Last Updated August 21, 2020 8/21/2020

10 Essential Items to Bring When Backcountry Camping

Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Backcountry camping consists of delving further into the wilderness, away from civilization and amenities. This means you’ll have to plan more extensively, while still packing lightly, as everything you bring must be carried on your back. Depending on where you go, hikes can be long and strenuous. But what are the most important things to bring? We’ve come up with a baseline list to get you started.


Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.

A Durable Tent Naturehike Cloud-Up
Naturehike Cloud-Up

A Durable Tent

While wanting something lightweight, your tent will have to be durable against wind and weather. This particular variation is good for three seasons, so you’ll need something a little heavier if camping in the snow. But if just on a basic backpacking trip, you’ll be glad you went with this one, because it just doesn’t weigh very much, and packs away tightly. Three people can fit, sleeping bags included.

A Comfortable, Organizable Pack Teton Pack
Teton Pack

A Comfortable, Organizable Pack

The Scout 3400 pack is optimal for multi-night trips. Foam padding along the shoulder straps and backing create a comfortable fit when carrying a load. The straps are adjustable as is the waist buckle, for a snug fit that will keep your belongings from tipping or wobbling. With durable exterior fabric and an included rain cover, it can stand up to just about any weather. Multiple pockets, a special place to put your sleeping bag and generous space are other great features.

First Aid Kit That's Compact but Well Equipped first aid
first aid

First Aid Kit That's Compact but Well Equipped

With 100 pieces, this first aid kit is still relatively small, taking up little space in your pack. Having some essentials is vital when out in the wilderness, you’d be surprised how many issues can be avoided by properly cleaning and dressing a wound. Along with bandages and basics, there are a few other key components in this kit, like a CPR mask.

Something to Store Trash In Reusable Smell Proof Waste Bag
Reusable Smell Proof Waste Bag

Something to Store Trash In

Leave no trace – that’s the ideology that has kept our state parks and national recreation areas beautiful. So if you plan on accumulating any trash at all on a backcountry camping trip, you’ll need something to store the waste in. You won’t be at a campsite, so chances of seeing a trashcan are small. This reusable bag is environmentally friendly, easy to clean, and traps odors whether you’re packing out dog poop, food wrappers or baby diapers.

An Easy to Carry Stove Primal Ridge
Primal Ridge

An Easy to Carry Stove

Fires are often not allowed in any capacity in certain national parks or forested areas. So how does one cook any fish? Or warm coffee? Or boil water? Bringing a stove seems impractical, but this particular one is super tiny and easy to place in your pack. The Primal Ridge Sabre Cooking System pieces nests together for compact storage.

Navigation Device with Emergency Phone Garmn navigate
Garmn navigate

Navigation Device with Emergency Phone

Maps and compasses are great, but this handy device takes things next level. Not only will it navigate through wilderness via satellite, but it will also keep you in touch with family members notifying them of your location. Covering another essential on our list, this piece of equipment also allows for two way communication, should an emergency arise.

Clever Water Solutions Vapur Element Flexible Water Bottle
Vapur Element Flexible Water Bottle

Clever Water Solutions

The water situation can vary greatly depending on where your backpacking. In general, bringing in water is an absolute necessity. Soft water bottles are best because once you empty them, they can be easily folded up saving extra space. So you can lighten your load as you go. Boiling water is an option if a source is nearby, or there are filtration systems that can be bought. Vapur bottles are perfect and come with a clip to carry on the exterior until you’ve emptied them.

Toasty and Dry Sleeping Bag Coleman 0°F Mummy Sleeping Bag
Coleman 0°F Mummy Sleeping Bag

Toasty and Dry Sleeping Bag

Definitely don’t cheap out on the sleeping bag, because there are a lot of great water-resistant options that aren’t that much more expensive than something that might not be as insulated or protective. When cold nights come, you’ll be grateful you did your research to find a solid option. Colemans mummy sleeping bag secures around the head like a hood, sealing in the heat. It’s good for down to 0°F.

Basic but Environmentally Conscious Toiletries Hello Antiplaque + Whitening Toothpaste Tablets
Hello Antiplaque + Whitening Toothpaste Tablets

Basic but Environmentally Conscious Toiletries

Keeping good hygiene is important, even if living primitively in the woods. However, there are certain products that are particularly better to bring then your traditional items. Chewable toothpaste tablets don’t have to spit out, and biodegradable dental floss is better for the earth in general. Opt for taking a sunbath, versus allowing potentially harmful shampoos to enter delicate water sources.

Practical Multitool with a Variation of Attachments Multitool Axe, Bravedge
Multitool Axe, Bravedge

Practical Multitool with a Variation of Attachments

Chances are you will need to cut or chop something while out in the wild. Since a lot of circumstances can arise, having a multi-tool with various attachments can be extremely handy. Twelve useful items are attached to this hatchet ended device. A screwdriver, bottle opener, can opener, nail puller, and more will prove to be super useful when backpacking.

Travel Deals

Get Back to Travel w/ a Clean & Affordable Rental


Win a 2021 Beach House Vacation in Myrtle Beach


5-Day Rhine River Cruise


8-Day Tulip Time Cruise from Holland to Belgium


5-Day Christmastime Cruise through Germany


8-Day Active & Discovery River Cruise on the Rhine


Up to $3,000 Savings on 2021 U.S. River Cruises


4-Day Danube River Cruise


60,000 Bonus Points for New Cardmembers!


Powered by: Strive Media


Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.


Please fill out highlighted fields and click "Compare Prices" to continue.