Backpacking Checklist: What To Bring For An Overnight Backpacking Trip

Is this your first time backpacking? There’s nothing in the world like backpacking. You and your friends can go on an incredible adventure, seeing new surroundings while taking in the beauty of the great outdoors.

But you probably have no idea what to pack. Different locations and events call for different materials. There are a few different items that all backpackers should have for their adventure.

Don’t leave your overnight backpacking trip unprepared. Before going on your trip, use this backpacking checklist to ensure you have all required backpacking items for your safety.


No matter where you go, you must be sure you know where you’re going. First-time backpackers may think their phones and GPS is all they need. But you can’t guarantee you’ll get signal while deep in the woods.

If you’re backpacking in a nature reserve or park, the company will provide a map. Other important navigation items include a compass and altimeter.

Sun Protection

Unless you’re hiking in the snow, you’re likely hiking and backpacking while it’s hot.

With the sun shining, the last thing you want is a sunburn. Always bring sun protection with you. One of the first items you should back is sunscreen, preferably a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least 15 SPF.

Other sun protective items include a hat, long sleeves and long pants, SPF lip balm, and sunglasses.


Hiking at night is dangerous.

If you’re backpacking deep in the woods, there aren’t streetlights. You’ll be sucked into the pitch black and won’t be able to see potential predators.

Always carry a flashlight or a headlamp. Bring extra batteries to ensure you’ll always have light.

But you may think your phone flashlight will work. However, you can’t be sure your phone will stay charged for your trip. Always have a flashlight or headlamp just in case.

A First Aid Kit

While backpacking, you risk an injury. Always have a first aid kit on you. But first aid kits come in all forms with different materials. Here’s what your first aid kit should include:

  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Bandages
  • Gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Blister treatment
  • Ibuprofen
  • Insect treatment (bites or stings)
  • Antihistamines
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Poison ivy treatment

Keep in mind, this is a basic checklist. If you have pre-diagnosed conditions, discuss this with your doctor and know which medications you should have on you.

Fire Supplies

If you’ll seriously be backpacking in the deep woods, you’ll need supplies to make a fire. A fire helps you cook and can warm you up during cold nights.

If there are plenty of dead branches and debris, you’ll only need a lighter or matches. But packing a fire starter is also safest.

Use This Backpacking Checklist for Your Next Adventure

As a beginner backpacker, you mean feel compelled to pack everything in your house.

While it’s best to be safe than sorry, there are only a few supplies you’ll truly need. This backpacking checklist includes all necessities, such as sun protection, first aid, and fire starters.

Each backpacking adventure is different. But as long as you have these supplies, you’ll be safe on your adventure.

For more backpacking information, visit our blog.

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