Backcountry Essentials Checklist

What’s in Your Pack?

Here’s a list of 12 things you should have in your pack when you forge into the backcountry even for a day hike. Especially if you’re bringing the kids along, you want to be prepared for every eventuality short of the apocalypse. Because you are big and strong, you’ll carry the lion’s share of the gear and maybe some extra water for thirsty kids. Children can’t carry too much, but if they’re old enough—say seven–have them carry a small pack with a snack, water, raincoat, safety whistle, small headlamp, and an emergency blanket (a big black plastic garbage will suffice).

Kids PacksIn addition to the list below, I like to bring along a poop kit (little orange poop shovel, some toilet paper, baby wipes, antiseptic, and small plastic bags for packing out TP). If I don’t, nature will call on one of my kids, and the need will be instant and urgent.



___First-aid kit

___Matches and emergency tinder

___Emergency blanket or large trash bag

___Map and compass

___Safety whistle

___Headlamp or flashlight

___Extra layers

___Rain gear

___Pocket knife

___Sunglasses and sunscreen


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