Long Distance Backpacking Checklist – Practical, Comfortable, Lightweight

Long Distance Backpacking Checklist – Practical, Comfortable, Lightweight

This backpacking checklist is list geared towards the three season, lightweight backpacker.  I try to keep my load as light as possible without sacrificing too much comfort or breaking the bank.  Just because you don’t have the lightest version of something does not mean you have to get rid of your perfectly good item and purchase a new one.  There is a constant flow of new products being developed and every time you think you have the best quality/lightest product someone will soon come up with something to top it.  Just do the best you can with your gear and enjoy your time outside.  Obviously there are countless ways you can combine gear and customize your load, but I’ve listed some of my personal favorites in case you need recommendations.


GearRecommended ProductWeightComments
BackpackOsprey Exos 5842 oz60 Liters is a great size for longer trips, ventilated back panel, comfortable
ShelterBig Agnes Flycreek UL 127 ozOne of the lightest freestanding tents, small vestibule
StakesMSR Groundhog Mini0.35 oz each
6 inch aluminum, 3 sided Y shape
Sleeping BagMarmot Hydrogen Down 2523.3 ozwater resistant 800 fill, curved baffles
Sleeping PadThermarest NeoAir XLite Regular12 ozcomfortable and super lightweight
Trekking PolesHiker Hunger Carbon Fiber12.2 oz for two polesQuick flip lock, ergonomic cork grip, lightweight, affordable
Pillow Sea to Summit Aeros UL2 ozdecent pillow for 2 oz

Water System

GearRecommended ProductWeightComments
Water FilterSawyer Squeeze3.1 ozEasy to use, lightweight, reliable
Dirty water bagComes with Sawyer, 1 L1.2 ozEasily recognizable as dirty water bag
Platypus spare water bagPlatypus0.9 oz
Hydration bladderPlatypus Big Zip 2 L Reservoir5 ozLight but durable
1 L Water bottlePowerade1.5 oz

Cook System/Food Storage

GearRecommended ProductWeightComments
StoveOlicamp Ion Micro Titanium1.5 ozSuper compact, lightweight
Titanium MugSnowpeak 450 Titanium Double Wall2.4 ozFolding handles
Fuel canisterSnowpeak Giga Power7.5 ozfold a large piece of foil into a square
SporkSea to Summit Alpha Lite0.4 ozLong handle is useful
Matches0.1 oz
Foil lid
Microfiber towel0.7 oz
Bear CanisterLighter1 Big Daddy 43 oz650 cubic inches, lid doubles as pan


GearRecommended ProductWeightComments
HeadlampBlack Diamond Revolt3.5 ozRechargeable battery or AAA batteries, 110 lumens, dimmer switch, water resistant
KnifeSpyderco Delica 4 2.5 oz2.875 inch VG-10 Steel Blade, Fiberglass reinforced nylon handle
PLB/Satellite phoneACR ResQlink5.4 ozworld's smallest personal locator beacon, floats
Extra Batteries
Pencil and Paper
MapCut down to small size
Small items (keys, ID, credit card, cash, permit)
Trash compacter bag pack liner
Duct tape
Repair patch
First Aid KitThis varies depending on type of terrain and your own comfort level


GearRecommended ProductWeightComments
Toothbrush0.5 ozTravel size
Toothpaste1 ozTravel size
Glasses Case
Contact stuff
Bug Spray
Toilet paperstore in Ziploc bag
Baking sodause instead of deodorant


GearRecommended ProductWeightComments
Video Camera and mounts

Clothing/Personal Items

GearRecommended ProductWeightComments
Sleeping socks
1 pair extra socksDarn Tough
1 pair extra underwear
Beanie Hat
Camp shoes
Insulating JacketMountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer7.2 oz (hooded)800 goose down fill, moisture resistant Q Shield
Long underwear top and bottomsIcebreaker Tech Top
Long underwear bottomsIcebreaker Vertex Icon Fair Isle Leggings
Long Sleeve DailyIcebreaker Vertex Half Zip
GlovesPossumDown Quick drying, moisture wicking, and lightweight

On Person

Gear Recommended ProductWeight Comments
T-shirtUnder Armor Streaker Short Sleeve
PantsPrana ScotchguardWater resistant, great fit, comfy
Sports Bra
SocksDarn Tough
ShoesMerrell All Out Charge Trail Runners

Let me know what your favorite pieces of gear are and if there’s anything you think I should add to the list!



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2 thoughts on “Long Distance Backpacking Checklist – Practical, Comfortable, Lightweight”

  • Wow. I am amazed. I have always loved the outdoors, and hiking was so fun for me. My favorite part was always the views. It is just incredible. I usually don’t hike for long, but I have wanted to give it a try. Your post was very helpful as now I know what I need to pack for my trip. Thanks.

    • Hiking is a great way to connect with the outdoors. Even a short hike can be stress relieving, and if you can walk, you can hike! Let me know if you need any help planning for your longer hike 🙂

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