Coleman Backpacking Checklist

Checklists are a good habit to get into when you prepare for an outing. Print this one out, make your own additions, and maybe you can avoid that, "Oh, no, I forgot..." scenario.


Whenever you head into the woods for longer than a few hours, you’ll need to gear up. Base your equipment selection on the season, region and length of your trip. And remember, in mountainous areas, weather can change quickly and dramatically. Regulatory agencies at your destination will be more than happy to answer your questions and provide advice.

Don't hit the trail without these items.

Compass and/or Portable GPS
Food: Snacks and/or Bag Lunch
Water bottle and water
First aid kit
Fire Starting Kit: Butane Lighter, Cotton Balls, Strike-A-Fire or Trioxane Tablets, Fire Starter and Waterproof Matches
Sunglasses & Sunscreen
Extra Clothing Layers
Flashlight, headlamp or lantern
A permit (if required)
Rope, Cord, or Straps
Whistle and Signal Mirror


For extended stay backpacking adventures, add the following items to the above day hike list:

Quick-drying nylon pants or shorts
Short-sleeved T-shirts
Long-sleeved shirts
Fleece or wool pants
Fleece or wool top
Fleece or wool vest
Two pair wicking long underwear (one light, one dark)

Poncho or Other Rain Gear
Wide-brimmed sun hat
Stocking cap
Fleece gloves
Glove liners

Wool or synthetic socks
Synthetic or silk sock liners
Hiking boots
Extra laces

Camping Gear
Pack cover
Tent and rainfly
Ground cloth
Sleeping bag
Compression sack
Sleeping pad
Stuff Sacks for clothes, food and other items
Stove and fuel
Cook set
Drinking cup
Plastic garbage bags and freezer bags
Biodegradable soap
Pot scrubber
Water filter or purification tablets

Personal Items
Toilet paper
Trowel or shovel
Toothbrush and paste
Small bath towel
Brush or comb
Lip balm
Insect repellent
Head net
Whistle or signal mirror
Pocketknife or multitool
100 feet of parachute cord
Repair and spare-parts kit

Other Stuff
Field guide
Camera (with extra battery)
Playing cards or other games
Fishing license and tackle
Large fixed-blade knife or Folding Saw