Backpacking Gear List

When you’re backpacking what gear should you take with you?  This is a question we’ve been asked a few times so we’ve put together the ProCamping essential backpacking gear list!

This list covers the “essentials” but should only be used as a guide.  Depending on the time of year, the duration and terrain of your backpacking adventure you will want to tailor your list (a Mountain would be very different to a Desert!).

1 -  Backpack

Probably obvious but the first item on our Backpacking list is a Backpack itself!  The type will depend on how long you are away for and how much walking you expect to do but something comfortable to carry, a sensible size for the length of your trip.

2 - Map

A map is the next item on our list.  Especially if you’re hiking in a unfamilier area you don’t want to get lost!  In the UK Ordnance Survey Maps are a great choice and they even offer a laminated range of Explorer maps, perfect for coming in wet weather conditions.

3 - Compass

A Map on its own will only get you so far, paired with a compass you’ll be unstoppable!

4 - Mobile Phone, Wallet and Identification

We’ve grouped these together, we embrace modern technology so a mobile phone is a must incase you need to call for help.  But don’t rely on it alone as batteries can fail or you may have to wait for help so pay attention to the rest of the list too!  A wallet, incase your out for longer than you intent it’s always handy to have a little cash or a card on with you and it’s just sensible to have identification!

5 - First Aid Kit

You never know what might happen so much of backpacking or camping is about being prepared.  You hope you won’t need to use a first aid kit but take one just in case!  Also if its Summer time Sun protection lotion is also a must, when you get up in the morning you may not realise how hot the sun might get so always carry it incase!

6 - Pocket Knife of Multi Tool

A Swiss Army knife or similar can help you out in all manner of situations, it could be as simple as food preparation or for use with your first aid kit, but you’ll use a pocket knife more than you think!

7 - Flash light or Headtorch

A great part of backpacking is you go at your own rate, when you want to stop and soak in the outdoors you do, no time limits and not a care in the world.  But if you do lose yourself be sure to have a flashlight to hand, we recommend a headtorch so your hands are still free!

8 - Food and Water

Always pack food and water.  You don’t know how long you’ll be out so be prepared.  How much you take will depend on where you are backpacking and how long you will be away.

9 - Waterproofs

Theres nothing worse than being stuck outdoors and soaked through so (particularly in Britain) Waterproofs are an essential item, they’ll keep you dry and keep off the wind chill.

10 - Shelter

If you’re backpacking for several days you may be taking a tent but if not a bivvy bag is a must so in the worst of conditions you have shelter.


These are just a few Backpacking essentials.  The Time of Year, Location, Weather Conditions, Duration of you adventure will all greatly affect your kit list.  Do you have any tips or essentials that we haven’t mentioned?  Leave a comment and share it with our readers.



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