Gear lists


A backpacking gear list is extraordinarily useful, and developing one is time well spent. It:

Helps in assembling a gear kit, without commandeering floor space;
Calculates pack weight;
Creates a budget and shopping list;
Serves as a checklist during final pack-up; and,
Is a reference for future trips, especially if post-trip comments were added to the gear list after returning home.

If you have never created a gear list before, start with my Three-season gear checklist & template, which is user-friendly, comprehensive, and neutral to location, season, gender, and experience level. For gear lists and posts with more specific recommendations, follow its links or look elsewhere in this category.

Updated: First Aid, Foot Care, and Gear Repair Kits

By Andrew Skurka / February 19, 2020 /

I spent the morning updating three important backpacking gear lists: First Aid Kit Foot Care Kit Gear Repair Kit Since I originally posted posted them in October 2016, I’d tweaked them occasionally but hadn’t done a wholesale revision until now. “Wholesale” is probably an overstatement — they were all very solid still. If you sporadically…

Backpacking Gear Lists || First Aid, Foot Care & Repair Kits (Downloadable)

By Andrew Skurka / February 19, 2020 /

If I were to drop my first aid, foot care, and field repair kits directly into my 3-season gear list template, I would fear clogging it up. Already, this master list can be intimidating, and these kits contain dozens of items on their own. Moreover, their exact contents depend greatly on whether I am traveling solo or with a…

Gear list || Backpacking Field Repair Kit for broken, lost & worn out gear

By Andrew Skurka / February 19, 2020 /

Due to extended use, hard use, and sometimes human error, backpacking clothing and equipment will break, tear, and wear out. Personally, in the field I’ve experienced: Torn trekking pants, rain gear, puffy jackets, sleeping bags, and backpacks; Leaking seams on shelters; Bent, splintered, and fractured trekking pole shafts; Cracked sunglasses; Punctured and cracked water bottles; Dead headlamp batteries; Slow leaks in air sleeping…

Gear List: Backpacking Foot Care Kit for blisters & maceration

By Andrew Skurka / February 19, 2020 /

How many hiking and backpacking trips have been set back, or even ruined, by blisters, maceration, and other podiatric woes? Quite a few — including some of mine, unfortunately. To eliminate or minimize these issues, I carry a dedicated foot care kit. This kit is a separate entity than my backpacking first aid kit. While…

Gear List: Backpacking First Aid Kit for soloists & groups

By Andrew Skurka / February 19, 2020 /

A first aid kit is rightfully considered by most backpackers to be a must-have item. To check this box, you have two basic options: Purchase a prepackaged commercial version like the Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight that has been vetted by medical professionals; or, Create your own, based on the specifics of your group, itinerary, and…

Gear list: West Virginia & Appalachians in May

By Andrew Skurka / February 14, 2020 /

In mid-May I am returning to The Mountain State to guide an intro-level 3-day backpacking course in Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, followed by a more advanced 5-day trip in Dolly Sods Wilderness. Rounding out the guide team will be Alan Dixon, Joseph “Stringbean” McConaughy, and Matthew Bright. Seneca Creek and Dolly Sods are…

Backpacking Gear List Template + 3-season Checklist

By Andrew Skurka / February 5, 2020 /

Completing a gear list is one of the most important and most beneficial steps in preparing for a backpacking trip. A fully featured gear list can be used to: Pack virtually (and avoid a gear explosion in the guest room), Organize systems (e.g. clothing, shelter, kitchen), Calculate pack weight, Budget and track new purchases, Prepare…

Gear List: Yosemite High Route + PCT/JMT in July

By Andrew Skurka / July 8, 2019 /

For several years my High Sierra guided trips have been in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park in September, when conditions are predictably comfortable (mild days, crisp nights, little precipitation, and no bugs or wildfire smoke) and when there is less backcountry traffic. But for a change in scenery, this year I scheduled them in Yosemite in…

Gear List: Gates of the Arctic National Park, Brooks Range, Alaska in early-summer

By Andrew Skurka / June 7, 2019 /

In the second half of June I’m running four 7-day guided trips in Gates of the Arctic National Park, split between two guide teams. Gates encompass the western half of the famed Brooks Range, which spans 1,000 miles across Alaska and which arguably offers the greatest wilderness trekking in North America. The terrain and conditions…

Gear List: Yosemite High Route || High Sierra in August

By Andrew Skurka / September 5, 2018 /

Last month I went on a 9-day/8-night backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park. My route was more ambitious than the norm: I was scouting the Yosemite High Route, which has monstrous vertical change and extensive off-trail and alpine travel. I tried to avoid popular trails like the John Muir Trail/Pacific Crest Trail and the High Sierra Camp…