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A 9 point Backpacking Essential Checklist

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A 9-Point Comprehensive Backpacking Checklist

Here’s a list of fundamental gear for your survival and comfort. You don’t need all of it, choose items depending on your travel and personal likes and dislikes.

1.Your personal guide:

You might like a guide to show you around, tell you facts about old structures and more. However, sometimes, a guide can kill your sense of adventure. So when you don’t want a guide to travel with you, equip yourself with a map.

Here’s a list to help you navigate better:

§Gyro compass

§GPS or GPSdepot maps

§Watch or Pathfinder

§Gaia navigation on smart phones




Whether you want to use your mobile phone for music or GPS, ensure you keep them charged and preserve its battery life. Gadgets like your phone play a critical role in your safety and well-being. Carry enough batteries and gear up.

§Laptop and laptop charger

§Phone and phone charger

§Portable charger

§Headlamp, head torch, or flashlight

§Extra batteries

§Camera and camera batteries

§Memory cards

§Outline plug adapter


3.Comfortable clothing and shoes:

Hiking or walking with a backpack will leave you sweating. So, it’s important that your clothes and shoes are well ventilated and provide you with good mobility.

If you’re not hiking to a place, wear the same clothes while travelling as this saves space. While walking / hiking a light jacket to protect you from the sun or the chilly weather is enough. However, if you’re going to a chilly place do carry an insulating jacket because once you stop walking it’s likely that you’ll feel cold.

Whether it’s a 4-day trek or a 4-month trip, these are generally all the clothes you’ll need as you can laundry them. Three to six sets of clothes will suffice. Carry durable, light-weight, wrinkle-free clothing.

§Full-sleeve T-shirts or a light jacket (protect from the sun)

§Pants / shorts (avoid fitting denim)

§Gloves and thermals or clothes made of merino wool

§Underwear and socks (cotton or woollen)

§Hat, bandana, balaclava, headband, or cap

§Rainwear (waterproof jacket and pant) or poncho

§Fleece jacket and T-shirts


§Trekking shoe or boots (high ankle with good grip)

§Flip-flops (optional)

§Quick-dry towel

4.Skin Protection and toiletries:

Irrespective of the season, extended exposure to sunlight will harm your skin. It’s is extremely important that you protect your skin against sunburns, chafing, dryness, and more.

Carry these essentials to protect your skin:

§U/V Protected Sunglasses

§Hiking Cap or Sun Hat

§Sunscreen, lip balm, and hand sanitizer

§Body / face wipes


§Anti-bacterial powder

§Toothbrush and toothpaste

§Travel-sized lotion and body wash and shampoo

§Microfiber towel and deodorant

§Insect repellent

§Tissue paper

5.Snacks and Water:

While travelling or hiking, it’s always good to take frequent breaks. During these breaks make sure you eat something and drink enough water.

Don’t carry oily or fatty food. Ensure you carry healthy snacks like,

§Nutrition bars or energy bars



§Dry fruits


To stay hydrated at all times, carry one bottle of water per person or an adequate hydration reservoir in your backpack. If you’re camping and don’t have access to clean water carry a water filter or purification tablets.

6.Shelter and sleeping bags:

Carry a durable tent and sleeping bag only if you’re camping or sleeping on the floor. You can also carry a tarp as an emergency shelter.


Ensure to pack your medication and not run out of it. Along with any medicines, you’ll need to carry, also carry a first-aid kit.

§Prescription drugs

§Pain medicine

§Motion sickness medicine


§Diarrhoea medicine


§Muscle spray

8.Tools and repair kit

On an adventure, you can never expect to know when your repair kit will come in handy. You can use a knife to cut a fruit or portable stove to make some tea.

§Knife, Multitool, or army Swiss knife

§Rope or clothesline

§Duct tape

§Flashlight and padlock


§Plastic utensils

§Ziploc bags

§Sink stopper (if you want to wash your clothes in a sink)

9.Emergency survival fire kit

When you’re planning to camp in the wild an emergency survival fire kit is a good thing to have. Ensure you pack it in a Ziploc or a water proof container.

§Lighter or matches

§Fire starter kit

Things you don’t really need

It’s only natural that you feel that you haven’t packed enough. To be on the road and survive with things from a backpack is challenging, but you don’t need anything more than the above list.

You can avoid carrying the following:

§Sleeping pads

§A massive backpack

§Jewellery and valuables

§Extra toiletries and bulky towels or beach towels

§Guitar or other musical instruments

§Hair straighter or dryer


§Makeup or too many perfumes

§Too many cotton clothes and jeans

§More than one jacket

§Multiples of the same thing like water filters, stoves, etc

§More than one book (gear up to enjoy the place)

First-time travellers usually bring too many items, travelling with a heavy pack will only wear you out faster. Remember, one backpacker’s essentials can be another backpacker’s non-essentials. You might feel like there are many items on this list that you can’t imagine backpacking without.

Try this exhaustive list that will surely keep your adventure alive.