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Backpacking - Pack List for Fall



Several folks have asked Mr. Fields and I to provide a list of things to bring on the September backpacking trip.  The honest answer is that there are a lot of individual choices that go into a list like this, but we have done our best below.

Please remember- the younger scouts at base camp only need what they typically bring on a camping trip- plus a small day pack or book bag that will hold a water bottle, lunch, and rain gear!!!  Do try to “minimize” what you take on this trip to practice for future backpacking trips.

For the backpackers- what you need to take on a trip like this is, well….. what you are going to need.  This list is only provided as a guideline- please don’t take it as a shopping list.

There are a couple of general thoughts: 

  • The Troop has backpacking stoves/fuel, and water filters- don’t worry about those- but feel free to bring your own.  We will distribute Troop Gear at the camp site. 
  • Backpackers should also “buddy up” and share the weight of a tent- which is one of the heaviest items you carry.
  • EVERYTHING should be in a waterproof bag- especially your sleeping bag
  • Avoid cotton if at all possible- it absorbs water, will never dry, and when wet is useless.  In cold weather “Cotton Kills”
  • On each trip try to improve on minimizing what you take.  Try to be as light and compressed as possible to increase your enjoyment.  As you replace gear, think about buying light.  When you come home, look at what is in your pack that you didn’t use and decide if it was worth it carry it.

A simple list of gear for September/October Weather.

1. General-

  • Backpack with rain cover
  • Hiking poles (one is good, two is better).  Wrap a few strips of duct tape around top of poles in case you need it for repair or blisters
  • Map (we will provide) and compass (if you have one)
  • TWO 1 liter water bottles- leave camp with them full
  • Whistle

2. Sleeping Bag/Pad

  • Sleeping Bag in Waterproof bag
  • Sleeping Pad (non-inflatable is light and foolproof)

3. Shelter

  • Tent (weight split among tent buddies)- check your poles!
  • Groundcloth
  • Tent stakes

4. Clothing

  • Short sleeve wicking shirt to hike in
  • Long sleeve shirt for camp (chilly nights- wear as a layer over hiking shirt).  Depending on the forecast- this can be a lightweight fleece or a wicking top (Capilene, etc.)
  • Shorts or zip-offs to hike in (you will use your rain pants as long pants if you need a layer on your legs).
  • Underwear- synthetic if possible.  Don’t let Mom pack spares.  If you lose the argument, bring just one spare.
  • Hat- rain hat or Troop cap to keep sun out of your eyes
  • Socks (wool or wool/blend).  Wear one pair and have one spare.  We also like to wear “liner socks” but that is up to you.
  • Shoes- wear something that FITS.  The best option is lightweight. waterproof boots.  If you have other boots, wear those.  Make sure they fit to avoid blisters.   The last option is running shoes or other athletic shoes- fit is the most important thing- but boots help protect your ankles from a sprain, etc.
  • Sleeping clothes (it is a good practice to keep these in a separate dry bag.  These only go on when you go to bed, and you change back BEFORE leaving your tent.  This practice is a SAFETY ISSUE.

-          one pair of socks (these are ONLY for sleeping- never use as a spare for hiking)

-          long underwear bottoms

-          long underwear top 

-          lightweight fleece cap and gloves (Mr. Fields and I carry these on EVERY trip- just in case)

  • Camp shoes (not a necessity but nice to have)- Crocs or cheap Walmart imitations work great

 5. Rain gear-

  • Jacket w/hood and pants (preferred) or poncho.  Remember- I am going-  ‘Nuff said.

6. Camp Kitchen

  • Small pot for boiling water
  • Small cup or mug
  • Insulated “coozie” for meal to go in (I have several to lend)
  • Long handled Spoon or spork      (long handle helps with commercial freeze dried meals.
  • Stove, fuel and windscreen
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Water Filter
  • One-gallon zip bag for trash
  • Food and snacks
  • “Bear Bag” (nylon bag big enough to hold all your food, trash and “smellalbles”) and 50’ of lightweight rope.
  • Small carabineer to attach Bear Bag to Line
  • Bandana or camp towel (Sham-wow works great- thanks Mr. Wheeler!)
  • Camp shoes

6. Personal/Hygiene

  • Sunglasses and Sunscreen (very small bottle)
  • Insect repellant (very small spray bottle or “handi-wipe” style packets)
  • Small Pocket Knife/multi-tool
  • Parachute cord or other small cord that can be cut into pieces (maybe 10’)
  • Toilet Kit- Two small rolls of TP, small bottle of hand sanitizer, and plastic trowel
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste      (note- these go into bear bag at night)
  • Small first aid kit (this is really for small cuts and blisters- we will have the rest)
  • Ear Plugs
  • Headlamp (new batteries means you don’t have to take a spare)

Remember- the lighter your pack, the more fun you will have (but take enough to be safe).

Hope this helps!




Ken Holder

Troop 2860