Deciding on what to bring on a backpacking trip can be quite challenging. In most cases, you find yourself with a small backpack and a lot of things to carry. However, you don’t have to carry everything that you think you might need. You must first decide on the essentials and what you can do without.

Deciding on what to bring starts with knowing where to visit and how many days you will camp. Is the place remote and how is the weather forecast? The more remote the place is, the more food, clothing, and gear you will need. The camping tent you bring is also determined by the place you will camp and weather conditions there.

Below, we discuss some of the main things to bring on a backpacking trip.

Backpack with rain cover

A quality backpack is among the first essentials to buy. This is where you’re going to fit all your gear, food, clothing and other personal items. You can prepare for a backpacking trip without a backpacker. Make sure you choose a waterproof backpack or one that comes with a rain cover. This will help protect your gear, food, and clothing from water leakages in case of rainfall.
There are varieties of backpacks out there to choose from. Make sure you choose one that is comfortable to carry, extremely durable and well-designed. You can go for a small backpack or a bigger one depending on the number of items you plan to carry. This again depends on the number of days you plan to camp. However, always aim to pack light.

Backpacking tent

A backpacking tent will provide you with shelter on your campsite. Again, there are varieties of tents to choose from. You can choose a 1-person, 2-person, 3-person or 4-person capacity depending on the number of people on the trip. If you plan to camp as a group, each person can carry their backpack and a tent. The choice usually comes down to what best works for you.

You also need to consider the season of the year and choose a matching tent. Some ultralight backpacking tents are designed for a 2-seasons while others serve well in all 4 seasons.

Food checklist

Did you know food tastes better when on trips? The reason might be more hunger due to long hiking and trekking days in the wild. When it comes to packing food, you need to consider the number of persons on the trip and the days you will spend on the trip. In addition, consider the distance of the camping site from the nearest shops.

You can choose two categories of food. Go with instant foods that require no preparation since they come in handy when hungry. You can also choose foods that require preparation like powdered sauce and pasta. It is always good to have options when it comes to your food choices. You also need to carry drinking water with you. However, remember you will need water for bathing, washing clothes and preparing food. So, make sure you don’t camp further away from a water source.

Clothing checklist

This is one area where people tend to mess and add unnecessary weight to their camping trip. You only need to bring two or at most three sets of clothing on your trip. However, make sure you have enough socks and underwear every day. One set of cloth is for sleeping and is the only set the needs to remain fresh and clean.
When it comes to hiking or trekking in the woods, you have to do with a single set or two at most. After all, there is no need to wear fresh clothes only to sweat after a few minutes.

Hygiene and toiletries

Toiletries might seem small but usually take a lot of space and are quite heavy. Toiletries like deodorants, makeup and shampoo are useless on your trip and occupy unnecessary space on your backpack. Go with basic things like toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, wipes, and sunscreen. There is no point looking all fresh in the backcountry.


While some people think this is an unnecessary waste of space, photography gears are necessary. What is the point of a backpacking trip if you cannot bring some memory home with you? Make sure you have a small camera and a solar charger with you.

Medical checklist

It is worth packing a small first-aid kit with you and some basic medicines. Get a pre-assembled first aid kit with personal medicines such as asthma inhalers. You can also add painkillers, disinfectants, mosquito repellent, bandages, etc. You don’t want a small headache running your day just because you didn’t carry some painkillers.

Final verdict

In conclusion, the best advice when it comes to backpacking is to pack light. You only need to carry the essentials. Carrying a heavy backpack is an added inconvenience that ends up making the trip boring and tiring.