Our awesome camping gear checklist should answer most of your gear questions so please read through this carefully. There’s nothing that guides like to discuss more than best camping gears. We can’t over stress the importance of keeping your load as light as possible. It’s always tempting to over pack and toss in those extras thinking “it doesn’t really weigh much and I’ll be glad I bought it.” No, you won’t. You will regret all those extras every time you hoist your pack onto your back. Optional items like camp shoes, MP3 players, binoculars, extra clothing, etc. can easily add up to 6-7 pounds of unnecessary weight on your back. Leave the extras at home and always make weight one of the primary considerations when making ultralight camping gear selections. But if you are not sure about something to bring it along and ask the guide. Our backpacking checklist is your tried-and-true guide to packing smart for overnight hiking trips.
Here’s our - Top 10 Backpack Camping Gear Checklist Infographic [Download Backpack Camping Checklist] - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6hQsBUNhio6NGZXOU05cXd3MEU
Also printer friendly version Camping Gear Checklist [Download PDF] - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6hQsBUNhio6ZllSWVpOY2xTd00
Fire Starter – According to Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus gave fire to mankind after stealing it from Mount Olympus. When Zeus found out, the thief was chained to a rock, where an eagle could feast on his liver every day, for the rest of eternity. Fortunately for us, fire is much easier to come by today. With the simple flick of a lighter, or strike of a match, producing a flame is a breeze — even in the wilderness.
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Survival Bracelet Gear – An emergency kit or gear that you can take with you without packing heavy items or worrying about it getting lost as you have it on you at all times. Checkout this super cool bracelet for unique camping gear –
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Slingshot – Hunting with a slingshot is challenging and will increase your stalking skills as a hunter overall.
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Sleeping bag – This is one of the most important pieces of essential camping gear you carry. Even if your rain gear fails and you get cold and soaking wet you absolutely must have this inner sanctum as a final refuge. Alaska can get wet at times so if you use a down bag you must take extra care to keep it dry. Plastic garbage bags or one of the new, light-weight dry bags will work well. Down works really well, weighs less and packs small.
Portable Camping Light – Camping enthusiasts will know that the one thing you don’t want to be without when setting up for a night in the wilderness, is a reliable, bright camping lantern. No matter what you need to do – pitch your tent, make the fire and cook food, seek out the bathroom in the middle of the night – a dependable camping lantern call make all the difference to the success of your trip.
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Backpack – backpacks have gotten very good in the last ten years. Pretty much all packs are now internal frame design and these work well for the rugged off trail terrain of the Wrangell’s. As for size, make sure it will hold all of the must have camping gear tools you will bring plus a bear canister filled with food. We recommend taking a duffel with all your gear to the store then pack it all into packs that you are considering. The pack should be large enough to contain your gear without a lot of stuff strapped on to the outside.
While hiking your clothing is a system of layers that you add and subtract according to the dictates of weather and temperature.
Convertible pants – A pair of lightweight nylon pants with legs that zip off and convert to shorts saves you from carrying a pair of both. You will rarely take the legs off however except for stream crossings. If you can’t get the convertibles just go with the pants. You will not miss the shorts.
Long johns – A pair of lightweight polypro long-johns – 2 pairs of tops and 1 bottoms. This is the layer that goes next to your skin. Light to mid weight is good, don’t go for the heavy weight.
Rain jacket – get a light weight Gore-tex jacket, not a heavy duty one. I like the Marmot Precip jacket and pants, or something similar. Be sure to get a hard shell jacket not soft. We have had people take soft shell jackets and they are great for snow but not waterproof.
Rain pants – go with something lightweight such as the Precip pants. Make sure it has at least partial side zips so you can get them on and off over your boots. Ponchos are not acceptable rain protection. Wind and brush will render a poncho useless.
Underwear – synthetic only NO cotton!
Inner socks – 3 pairs of lightweight synthetic
Outer socks – 3 pairs of medium weight wool socks (or heavy polypro) If you are used to hiking with only one sock layer that’s fine. Use what has worked for you in the past.
Water shoes – some treks involve a significant number of stream crossings which make it worthwhile to take along some sort of water shoe. These can be lightweight trail shoes or heavy-duty sandals but flip flops, Crocs or very light weight sandals will not suffice. Toes must be covered. Check with us about what you will need for the route you will be traveling. Ask us if you will need water shoes for your route.
Gaiters – these are optional but nice for keeping crud from falling down the boots. You don’t need the knee high style, just short ones that come over the top of your boots.
Fleece or wool gloves – you don’t usually need these for hiking but for in camp they are good to have on a cool or windy day. If you get fleece get the windproof variety. Even on a warm sunny day it cools down a lot in the evening.
Cap – a baseball type cap with a bill is great for keeping the sun off while hiking. Get a lightweight synthetic rather than cotton.
Mess kit – plastic bowl, fork, spoon and mug. Don’t get the brittle plastic spoons like you take on picnics or you’ll be eating with your fingers. For a mug you want a large insulated plastic type to keep your hot drinks hot.
Water bottle – 1 litre wide mouth, plastic or metal bottle. You can use a hydration bladder if you prefer that approach. A litre of water is all you will need to carry as you hike.
Knife – no big heavy knives that look like they came off the set of Crocodile Dundee. A small folding knife with a 2-3 inch blade is good.
Toiletries – toilet paper, toothbrush, floss, lip balm, sunscreen, toilet paper, a small amount of biodegradable soap. Get small sizes for all of this.
Personal first aid kit –moleskin, band-aids, aspirin etc. Any medication that you usually take.
Sunglasses – bring em.
Insect repellent – a small bottle of bug juice will be enough for several people.
Stuff sacks – good for keeping your clothes and cool camping gear organized. Get the super light silicon/nylon ones if you can find them. Don’t get heavy weight sacks with compression straps and buckles.
Camera – Be sure to have spare batteries and enough storage for pics. I’ve seen several people who are already low on flash card capacity before we even leave McCarthy. Memory cards are cheap, get a spare.
Book – this is clearly an optional item but I consider it a necessity. If you’re stuck in your tent in the pouring rain it can be a life saver or at least a boredom saver.
Here’s our - Top 10 Backpack Camping Gear Checklist Infographic [Download Backpack Camping Checklist]
Also printer friendly version Camping Gear Checklist [Download PDF]
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