10 Essentials for Backpacking


  1. Clothing

  2. Food

  3. Tent

  4. Sleeping Bag

  5. Water / Filter

  6. Swiss Army Knife

  7. Fire Starter / Lighter

  8. First-Aid Kit

  9. Flashlight

  10. Map / Compass


You might also wish to bring:



  • Cook Stove

  • Whistle

  • Insect Repellent

  • Repair Kit: cloth tape, ripstop tape, safety pins, pliers

  • Toilet Kit: toothbrush & paste, soap, small towel,
    toilet paper.

  • Other: fishing tackle, notepad & pencil, etc.


The most important essential , however, is not on the list--"Common Sense". Having the right gear is one thing, knowing how and when to use it is quite another. Most often, it`s not a person`s equipment that saves their bacon. It`s their experience, know-how, and good judgment.



Conversely, it is generally inexperience and lack of good judgment that gets people into trouble. Not only must we have the proper equipment -- including the ten essentials plus four -- and know how to use them, but we must also cultivate knowledge and wisdom related to the backcountry activities that we engage in--thru self-study, courses, and leveraging off the experiences of others.