Backpacking Essentials

Backpacking Essentials

Whether you’re planning your first backpacking trip or you’re a backpacking pro, planning for this type of adventure always seems to be a bit tedious…and somehow way heavier than expected. We have compiled a list of must haves for any backpacking trip and a printable checklist for you to use when planning! 

Must Haves:


The most obvious but important piece of a backpacking trip is the actual backpack! Getting a pack that fits your body correctly is crucial for limiting pain and allowing you to go long distances with a lot of weight on your shoulders. 

Water System

Backpacking is no joke and you’re going to need to seriously hydrate! Knowing your route and what type of water sources will be available can help guide if you’ll need a water filtration system or if you’ll have to carry all of your water. Generally you should drink .5 liters of water for every hour of hiking and depending on how intense the terrain is you should drink even more. Test out your filtration system before you leave and be sure to have your water ready and packed when getting to the trail head!

Map/ Offline Map

Whether you use a paper map or have one downloaded to your phone (be sure to have offline access for when you don’t have service), it’s important to research your route and understand what current trail conditions are, including the weather report!

Weather Gear

Depending on what time of year you’re going backpacking, bringing various types of gear to protect you from rain is crucial to keeping your things dry. Bring a pack cover, line your backpack and sleeping bag with trash bags, and always be prepared for the weather to change!


A light-weight yet durable tent is essential for a good night sleep on trail! We always recommend testing out your tent on a smaller trip, before taking it backpacking to know if it’s a good fit.

Sleeping Bag

A warm sleeping bag is crucial for a night spent in the high country. Again testing it out is important to know if it’ll be warm enough depending on where you’re going. We also recommend packing it in a trash bag in case it rains!

Sleeping Mat

Sleeping mats are going to keep you so much warmer and comfier, so you definitely want to bring one!

Sunscreen/ Sun Protection

Many backpacking trips are at high elevation where the sun is extremely strong so packing accordingly will prevent uncomfy sunburns. 


You’re burning major energy while backpacking so you’ll need to pack proper snacks and meals and always bring extra! There are lots of great freeze dried options, but there are many light-weight foods that you can bring along that aren’t as pricy!

Stove/ fuel:

Having a warm meal, especially when it’s cold, can make your backpacking trip! Bringing a small backpacking stove, fuel, and pan is essential for making a super yummy meal! Don’t forget silverware or plates either and a way to clean your portable kitchen!

Toilet Paper/ wag bags :

Backcountry means no toilets and therefore no toilet paper. If you’re going to use TP on the road, you have to pack it out, so having a plastic bag designated for dirty TP is essential, as well as wag bags for when you have to go #2 on trail. 

First Aid Kit:

Always be prepared with a small first aid kit! 


Depending on the season, elevation, and length of your trip, you want to have at least two sets of clothing and layers that are moisture wicking and you’ll want to avoid cotton. Here’s a good place to start:

  • Base layer top and bottom 
  • At least 2 pairs of socks
  • Always pack a rain jacket!
  • SheFly Go There pants
  • Hiking boots
  • Water sandal
  • Underwear
  • Multiple layers of jackets 
  • Beanie
  • Gloves

Why are the SheFly Go There Pants perfect for backpacking? 

This three season pant is perfect for long days on the trail! From the DWR coating to help with rain sprinkles, the patented pee zipper for easily going to the bathroom without having to remove your pack, and the capris snap that allows for easy water crossings, these pants are a must!

Nice to have:

Although backpacking is all about taking the least amount of weight possible, there are some items that aren’t completely necessary but nice to have:




-Portable charger

-Hiking poles

-Baby wipes

-Watercolors or drawing paper

Have you taken your SheFly Go There Pants on a recent adventure? Let us know in the comments!


  • Lisa Riebe said:

    Hiking the Appalachian Trail next March. Two weeks ago I took shefly for a test run in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Pennsylvania. Awesome! I was able to stand and pee with my backpack on. Had to slide on my a** a few times in Maine. Pants held up wonderfully to the challenge. Ordered a black pair after seeing how dirty I got the sage pair. Would post picks but not possible here.

    October 19, 2022

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