NW Backpacking Checklist

ESSENTIAL GEAR, “Gear that IF you are injured will help you survive the night”

1. Extra food

2. Water Pump/filter or water-purifying tablets (Aquamira) Water container – include a backup water bottle if you use a Camelback – it could freeze, leak or fail.

3. Hypothermia Protection: Rain jacket and pants, warm head cover/hat, extra gloves,waterproof overgloves, warm jacket, emergency space blanket.

4. Headlamp with good batteries.

5. Toilet paper (some might consider this essential . . . )

6. Topo map and compass.

7. Sun Protection: sunscreen, lip protection, sun glasses.

8. First Aid Kit.

9. Water proof matches, lighter. Consider fire starter for wet environments – like
wax-soaked paper towels or vaseline-soaked cotton balls.

10. Pocket knife or Leatherman tool.


CHECKLIST (consider each item, not all will be needed)

Polyester shirt
Bug shirt in highly buggy areas.
One long-sleeved nylon shirt for wind and insect protection
Polyester underwear and long underwear
Baseball-style brimmed hat or wide brimmed hat for sun protection
Synthetic headband
Stocking cap for sleeping
Socks and spare socks, possibly sock liners
Gloves and extra gloves, waterproof overgloves
Light cotton gloves to protect hands while hiking.
Rain jacket / Rain Pants
Warm cap with ear flaps / Balaclava for severe cold wind
Hiking Boots that fit and will work without injuring feet, extra laces
Possible Extras:
Notebook, pencil, pen.
Swim suit
Spare laces
Camera, extra batteries
Sit pad or camp chair
Camp shoes (aqua socks can help with stream crossings –
used with thick pile socks they make good camp shoes)
Microspikes for traction on ice
Hiking poles
Extra clothes and supplies for the trip home.
Toilet paper and zip lock bags to carry out toilet paper
Small trowel
Toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, comb
Dr. Bonner’s soap
Synthetic pack towel and pack washcloth (smaller piece of pack towel).
Vaseline for skin care, and or moisturizing cream
Insect repellent
Ear plugs
Sun Protection: sunscreen, lip protection, sun glasses.
Swiss army knife or Leatherman.
Overnight gear:
Back pack – fitted and adjusted.
Light small nylon pack for day hikes and to carry toiletries – OR Camelback which
seconds as water carrier.
If a Camelback is taken, an additional quart jug should be carried as backup.
Tent – Rain fly – Ground Tarp (tent footprint) – stakes
Consider space blanket or small tarp to cover gear left outside of tent.
Bring a waterproof container/sack that can hold all your food, and be hung from a tree.
Rope to hang food from trees
Small amount of nylon cord to help secure tent if needed, or to hang clothes to dry / few
clothes pins.
Thermorest sleep pad
Sleeping Bag (0-20 degrees F).
Rain cover for pack, or waterproof inner bag to protect bag contents
Extra plastic bags to keep gear dry.
Ear plugs (if you sleep near a noisy companion)
First Aid Kit/ Repair kit:
Consider: Imodium, Benadryl, Gaviscon antacid, Ibuprofen, Afrin nasal spray
Consider baby wipes for personal hygiene.
Gauze and tape for bleeding wounds.
Tegoderm (thin plastic air-permeable, water impermeable adhesive sheets) or
equivalent for abrasions.
Antibacterial ointment.
Steroid lotion for allergic skin reactions.
Band aides
Blister pad material like second skin, or moleskin
Moisturizing Cream or ointment or paste for very dry environments.
Sewing repair kit
Duct tape
Alcohol wipes
A small scissors on a pocket knife can be invaluable.
Steri-Strips for small lacerations.
A few safety pins
Trianglar bandage for upper extremity injuries
Enough food and snacks.
Stove, fuel, windscreen – repair kit for stove – base for stove to add stability if needed
Pot for heating water / cooking meals
Pot cleaning materials (small sponge)
Dip cup for pot.
Waterproof matches and lighter
Bowl/spoon/insulated mug
Water bag to hang from tree – convenient in camp, low weight.
self-supporting plastic water bucket
Water purifying pump, UV light, or chemical (Aqua Mira – chlorine dioxide)
Navigation / Communication
Map, compass
GPS, appropriate maps loaded, extra batteries
Recreational two-way radios with weather band
Cell phone
Snow Gear
Avalanche Beacon
Ice axe
Pelvic Harness and Chest harness
Rope, slings, carabiners for climbing, locking biners
Snow saw, snow anchors, ice screws
Snow stakes for tent, or ditty-bag snow anchors
Backcountry Skiing
Ski poles
Ski binding repair kit
Climbing bails for skis
Ski wax and applicators
Safety plan left with a friend
Backup plan with radios – backup meeting place
Altimeter watch – set for known altitude.
Old rain pants to protect climbing pants while glissading

Click here for a printable PDF of this list.

Click here for the list in Word format.

Please leave a comment below if you find items of importance that should be on this list and aren’t, or you have comments that will improve the list’s utility.

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