Must-Have Backpacking Gear for Your Next Trip  

Backpacking season is entirely upon us, do you have your backpacking essentials ready? It’s undoubtedly one of the best ways to get some camping done in some of the most remote and stunningly beautiful parts of the outdoors. However, backpacking is not for the faint of heart, especially if you don’t have the right backpacking gear. It’s much more laborious than car camping, and every piece of gear and weight matters. The right backpacking gear is the difference between a great time and a forgettable experience.  

We compiled a list of the ten must-have backpacking gear items for your next trip.   

Gear up for a great time out backpacking, and use this essential backpacking checklist to ensure you’re ready for whatever the trail throws your way.   



It may seem obvious, but you have to have a pack to go backpacking. Getting the right pack is extremely important. An ill-fitting pack can lead to a painful and rough experience. Head down to your local outdoor store and get professionally fitted for a pack.  


Unless you plan on cowboy camping, you’ll need a tent. There are lightweight backpacking tents that pack down small. Make sure it can handle whatever weather you’ll encounter. Some folks opt for hammocks and bivy sacks, but a good old tent will always do the job.   

Sleeping Gear  

Camping without a sleeping bag seems wrong. Get a good backpacking sleeping back that can pack down small. You’ll also need a sleeping pad unless you like sleeping on rocks and twigs.   


It’s all up to the weather, but you’ll need the right clothes for your trip. Base layers, outer layers, and everything in between.   


Probably the most important thing outside of the backpack is the shoes you’ll wear. Make sure you have the right hiking boots for the mileage you’re planning.   


A map and compass will never do you wrong. Knowing how to use them properly is another skill you’ll need. A GPS device is an easier and more reliable way to make sure you know where you are.   

Hydration and Water Purification  

Water is a must-have. Whether you’re hauling it in or using water sources on your trail, Make sure you have a water reservoir, some water bottles, and a water filtration system so you can always stay hydrated.   

Food and Cooking Equipment  

Everyone’s got to eat. Pick up some dehydrated backpacking meals at your local outdoor store, or make a fine recipe for backpacking. Pack more than enough food for your whole trip and some snacks.   

You’ll also need to cook that food and eat it with something. Get a lightweight backpacking stove and pot. Also, get some versatile utensils like the ComplEat Utensil Set and some bowls or plates like the ComplEat Tableware Set.   

First Aid Kit and Personal Care  

Always keep a first aid kit handy, and bring all the necessary toiletries and personal care items for the trip.   

Tools and Miscellaneous  

Last but certainly not least are some tools. A knife and multi-tool are extremely useful when backpacking. Check out the light and tough Assert and the Stakeout multi-tool for your next trip.  You can also snag this Camp Setup Kit  to help with things like starting a fire.

Next, pack a flashlight or a headlamp to see when things get dark.   

Remember, these items are just the essentials. What you need for your specific trip can vary depending on conditions, weather, objectives, and so much more. Feel free to adjust this list for your next trip, but stay as close as you can so you have the basics ready! Be safe, be ready, and most of all, have a good time.   

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