Ready to go

A couple weeks ago I posted (here and here) portions of the packing list that I was preparing for my son's Boy Scout troop. It will be used for a backpacking trip in Colorado coming up next month.

Our scoutmaster asked me to come up with a new list because he felt the previous one was resulting in pack weights that were heavier than necessary.

After some review and revisions, the final list is ready. I'm posting it here, and though it has already been distributed to the boys and leaders, I'm open to suggestions for improvement. Add a comment or send me an email if you have any ideas.

Surprisingly, I haven't heard from any mothers complaining about the lack of spare clothing on the list.

The * means the item is optional and the § indicates the item will be shared with a partner.

Items Worn
hiking shirt lightweight, synthetic, short-sleeve crew
underwear best: trim-fitting support shorts, boxer or boxer-briefs
hiking shorts lightweight, synthetic
hiking socks lightweight backpacking wool or synthetic
liner socks* wool or synthetic
hiking boots make sure these have been broken in well!
hat best: wide-brimmed, water-resistant
watch* make sure batteries are fresh
Items Carried in Pockets or Outer Pack Pocket
sunglasses 100% UV blocking, plastic lenses/frames
case* for glasses or sunglasses
whistle best: pealess, plastic
compass even if you have a GPS, this is a must!
trekking poles* not essential, but many hikers find these helpful
bandana cotton
knife small, pocket knife or Swiss Army knife
Extra Clothing (in Waterproof Stuff Sack or Ziplock Plastic Bag)
light jacket thin wind shirt or windbreaker
insulation layer synthetic pullover or fleece
long underwear top and bottom
rain jacket waterproof-breathable, simple jacket
rain pants waterproof-breathable, simple pull-on; can double for long pants in cool weather
warm hat wool or synthetic beanie cap
warm gloves Lightweight wool or fleece gloves
extra socks one spare pair each of hiking socks and liner socks
underwear* one spare pair
Shelter and Sleeping
shelter§ two person tarp or tent, recommend no heavier than 4 lbs.
tent stakes§ sufficient number to completely stake out shelter
ground cloth*§ lightweight waterproof barrier, needed only if tarp is used
sleeping bag lightweight – less than 3 lbs. if possible; 20-30º rating is sufficient
stuff sack waterproof, for sleeping bag (or trash bag in normal stuff sack)
sleeping pad inflatable or closed-cell
Carry Items
backpack well-fitted backpack
stuff sack(s) for organizing loose items
day pack for dayhikes, mountain climbing, keep it very lightweight
Cooking, Eating and Hydration
stove§ iso-butane or white gas
fuel container§ canister or (empty) bottle
cook pot§ one pot with lid is sufficient (approximately 2-liter in size)
cook pot lifter§ not needed if pot has handles
wind screen§ use windscreen designed for your stove
personal utensils spoon, drinking cup, bowl
lighting matches and inexpensive lighter
water bottles two 1-liter or 1-quart bottles
water treatment iodine tablets or chlorine dioxide drops (get a new full bottle)
food storage bear bag (stuff sack or large garbage bag) with 50-ft. of cord
Personal Hygiene and First Aid
non-prescription medicines Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen, pink bismuth tablets (Pepto Bismol), antihistamine (such as Benadryl)
prescription medicines as needed
non-latex gloves one or two pairs
minor injury supplies bandaids, moleskin, and other wound dressings
ointments triple antibiotic cream
sunblock SPF 30 or greater
insect repellent products with high concentration of DEET work best
lip balm should provide at least SPF 15 protection
hand sanitizer small, travel size
biodegradable soap small, travel size
tooth brush, toothpaste small, travel size
toilet paper small roll, non-scented, in ziplock bag
ziplock bags five 1-quart and three 1-gal ziplock bags for trash
trowel* for digging cathole; or use tent stake
duct tape small roll (5-10 feet) for quick repairs
light headlamp or small flashlight
Additional Optional Items
camera* with film or memory card and spare batteries
bug net* small net to cover head
GPS* don't bring one if you don't know how to use it.

One Response to Ready to go

  1. Bill says:

    Of course, you could also simply go to and get a custom generated list by an avid backpacker and former Scoutmaster from Colorado that is tailored to the season and climate you are going in. Alas, we are a year and a half late for you, but future trips perhaps? 🙂


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