Backpacking Supply List
Creation Safari Activity Planner
Bwanas Guide: http://creationsafaris.com/leader.htm
Teachers Resource: http://creationsafaris.com/teach.htm
BACKPACKING SUPPLY LIST
Packing for the trail requires careful planning. Once you leave the car, youre on your own. Strive to achieve a balance between bringing essential items and keeping your pack as light as possible. Do not skimp on food, adequate clothing, and protection from the elements, but choose items that weigh as little as possible. Only bring what is necessary: for instance, a small tube of toothpaste, not a large one; youll feel every ounce on the trail. Share what you can, to distribute the load. You can get double-duty out of some items: for instance, you can put your extra clothes in a pillowcase and use it for a pillow, or your sleeping bag stuff sack can be used for bear-bagging, or a Gore-Tex hat can carry a half-gallon of water.
Pack appropriate for the season, the number of days on the trail, the elevation gain, the terrain and your own fitness level. Bring options and luxuries only according to your willingness to carry them. Aim to be fully packed two or three days before the trip, to give yourself time for last minute ideas. Use this list to check and double-check your pack. Practice carrying your pack for a half mile the day before the trip, to learn what you can do without. If unsure about some items, bring them anyway and ask the leader before the hike begins; you can always leave them in the car if unnecessary better that than getting to the trailhead and deciding you need something you left at home.
You do not need everything on this list! We have intentionally tried to cover all the bases for a variety of trips, but backpacking can and should be an economical form of recreation a return to nature and a simpler way of life. You do not need to spend a lot of money on gear, unless you wish to and are willing to carry it. John Muir went for weeks in the Sierras with little more than a sack of biscuits over his shoulder, and successful backpacking predates the expensive name-brands like Jansport, Patagonia, and Gore-Tex. Experienced backpackers and strong hikers may wish to bring more options and luxuries; make sure your pack fits YOU. If in doubt, ask the bwana or another experienced backpacker.
Hiking and Camping Supplies
Items leader should have:
Note: individuals can also bring extras, or help carry them.
- __ __ Trail permit, campfire permit if required
- __ __ Topographical maps, optional GPS
- __ __ Water bowl and/or water bag
- __ __ Pack repair: duct tape, wire, straps
- __ __ First Aid kit: Ace bandages, large gauze, bandages, eye drops, tweezer, needle, disinfectant, headache and nausea remedies, handbook
- __ __ Road flare for emergency fire starter or signal
- __ __ Pepper spray, if in bear risk area
Items that can be shared among partners:
- __ __ Tent
- __ __ Stove, fuel, and mess kit with repair kit and spare parts
- __ __ Water purifier pump Tip: if you get the Katadyn brand, get the heavy-duty one; it pumps fast, but the cheaper models break. MSR brand is slower but reliable. There is also the new Steri-Pen that sterilizes with UV light.
- __ __ Bear canister, if required by forest ranger
- __ __ 50' cord for bear bagging
- __ __ Fishing tackle (optional)
Required for each individual:
- __ __ Backpack suitable for the expedition
- __ __ Sleeping bag (warm)
- __ __ Groundcloth or Space blanket (the heavy-duty all-weather kind, not the pocket kind)
- __ __ Poncho or rainproof outerwear
- __ __ Matches (waterproof) or lighter
- __ __ Insect repellant Tip: deet is most effective ingredient, as in REI Jungle Juice. Off! wipes are handy.
- __ __ Two 1-quart water bottles Tips: Newer Nalgene plastics (without BPA) are good (no plastic taste). Bota-bags keep cool and can be worn around neck. Platypus/Camelbak kits let you sip while walking.
- __ __ Eating utensils: bowl, fork, spoon
- __ __ Cup Tips: Get one you can clip to pack with carabiner. Measuring cup is handy.
- __ __ Adequate clothing (see below)
- __ __ Sufficient food (see below)
- __ __ Flashlight or headlight, extra batteries
- __ __ T.P. (partial roll in Ziplock bag, enough for trip)
- __ __ Stuff sack for bear-bagging food (can be sleeping bag sack)
- __ __ Whistle and lanyard
- __ __ Health insurance form filled out, or Insurance ID card. For minors, obtain parent consent slip and release form.
- __ __ Personal medications if needed, including allergy remedies
- __ __ New Testament or small Bible
- __ __ Sleeping pad, such as RidgeRest or Therm-a-Rest
- __ __ Day pack and/or fanny pack (lightweight)
- __ __ Carabiner, for clipping items to pack, and for bear-bagging
- __ __ Extra straps and pack pins for pack repair if needed
- __ __ Garbage bag for rain protection of gear
- __ __ Ziplock bags for storing small items
- __ __ Pocketknife, nail clipper Tip: nail clipper is handy for cutting fish line, too.
- __ __ Sunglasses
- __ __ Sunscreen, small tube but enough for each day
- __ __ Toothbrush, toothpaste (small tube)
- __ __ Extra shoelaces
- __ __ Lip balm
- __ __ Mosquito net head cover
- __ __ Comb, brush and other hygiene items
- __ __ Blister protection: Spenco adhesive kit, Second Skin, and/or moleskin
- __ __ First Aid: bandages, headache & nausea remedies
- __ __ Spare car key, if you are a driver, to give to partner
- __ __ Camera and film or memory. Tip: Better to bring too much film/memory than too little. Spare batteries, and protective case, too.
- __ __ Fishing tackle including bait, cleaning knife, floats, sinkers, extra hooks, and freshwater license. Collapsing pole easier to carry.
- __ __ Writing pad and pen
- __ __ Pillow case(s) for separating clothes
- __ __ Topographical maps and trail guides
- __ __ Hand cream or Aloe Vera
- __ __ Solar shower This feels great after a few days on the trail. It can be shared.
- __ __ Leatherman tool, large knife, pocket saw
- __ __ Walking stick, monopod, or ski poles
- __ __ Video camera, extra batteries
- __ __ Tripod
- __ __ Hammock
- __ __ Folding backpackers chair
- __ __ Soft footwear for camp/evening
- __ __ GPS unit: can be a lifesaver
- __ __ Walkie-talkies; can work over miles
- __ __ Signal beacon: vital for rescue
Tip: Avoid heavy, bulky items. Dress in layers.
- __ __ Hiking shoes (comfortable, broken in)
- __ __ Outer socks, wool or hiker style
- __ __ Inner socks, polypropylene
- __ __ Pants (lightweight; avoid denim)
- __ __ Shirts, one for every two days
- __ __ Underwear
- __ __ Thermal underwear bottom, at least middle weight, polypropylene if possible
- __ __ Thermal underwear top, at least middle weight, polypropylene if possible
- __ __ Long sleeve shirt (middle layer)
- __ __ Sweater or sweatshirt, with hood if possible
- __ __ Outer windproof jacket and pants Tip: Water-resistant, breathable material, such as Gore-Tex, is good if you can afford it.
- __ __ Day hat for sun shade Tip: collapsible hat is versatile
- __ __ Wool cap for night/cold (required if cold weather expected)
- __ __ Gloves (required if cold weather expected)
- __ __ Swimsuit or shorts, small towel Tip: You can hike in swim trunks in fair weather.
- __ __ Sweatband or bandana
- __ __ Sandals for evening, or for stream fording or swimming
Important: plan EVERY meal on the trail, and then some. Choose food that will not spoil, melt, or crumble. Some soft items can be stored in firm plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Remember you will have to pack out all metals, including aluminum foil, but you can burn paper and some plastics. Bring a gallon-size Ziplock bag to pack out non-burnable trash.
- __ __ Gatorade powder, Crystal Lite, or Kool-Aid with sweetener
- __ __ Hot chocolate
- __ __ Tea
- __ __ Coffee
- __ __ Powdered milk
- __ __ Instant oatmeal
- __ __ Hard boiled eggs
- __ __ Dry cereal in firm plastic jar
- __ __ Granola or granola bars
- __ __ Complete pancake mix
- __ __ Tuna Tip: Add relish, mayo, raisins, nuts or trail mix
- __ __ Firm bread rolls, such as bagels
- __ __ Peanut butter, jelly in non-spill containers
- __ __ Non-melting cheeses, such as string cheese
- __ __ Beef jerky, meat sticks, hard salami
- __ __ Lasagna or stew
- __ __ Submarine sandwich (first day)
- __ __ Pizza slices (1st-2nd day)
- __ __ Freeze-dried dinners See recommendations below.
- __ __ Soup (just add hot water): Lipton, oriental, etc.
- __ __ Pasta or angel-hair spaghetti or vermicelli
- __ __ Minute rice or Rice-a-Roni
- __ __ Instant potatoes with flavoring or meat; Betty Crocker Special Blend
- __ __ Fresh trout, if lucky
- __ __ Trail mix; add M&Ms if desired. Tip: a little goes a long way.
- __ __ Non-melting candy, e.g. licorice, Toblerone, PayDay, orange slices, candy corn, etc.
- __ __ Dried fruit bars, Harvest Bars, etc.
- __ __ Apples and/or oranges
- __ __ Instant pudding
- __ __ Raisins
- __ __ Nuts, plain or honey roasted
- __ __ Macadamia nuts
- __ __ Corn Nuts
- __ __ Meat sticks, jerky
- __ __ Pemmican
- __ __ Granola bars, non-melt Kudos, etc.
- __ __ Power Bars or Cliff Bars
- __ __ Soft pastries in firm plastic container
Items to bring but leave in the car
Tip: Wear comfortable clothes in the car; you can change into your backpacking clothes when you arrive at the trailhead.
- __ __ Change of clothes in duffel bag or gym bag
- __ __ Tennis shoes and gym socks
- __ __ Wallet and keys
- __ __ Phone numbers of family or friends
Items NOT to bring
- __ __ Jewelry and unnecessary valuables
- __ __ Radios, CD or MP3 players; learn to enjoy the sounds of nature
- __ __ Electronic toys and card games; read your Bible instead, and learn how to converse
- __ __ Large camp lanterns: dont try to outshine the stars; learn how to operate at night with minimal light
- __ __ Barbells
- __ __ Kitchen sink
- __ __ Bad attitude
Recommendations for Freeze-Dried Meals
Freeze-dried dinners are expensive ($5-$8 each) but lightweight. They provide the best variety, and many are quite delicious and easy to prepare (just add boiling water and wait 10 minutes). Some, however, are putrid. Here is the Creation Safaris grade chart. Note: most packages say serves two but will usually be just enough for one 160-lb man; plan accordingly so you dont starve. Mountain House has a clean method of putting a plastic package inside the foil, so that you dont have to pack out a grimy aluminum package.
Grades: A=delicious B=not bad C=so-so D=barely edible F=nauseating
Brands: MH=Mountain House BP=Backpackers Pantry RM=RichMoor NH=NaturalHigh AA=Alpine Aire
Best to Worst
- A MH Polynesian Chicken; just the smell makes your partner envious
- A MH Chicken a la King; Jim recommends it
- A MH Pasta Primavera; good-tasting, vegetarian
- A BP Cheesecake; just like the real thing
- B MH Turkey Tetrazzini; pretty good
- B MH Spaghetti; reasonable facsimile
- B MH Potatoes & Cheese with Broccoli; good veg entree
- B RM Stroganoff with Beef
- B RM Spaghetti
- B BP Mocha Mousse Pie; nice dessert
- C BP Hearty Stew with Beef; sort of
- C BP Cashew Curry with Chicken; Michelle said it was OK
- D AA Wild Time Turkey; wild time all right
- D BP Shepherds Pie with Chicken; spicy soup of goop
- F MH Chicken with Rice; weird taste, not fun
- F NH Mandarin Orange Chicken; freeze-dried barf