The Complete Backpacking Gear Checklist

The colder months are over and Spring is fast approaching. The sun is starting to finally peek out through the clouds. It’s the perfect time to plan that backpacking trip. Take a weekend to get out of the city and experience nature to its fullest. We all need that reminder every once in a while that the city isn’t the only setting on this planet. That’s why I have gathered the best backpacking checklist full of things you need to take with you.

Plus, who doesn’t love a good backpacking trip? You, your buddies, your dog, and a campfire? That sounds like the perfect weekend. Makes you want to load up the rucksack and cooler right now. If you’re lagging a bit behind on the gear, or you’re looking to upgrade, have no fear. Here’s a quick guide for beginner backpackers.

Whether you are a digital nomad or a student taking a year off to backpack across dreamy destinations, you need to be comfortable while doing so. Being comfortable means having access to daily and urgent necessities while moving around with a backpack that won’t weigh you down. There are some things that you can’t forget for a trip. Take a look at this list with some of my essential things to bring when backpacking.

Regardless of the destination, you are backpacking to, backpacking light is the key to ensuring your comfort and enjoyment. However, traveling light doesn’t mean not packing your essentials or foregoing necessities in the favor of a light backpack. To make it easier for you, we have gathered a list of essentials to bring with you when traveling.

Related Read: How to pick a backpack?

Backpacking checklist

Complete Backpacking Gear Checklist

The Backpack

Of course, you’re going to need a backpack. You probably already have one. But there comes a time when you’ll need an upgrade. There are so many bags out there that are in the type of classic explorer’s gear pack. Virtually none of them have the functionality that’s necessary. Look for trusted brands that specialize in outdoor activities. Water resistance, tear-proof, and sturdy. That’s what you should be looking for.

Hammock Chairs: Your New Best Friend

The most underrated thing to do on a backpacking trip is to just relax. We focus on the physical climb or the strenuous hurdles of the trek. But most of the time, we’re just out there to be as far as we can from day-to-day life, and a spot to sit and veg out is priceless.

There’s no better implement to a relaxing afternoon than a hammock chair. First off, hammocks are awesome. There’s no argument there. Also, they’re very affordable. On top of that, they take up as much space as a few T-shirts. Some of the best hammock chairs out in the market can find online. You just have to figure out which one is best for you. They’re all great, but only a select few may be perfect for your size and dimensions.

Tools You Didn’t Know you Needed

What’s in your backpack? The essentials are always going to be the same no matter what. But some are just a bit better than others. These are some classic favorites to help save space and maximize your load:


This Japanese gardening knife is known as a “soil knife.” It’s not just for gardening, though. It’s the best all-around tool for scooping, cutting, setting, and providing a flat enough surface to measure with. It’s the all-around best tool in your arsenal, bar none.

-Cooking system

A good compact system for boiling water and, therefore, cooking absolutely anything Sous Vide, is the best thing you can get. Yes, a fire is great, but packing pots and such is a pain. They’re heavy and don’t have much use outside of being a hunk of metal to cook things. You can easily cook a steak to perfection and char the meat to give it the flavor you want.


Having a couple of books with you on your travels will save you a lot of boring downtime. Another more practical suggestion is bringing along a kindle; this way you can carry as many books as you want without weighing down your backpack.


As you wait in the airport lounge or on the plane, train, or bus, passing the time while listening to your favorite music or watching shows you have downloaded to your mobile will be a lifesaver during those long, boring hours.


While this is not a form of entertainment, it is an essential component for your comfort. Being able to catch up on a few hours of sleep anywhere you are can help you overcome tiredness and jet lag, giving you a much-needed boost of energy. Having a small pillow or a neck pillow to plop on anywhere will prove to be very practical.

Convenience essentials

Things to Bring When Traveling


Yes, while we all have a flashlight feature on our mobiles, it is not enough to get us through emergencies. If you are an avid hiker or an international camper; this is a must-have piece of gear to backpack with that can help you out in dark spots, in the event of a power outage, or just for finding your way to the toilet at a campsite. If you are not sure which type to pick, check out this review on the best AAA flashlights to help you pick out a light and compact one. There are many types of flashlights; however, all you need is a small flashlight with a clip-on that you can easily attach to your backpack, and you’re good to go.

Universal adapter 

Many of us forget this little gadget. Having a universal travel adapter is important. Simply put, there are at least 12 types of different sockets that are used around the world, which can be quite tricky to work with. Remember to get a small adapter that fits the types of plugs you will be using.

Related Read: Backpackers Guide to Cambodia

Foldable day bag

While you already have your backpack, and you want to travel light, it is just common sense to bring along an extra bag that can be used when needed. There are plenty of foldable, lightweight bags that you can pack with you. This bag will be useful when you want to leave your backpack in the hotel room, if you are just going for a day trip, or use it as a shopping bag for souvenirs and outlet shopping.

Depending on your destination and plans, this list of Things to Bring When backpacking. However, the above are suggestions that cover the essentials we believe will be useful regardless of the country you are traveling to. Granted, you will most likely be able to find an alternative to anything else you need while planning your trip. Remember not to over pack and keep your backpack as light as possible to be able to enjoy your travels to the max.

Any way you cut it, backpacking is about efficiency and reliability. Stick to these options and, not only will you have the time of your life, you’ll save space and your spine doing so. Have fun!

Last Updated on September 28, 2023

One thought on “The Complete Backpacking Gear Checklist”

  1. I suggest the edc from fenix store which you may also use for hiking, camping, or any outdoor activities. Their flashlights are so bright and have high-quality material, even their compact lights are very powerful and efficient to use.

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