Ditch the exotic resorts and get in touch with nature this summer. However, you cannot go on a hiking trip if you do not have a backpack filled with essential items such as a tent, a sleeping bag and the list can go on.

While carrying a heavy backpack can weigh you down on your journey, discovering that you do not have a flashlight or pocketknife at a time of need can be even worse. Here is a list of backpacking essentials you cannot leave out:


If you are planning on spending a few days in the open wild then you will need a tent. Invest in a lightweight tent that is easy to assemble and carry, your shoulders will thank you later on.  While the tent should be on the top of your priority list, ensure that it is large enough for you to sleep in.

Ultralight Backpacking Tent

Tents come in all kinds of variety and sizes hence purchase one according to your needs.


Your backpack is going to act as your wardrobe, your bedside table drawer and your bathroom-cabinet for the next few days hence ensure it has room for all your backpacking items. People usually make the mistake of purchasing a gigantic bag that is too heavy and then have trouble carrying it all the way to the top of the mountain.

Opt for a lightweight that has several pockets and is made from durable material. You are about to spend the next few days in the open wild hence ensure your backpack can survive the trip.


Unfortunately, you will not be able to remember each moment of your glorious trip and will probably forget the vivid details you though you could never forget. Ensure you have camera so you can capture the wonderful moments of your memorable trip, you need not invest in a very expensive device, opt for a camera that is easy to use.

Unless you are professional travel photographer, leave the massive camera and gear at home, a small digital camera will do wonders. Do not forget to pack extra batteries.

Flashlights and Lanterns

Guess what, it gets dark in the woods hence you had better carry something that will help you see during nighttime. Invest in a sturdy and reliable flashlight you can easily fit in your pocket. Additionally invest in a lantern so you can set up the tent during nighttime or navigate through the campsite when it gets dark.

Man Pointing Flashlight in the Sky by Night

Ensure that the lantern is not too bulky or else you will just be carrying a lot of extra weight.

Water Filtrations or Treatment Tablet

If you are planning to spend the weekend on the campsite, you can carry all the water supplies you need in your car since it is easily accessible however if you are backpacking, you will need a water filtration system.

Invest in a portable water filtration system that is easy to carry, if the device seems to bulky to carry consider purchasing inexpensive iodine treatment tablets. These tablets are portable and work brilliantly for long backpacking trips.


You cannot go on your backpacking trip without packing the right kind of shoes. You will have to choose between old-fashioned hiking boots or shoes depending on where you are headed. Hiking boots undoubtedly offer more support and are sturdier.

Go with shoes that are comfortable and durable. If you are planning on a longer backpacking trip, pack dedicated footwear that has sufficient ankle support. Also, do not forget pack extra pair of socks as your feet are bound to get cold.

Backpacking Food

You will hardly be able to enjoy your trip on an empty stomach, consider packing dry food items such as dehydrated soups along with fresh fruits and vegetables. Pack healthy foods rich in fiber such as granola bars and nuts so you stay energized throughout the journey.

Backpacking Food in Bags

Do not carry extra food if you are planning to go fishing, as it will only add extra weight. Additionally, eat a huge breakfast before you go on your trip, this will prevent you from snacking throughout the way.


Going backpacking does not give you the excuse to stop brushing your teeth. Pack essential toiletries including toothbrush, toothpaste, razors, toilet paper and some deodorant.

Basic First Aid Kit

Pack a basic first aid kit filled with the essentials such as bandages, gauze, aspirins and other necessary items. You can also pack things like bug sprays insect repellents and aloe-Vera to treat nasty burns and creams for bug bites and blisters.

Most people make the mistake of carrying an extensive first aid kit on their weekend trip; do not bother carrying all the extra weight. If you are feeling unwell then you should probably call off the trip and not risk ruining your weekend.


A small lightweight pillow is a great option if you do not wish to carry an enormous sleeping bag on your trip. The pillow will ensure you get a comfortable night’s rest on the cold hard ground. Invest in a pillow, specially designed for backpacking.

Survival Kit

Even if you are backpacking for the weekend, it is imperative you pack a handy survival kit filled with essential items such as a pocketknife, wire-cutter, duct tape and a shovel. Look for a multipurpose tool so you can save up on space and ditch the extra weight.

First Aid Kit on Hike

Paper Map

You might not be able to find cellphone reception in the open wilds hence do not forget to carry a paper map. Do not rely on a GPS, instead invest in a map and learn how to read it to prevent getting lost. Additionally, do not be afraid to ask for directions.

These are just a few essential items you should carry on your trip. Leave behind all the bulky items, as it will only act as extra weight on your shoulders. Have fun!