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Ultralight Backpacking Gear List


 

  •  Essentials List (opens new page)
  •  Day Hike List
  •  Overnight Hike List
  •  Additional Gear for Spring/Fall
  •  Additional Gear for Summer
  •  Additional Gear for Winter


     

    for "ALL" DAY HIKES:

    Start with the Fourteen Backpacking Essentials. Then add:

    DAY PACK

    Large enough to fit all your gear inside, and preferably with compression straps, sternum strap, & padded belt & back.


    HIKING BOOTS (or Shoes)

    Appropriate for the terrain you’ll be in. If appropriate, remember to treat them, before you go, with Nikwax or some other waterproofing agent.


    BASE LAYERS: ( NO COTTON ! (unless you are sure it is appropriate for the environment in which you will be traveling) )

    ___ Lightweight thermal underwear top
    ___ Lightweight thermal underwear bottom


    INSULATION:

    ___ Light Fleece Jacket--200 or 300 weight
    ___ Light Fleece Vest--200 or 300 weight (optional, use your good judgment)


    OUTER SHELL:

    ___ Windproof, waterproof, highly-breathable Parka or Jacket--pit zips, 2-way zipper, & pack pockets for ventilation; adjustable hood & hem; and large enough to allow layering underneath.

    ___ Windproof, waterproof, highly-breathable Pants--full-length side zips for easy entry & ventalation.


    OTHER BACKPACKING ESSENTIALS:

    ___ Hiking Socks & Liners (+ extra pair)
    ___ Quick-drying hiking shorts (wear over the thermal underwear in cool weather)
    ___ Thin fleece gloves (e.g., lightweight Patagonia Synchilla)
    ___ Fleece Cap or Balaclava (must cover ears)
    ___ Baseball cap (wool, synthetic--cotton ok in warmer weather)
    ___ Toilet Paper


    FOOD: (Take enough for the day & extra for one meal)

    ___ Gorp (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, m&ms)
    ___ Hard Cheese (lasts longer)
    ___ Jerky (beef/turkey) or salami
    ___ Cookies
    ___ Crackers
    ___ Tiger's Milk Bars
    ___ Licorice Sticks
    ___ Kudos
    ___ Bear Valley MealPacks
    ___ PowerBars (Berry)
    ___ Chewing Gum
    ___ Gatorade
    ___ Bagels, English muffins
    ___ String cheese (individually wrapped)
    ___ Chocolate & candy
    ___ Dried fruit (raisins, apples, pears, peaches, bananas)
    ___ Dried meat and fish
    ___ Giant pretzels
    ___ Raw fruit / vegetables
    ___ Nuts
    ___ Pop Tarts
    ___ Fig/Peach/Apple Newtons


    OPTIONAL:

    ___ Hiking Staff
    ___ Bandanna (cotton ok)
    ___ Sit pad
    ___ Gore-Tex Socks (in damp environs, keeps feet warm & dry)
    ___ Gaitors (long for snow or short for scree)
    ___ Pack Rain Cover
    ___ Pack Towel (1)
    ___ Camera & extra film
    ___ Parachute Cord (many uses)
    ___ Duct Tape (many uses)
    ___ Monocular or Binoculars
    ___ Reading Glasses
    ___ Field Watch
    ___ Altimeter / Barometer (especially if going offtrail)
    ___ Moleskin (if not part of First Aid Kit)


    "ALL" OVERNIGHT HIKES:     

    ___ Start with the Fourteen Essentials.
    ___ Add DAY HIKES gear. Then add the following:

    BACKPACK

    ___ In lieu of the "day-hike" rucksack or daypack, you'll probably need a pack with more capacity to carry the additional over-night gear. A pack with approximately 3000 to 4000 cu in is satisfactory for long weekends and packs with 4400 + cu in are generally used for week-long treks. You'll need to experiment to find what works for you.


    SLEEPING SYSTEM:

    ___ Sleeping Pad (if on snow, consider closed-cell / open-cell combination--e.g., full-length, closed-cell Cascade Design RidgeRest & 3/4 length, ultralight, open-cell Thermarest)

    ___ Sleeping Bag: 3-Season (light 20 degree bag should be enough most of the time)

    ___ Sleeping Bag: Winter (If you have only one bag (e.g. the 20 degree bag above, you can add warmth to it by using it together with a bivy sack and/or by wearing some or all of your clothes to bed.) If you can afford it, and go out in the Winter frequently, you might want to invest in a Winter bag (e.g. a zero degree bag; dryloft will keep your insulation dry; a draft collar is a must).

    ___ Tent (3 or 4-season) or Gore-Tex Bivy Bag (if it snows at night, you might need to knock the snow off your 3-season tent). If you go out frequently in the Winter, you might want to invest in a bomb-proof 4-season tent.


    COOKING:

    ___ Lightweight Trail Stove (white gas--e.g., Whisperlite; or butane/propane--e.g., Primus Titanium)

    ___ Stove Fuel--white gas or butane/propane canister (if melting snow for water, take more fuel).

    ___ 1 medium pot w/lid & pot handle
    ___ Lexan spoon


    FOOD: (Here are some suggestions for you to choose from)

    Breakfast:
    ___ Hot chocolate
    ___ Coffee, Tea
    ___ Instant Hot Cider
    ___ Instant Oatmeal (variety)
    ___ Instant Cream of Wheat
    ___ Malt O' Meal (w/brown sugar)
    ___ Granola
    ___ Nature Valley Granola bars (variety)
    ___ Dried fruit (apples, raisins)

    Lunch:
    ___ Gorp (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, m&ms)
    ___ Bagels
    ___ String Cheese
    ___ Hard Cheese (lasts longer) ___ Jerky or salami
    ___ Cookies
    ___ Crackers

    Dinner:
    ___ Instant soup (Lipton's Chicken Noodle & Cream of Chicken)
    ___ Freeze-dried dinners (preparable in their own foil container)
    --Mountain House: Lasagna, Spaghetti, Pasta Primavera, Chili Mac
    --Mountain House (All Natural): Noodles & Chicken, Chicken Polynesian, Beef Stroganoff
    ___ Mountain House Freeze-dried desserts (Fruit Crisps--peaches, strawberries)

    Dinner Spices (keep dry in small transparent canisters)
    ___ onion powder
    ___ garlic powder
    ___ pre-mixed, ground dried herbs
    ___ pepper (red or black)

    Other Non-Cook Nourishment--Good for Snacks
    ___ Tiger's Milk Bars
    ___ Licorice Sticks
    ___ Kudos
    ___ Bear Valley MealPacks
    ___ PowerBars (Berry)
    ___ Chewing Gum
    ___ Gatorade
    ___ Bagels, English muffins
    ___ String cheese (individually wrapped)
    ___ Chocolate & candy
    ___ Dried fruit (raisins, apples, pears, peaches, bananas)
    ___ Dried meat and fish
    ___ Giant pretzels
    ___ Raw fruit / vegetables
    ___ Nuts
    ___ Pop Tarts
    ___ Fig/Peach/Apple Newtons
    ___ Crackers


    OPTIONAL

    ___ Optional if going light & fast overnite with Bivy: Lightweight Tarp for rain/snow cover
    ___ Candle Lantern
    ___ Miniature playing cards; cribbage set, etc.
    ___ Therm-a-Rest'R Lite Chair Kit (weighs 10 oz and fits all 20-in-wide Thermarest mattresses)


    ADDITIONAL GEAR FOR SPRING & FALL     

    BASE LAYERS: ( NO COTTON ! )

    ___ Midweight thermal underwear top
    ___ Midweight thermal underwear bottom


    OTHER ESSENTIALS:

    ___ Midweight fleece gloves or mittens
    ___ Waterproof overgloves or mittens


    OPTIONAL:

    ___ Snow Shovel
    ___ Avalanche beacon
    ___ SnowShoes & Poles w/touring baskets
    ___ Ice Axe (for mountain trips in snow & ice)



    ADDITIONAL GEAR FOR SUMMER     

    OPTIONAL:
    ___ light shorts for swimming
    ___ synthetic T-shirt (e.g., coolmax)
    ___ light water shoes (e.g., Speedo Surfwalker, Nike Water Shoes)
    ___ sun hat w/neck shroud



    ADDITIONAL GEAR FOR WINTER     

    BOOTS:

    ___ In addition to substantial leather boots, appropriate for Winter conditions, you can also consider plastic boots and sorel insulated boots, as possible options.


    BASE LAYERS: ( NO COTTON ! )

    ___ Midweight or Expedition-weight thermal underwear top
    ___ Midweight or Expedition-weight thermal underwear bottom


    OTHER ESSENTIAL GEAR:

    ___ Midweight or Expedition-weight Insulated fleece gloves or mittens
    ___ Waterproof overgloves or mittens


    OPTIONAL:

    ___ Down Sweater
    ___ Insulated Boots (e.g., Sorel Bighorn--rated to -40 degrees).
    ___ Hand Warmers (e.g., Grabber Mycoal air-activated warmer)
    ___ Snow Shovel
    ___ Avalanche beacon
    ___ SnowShoes & Poles w/touring baskets
    ___ Ice Axe (for mountain trips in snow & ice)
    ___ Insulated Water-Bottle Blanket
     


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