five days backpacking gear list

Five Days Backpacking Gear List: The Essentials

Even if you have backpacked for years, it’s easy to forget something and later regret it. That is why checking your list, and backpacking gear will help you tremendously with achieving the most out of your trip. 

This list will also help make planning easier and help you choose and meet your needs. If this is your first time, the list will help you purchase quality backpacking equipment that will last for many years. Let’s dive into the five-day backpacking gear list without further ado. 

Backpacking Essentials

The essentials include the most necessary items to carry in your backpack. Some things may seem expensive if it’s your first time, but you can start with cheaper gear to learn through the experience first.

Choosing the Right Backpacking Backpack

Finding the right backpack is the first step toward a successful backpacking trip. A good, lightweight backpack shouldn’t cost a fortune. Having said that, buying a high-quality backpack will endure hundreds of miles through the years.  

Your backpack will be among the four heaviest items you bring. So, the weight of the backpack must be as low as possible. When looking through the bags, you’ll come across many options with good weight, durability, and comfort. 

A bigger volume backpack might be better if you’re new to backpacking or prefer to bring a few extra items with you. Most lightweight backpacks have 40-50L. 

Sleeping Pad

It’s unnecessary to spend a lot to get a sleeping pad, but many backpackers willingly spend more to buy a good quality sleeping pad that they will frequently use. 

Along with your backpack, this will also be one of the heaviest items you will carry. So, if you want to save weight, here is your chance. Your backpacking trips will be more enjoyable if you take an optimum weight. 

The R-value determines how well a sleeping pad will keep you warm against the cold ground. Greater R-value will provide you with more warmth. If you’re traveling in warmer conditions, carrying a sleeping pad with an R-value of 0-2 is sufficient. R-values 4-6 are efficient for colder conditions, and above five will allow a good sleep on snow. 

Sleeping Bag

Ideally, backpackers will have 2 to 3 options to choose from, but depending on the weather condition of the place, going with one that fits the need is the right option. 

There are several different temperature ratings available when purchasing a sleeping bag. It depends on the area you’ll be backpacking, but if you’re a sleeper who prefers cooler conditions, adding 15 F will do the job. 

Since it’s one of the heaviest items, if you want to opt for something lighter, sleeping quilts will help you save weight. They eliminate the insulation material you would typically find in a sleeping bag. So, sleeping quilts are great alternatives if you’re backpacking in warmer regions.

Tent Body

The final heaviest item you’ll need to carry is the tent body. Lightweight tents are often more costly and less durable, but if cared for properly, they will last for many years. 

Paying more for a high-quality tent is recommended for enjoyable and comfortable trips. So, please don’t hold back on extra features or expenses when purchasing a tent. 

Water Essentials

Water is necessary to add to your five days backpacking gear list to replace the lost fluids through sweats and other flushing methods.

Water Bottles

Carry at least 2-3 water bottles to reserve water when hiking. Recyclable and sturdy plastic bottles are the best options because they’re inexpensive and easy to carry water. Water bags are also a great option because of their weight and foldability when you’re not using them. 

Water Filter

You’ll have to treat water frequently, so if the procedure is unpleasant, you’ll quickly get tired of it. So, you must go for a filtration process that’s simple and easier since it’s a five days trip. 

Navigation Equipments

Every backpacker should carry navigation equipment to help navigate when they are outdoors. 

GPS Phone App

You can always know where you are by carrying a GPS device. It can help keep you safe and reduce your concern about your whereabouts. Phones are more handy compared to handheld GPS devices.

If you’re wondering whether phone service plays a role in phone navigation, the answer is no. Although your GPS will still function without cell service, you must download the appropriate maps before losing service. 


If you’re good with directions, having a compass is an excellent idea to keep along when you’re on a backpacking trip. 


All your clothing items should be thin and quick-drying. Polyester and skill are good options because they dry quickly. Both hold an odor after a certain period, but for a five days trip, they are perfect. Other clothing items include:

  • Wicking/long-sleeved shirts
  • Hiking pants
  • Rain jacket and rain pants
  • Two pairs of underwear
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Boots or shoes

Kitchen Essentials

Five days is a long time to stay without any food. It would be best if you had the necessary nutrients and energy to keep you running. 

Camp Stove

Many backpackers use canister stoves for their easy and convenient usage. Liquid stoves are a good choice if you’re taking trips to freeze regions or high altitudes. Stove fuels are budget-friendly but don’t work well in the wind. Wood stoves are also convenient if you don’t carry fuel but unsuitable for desert environments and locations above treeline.

Other essential items include:

  • Small lighter
  • Small pocket knife
  • Cookpot and lid
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Snacks
  • Hand towel
  • Cup/mug


You might be spending five days without a shower, so carrying a set of toiletries will help you maintain hygiene. Essential toiletries include:

  • Backpacking trowel
  • Bug repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Biodegradable wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush and paste

First Aid Kit

Backpacking can be quite risky at times, especially if you’re traveling for the first time. First aid kits include band-aids, antibiotic ointments, medical tapes, and pain killers. 

Final Thoughts

With this five days backpacking gear list, you can save a lot of weight and have the greatest adventures. Carry a few extra items if you feel they are necessary. Besides that, the list pretty much covers what you need for backpacking. 

You can also read: 10 Camping Essentials for Women You Should Never Skip Packing

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