Everything you need to pack for your backpacking adventure
Your Backpacking Checklist

Today’s backpacking gear keeps getting better and better, with loads of top-quality, high-tech, lightweight choices. For the best options, we asked the outdoor experts at Dirty Gourmet to share their essential gear, clothing, and food for staying comfortable and well fed in the backcountry.

Feel free to customize and cherry-pick the list for your own adventures. Ideally, you should keep your base weight under 20 lbs. (That’s the weight of your pack without variables like food, water, and fuel.)

Basic gear

Optional gear


Toiletries & miscellaneous items

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • First-aid kit
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Comb/mirror set
  • Insect repellent
  • Micro-fiber towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Feminine products
  • Plastic and paper bags
  • Wipes or moist towelettes
  • Toilet paper

Around-camp activities

Cooking gear

Food basics

  • In addition to ingredients for recipes, you might want to keep these supplies on hand.
  • Coffee
  • Snacks such as nuts, apples, parmesan cheese, bars, and goos
  • Emergency foods such as ramen and miso soup
  • Olive oil or coconut oil
  • Whiskey