Backcountry Camping Checklist
Remember that you’re packing for a backcountry camping trip where you’ll be accessing your campsite by water – so, pack what you need knowing that you’ll be carrying it with you. You’ll also be bringing it back when you pack out – including your garbage!
So, start with the basics. Make a point of packing a good tent (preferably with a rain fly and at least one window) suitable for the number of people in your party, good quality sleeping bags, camping stove, camping food and water. It might seem obvious, but sometimes one or more of these important items are left behind!
The following items make up some of the more common gear that can add to the comfort of your campsite, make it more functional and environmentally safe (see Backcountry Etiquette).
This checklist is only a guide. The items you choose to pack should be based on the time of year (between May 1 and October 31), the activities you wish to enjoy, the size of your party, and the prevailing weather conditions at the time.
- Air mattress or pad for under sleeping bag
- Backpack, daypack, or fanny pack
- Emergency blanket
- First aid kit with blister treatment products
- Personal care items: biodegradable soap, non-scented insect repellent and sunscreen (you don’t want to attract the wildlife!)
- Plastic sheeting for the tent floor
- Rope and/or twine – 30 meters
- Small shovel (collapsible) – to control campfires and make “cat holes”
- Tarp(s) with grommets – can be used to protect against sun or rain
- Tent seam sealer
- Toilet paper
- Towels and washcloths
Cooking Related Items:
- Aluminum foil
- Camping recipes
- Can opener and bottle opener
- Cookware – cast iron works best for campfires or camping stoves
- Cutlery for food preparation and serving – sharp knife, large spoon, large fork, ladle
- Cutting board
- Extra camping stove fuel
- Moist towelettes (unscented)
- Napkins and paper towels
- Plastic cutlery, paper plates, plastic or paper cups
- Pot lifter or pot holders
- Small charcoal or propane grill – a cast-iron hibachi is small, efficient and transportable
- Storage containers
- Trash bags