It’s okay to feel a bit jittery on your first backpacking experience. You may feel uncertain about your preparation for that outdoor trip and saturated with so many emotions. I know as a fact, given that I’ve backpacked around the world for 7 years straight 🙂

But while there are some gear items designed to meet specific goals, there are others that are suitable for all kinds of outdoor trips.

Backpacking gear is built lightweight, designed to be portable, and can be comfortably transported over very long distances while at the back of a camper (or your back!). It is multipurpose as it can keep you drier and warmer, and help to prevent injury.

So, whether you’re backpacking as a total newbie or have already achieved one or two trips, you may now want to acquire your backpacking gear and would need to get essential items that are suitable for all kinds of outdoor trips.

Read on to find out some essential backpacking items you should pack on your next trip!

Desperately try to fit all my stuff back into my backpack! Bangkok – 2012, now I know better 😀

Crucial Questions To Consider Before you Fill Your Backpack:

Going over a wide array of options can be quite demanding. But you can start to narrow it down by providing answers to two questions. These will help you make better-informed decisions.

In what weather conditions do you intend to backpack?

If the climate is quite favorable, warm weather backpacking gear items will be just fine. However, if it would be during the rainy season or winter, then you’ll have to prioritize warm waterproof materials.

Will you be more at the camp or out there hiking?

Providing answers to these questions will help you decide whether to travel with some comfort gear choices or go light. However, regardless of your outdoor trips, you’ll find these backpacking gear items indispensable.

1. Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags are highly important gear items for camping. Vital things to look into include the type of fill, temperature rating, weight and packability, shape, durability, and maybe cost. Modern models are very efficient during cold weather and in the face of abuse from dogs and kids.

2. Lightweight Backpacking Tents

While having a quality down sleeping bag on your list is important, choosing a tent is equally as important. The tent serves as your safe, sheltered home away from home.

It is necessary to consider a tent that is spacious, durable, waterproof, and can be easily set up and packed. For more comfort, consider a larger backpacking tent to relish the extra space accompanied by backpacking sleeping pads and footprints or a small tarp for the floor.

3. Backpacking Clothing and Personal Items

The weather condition should determine your choice of clothing and what to pack for this kind of adventure. But generally, you’ll need folded hiking clothes, including shoes, base layer, raincoat, and so on (check out my article on what to pack for a round-the-world trip to have an idea!)

Other items to bring on include rain pants or jackets, gloves, hat (warm beanie and sunshade), mid-layer, insulation, headlamp, toothbrush and paste, boredom duster, and phones.

4. Backpacking Survival Checklist

Factors such as a first aid kit, knife, headlamp, and compass are necessary depending on the location you are camping, several participants, how long your trip would last, and a few other factors. For instance, snowshoeing in the North Country will not attract the same survival gear as backpacking in the desert.

However, general items should also include a whistle, survival blanket, multi-tool, duct tape, lighter, compass, hard copy map, and waterproof matches.

5. Resistant Footwear

For your backpacking footwear, you may either want to opt for some light footwear options or durable boots. And if your outdoor experience will likely include multiple stream crossings, then consider adding waterproof footwear or sandals to your pack, and avoid footwear that can cause trips.

Your choice of camping location and footwear preferences determine so much here, but whatever your choices are, ensure to properly break them in. Go with hiking shoes or boots, hiking socks, lighter camp footwear, and a blister repair kit.

My dear friend Dino, camping in the wild in Tibet. I’ve learned a thing or two from him. Legend!

6. Backcountry Kitchen Utensils

There are multiple options to consider for your kitchen needs – micro light stoves, collapsible bowls, and fancy utensils. Include backpacking kitchen items such as fuel canisters, personal mess kit including bowl, mug, and items for eating.

Add cooking pots that are big enough to serve the number of campers, a water purifying system (such as bleach, iodine, and water filter), a water-carrying container, and biodegradable soap.

To Put It All Together


Get your trip all planned out by including these items. It may seem like a huge list of items but you do not have to buy everything at once. Improvise and include different versions of the items that are readily available in your house.

Like it is very likely you already have a pocket knife, lighter, and a box of matches around your house. For folks getting into the outdoor space with reliable weather apps, the costs of items shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your goal.

The enlisted backpacking gear items here will help make your next outdoor trip a lot more enjoyable. Get their alternatives if you are unable to acquire any of the items on your budget and launch out!

Do you still have any doubts? Leave me a comment below and have a safe, adventurous trip. Cheers!

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