The Happy Camper: Backpacking Equipment List

Kevin Callan's essential backpacking equipment list—make sure to carry all the essentials, but not enough to get weighed down!

Credit: Kevin Callan

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting my “students at risk”ready for their fall backpacking trip.

I have three back-to-back trips with an assortment of skilled—and not-so-skilled—trekkers. Days were spent shopping for food at bulk food stores and going over equipment they needed to stuff in their packs.

Here’s the regular equipment list I gave them. I hope I didn’t miss anything—and I really hope they pack enough gear to survive the chilly nights and not enough to weigh them down. 

Backpacking Trip: General Group Equipment List

  • Tent
  • Tent poles & pegs
  • Stove
  • Stove fuel
  • Utensil Bag (Wash cloth, scrubby, gloves, bio-soap, hand sanitizer, tea-towel, lighters, pot gripper, flipper, big spoon, fillet knife, measuring cup, grater, fold-knife, cutlery)
  • Garbage bag
  • Bowls
  • Plates
  • Saw
  • First-Aid kit
  • Gear repair kit
  • Water filter
  • Water container
  • Tarp & ropes
  • Maps & case
  • Fire starters

Individual Gear

  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Camp cup
  • Toiletry bag
  • Camera
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Camp pillow
  • Toilet paper
  • Camp towel
  • Journal & pencil
  • Headlamps

Personal Packing List

  • Rain coat
  • Rain pants
  • Extra shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Extra shirt
  • Fleece (heavy)
  • Fleece  (light)
  • Extra pants
  • Extra undies
  • Extra socks
  • Long sleeve undershirt
  • Long-johns (light or fleece)
  • Shorts (maybe)
  • Toque
  • Toothpaste
  • Tooth brush
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Towel
  • Wash cloth
  • Post-trip clean/dry clothes