What to Include in Your Overnight Backpacking List

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Trying to figure out what items to bring and what to leave behind when you go on your trip? In our overnight backpacking list, we’ve compiled a checklist that covers the different things you will need. Our list takes into consideration the different aspects of the adventure including the essential items you cannot go without.

These essentials will make the difference in you being able to successfully complete the trip or encounter problems along the way. After that, our list of backpacking items to bring goes through things to bring based on activity. We beginning with the camp shelter, clothing and food. Finally the other accessories to bring on the trip should you want to engage in other leisure recreation along the way like take pictures, go birdwatching or read a new book.


Be Prepared for the Trip

Speaking of books, here are some books I found useful when I was learning about backpacking. If you’re and experienced backpacker you can skip this section and go straight to the checklist.

  1. The Backpacker’s Handbook, 4th Edition
  2. Basic Essentials Backpacking, 3rd (Basic Essentials Series)
  3. Backpacking: One Step at a Time


Overnight Backpacking List of Supplies



This list of items to bring on your backpack trip are MUST HAVES. You shouldn’t leave without them as they will one way or another keep you away from danger or problems along the way.

  • Backpack
  • Map or GPS
  • Compass
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Food
  • Portable Stove
  • Water Filter/Water Bottles
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sunscreen/Sunburn Lotion
  • Lighting (headlamp/flashlight)
  • Cellphone and Solar Charger
  • Any medication you are on or may need


Overnight Shelter

Backpacking TentBecause you will be spending the night on the trail or wilderness, you will want to use a larger backpack than the ones for your day hikes. You will also need the following items to help you get sheltered and sleep properly through the night.



As mentioned in our clothing article, it is important to be prepared for the change of weather as well as the temperature change when nighttime comes. Wearing the proper layered clothing will keep you dry and warm throughout your trip.

Make sure to consider the following clothing layers. During warm climates you can take out rule out some of the layers since they aren’t needed.

  • Base Layers
  • Insulation
  • Shirts
  • Outer Layer
  • Extra Clothing


Also bring the following pieces of clothing and apparel to keep you safe from the sun’s rays and the terrain.

  • Wide Brim Cap/Hat
  • Socks
  • Hiking Shorts
  • Hiking Pants
  • Gloves
  • Hiking Boots
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana



With overnight hikes, do bring enough food for different meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner that you will be eating during the entire span of the trip. Bringing snacks like energy bars and fruits also lets you nourish yourself in between meals. They are a quick way of getting food in without having to bring out any cooking utensils.

You will be cooking your food so it will be wise to learn to cook with the minimal pieces of cooking equipment and have a few recipes already prepared.

  • Food
  • Portable Stove
  • Fuel for Stove
  • Pot with Lid
  • Pocket Knife
  • Water Filter
  • Water Bottle
  • Waterproof Matches or Lighter
  • Soap
  • Plates & Bowls
  • Eating Utensils
  • Snacks


When it comes to food, knowing how to cook something that’s simple yet delicious is so valuable. If you’re not sure what foods to prepare while on the trip, these recipe books should give you some great ideas:

  1. Simple Foods for the Pack: More than 200 All-Natural, Trail-tested Recipes
  2. Easy Campfire Cooking
  3. Scout’s Dutch Oven Cookbook


Personal Care Items

  • Lip Balm
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towel


Other Items

  • Whistle
  • Duct Tape
  • Blister Kit
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Watch
  • Books/E-Reader
  • Rope
  • Climbing tools if you plan to do so


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