Backpacking Checklist for 2023
We cover everything you need for a successful backpacking trip, from essentials like shelter and insulation to extras like matches and sunscreen
Whether you’re a first-time backpacker or a seasoned veteran, everyone could use a good list to make sure they’re prepared when they head out on the trail. Our detailed checklist below covers everything from critical backpacking equipment (tent, pack, sleeping bag, etc.) to kitchen gear, footwear and clothing, health and hygiene products, and personal items and extras. For more information on each product category, many of the headings link to our detailed product round-ups, which are the result of years of testing and opinions (we do love backpacking). And for all our product recommendations in one place, see the landing page for our backpacking gear reviews.
Whether you’re headed out for a quick overnight or embarking on a multi-day mission deep into the backcountry, the gear below is what we bring on every trip to comfortably spend days and nights outdoors. We've also included a handful of optional items that may or may not be worth packing depending on your preferences and objective(s).
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Sawyer Insect Repellent is a versatile picaridin spray recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as safe and effective for most people. Our testers liked the evaporating smell and how the spray feels once it dries.
Insects and arachnids that bite in self-defense instead of to feed -- such as yellow jackets, bees, wasps, hornets, certain ants or spiders -- cannot be repelled with insect repellents.
The number of bug-borne diseases is increasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the number of places they're spreading to is also on the rise.
From the Squad
Campfire conversations with our community, from Squad Members and Ambassadors to Brand Partners and the Sawyer team.