Backpacking Gear 101: This Is Literally Everything You’ll Need

by Julia on September 23, 2019

If you’ve ever wondered about what the ultimate adventure might be, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that there are plenty of options. Maybe it’s mountain climbing or skiing, and for some it’s probably skydiving or surfing. However, one option has the distinctiveness and excitement of all those combined, and that’s backpacking. When you’re out there with just a bag on your back, you’re experiencing nature in its rawest form and getting to know the surroundings in real-time, which is extremely exciting, and definitely educational. You also get to meet all sorts of people, which makes the journey more memorable. But you can’t just go on a backpacking trip without planning ahead, and that starts with making sure you have all the things you might need.

Read on to find out about the essential gear you’re going to need on the road.

A tent

It’s a no brainer that a tent should be the first item on the backpacking gear list. Sure, you’ll stay with the locals at times, and at others in cheap motels or hostels, but a tent is indispensable nonetheless. You might have to sleep in the countryside out in the open, or wherever your journey might take you, so you have to always be prepared for any possibility. There are different kinds of tents available, and they come with all sorts of options like extra padding and rainproof material. So know exactly what kind of terrain you’ll be facing so you are able to get the proper tent accordingly.


You may be wondering why this might be a necessity, but you’ll actually be needing it more than you think. If you’re planning on backpacking your way through popular locations, there are going to be other people around you, and you can never be too safe. So, bring some padlocks with you to secure your bag or your hostel locker, and you’ll sleep better at night knowing that your belongings are safe.

Sleeping bags

A sleeping bag would make your life so much easier when you’re backpacking, and it might even save it if the weather gets too cold. Whether it’s to protect you from the rough terrain you’ll be sleeping on, high/low temperatures, or the awful mosquitoes, a sleeping bag is an absolute must when you’re backpacking.

Proper shoes

The last thing you want is to be out there on the road, wearing your sneakers that you paid an arm and a leg for, only to find out that the terrain is rough and your pricey shoes simply will not survive the journey. This is why it is so crucial for you to make sure that you invest in the right pair of shoes, and if you’re planning on doing a lot of walking, then it’s probably best if you get yourself some hiking boots that’ll make your journey much less painful.


We definitely didn’t forget about the backpack, and it’s probably the most important item on the list. The kind of backpack you get will either make your journey smooth and seamless, or it’ll make it a living hell. You’ll have to check out some backpacking gear reviews before anything, to make sure that you’re going in the right direction. So, read up on what people have to say on different types, and narrow down your choices to a few. You want a backpack that won’t hurt your back and would be easy to carry around over long distances, and it should also have plenty of compartments to accommodate the rest of your gear.


A backpacking stove is important to have on your trip because it’s how you’ll be able to heat any food if you’re nowhere near populated territories. You need to make sure that it’s lightweight and durable so that it doesn’t put too much pressure on your back along with the rest of your belongings.


Packing clothes for a backpacking trip should be done with necessity in mind. You need to have some weather-appropriate clothes, and always assume that the weather can go any which way. Always check the weather forecast and pack your clothes accordingly; you’ll know the importance of this step when you’re in the middle of your trip and it starts pouring rain or the temperature drops 10 degrees.

Medical supplies

Never go on a backpacking trip without a first-aid kit! It might just save the life of someone on the trip with you or your very own, and it’s just essential to have no matter how big your backpack already is. Be sure to have a checklist ready for all medical situations that may arise so that you at the very least have the basics. Always better to be safe than sorry.


With this much technology at your disposal, it should be easy to get a GPS with you on your backpacking trip because you’ll definitely need it. But because technology isn’t always reliable, you should also pack a traditional compass and a map in case your GPS fails you for any reason.

Food and water

Get as much food and water as you can to accommodate you on the road. It’s always a bad idea to leave food and water up to chance, because you never know when you might be in need of sustenance. It also helps if you bring some cooking utensils along to help you cook and prepare the food as well.

Personal hygiene products

Whether you’re going to be backpacking for a week or a month, it’s always a good idea to bring along your personal hygiene products. Whether it’s shampoo, toothbrush and paste, soap, wipes, sanitizers, women products, and so on.

Fuel and fire starters

You’ll need fuel for the stove and any other energy source on the go, and the fire starters will make it much easier for you to start a fire with just a few twigs and logs of wood.

Your backpacking gear is what determines if you’re going to have a successful backpacking journey or a pretty miserable one, and you should pay a lot of attention to these steps and take your time doing it. It is definitely better to spend time preparing your gear than to find out you forgot something on the road.

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