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Backpack Camping Packlist

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Backpack camping is what we consider to be "High Adventure"— but that doesn't mean it's more difficult or too much for you to participate in.  Specifically, you will need to think about packing correctly— too much and you'll wear yourself out, too little, and you'll find yourself in lack.  (Though when it comes to backpacking, less usually is more.)


Backpacking Items Highly Recommended:

  • Large backpack suitable to haul all your gear on the hike(s).
  • Dehydrated food or other lightweight food items for all meals (and snacks).
  • Backpackers stove and fuel (We will be making lightweight stoves at an upcoming meeting)
  • Water Bottle or bladder for carrying daily supply of water.
  • Water filtration device for purifying water from the streams (Sawyer Squeeze and Sawyer Mini recommended or similar)
  • Metal Container— or Canteen cup for boiling water.
  • Camp spork, or utensils for eating.
  • Lightweight Shelter (if you have a large family tent, you may want to invest in a lightweight tent)
  • Small Shovel & Roll of T-P. (there will be no formal restrooms)
  • Trash Bag (we will pack out all trash)
  • Bear & Rodent Safe Food Storage - Either a bear can, or appropriate bag and rope for safely hanging food away from camp.  In locations with bear lockers this is not required.
  • Adventure pass (most of the backpack hiking locations are in areas where an Adventure pass (parking permit) is required for your vehicle.  These can be purchased at Big5, REI, or other locations for about $30 and are valid for 1 year)
  • Fire Permit - Free, and takes about 10 minutes to get directly from the PreventWildfireCA website.

How Heavy should our pack be?

We often get this question— how heavy should our dad’s and Trailman’s pack be? So to get a starting point for how much you may be able to carry (for an extended distance), simply take the percentage that I listed for each fitness level and multiply it by your weight.  (Be realistic on fitness level selected too!

  • Poor – 10% of Body Weight (Pack Weight for 160 lb. Person = 16 lbs.)
  • Average – 15% of Body Weight (Pack Weight for 160 lb. Person = 24 lbs.)
  • Excellent – 20% of Body Weight (Pack Weight for 160 lb. Person = 32 lbs.)
  • Elite – 30% of Body Weight (Pack Weight for 160 lb. Person = 48 lbs.)


So if you are 180 lbs and your fitness level is “Average” -  180 x .15 (or 15%) = 27lbs for a comfortable hike.   You can certainly carry more— but this is a good rule of thumb for a long hike.



This list is optional— and for backpacking you will simply want to pack for warmth for the evenings, and comfort during the day— Zip off pants (like our troop uniform pants) are always a good choice as they pack two clothing items in one!)

  • Pajamas
  • Underwear
  • Socks (Always bring one extra for sleeping)
  • Shorts
  • Pants (at least one)
  • Short-sleeve shirt(s)
  • Long-sleeve shirt (at least one)
  • Sweatshirt / Hoodie/Jacket
  • Knit hat / Beanie for night time
  • Hat for hiking (for the sun)
  • Gloves
  • Hiking boots / shoes
  • Sneakers or Camp shoes/flip-flops


  • Cover — Tent (w/ Rain fly, under-tent tarp optional)
  • Sleeping Pad / Mattress
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Flashlight (the 6th C— Candle)
  • Personal & Toiletry
  • Medical release form
  • Tooth brush & paste
  • Sunscreen
  • Lotion
  • Bug repellant (extremely important in some locations)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wipes
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Sunglasses
  • Cotton Towel

Equipment for Activities

  • Bible
  • Backpack
  • Compass
  • Cutting Tool/ Knife (only w/ knife safety training)
  • Whittling chip /Badge
  • Cordage /Short rope (for knots training & practice)
  • Containers / Water bottle(s)
  • Camera
  • Sketch pad (optional)
  • Nature journal (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Playing cards (optional)
  • Lanterns (optional)

Food & Or Snacks

  • Personal camp flatware / plate / cup (Optional—but will reduce waste at mealtimes)
  • Snacks for between meals*

* BEAR WARNING: If bringing snacks to a campground with potential bears—you are required to store all food, toothpaste or other potential “food” items in a bear safe container away from our sleeping location. The troop has several “scent blocking” plastic bags that can be used to store these items. DO NOT leave them in your car or in your tent, as they can attract bears and other scavengers.

Attached is a PDF download of the recommended items that you can print out.


It's aways good to follow and pack the 10 C's of Survival 

  1. Cutting Tool (Like a knife)
  2. Combustion (Something to make fire)
  3. Cover (to make shelter)
  4. Container (for storing and boiling water)
  5. Cordage (some sort of rope)
  6. Candle (flashlight or other quick light source)
  7. Cotton (bandage, signal, tinder)
  8. Compass (for navigation)
  9. Cargo Tape ( like duct / gorilla tape)
  10. Canvas Needle (splinters, repair work)