Backpacking Checklist, v42Also Available: Regular Camping Checklist or Bicycle Camping Checklist.
See Bicycling Checklist or Hiking Checklist or Vehicle Checklist
based on the mode of transportation.
-------------------------------------------------------------------- Have Quickly Available and Know these Items by Location by Blind Feel [ ] 1 First Aid Kit (Appropriate for trip style, location, and duration) [ ] 2 Lighter (or Magnesium Striker or Water Proof Matches) [ ] 3 Flash Light, Headlight, Lantern (a.k.a. torch - Tested and Working) [ ] 4 Spare Light Batteries (Correct Size, in Zip Lock Bag, Ends Protected or Covered by Non Conducting Tape - Prevent Discharge) [ ] 5 Rain / Weather Protection Gear (Appropriate for Climate, Altitude, Season) [ ] 6 Knife (Swiss Army type: big and small blade, awl, scissors, bottle & can opener, and tweezers. Keep in pocket. Mine must also have a cork screw!) -------------------------------------------------------------------- [ ] Back Pack: Tested, Fitted, Rigged, Loose Ends Taped / Secured / Trimmed. Duct tape can be used to sound proof & secure loose straps. [People are always amazed at how many wild animals are walked or biked in upon when all is quite, even in groups!] [ ] Pocket Knife [ ] Camping Gear & Equipment, See Camping: [ ] Waterproof Carry Bags, Stuff Sacks [ ] Tent, Fly, Poles, Stakes, Line, Line Clips. - Know how to set up beforehand. - Tents without bottoms are lighter - Tents that are fully enclosed keep creepy crawlers out - If you are away, keep doors and widows closed. Keeps surprise rain, hail, and critters out. - Window Screen, Door Screen, serviceable, actually keeps bugs out and can keep rain out by adjusting a window cover. [ ] Hammer (or Hand Axe for Adults. Life's great irony, a heavy weight is needed to pound in tent stakes in many places with hard ground and no rocks, yet who wants to carry a heavy weight on the trail? Where found in some areas, a four inch hammer stone will work just fine - Good campers leave it for the next site user.) [ ] Cord, Rope, Twine [ ] Saw, Folding (Way better than Axe for cutting) [ ] Plastic Sheet / Ground Cloth (place under the tent bottom, protects tent bottom from wear, keeps dirt/mud off tent, allows clean tent folding/packing, for packing - shake and the fold ground cloth dirt side to inside) [ ] Cooking Area Fly (optional): Space blanket, tarp, plastic; with guy lines if possible. Because of a need to NOT cook in the tent as food smells attract bears and other carnivores. Set up a cooking area away from the tent. Fifty feet away (or more) is recommended but sometimes in some environments twenty-five feet is the best available. Also, don't store food in the tent, ever. If the weather is bad, cook under the fly, if the weather is good, sit on the fly [ ] Sleeping Bag(s) - Always store hung or loose, never store packed or compressed - All bags need to be unrolled and fluffed at the campsite to be effective insulators of warmth. - Its Not a good idea to stuff tomorrow's clothes in a bag because body moisture will ruin the insulation benefits. - When sleeping in a bag, it is unwise to burrow into the bag and breathe inside the bag. The moisture from the breath will rob the bag of its insulating capabilities. - In cold air situations, it is very wise to sleep with the head outside of the bag and to wear a cap on the head (stocking cap is best). - Goose down bags are lighter and compress better than micro fiber bags, useless if wet, use river float proof cover, we store in kayak bag). - Micro fiber bags dry faster than goose down bags (hours vs days, better expedition durability & survivability, functional if wet, store in waterproof cover/container/bag). [ ] Sleeping Bag Liner (optional) - There are commercial liners but many people use a folded cotton sheet. - A few sleeping bags have interior tie strings for liners but most don't. - Most people use "blanket" size safety pins to connect bag and sheet (attach at the seams to prevent cloth tears). - In the US South or tropical areas, people may use a sheet on top of a light weight (summer) sleeping bag or blanket, and maybe crawl into the bag if it cools down (and may not want to attach the sheet to anything). [ ] Sleeping Bag Cover (optional). This supports an alternate camp style. There are GoreTex type covers that facilitate two capabilities. One capability is that a person can sleep in the open, without carrying a tent. Some covers have little rain flies to protect the head. Also, sleeping bag covers provide additional insulation and warmth and can give some summer type bags usefulness into cooler Spring and Fall temperatures. [ ] Pillow (clothing stuff sack, folded jacket, little blowup pillow with a cover, mini pillow) [ ] Space Blanket (They Work - Read Instructions) AKA Emergency Blanket [ ] Foam Pad (Self Inflating Best - thick and slightly heavier, Non-Inflating Foam (lightest weight, smallest space), Avoid Air Mattresses [ ] First Aid Kit: [ ] Bandages (.25 inch, .5 inch, 1 inch, 2 inches, 3 inches) [ ] Moleskin [ ] 4x4 inch pads for cleaning/wiping wound and soaking blood [ ] 4x4 inch non stick pads for covering wound [ ] Cravat, large handkerchief, ace type wraps (2 inch wide) [ ] Small bottle with nozzle of Betadine or similar sanitizer, ability to spray wash it into a wound [ ] Tylenol (Acetaminophen) and/or Motrin or Advil (Ibuprofen) [ ] Other elements to use: knife (with tweezer and scissor), duct tape, flash light, note pad, pen/pencil, matches, soap and water, Benadryl, and communication device. A tampon is a great trauma pad blood soaker. [ ] Medicines / Personal Medicines / Allergy Medicines [ ] Cooking Supplies and Equipment, See Cook Equipment [ ] Stove, Tested, with Appropriate Connectors [ ] Appropriate Fuel for Stove, Full, Check Quantity / Volume, Container Condition OK. Double check liquid container seal(s). COMMENT: This is a generalization with a few exceptions. In North America, Europe and the Far East, propane stove systems are the standard and typically wood fires are limited or NOT allowed. In most of the rest of the world, the most available fuel type is Unleaded Gasoline - Most newer liquid gas stoves will burn unleaded petrol, but validate. Another fuel type is alcohol, a most underrated cooking fuel. Alcohol and medicinal alcohol are commonly found at Pharmacies (including Muslim countries). Alcohol stoves always work and have the lightest system weight - they do not heat as fast as propane systems and require a wind shield. [ ] Lighter, Matches in Waterproof Container, Magnesium Striker, Windproof Lighter. It is wise to have at least two sources. CAUTION: We have yet to see a butane lighter, especially a wind proof lighter, be dependable above 8,000 Feet Altitude (˜2,500 Meters). NOTE: Magnesium Strikers always work (assuming magnesium exists)! [ ] Fire Starter (Tube / Paraffin-Cardboard / other) [ ] Cook Kits, Non-Stick (Pots, Fry Pans, Handles) [ ] Eating Ware (Plate, Bowl, Cup, Knife, Fork, Spoon, Mess Kit) [ ] Mug. Hiker's choice: none, big, little (lots of variables weight, hot-cold insulation, taste satisfaction, what's drank, ...) [ ] Cooking Utensils (Spatula, Spoon, Fork, Knife) [ ] Cleaning Gear (Soap, Brillo, Scrunge, Bottle Brush, Pot Pad, Drying Towel(s) / Paper Towels) [this is what rookies forget] [ ] Bearbag, Lines / Cable, Throwing Sock; Bear Safe Bear problems are a big deal, especially in National Park car campgrounds. Most backpackers avoid these places, but on occasion NP's are a start point or an end point. WARNING: Away from public parks and campgrounds, bears tend to avoid humans. There are public parks where the bears are not afraid of humans and they know to look for bear bags for food. In fact, some Park Bears will tear a window out of a car to get to food stored in a cooler. A tent does not stand a chance. Don't keep smellables in the tent, that also includes toiletries - tooth paste smells good to a bear - store toiletries and medicines with the food. Learn to buy unscented toiletry products (soap, no perfume, toothpaste, ...). More and more, a Bear Safe (a special designed, jaw proof, HD Plastic Container) is the item to have (not cheap). WARNING: Dennis has seen a bear destroy an empty tent that once had food inside. The Internet has pictures of doors pulled off cars and windows pulled off cars by bears going after food smells or visible food containers. [ ] Food, See Basic Foods & Packing Issues [ ] Water: [ ] Water & Containers (Start Full if Possible) [ ] Water Purification-Filtration System (Rinsed with Chemical Solution before trek), extra filters & chemical treatment, if needed (often Chlorine Bleach, a.k.a. Clorox, one drop per liter/quart or five drops per gallon, mix and let set for at least five minutes). Experience: Let creek water sit in a container for about 15 minutes, let it settle, then pump-purify only the clear water. This will greatly enhance pump filter survival. [ ] Big water bladder - or remote camp site water filling. Usually just before the evening camp, water is gathered. Some people carry empty water bladders and fill them, other fill whatever pots and canteens are available. Empty bladders have weight - situational judgement is required. WARNING In some cases, one loads up water at every opportunity. [ ] Navigation: [ ] Maps, Directions [ ] Compass, Altimeter, GPS (working, batteries) [ ] Itinerary [ ] Passes, Permission, Licenses, Paid Receipts, Keys, Codes [ ] Clothing: See Clothing MUST HAVE Layers Capability, Remember that packing at warm / lower locations / elevations when destination is Cool, Cold, or Freezing, leaves many distressed at altitude) ISSUE: The work of hiking in cool weather keeps one warm, but as soon as one stops hiking, a physical cool down occurs. Keep a jacket and a hat handy to stay warm and sometimes gloves are useful. GoreTex or similar Jackets are handy for rain, warmth, and wind. [ ] Footwear: Waterproof (Waterproof Boots, Waterproofed Sneakers with Galoshes, or Stream crossing Sandals or Booties) - BROKE IN way before trek!!!! [ ] Socks (Wicking Synthetic Best, Cotton Worst) [ ] Sweater, Jacket, Fleece [We use a lightweight waterproof, windproof coat, if we get cold, we layer with a flannel shirt] [ ] Parka, Coat (waterproof, windproof) [ ] Shirt(s): [ ] T-shirts with pocket(s) (cotton often OK, as sweat evaporation cools the body, cotton not OK in Cold Temperatures), Caution: Cotton Not OK for those easily prone to skin infection. [ ] Long sleeve double pocket outdoor type [ ] HD Chamois or flannel double pocket type (often worn as an in camp clothing layer maybe under a jacket) [ ] Pant(s): [ ] Cargo Shorts [ ] Cargo pants with zipper legs [ ] Jeans (heavy, no good if wet, but popular and comfy) [ ] Undies (Cotton or Synthetic, hiker judgement) [ ] Water Proof Hat, other (baseball, insect netted, cold weather, ...) [ ] Poncho, Rain Coat, Rain Paints / Jacket [ ] Sleeping Cap, Wool Knit (Very Good in Cold & Mtns) [ ] Gloves / Mittens (watch out for people who are cold before the norm) [ ] Swimming Wear (optional) [ ] Toiletry, See Toiletry: [ ] Toothbrush, Mini Holder, Toothpaste [ ] String Floss (a good emergency sewing thread, white or mint green) [ ] Soap and Container [ ] Towel, Washcloth (use lightweight fast dry micro fiber camp towel) [ ] Mirror [ ] Shaver / Razor [ ] Comb, Brush [ ] Medicine-Hygiene: See Sanitation Behavior Customs. [ ] Toilet Paper, Baby Wipes Hint: Outside of the US Most places away from big cities may not have toilet paper and/or you may have to pay to use a Toilet/WC [ ] Garden Spade (actual or light weight fold up camp spade) [ ] Bandages (Big, Medium, Little) [ ] Prescription (Rx) Meds, Actual Prescription (Sometimes), Schedule [ ] Allergy Meds [ ] Aspirin, Tylenol, Other (sometimes in first aid kit) [ ] Sun Block, Sun Burn Medicine, Chap Stick (Lip Balm) In a pinch, the waxy powder of an Aspen tree may be used as a Sun Block (~SPF8) - It Works! [ ] General Anti-Biotic Salve [ ] Lotion, Hand Cream [ ] Feminine Hygiene Products [ ] Anti Bug Gear: [ ] Mosquito Hat, Sleeping Net [ ] Bug Repellent (100% DEET works best) [ ] Permethrin (Requires prior set up) Other: [ ] Alarm Watch (NO Hour Bleeping Watches), some with altitude, compass, and other gadgetry [ ] Glasses (Sun, Rx, cases, spares) [ ] Emergency Money (Coins, Bills, Cards, ...) [ ] Tape (100 MPH, Electrical, Duct <- Super Utilitous) [ ] Large curved tent repair needle and HD carpet thread (floss works too).
Optional ConsiderationsThese are items that we have carried once or just a few times
[ ] Cell/Satellite Phone (own/rent, local/international) [ ] Spiral Top/Back/Side Note Pad, Pen/Pencil, Note: waterproof paper available [ ] Plastic Bags (Lg, Med, Sm [Qt, Gal] Zip) [ ] Tape, Electrical / 100MPH / Duct (Duck) - Duct Tape continues to be the most popular extra item as frequently stated by globe trekkers [ ] Repair Kits / Parts / Tools: Tent, Mattress, Stove, Pack, Clothing / GoreTex, Tire, Chain. [ ] Hiking Staff / Walking Sticks [ ] Camera, Lenses, Film, Batteries, Cable, Case, Memory, Link Flash, Up &/or Down Load Device(s) and Cable, H/W, S/W In a pinch, cheap disposable - can be later converted to digital [ ] iPod, MP3, EGame (Batteries and Accessories) [ ] Notebook Computer (Batteries and Accessories) [ ] "P" Bottle (old plastic salsa container, big mouth), Lady "J" Funnel - or inverted and contoured cut Clorox bottle top with sanded edge [ ] Camp Shoes, Sandals [ ] Cleaning Basin (Plastic or Inflatable - the bottom half of an empty Clorox bottle) [ ] Astronomy: Charts, Telescopes & system s/w and h/w [ ] Night Vision Device/Scope [ ] Binoculars, Lightweight or Heavy Duty, above 5x need gyro-stabilization [ ] Book(s) [ ] Letter Writing Equip, Stamps, Addresses [ ] Musical Instrument, Sheet Music / Book [ ] Umbrella [ ]