Each backpacking gear list below is a full rundown, item by item, of what you’d need to accomplish a backpacking trip in each category. In many cases, items remain the same, but in others they are swapped out for another something more suited for that mission.
These lists are designed for one single person so if you’re headed out with a friend and intend on sleeping in the same shelter, you’ll want to adjust accordingly (i.e. get a larger tent).
Each of these are based off of my personal experiences in both backpack hunting, thru-hiking, and general backpacking, but by no means is this the ONLY way to backpack. In nearly every case, I myself have used this gear so I can personally speak to it’s quality and function. If I haven’t personally used the gear, I know those who have that speak to the quality and function of the items.
Everyone has their style and preferences on gear so as you go through each list, consider for yourself what you might change out for your situation.
Affiliate Disclosure Statement: Some of the links inside of these lists are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Backpacking Essentials Checklist
A printable checklist detailing exactly what you need for any overnight backpacking trip. This resource gives you the bare minimums you’ll need when spending a night in the wilderness but does not suggest a specific item. This is a template to work from when planning a backpacking trip.
Lightweight Backpacking Gear List
For those looking to reduce their pack weight and are willing to give up few comfort items in return for the ability to extend those trips out and cover bigger miles, this is your gear list. Those in this category are normally doing less lounging and more moving.
Thru Hiking Gear List
Thru-hiking is one of the most amazing things you can do in the world of backpacking and there’s gear tailored toward this crowd for good reason. Thru-hiking requires you to be as efficient with your gear as possible along with being lightweight and durable.
If you’re planning a thru-hike or interested in having a minimalist gear list, this resource will get you on your way.
Backpack Hunting Gear List
Backpack hunting is a beast of its own. Those who fall into this category are unique and require a specific set of gear. The good thing is that most of the items needed for backpack hunting are what you’d need for general backpacking with just a few extra pieces to account for.