44 Backpacking Essentials | One-Page Pack and Checklist - Greenbelly Meals

The 44 Backpacking Essentials | One-Page Pack and Checklist


You always forget one item every trip. Or you spend hours meticulously sorting gear to ensure you have everything you need. Or you have no clue where to begin. No worries. We'll make sure you pack what you need and don't waste time doing it.

This is a pack list of the essential items needed to enjoy your time in the backcountry safely. We cut the fluff and keep it light. There are some scattered optional items to consider bringing. Open the Google Doc for a one-page printable version.

Related: Ultralight Gear Guide


1. Kitchen

2. Food and Water

Cup (~1 L) Food (~2 lbs per day) 31 Food Ideas
Spork Water (carry 1 L minimum at all times)
Stove Bottle (1L for Clean Water)
Fuel (Propane or Alcohol) Bottle (1L for Dirty Water)
Lighter or Waterproof Matches Filter or Purification Drops
Hand Sanitizer or Soap (optional) Stuff Sack (~10L capacity)

3. Backpack

4. Light

Pack (~40-65L capacity) Headlamp or Flashlight
Pack Liner or Pack Cover (optional) Extra Batteries

5. Sleep System

6. Toiletries

Pillow (inflatable) or Lined Stuff Sack Toothbrush
Sleeping Bag Toothpaste
Sleeping Pad Toilet Paper
(optional) Sleeping Bag Liner Medicine/ Pain Reliever

7. Shelter

8. Extra

Tent Band Aids or Duct Tape
Fly/ Rain Tarp Map or Navigation
Poles Watch
Stakes Knife
(optional) Guylines Bugspray
(optional) Footprint/ Ground Cloth Phone/ Camera

9. Clothes

10. (Optional Extras)

Top Layers Towel
Bottom Layers Trekking Poles
Underwear Gaiters
Socks Ear Plugs
Rain Shell Sunscreen
Headwear/ Bandana Sunglasses
Trail Runners or Boots
Camp Shoes



By Chris Cage
Chris launched Greenbelly Meals in 2014 after thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail for 6 months. Since then, Greenbelly has been written up by everyone from Backpacker Magazine and Bicycling Magazine to Fast Company and Science Alert. He recently wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail and currently works from his laptop all over the globe.