I will preface this post by saying a few things…
I am NOT an ultra light backpacker not do I have unlimited funds to go get the top level gear. I try to be practical with my purchases. I also like being comfortable, so I carry a few things that many ultra light backpackers do not carry, but they make me happy!
What I carry greatly depends on who I am hiking with, and what the hike will entail. When I am hiking with Zack/friends I don’t have to carry everything because we can split the shared items like a tent/bear canister etc!
In addition, everyone is different, so your list and what you deem “necessary” for a backpacking trip might be different! To me it is all about testing yourself and your gear to sort out something that works for you!
I will use my first solo backpacking trip because this would encompass almost everything you could need if you were going it alone…
The photo above was my starting point… it includes things that I decided I did not need that got vetted out… like a bear canister (January in the North East USA it is not required), snow shoes (my hiking plans changed, so I didn’t wind up needing them). Additionally, some of this changes by the season, obviously you won’t need snowshoes in the summer (in most climates) and your clothing might change a little!
The photo also includes things you would not need in general… All of Nova’s gear would not be something you would need to pack, unless you had a 140lb dog accompanying you!!!
Gear for Backpacking – Does not include what I packed for my dog!
- 65L Osprey Ariel
- The 65L was the perfect size for Nova & I’s single night winter gear. I would say 80% of my backpacking trips the 65L has been a touch on the large size, but since it is my go-to bag I do not mind at all!
- Rain Fly (Large Osprey)
- 3L Bladder with inline Sawyer Mini
- JetBoil & Lighter/Torch & Storm Proof Matches
- Freeze Dried Chicken & Ramen Package
- Snacks – I almost always carry extra snacks, I hate being hungry:
- (2) Single Serve Almond Butter
- (1) Cliff Bar
- (1) Honey Singer Cnack
- (1) Natti Bar Snack
- (1) Tea Bag & Single Serve Honey
- Tampons (Yay periods!)
- Kula Cloth
- You can read my little review here: In summary… It is the most wonderful leave no trace solution to TP for #1!
- Toilet Paper (for #2) & ZipBlock to Carry Out TP and Tampons
- Poop Shovel
- Sleeping Pad
- Sleeping Bag
- Sleeping Bag Liner
- Luci Light – For Tent Lighting
- Hiking Poles
- Tooth Brush & Tooth Paste
- Body Wipe (I personally love Dude Wipe Singles!)
- (1) Towel
- (1) Pair of Boots
- (2) Pairs of Socks
- I always like to pack two pairs of socks… Putting frozen socks on the next morning is a horrible experience I do not wish to repeat!
- (1) Pants
- (1) Pair of Knee Height Gaiters
- (1) Sports Bra
- (1) Tank Top
- (2) Long Sleeve Shirts
- (1) Vest
- (1) Down Jacket
- (1) Rain Jacket
- (2) Neck Gaiters (Buffs!)
- Mine tend to get all snotty & moist, so I like to carry 2!
- (1) Winter Hat
- (1) Baseball Cap
Winter Specific – Traction Devices: