Ultimate Backpacking Checklist - Fire Maple

Ultimate Backpacking Checklist

Backpacking is one of the most popular budget-friendly travel activities, and for good reason. It allows you to explore a new place at your own pace, without worrying about logistics or hassles. However, before you hit the road, there are a few things you should make sure to pack. In this blog post, we’ll outline our top backpacking checklist, including items that are essential for any trip. From luggage to food and everything in between, make sure to check this out to get started on packing your dream vacation!

Permits and Access

When planning your backpacking trip, it's important to remember that you will need a permit and access to certain areas in order to enjoy the park. Here is a comprehensive list of what you'll need in order to backpack in any national park:


  • National Park Permit
  • Backpacker Permit (if applicable)
  • Camping Permit (if applicable)
  • Extravehicular Activity Permit (EVP) (if applicable)

Each place has different restrictions and guidelines for accessing specific areas, so be sure to read the Accessibility Information before arrival. This information will tell you everything from which trails are open to conditions for rafting or climbing. Always take note of these restrictions in case of anything changes while you're away!

Backpack and Storage

If you're planning a backpacking trip, there are a few things you'll need before packing your bags: 

Here's a checklist of the most important items for any backpacking trip:

  • Backpack: The size, shape, and weight of your backpack will depend on the type of trip you're taking and your intended destination. A good rule of thumb is to pack as lightly as possible while still being able to transport all your gear.
  • Storage: It's important to have enough storage space in your backpack to hold food and supplies, as well as extra clothes or rain gear if necessary. Try to choose a backpack that has compartments divided by zip-up mesh pockets or external straps.
  • Sleeping bag: A good sleeping bag is essential for a comfortable night's sleep on the trail. Choose one that is lightweight and has a warm rating.

Clothing and Footwear

When packing for a backpacking trip, it is important to pack the right clothing and footwear. Here are some recommended items:

  • Clothing: If you are traveling in hot weather, bring lightweight clothing that can be easily taken off if necessary. For cooler climates, bring clothes that can be layered and insulated.
  • Footwear: Make sure your footwear is comfortable and sturdy enough to support your weight while walking long distances. Sandals or flip-flops are not recommended for hiking or backpacking because they offer no support and may become uncomfortable after a while. Try to find sneakers or boots that have good ankle support.
  • Sunscreen: It’s essential to use sunscreen when outdoors in the sun, whether you’re hiking or traveling by airplane. Apply sunscreen liberally before going outside, reapply every two hours, and wear a hat with a brim if possible.

Food and Water

When planning your backpacking trip, it is important to remember that food and water are essential for survival. Make sure to pack enough food and drink to last the length of your trip, and be prepared for any weather conditions that may arise.

Here are some food and water items you should always pack when backpacking:

  • Water bottle: Fill up your water bottle before each day's hike, as well as on long days when you'll be stopping for extended periods of time.
  • Utensils: Pack a knife, fork, spoon, cup, bowl, and spork.
  • Snacks: Bring some snacks with you in case you run out of food along the way. Pack dried fruits, nuts, energy bars, or trail mix.
  • A stove or campfire starter kit including a lighter or matches

Toiletries and Hygiene

Be sure to pack the pack these items:

  • Toilet paper
  • Tissues
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant

Navigation and Maps

One of the most important things when packing for a backpacking trip is ensuring you have access to maps and navigation. A good way to ensure you always have access to maps is by carrying a GPS unit or mapping app on your phone. A map or guide is essential for finding your way around unfamiliar territory. Make sure to bring both a topographical map and detailed directions for trails and checkpoints along the way.

Medical and First Aid

Backpacking is a great way to explore new places and meet new people, but it can also be dangerous if you don't take the necessary precautions. This checklist will help ensure that you are prepared for any medical or first aid needs that may arise along your backpacking journey.

Be sure to pack plenty of medication and supplies for minor wounds and insect bites. Include bandages, antiseptics, antibacterial ointment, sterile wipes, creams, and plasters. In case of an emergency, know how to use basic first aid supplies like oxygen masks and tourniquets.

Always consult a doctor before backpacking if you have any pre-existing health conditions. And if something goes wrong while you're out in the wild, know how to get help. Carry phone numbers for local hospitals and rescue teams on hand in case of an emergency.

Emergency and Signalling

While packing your backpack you should also include emergency and signaling kit which consists of:

  • Whistle
  • Signal mirror
  • Backpack signal mirror
  • Map or compass
  • Extra batteries for all electronic devices

Games and Entertainment

Games and entertainment can be a huge part of any trip, whether you’re on an all-inclusive resort or backpacking the world. Here are some games and entertainments that will make your travels more enjoyable:

  • Board games – Whether it’s traditional board games like chess or checkers or new digital versions like Settlers of Catan, there are plenty of options to choose from. And if you get bored waiting for your turn, playing against friends is always a fun way to pass the time.
  • Card games – Card games like Poker or blackjack can also provide hours of entertainment. 
  • Games with puzzles – Jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and other types of puzzles can be a lot of fun to do on your own or with friends while traveling. You can even find puzzle apps for smartphones that make it easy to carry around wherever you go.
  • Board and card games with strategy – Like Risk or Settlers of Catan, these kinds of games require thought and planning in order to achieve victory. They’re perfect for long plane rides or car trips where boredom sets in easily.
  • Video gaming –There are plenty of video games available that you can include in your checklist for entertainment.