Backpacking - Plan Ahead and Prepare

Posted: March 10, 2018 | Author: Kevin Koontz | Read Time: 1 minutes

Backpack in camp siteWhen you are selecting a backpacking destination, please consider your skill level, the time of year to go, navigation, and that it will be fun!


  • Backpacking pack - internal frame suggested
  • Lightweight tent
  • Inflatable pad or foam pad
  • Synthetic or down sleeping bag - sleeping bags come in different temperatures to keep you warm in various weather. Make sure you have a warm enough bag. For backpacking, we suggest at least a 20 degree bag.
  • Compression Sack - used to compress/stuff your sleeping bag into.
  • First Aid Kit - size dependent on number of backpackers
  • Headlamp
  • Extra batteries
  • Lighter & matches
  • Map & compass
  • Toilet paper sealed in a ziplock baggy
  • Cathole sanitation trowel - Be aware of the areas Leave No Trace principles.
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, etc. - Make sure these are as small as possible

Clothing (The amount of clothing varies on the length of your backpacking trip):

  • Lightweight long pants
  • T-shirts - nylon/synthetic is best, especially in cooler weather
  • Hiking socks - Avoid wearing cotton socks, synthetic or wool is recommended. Smartwool is a good option.
  • Lightweight jacket or sweater - consider using fleece jackets because they are light and warm.
  • Lightweight puffy down jacket
  • Rain jacket & pants - You never know when or if it will rain. Rain can come quick when in the mountains and it is best to always be prepared.
  • Long underwear
  • Beanie
  • Sandals - To wear when just chilling around camp. It is nice to kick off the boots after hiking all day.

Cooking Gear

  • Lightweight backpacking stove
  • Fuel
  • Pot set
  • Cooking utensils, bowl, and cup
  • Soap and sponge
  • Food - We highly recommend Mountain House meals, all you have to do is add hot water and let it sit for ten minutes. Lasagna, chicken & rice, beef stroganoff, etc.)
  • Water
  • Water Filter


  • Chapstick
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Optional
  • Camera
Visit SUU Outdoors to plan ahead and prepare for your next backpacking trip.

Tags: Outdoor Recreation Blog Outdoors SUU Outdoors

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