Backpacking List

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Insulated Sleeping Mat
  • Water Bottle/ Water Bladder
  • (Optional) Backpack cover if rain is predicted (or heavy garbage bag)
  • Personal Items:
    • Toothbrush
    • Spare socks
    • (Optional) Bandana or quick-dry towel
    • Spare underwear
    • (Optional) Extra clothes for very cold weather: long underwear (if worn clothes do not suffice)
    • (Optional) Extra clothes for hot weather: water clothes (if worn clothes do not suffice)
  • Diapers, wipes, and cream for baby (be sure you have a trash bag big enough)
  • (Optional) Extra clothes based on behavior of kids – Will they get very dirty or wet? Will they likely have pee/poop accidents? Will they need extra insulation at night (if they do not use a sleeping bag)?
  • (Optional) Allergy medicine for kids, if you are concerned about allergic responses
  • Wear on the trip:
    • Hat
    • Layers that can be worn around the waste or stowed
    • Water-proof windbreaker
    • Worn-in, sturdy hiking shoes (sneakers are fine if they offer enough support)
  • Food/Dishes (family):
    • (Optional) Pick-me-ups for the trail for kids: Jelly beans, dried fruit, gummy candy, or other treats that will not melt and can raise blood sugar relatively instantly
    • Snacks and Lunch: Dehydrated/low water content snacks (GORP, dried fruit, bars, jerky) – we recommend letting each person carry their own, but monitor consumption
    • Breakfast: Oatmeal, tea and coffee (sugar cubes and dried creamer optional)
    • Dinner: Dehydrated meal, Dehydrated soup (appetizer for dehydrated meal dinner), fruit tea
    • Mug/heat-proof cup (1 per person) — bring one with marks for measuring water if you need to; you can make your own marks with a permanent marker before packing
    • (Optional) Bowl if mug capacity is not great or you plan to use your mug and bowl at once
    • Spork or other utensils (1 or more per person)
    • Two large Ziploc bags – one for combining food and toiletries for storage at night, and another for trash (a sleeping bag stuff sack could be used for combining food for storage at night instead)
    • (Optional) Paper towels (2) for clean-up
  • Things to share (family):
    • Tent
    • Duct tape (1 yard or less – you can wrap this around trekking poles or another smooth surface like a water bottle),
    • Toilet paper (just what you need)
    • (Optional) Small plastic spade for digging a cat hole for poop
    • Basic first aid kit: bandaids and antibacterial ointment, safety pin (for slivers), 3 strike-anywhere wooden matches, iodide water-treatment pills (3), emergency numbers, $1, NSAIDS, prescription medications or other special needs (epi-pen?)
    • Trash bag (for dirty/wet clothes, trash that doesn’t fit in the ziploc bags, etc.)
    • Map of where you are going and how to get there
    • Flashlight/headlamp and extra batteries (ideally one flashlight per very mobile person)
  • Things to share (multi-family):
    • Stove with pot for water and fuel (pots are not for more than water) – we’ll have at least two for large groups
    • Water filter (or more than one, if a large group is relying on it for clean water) with very large Ziploc for collecting water to filter from (if there is no pooled water)
    • Sunscreen
    • Toothpaste (travel size)
    • (Optional) Bug Spray (if backpacking in areas with lots of biting bugs)
    • First aid kit with tweezers/gel for ticks, emergency medicine supplies
    • Rope/twine for hanging food or wet clothes
    • (Optional) Soap-permeated cloth for cleaning dishes if you won’t be licking them clean/using them last for a hot water drink
    • Compass and/or GPS with extra batteries(1 per group traveling together)
    • Emergency Whistle (1 per group traveling together)
    • (Optional) SPOT beacon
  • Additional great stuff (all optional):
    • Deck of cards
    • Trekking Poles
    • Camera
    • Journal with pencil, books
    • Favorite small toy – we recommend Matchbox car/truck or a blow-up beach ball
  • Other ways to save weight:
    • Remove optional pockets on your backpack
    • Leave spare clothes and pillows at home – existing gear can be re-used, bare feet can be used instead of water shoes, and you can stuff a jacket in your sleeping bag stuff sack for a pillow
    • Remove extra packaging from food
    • Use a water bladder instead of a hard water bottle
    • Cut pages out of books, rather than bringing a whole book, or just leave the book at home
    • Use the smallest number of stuff sacks you really need
    • Use lightweight, multi-purpose gear
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