Backpacking Gear Lists

We find ourselves on backpacking adventures that range all over from several spots on the Appalachian Trail, gorgeous hikes in Smoky Mountain National Park, Maine’s Acadia National Park, and pristine places out West like Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park and California’s Yosemite National Park. There are so many beautiful places to see!

When packing gear for these adventures, our backpacking gear lists constantly evolve along with us. Some items on these lists change as equipment gets better, as we up our skill & comfort level, as the seasons or environment change, or if we just want to experiment with new and fun gear that might enhance our experience in nature.

We don’t consider ourselves ultralight backpackers, but try everywhere we can to stay in the lightweight backpacking weight range and ditch unnecessary weight whenever possible. Since one of my passions is photography and capturing the beauty of these destinations, my photography gear list is always much heavier than normal with my DSLR, tripod, lenses, filters, and other things.

Here’s what I consider my current backpacking setup. Mrs. Saturday’s base weight is always much lighter than mine so I can also be sure she’s enjoying her time and not struggling.

I hope this helps some of you brainstorm your gear lists. Enjoy!


Backpacking Gear List (Current)

This is our current base list for seasons into fall and some extreme weather not including winter. For much colder weather, a few items will be left out and colder items added.

Base Weight(no consumables, fuel, or water)315.26 oz.19.7 lbs.
ULA Circuit68 liters, removable items removed362.25
Trash Compactor BagsBackpack waterproof liner, 7 mils (1) (unscented)2.350.15
Buff (Wool)1.60.1
ExOfficio Men's Give-N-Go Boxer BriefsPacked2.950.18
Teva Mush II Flip FlopsMen's, size 8 6.850.43
SmartWool PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Mini SocksLarge (1 pair) - packed1.250.08
Injinji Performance Mini Crew Toe SocksFor liner, medium (1 pair) - packed1.60.1
Zebralight H51w HeadlampW/strap, no battery, uses 1 AA battery, waterproof1.350.08
AA Eneloop batteriesFor headlamp (1)0.90.06
Anker USB CablesMicro USB, 6 feet1.850.12
Samsung Galaxy S6 SmartphoneW/Phone case (not waterproof)6.650.42
EC Technology 2nd Gen 22400mAh External BatteryW/3 USB outputs16.651.04
Sabrent 4-Port Smart USB Charger 40 Watt, 8 AmpReplace w/iClever BoostCube 40W 4-Port USB Foldable Charger5.30.33
Fire Starting
Waterproof baggie for firestarting stuff0.150.01
Mini Bic LighterPacked (backup)0.40.03
Fatwood Firestarter Sticks, Cotton Balls (2), Altoids tin (small)Fatwood shaved into tiny sticks1.150.07
First Aid Kit
Ziplock baggie, small, for backup pieces0.050
Signal mirror (also to self-check for ticks)0.650.04
Gorilla Tape3 feet, wrapped around cut plastic card0.800.05
Super GlueSingle use (2)0.400.03
First Aid Kit > Medical
Bandaids - (m)x2, (s)x2, butterfly closures x20.050
Tick Twister0.050
Medical kit baggie0.100.01
Razor blade in homemade cereal box envelope (1)0.150.01
Tears Naturale Free Lubricant Eye DropsSingle use vials (3)0.250.02
Gauze Pads3"x3" (3), 2x2" (2)0.300.02
Waterproof athletic tape, ~6 feetWrapped around coffee straw0.400.03
Leukotape Sports Tape1 1/2", cut into strips applied to mailing labels0
First Aid Kit > Medications
Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic Acid)
Aleve (Naproxen Sodium)
Motrin (Ibuprofen)
Tylenol (Acetamenophin)
Immodium AD (Loperamide)
Zyrtec (Cetirizine)
Field Notes Expedition Waterproof Journal(1)1.10.07
Keychain (car, house, mail, cards, nail clippers, carabiner, USB thumb drive, AAA flashlight)3.70.23
Kelty TripTease LightLine Reflective Cord50 feet, general use & hanging bear bag1.400.09
Therm-a-Rest Z-Seat Sit Pad1.950.12
Wallet (bank card, credit card, id, etc.)Including a hair tie to hold together (broccoli-band style)10.06
Sawyer Squeeze Bags - 1 L (32 oz)Dirty bags for filtering (2)20.13
Sawyer Squeeze Bags - 2 L (64 oz)Dirty bags for filtering (1)1.40.09
SmartWater 1 liter BottleW/regular cap (2)2.80.18
SmartWater Bottle closure cap (backup)0.050
SmartWater Bottle sports cap (backup)Can backflush Sawyer filter (not as strong as plunger)0.20.01
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter0.1 Micron (wet weight) or Sawyer Squeeze Mini Water Filter2.80.18
Sawyer Cleaning SyringeCan be used for medical1.150.07
SmartWater Bottle (cut down)For container & collecting shallow water0.70.04
Evernew 0.9L Titanium Non-stick Pot w/lid (ECA422)Frypan lid gives extra headspace to steam-bake muffins4.80.3
Pot stuffsack0.500.03
Baking standHomemade for steam-baking muffins0.200.01
Snow Peak 450 Single Wall Titanium MugHers, nestles inside 6002.350.15
Snow Peak 600 Single Wall Titanium MugHis, 450 can fit inside2.800.18
Snow Peak Hotlips(2), orange, gives a good mouth feel0.200.01
ZPacks Mini CarabinerFor ZPacks Blast food bag (comes with it)0.100.01
ZPacks "Blast" Roll Top Cuben Fiber Food BagMakes bear-bagging easy, 1.43 oz/sqyd cuben fiber1.400.09
1 gallon Ziplock garbage bag0.400.03
MSR MicroRocket Stove2.600.16
MSR Microrocket Stove storage container1.250.08
MSR Universal Canister StandHelps pot stability a lot1.150.07
Guyot Designs Squishy Bowl (or Cup)Bowl is great size for baking a muffin for two, cup for one2.550.16
humangear GoBites Uno SporkStrong spork!0.550.03
To-Go Ware Bamboo Utensil SetChopsticks only0.350.02
TOAKS Titanium Long Handle Spoon stuff sack0.100.01
TOAKS Titanium Long Handle Spoon w/Polished BowlShiny end has a nice mouth feel0.700.04
MapsWeight varies
Photography > Simple
iStabilizer iPhone Mount0.700.04
The StickPicAttaches camera to trekking pole for selfie + ZPacks mini-biner to attach to backpack0.550.03
Protection (Bears, insects, weather)
Frontiersman Bear Spray 9.2 oz9.500.59
BearVault Bear Canister BV500 11.5 LiterDoubles as seat, *Only taken when necessary, BV450 if short trip410.59
Foam cushion for umbrella (top)To attach umbrella to backpack0.050
Velcro strap for umbrella foam cushion (top)To attach umbrella to backpack0.100.01
Shock cord w/ball clamp (to attach umbrella to backpack) (bottom)To attach umbrella to backpack, can stretch0.250.02
Rubber band for umbrella shock cord & strapTo attach umbrella to backpack0.050
LiteFlex Hiking Chrome UmbrellaAlso known as "Birdiepal Swing LiteFlex Metallic" & "GoLite Chrome Dome"8.100.51
MLD DuoMid Pyramid Tarp w/stuff sackW guylines, seam-sealed, camp-dry waterproofed (added .75oz), vent piece removed, (Possibly replacing tarp & bug net w/ZPacks Triplex Tent, .74 oz cuben fiber - will save 12.95 oz.)201.25
Bearpaw Wilderness Designs PyraNet 2 w/stuff sackW/custom extra zipper, guylines18.11.13
Black Diamond Alpine Cork Trail lower pole shaft (tip trimmed off)To connect 2 poles for tent, carbon fiber1.150.07
MSR Groundhog Stakes(4) - end tie-outs2.310.14
Shepherd's hook or ti eye stakes (6) (4 middle tieouts, 2 higher mid tieouts) (orange)1.800.11
Gear Aid Tenacious Tape 20"x3"0.550.03
Zpacks cuben fiber tent stake sack0.050
Sea to Summit Aeros PillowLarge, plus stuff sack4.150.26
Marmot Cloudbreak 30 Sleeping BagRegular (Comfort: 41°F, lower: 32°F, extreme: 4°F)32.502.03
Sleeping bag stuff sack4.350.27
Thermarest Neoair XTherm Sleeping PadRegular, 72"161
Thermarest Neoair XTherm stuff sack1.550.1
Contacts (2 pairs)0.250.02
Ear plugs w/case0.200.01
Eye glasses w/case (prescription)0.950.06
Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soap - PeppermintCarried in 6cc dropper bottle0.400.03
Laundry bleach dropper bottle (filled)0.40.03
Laundry Ziplock (1 gallon)Use couple drops of bleach or Dr. Bronner's Soap0.40.03
REI MultiTowel Lite Medium Towel - 22" x 12.5"1.400.09
REI Towel case0.200.01
Sea to Summit Clothesline10.06
Potty Bag (shovel, TP, hand sanitizer)0.600.04
The Deuce of Spades Trowel0.550.03
Toilet paper roll3.300.21
Toilet paper roll ziplock (1 gallon)0.400.03
Arm & Hammer Baking SodaFor brushing teeth, hygiene etc.0.550.03
Reach Mint Waxed Dental Floss0.300.02
Teeth brushing bag0.100.01
Gum Travel Folding Soft ToothbrushFolds into handle - hers0.700.04
Gum Travel Folding Soft ToothbrushFolds into handle - his0.700.04
Victorinox Swiss Army Compact Knife2.250.14
Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multi-Tool20.13