Women overlooking mountain

What to Pack for an Overnight Backpacking Trip

Are you asking yourself what to pack for your overnight backpacking trip? This is a great place to start to build your gear list. If this is your first time going on an overnight trip or you might want to enhance your backcountry knowledge, then you can consider taking our Intro to Backpacking course. This course will teach you about trip planning, best practices for being in the backcountry, talk about wildlife safety, and more. Our guides are outdoor, industry professionals with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and view your safety as their #1 priority.

Read this page to the bottom to review a gear list that you can include on your next overnight backpacking trip.


  • Toque
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Light gloves
  • T-shirt
  • Warm shirt (synthetic/wool)
  • Light fleece pullover/jacket or mid-layer
  • Heavier fleece jacket or sweater (no cotton)
  • Rain jacket and pants
  • Hiking pants
  • Shorts
  • Socks (plus a spare pair)
  • Hiking boots
  • River crossing shoes / camp shoes (ie flip flops)

Sleeping Gear

  • Tent with tie down cords & pegs
  • Groundsheet (optional)
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping liner (spring/fall)
  • Tarp (optional)

Backpacking Gear

  • Overnight pack (40L or more)
  • Backpack rain cover (garbage bag works too)
  • Dry sack to put your clothing/sleeping bag into
  • Lighter or matches
  • Headlamp plus batteries (extra batteries)

Food & Water

  • Food **
  • Stove & fuel **
  • Pots **
  • Cooking utensils, plate, bowl, cup, thermos (can bring your own if preferred) **
  • Soap and scrubby **
  • Water filter / purification **
  • Large, reinforced stuff sack for hanging food **
  • Rope and carabiner for hanging food **
  • Water bottle / hydration pack (at least 2 litres)

Emergency Equipment

  • Bear spray **
  • First aid kit **
  • Repair kit **


  • Toiletries (put all products into smaller containers, only bring what you need for trip)
  • Medicine
  • Toilet paper
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Map **
  • Compass **
  • GPS **
  • Camera (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)

** If you are on an Uplift Adventures’s trip, then this item is included by your guide (unless otherwise discussed).