue crews.

  1. Backpack

Obviously when going on a backpacking trip, you’re going to need a backpack. However, which kind of backpack you bring is going to be directly correlated with how well your trip goes. Overnight backpacking trips require a lot of gear, even for ultra light camping. To ensure you have enough room in your backpack, consider buying a pack designed specifically for backpacking trips. These types of backpacks are also designed to help shift the weight of the heavy pack away from your back so it’s not causing too much discomfort.

Going out on your first backpacking trip can be a daunting task, but if you prepare yourself for what to expect and what tools you will need, it will sure to be a very fun and rewarding experience.

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