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Your Ultimate Backpacking Checklist (38 Things to Bring)

I’m an avid backpacker based in Colorado and after years of trial and error, I’ve pieced together the ultimate backpacking checklist!

This guide first overviews backpacking essentials — gear that’s crucial for survival in the wilderness. Then, I share gear specific to certain situations, like backpacking in winter and in bear country, plus a few luxury items often seen in a car camping kit.  

I also suggest what clothing to pack depending on the season, and provide tips to ensure a safe, enjoyable experience. You won’t find a more comprehensive resource than this!

Read Abigail Bliss's full backpacking checklist here.


September 27, 2023

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Abigail Bliss

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A 20% DEET Premium Controlled-Release Lotion will work well against mosquitoes, but Dr. Zimring says he prefers the 20% Picaridin lotion since it also protects against ticks, gnats, chiggers, and flies. (In both instances, he recommends Sawyer brand.)

Rachel Schultz
Editorial Director


Part of spending time outside means battling ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects. For this, Nelson swears by permethrin.



And out of the products we tested, Dr. Zeichner highly recommends Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent.

Samson McDougall