The following is a checklist to help when packing for a multi-day trek. Many, if not most, of the items on this list are in the "duuhhhh!" category, but you just never know what you might leave behind. Kinda sucks when you have to search for a large, soft, non-poisonous leaf because you forgot the TP. I've marked a number of items as optional, though some people--including myself--think some of those things are absolutely necessary, while other things I've not listed as optional they'd never take. At any rate, I hope you'll find this checklist useful. (Email me if you can think of anything important that I've omitted ... excluding shotguns and microwave ovens, that is.)

Ramkitten's Packing-for-Backpacking Checklist      Click here for printable version.
The Basics
Backpack (Tip: Before buying a pack, try it with 30 to 40 pounds in it. Have it adjusted with the weight in it.)
Optional: Hip-pouch attachment, such as a Dana "Wet Rib" (for easy access to a water bottle, munchies, camera, map/guidebook, etc.)
Pack cover
Tent (Tip: Be sure to seam-seal!)
Optional: Tent "footprint" (Tip: Tyvek is an inexpensive alternative. If you're cutting your own "footprint", be sure it's an inch or so smaller than the bottom of your tent all the way around. Otherwise, it will collect rainwater and help to soak the bottom of your tent.)
Sleeping bag with stuff sack (Tip: Stuff clothing in the stuff sack to make a pillow. I've seen stuff sacks with a soft liner on half of the inside. Turned inside-out, this is used for the pillow surface.)
Optional: Sleeping bag liner
Sleeping pad
Optional: Trekking pole/s (Tip: Poles are cheaper without shock absorbers, which I consider unnecessary.)

Cooking
Pot and lid (Tip: Aluminum is about as light as titanium and much cheaper.)
Optional: Small piece of 'scrubby' (for cleaning the pot)
Utensil/s (Recommended: 1 Lexan spoon)
Stove
Windscreen
Fuel or fuel tablets
Lighter and matches

Water
Water bottles (Tip: 1-liter soda-type bottles are lighter and much cheaper than Nalgenes. Nalgenes, however, are good for hot liquids.)
Optional: Hydration system/water bag
Water filter or other purification product (Tip: Carry a light-weight backup method in case the other malfunctions or is broken or lost. I use Aquamira chlorine tablets for emergency water treatment.)
Optional: Nylon water tote (Handy when a water source is a good distance from the campsite/shelter. The weight of this very useful item is negligible.)

Clothing/Footwear
Nylon or Gortex shell/rain jacket
Fleece pullover
Non-cotton thermal top/s (Tip: Carry two, one for hiking in, one to keep dry for camp)
Non-cotton thermal bottom/s
Non-cotton tee/s
Nylon shorts
Nylon pants and/or non-cotton tights (Recommended, esp. for women: Fleece-lined tights such as Koulius Zaard brand, often found in bike shops)
Optional: Convertible (zip-off) nylon shorts/pants
Non-cotton socks
Optional: Sock liners
Non-cotton underwear (Some consider this unnecessary, but my husband says, "Boys, don't forget the jock strap!")
Boots or sneakers (Tip: Break in those boots!)
Camp shoes/sandals (Also for fording rivers)
Gloves or glove liners
Hat/cap
Gaiters (Tip: Short, non-Gortex gaiters are sufficient for keeping dirt/stones out of boots, helping to keep socks and interior of boots dry when it's raining, and discouraging ticks.)

Tools/Accessories
Pocket knife or multi-tool
Duct tape (Tip: Wrap several feet of it around a water bottle. It can be used for blister prevention on a "hot spot", or temporarily patching up a tent, a torn jacket or pack cover)
Flashlight and/or headlamp (I prefer one of each.)
Spare batteries
Map/s (preferably topographic)
Compass
Nylon cord (Tip: 30 feet is sufficient for hanging food, clothesline, emergency boot laces, tying off a tent if very windy.)
Bandana/s (for bandana "baths", a head cover, sweat, a runny nose)
Safety pins, nylon thread, needle (for repairs)
Optional: Sunglasses (with strap)
Optional: Cat hole trowel (although, a boot heel or a good stick often works just fine for me)
Optional: GPS
Optional: Watch

Toilettries
Moleskin and Second Skin (for blister treatment)
Bandaids
Vaseline, small tube (a chafed hiker's best friend)
Toothbrush and dental floss
Toothpaste, travel size
Mini-brush or comb
Aspirin and/or an anti-inflamatory (Ibuprofin, Alleve)
Baby wipes, travel pack or handi-wipes
Toilet paper (Tip: take it off the cardboard tube, pack in a Zip-Loc)
Girl "supplies" (if you're a girl, that is)
Glasses/contact lenses (if you wear either)
Sunscreen
Optional: Bug repellant
Optional: Hand sanitizer and/or a small bottle of peppermint soap
Optional: Small mirror (also useful as an emergency signal mirror)

Miscellaneous
Food bag/sack
Zip-Loc baggies (Tip: These are handy for separating food and keeping it dry, for separating dry clothing from wet, and clean clothes from dirty. I also put most toilettries, accessories, and these miscellaneous items in Zip-Locs)
Optional: Trash bag for clothing (also useful as an emergency rain poncho)
Guidebook/s
ID, credit card, phone card, ATM card, travelers checks, cash, important addresses/phone numbers
Optional: Paper (for journal, notes), pen/pencil
Optional: Pre-stamped envelopes (Tip: If you're going on an extended hike, it can be convenient to have a few of these. They may not be readily available.)
Optional: Camera, film

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