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Backpacking Gear Checklist

Before starting ANY hiking or backpacking trip, you should always review your equiptment.  You never want to ASSUME that you have everything you need or its all working properly.  Things happen, like: stuff expires, batteries die, parts are missing or broken from previous trips and forgotten to be repaired or replaced, etc.

The items in this checklist need to be adjusted to your needs, available space in your backpack, where your hiking, and the season:

Note: When checking your items to take into account some items may have failed, expired, have missing or broken parts or died while sitting in your bags.
  • Backpack (w/rain cover)
    • Check for holes, tears, or any other damage
  • Bear spray
    • Make sure its not empty and is easily accessible in an emergency.
  • Book
  • Camera
    • Make sure it's operational and batteries are charged
    • Make sure you have enough storage on your removable media.
    • Clean your lens just to be on the safe side
  • Can opener
  • Cell phone/MP3 Player/Smartphone
    • Make sure it's operational and the batteries are charged
    • Make sure you have headphones, they can be handy during the quiet times to play music, games or take pictures
  • Compass
  • Cold Weather Gear: Jacket/Gloves/Hat/Gaiters/Down Vest
  • Laundry bag
    • This bag will help you quickly distinguish/organize the clean clothes from the dirty.
    • Consider using a plastic grocery bag, they're cheap and lightweight.
  • Fishing gear
    • Make sure you have all your bait and other accessories
  • Food
    • If have dehydrated food make sure it has not expired.
  • Fork/Spoon/Plate/Cup
  • Garbage bag for food product waste
    • Consider using a plastic grocery bag, they're cheap and lightweight.
  • GPS unit
    • Make sure it's operational and batteries are charged
    • Make sure to load the appropriate maps.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Headlamp/Flashlight
    • Make sure it's operational and the batteries are charged
  • Hiking boots or shoes
  • Insect repellent
    • Make sure it has not expired or is empty.
  • Knife
    • Make sure its sharp.
  • Maps
    • Make sure you have the maps for the location that you will be traveling.
  • Clothes (Pants, shirts, socks underwear)
  • Lip balm
    • Make sure it has not expired or is empty.
  • Money
    • Make sure you have enough cash for basic emergencies and if traveling international the correct type of currency used in the local area
  • Paper/Pen/Pencil
  • Permits (Parking/Park)
    • Make sure that you have correct type of permits used in the local area
  • Pillow
  • Playing cards
  • Rain gear (coat, pants, parka)
  • Clothes (e.g.: Shirts, shorts, pants, socks, Sweater. Thermal underwear)
  • Flashlight/Headlamp
    • Make sure it's operational and the batteries are charged
  • Sleeping bag pad
  • Tent or Bivy sack
    • Set it up, check for holes, make sure you have all the parts and nothing is broken.
  • Stove (including fuel, pans)
    • Make sure that you have all your accessories, and enough fuel for your stove.
  • Sunblock
    • Make sure it has not expired or is empty.
  • Sunglasses
    • Make sure bring croakies to make sure they're not accidentally knocked off by something. 
    • If you're going to be camping, I would recommend a hard glasses case, to prevent you from accidentally crushing them in the tent.
  • Tarp or Groundsheet
  • Toiletries (e.g.: Soap, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Shampoo, and Toilet paper)
    • Make sure nothing has expired or is empty.
  • Towel
  • Trekking poles
  • Umbrella
  • Watch
  • Water (bladder, bottles, filter, purification tablets)
    • Make sure the tablets have not expired or and that you have enough.
    • Some filters need to be cleaned or parts replaced regularly
Survival/First Aid Kit
  • Whistle
  • Tweezers
  • Compass
  • Strong string
    • Make sure enough for the trip.
  • Waterproof matches
    • Make sure enough for the trip.
  • Ace bandage
    • Make sure enough of the right variety.
  • Aspirin or medication
    • Make sure it has not expired or is empty.
  • Fire starters
    • Make sure enough for the trip.
  • Duct tape
    • Make sure enough for the trip.
  • First aid kit
    • Make sure the items in the kit have not expired or are empty.
  • Lighter/Matches
    • Make sure your lighter has enough fuel
  • Handkerchief or bandana
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