3-Day Backpacking Guidelines (2023) – Bearfoot Principle

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Are you planning a backpacking journey and feeling overwhelmed with determining what gear and provides it’s worthwhile to deliver? Don’t fear, you’ve come to the proper place.

On this publish, we’ll share our final 3-day backpacking guidelines (tailor-made for girls) to assist guarantee you may have every little thing you want for a profitable and pleasurable journey.

From necessities like shelter and a snug sleep system to sensible clothes selections, we’ve considered all the fundamental necessities you’ll should be snug on a weekend-long backpacking journey – nothing extra, nothing much less.

Whereas it is a complete record, I encourage you to regulate your guidelines based mostly by yourself wants. That being stated, I additionally encourage you to try to persist with the necessities. You might be stunned at how little you want!

This publish accommodates references to our sponsors. Bearfoot Principle additionally participates in affiliate applications with a wide range of retailers and is compensated for referring site visitors and enterprise to those corporations. All the merchandise we advocate we stand behind, and we respect your assist!

The Huge Gear Gadgets

These are the important items of substances that ought to at all times be in your backpacking guidelines for each single journey you intend.

Backpacking Pack

I’ve tried many backpacking backpacks, and humorous sufficient, the least costly one I’ve owned has additionally been my favourite.

At 4 lbs. 8.7 oz., the Deuter Aircontact Core 60 + 10 SL Girls’s Pack isn’t tremendous light-weight, nevertheless it nonetheless weighs practically 2 kilos lower than my previous Gregory backpack and it seamlessly molds to my physique.

Deuter’s Aircontact collection packs can regulate for a wide range of torso lengths and additionally is available in a males’s mannequin.

The 60 +10 SL pack is loads huge for a multi-day journey. In truth, that is the pack I took on my 22-day John Muir Path hike, a 10-day backpacking journey in Alaska, and my Trans Catalina Path backpacking journey.

For a shorter backpacking journey or should you’re splitting carrying gear with a associate, take a look at the smaller 45 + 10 SL model. This model is what BFT Director Linda makes use of on backpacking journeys.

Store Deuter Aircontact Core 60 at:

Backpacking Tent

Your tent selection could make the most important distinction in weight out of all the massive gear gadgets. Nonetheless, the lighter your tent, the more cash you’ll spend.

If you already know you’ll be doing plenty of backpacking, I like to recommend investing in a good-quality, ultralight tent just like the Zpacks Duplex. At simply over 1 lb 5 oz, it’s one of many lightest tents available on the market but nonetheless roomy sufficient so that you don’t really feel such as you’re sleeping on prime of your associate.

It’s vital to notice that the Zpacks Duplex is a semi-freestanding tent. It does require two trekking poles (or the Duplex Flex Equipment) and man strains (included) to arrange.

Store The Zpacks Duplex Tent at:

If you want extra room or backpack with a pooch, the Zpacks Triplex is only a half-ounce heavier and provides a bit further house. My associate Ryan and I take advantage of the Triplex for backpacking journeys which inserts us and our 2 canines, Charlie and Gumbo.

Woman sitting on camp chair in front of Zpacks duplex tent at campsite
BFT’s Content material Supervisor Courtney stress-free outdoors her Zpack Duplex tent within the Helinox Chair Zero

If $600+ is an excessive amount of to spend on a tent (we don’t blame you!) otherwise you desire a freestanding tent, the REI Flash 2 Tent is a extra budget-friendly choice. It’s a few kilos heavier at 3 lbs 4 oz, however nonetheless an amazing light-weight choice.

Store REI Co-op Flash 2 at:

Sleeping Pad

I at present use the ladies’s Sea to Summit Consolation Gentle Sleeping Pad and like it. It’s light-weight, packs up small, and nonetheless manages to be heat and comfy.

It’s additionally simple to inflate and comes with a pump built-in into the stuff sack, and it’s made out of sturdy ripstop nylon.

There’s a unisex model too in case you need one thing a little bit larger.

Store The Sea to Summit Consolation Gentle at:

A woman inflates a sleeping pad next to her tent on a backpacking trip
I really like that the Sea to Summit Consolation Lite Sleeping Pad is light-weight, inflates shortly, and is tremendous snug.

Sleeping Bag

An increasing number of backpackers are choosing quilts over sleeping baggage as a result of they’re extra light-weight and versatile but nonetheless preserve you good and comfy at evening.

The Enlightened Gear Revelation Quilt is our decide for a backpacking quilt. It’s extremely light-weight at 1 lb 3 oz (850-fill, 30-degree) and we additionally love you can customise it to your wants and preferences.

When ordering, you possibly can select between 850 and 950 fill energy, choose a temperature ranking between 0 to 50-degree, and even customise your quilt size.

The Revelation Quilt is really a revelation and one piece of substances I don’t go away at residence once I’m heading out on a multi-day journey.

If you happen to’re backpacking together with your associate and like to cuddle, take a look at our publish on one of the best double sleeping baggage for backpacking.

Store The Enlightened Gear Revelation Quilt at:

Backpacking Equipment

There are tons of backpacking equipment you possibly can select to pack, however right here we record a very powerful ones that can preserve you protected and comfy on the path.

Trekking Poles

On these uphill climbs, trekking poles assist take among the weight off your hips and legs by using your arm energy. On the downhill, they assist ease the stress in your knees. And on these stream crossings, these puppies have saved me extra occasions than I can depend by serving to me steadiness.

The Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles are Black Diamond’s lightest foldable poles product of carbon fiber and are available 4 sizes to fulfill your top.

Store The Black Diamond Carbon Z Trekking Poles at:


The BioLite Headlamp 325 is my new go-to headlamp for backpacking. It’s ultralight, low profile, and really vivid with 4 lighting modes together with crimson gentle so that you received’t blind your basecamp buddies or compromise your evening imaginative and prescient.

I additionally love that it’s battery-free and USB-chargeable (simply make sure you totally cost it earlier than you head out!).

Store The BioLite 325 Headlamp at:

Emergency Communication System

I like to hold a monitoring machine with me that I can use to ship a assist sign in case of an emergency. 

The Garmin inReach Mini 2 permits for two-way customized texting and likewise has GPS that you need to use for navigating.

The Mini is way smaller and lighter than the common Garmin inReach so I desire it for mountain climbing and backpacking when each ounce issues.

Store the Garmin inReach Mini at:

Kristen smiling for photo on high alpine trail in Sequoia National Park in California wearing backpacking gear and Wallaroo sun hat
If you happen to’re heading out of mobile phone vary, you’ll wish to deliver a GPS communication machine just like the Garmin inReach Mini (I’m carrying a bigger, earlier Garmin mannequin on this picture)

First Help Equipment

You need to at all times have a primary support package when you find yourself mountain climbing within the backcountry. This ultralight, waterproof medical package comes with the minimal provides that you’ll want to handle minor wounds, in addition to travel-sized packs of some useful medicines. I

Along with what comes on this package, you must complement it with some further blister band-aids and any medicines which can be particular to the hikers in your group.

Store the Journey Medical Equipment at:

Backpacking Chair

Packing a light-weight chair is unquestionably not important for a backpacking journey, nevertheless it’s a nice-to-have merchandise should you plan to spend so much of time stress-free at camp. The Helinox Chair Zero packs right down to roughly the dimensions of two Nalgene water bottles and weighs just one pound, making it the proper luxurious merchandise.

Store the Helinox Chair Zero at:

Backpacking Kitchen Gear

Subsequent on our backpacking guidelines is your camp kitchen gear. I are likely to preserve my cooking setup easy when backpacking. I primarily boil water for espresso or tea and oats within the morning and for backpacking meals within the night.

Backpacking Range & Gasoline

The Jetboil Flash Cooking System is essentially the most environment friendly backpacking range I’ve discovered, particularly in case you are solely boiling water.

Collectively, the range and pot solely weigh 13.1 oz. For a 3-day journey, one 230-gram gasoline canister (offered individually) needs to be sufficient in case you are utilizing your range for espresso, breakfast, and dinner.

Store the Jetboil Flash at:

A woman boils water on a backpacking trip using a JetBoil
Utilizing the Jet Boil Flash Cook dinner System

Water Bottles or Hydration Reservoir

I wish to pack a number of of those light-weight Platypus Comfortable Bottles that may be rolled up when they’re empty. In comparison with a tough water bottle like a Nalgene, these are a lot lighter and take up much less house when backpacking.

Relying on water availability, I’ll deliver as much as three of those on my backpacking journeys.

I additionally have a tendency to make use of these as an alternative of a hydration pack since a reservoir generally is a ache to tug out of my backpacking pack every time it must be refilled.

However should you wish to backpack with a hydration reservoir for simple water entry when you hike, the Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir is a good choice.

Store the Platypus Comfortable Water Bottles at:

Backpacking Water Filter

The Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter System is completely the best solution to filter your water within the backcountry, in my view.

This technique depends on gravity to push water by means of, eliminating the necessity to pump by hand or manually squeeze water by means of a filter – that means it can save you your power for the hike.

At 11.5 ounces you’ll barely discover this factor in your bag, and what’s actually cool is you possibly can join the hose on to your water bottle or any normal hydration reservoir.

For extra particulars on the way it works, learn my full overview right here.

I’ll additionally point out that it’s at all times good to hold a backup in case your water filter fails. These Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets are nice as a result of they’re tremendous small and you may simply throw a number of in your first support package.

Store the Platypus GravityWorks Filter at:

Male backpacker sitting on ground with gravity fed water filter hung from tree behind him
Utilizing the Platypus GravityWorks filter within the backcountry of Sequoia Nationwide Park

Light-weight Tenting Mug

You’ll want one thing for that morning espresso and night tea. The GSI Outdoor Infinity Backpacker Mug is light-weight and can preserve your beverage heat within the coldest of situations with its insulated wrap and sip lid. It even has a light-weight cloth strap as a deal with.

Store the GSI Outdoor Camp Mug at:

Consuming Utensil

A woman’s gotta eat! Ramen, backpacker meals, oatmeal. This Sea To Summit Alpha Lite Lengthy Spork is the one utensil you want, and it weighs shockingly little at lower than 0.5 ounces!

It additionally has an extended deal with and may simply attain the underside of that Mountain Home bag.

Store the Sea to Summit Spork at:


Some individuals like to hold a multi-tool, however personally, I’ve at all times been capable of get by with a easy, small knife.

This Gerber Mini Paraframe Knife can reduce paracord or be used to arrange meals and solely weighs 1.4 ounces.

Store the Gerber Mini Knife at:

Bear Canister

You might or could not want a bear canister relying on the place you might be mountain climbing. They’re required by legislation in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, spots in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and extra.

In some locations, they might be obtainable for lease however make sure you verify earlier than heading out.

If you’re on a brief journey and solely carrying meals for your self, the Bear Vault 450 is an effective cheap choice. Or for a duo or longer journeys, go for the bigger model.

Store the Bear Vault 450 at:

Backpacking Toiletries

My magnificence routine whereas backpacking is fairly restricted and is targeted purely on hygiene. That’s what I’ve mirrored on this backpacking guidelines. No deodorant, no make-up, no hairbrush, and so forth.

Lip Balm

The mountains can suck the moisture proper out of these lovely lips leaving them cracked and dry. Plus, your lips are simply as weak to sunburn as your face, so SPF is essential.

Solar Bum Mineral SPF 30 has pure, natural elements and can preserve your lips hydrated and guarded.

Store the Solar Bum Lip Balm at:


At excessive elevations, you possibly can burn approach faster than you assume, and all these hours mountain climbing within the solar add up.

This Solar Bum sunscreen is available in a small tube, is waterproof, and offers SPF 50. 

Store the Solar Bum Sunscreen at:

Toothpaste & Toothbrush

It’s all about these travel-size toiletries when backpacking. This Dr. Bronner’s Journey Toothpaste is available in a 1 ozsize and is all-natural, truthful commerce licensed, and the packaging is totally recyclable.

Store the Dr. Bronner’s Toothpaste at:

Poop Equipment – Trowel, Rest room Paper, & Ziploc Bag

So as to adjust to the 7 Depart No Hint Rules, it’s worthwhile to dig a cathole that’s at the very least 6-8 inches deep while you go #2.

You might assume “I don’t want a shovel… I’ll simply use a rock or stick.” I’ve made that mistake myself solely to seek out that generally the dust is so onerous, you possibly can’t dig a gap. After which panic ensues.

Make life simpler for your self by grabbing a TheTentLab The Deuce #2 Trowel. It’s light-weight and there’s actually isn’t any excuse to not deliver it with you.

Additionally, while you go #2, it’s worthwhile to pack out your soiled bathroom paper to be able to preserve campsite and path situations for future campers.

There’s nothing grosser than discovering a bunch of used soiled TP while you’re tenting. I wish to deliver a Ziploc bag for my TP after which I retailer that in a small (not-see-through) stuff sack that I can rinse out later.

Store TheTentlab Trowel at:

Pee Rag

Whereas this may sound unusual to you at first, bringing a pee rag in your backpacking journey, like this specifically made, antimicrobial Kula Material, is tremendous useful.

As a substitute of getting to wipe with TP every time and pack it into your zip lock bag, and as an alternative of not wiping in any respect which can lead to odors and discomfort, simply wipe with this reusable material!

When going to the toilet, I drip dry after which pat myself off with this to be able to preserve my woman elements clear.

Then, I take advantage of my water bottle to rinse off the towel 200 ft from any water sources (as really helpful by Depart No Hint) and dangle it from my pack to dry.

A woman carries a red backpacking pack with an attached Kula cloth pee rag in Sequoia National Park
You’ll be able to see my orange Kula Material snapped to my backpacking pack

Fast Dry Towel

A light-weight quick-dry towel is at all times useful, whether or not it’s for drying your palms and face, doing dishes, or going for a swim and performing some sunbathing.

They arrive in a wide range of sizes so you possibly can pack what you want and nothing extra.

Store the REI Multi Towel at:

Hand Sanitizer

A travel-size hand sanitizer is a should earlier than consuming and after going to the toilet whereas within the backcountry.

I desire hand sanitizer to cleaning soap as a result of it’s simpler to observe Depart No Hint. If you happen to do select a biodegradable cleaning soap, like this one by Dr. Bronner’s, make sure you abide by Depart No Hint and rinse 200 ft away from water sources.

Store Dr. Bronner’s Hand Sanitizer at:

Moist Wipes

For shorter journeys, you may be capable to get away with out moist wipes, particularly should you’re utilizing the pee rag methodology and also you wish to save weight in your pack.

Nonetheless, in order for you a little bit refresh, these Sea to Summit Wilderness Wipes are delicate and delicate on each your pores and skin and the setting. They’re unscented (higher for not attracting wildlife) and even are available an extra-large dimension in case you wish to wipe your complete physique down after a sizzling sweaty day on the path. Be sure you pack them out in your ziplock trash baggie to eliminate them correctly.

Store Sea to Summit Wilderness Wipes at:

Backpacking Clothes

How a lot clothes do you have to deliver on a 3-day backpacking journey? Absolutely the minimal it’s worthwhile to be snug.

You’ll respect it while you begin to really feel the load of your pack after a few hours of mountain climbing.

You actually solely want 1 mountain climbing outfit and 1 set of dry, heat garments to alter into while you get to camp and for sleeping.

The one factor I deliver further of is underwear and socks and possibly an additional shirt I can swap out relying on what number of days I’m backpacking.

Tip: Keep away from cotton which retains moisture, takes a very long time to dry, and tends to harbor smells. As a substitute, go for quick-dry supplies that wick sweat and resist odors.

Insulated Jacket

A light-weight, packable, insulated (down or artificial) jacket is essential for when the temps drop within the evenings.

I desire one thing with a hood so I can preserve my head heat when it’s windy or further chilly, so I pack my Arc’teryx Atom Hoody.

Store the Arc’teryx Atom Hoodie at:

Rain Jacket

All the time verify the climate earlier than you set out. Even when it’s trying like nothing however solar, I wish to deliver a light-weight rain jacket and the Arc’teryx Beta AR Rain Jacket is my prime decide. It’s undoubtedly expensive (catch it on sale!) however when you spend money on a bit like this, you’ll have it endlessly. It’s the rain jacket I wore on a backpacking journey in Alaska the place it rained practically day by day.

For a extra budget-friendly choice, take a look at the REI Co-op Ranier Rain Jacket – it’s what Linda, BFT’s Director of Operations, at present makes use of and loves.

Additionally, if there may be any probability of showers, I throw in a pair of rain pants too.

Store the Arc’teryx Beta AR Rain Jacket at:

Base Layer High

A heat, wool base layer is useful for becoming while you’re able to get out of your sweaty mountain climbing garments and get heat at camp. It may be cozy to sleep in too.

I just like the Icebreaker 200 Oasis Half Zip as a result of it’s tremendous delicate and odor-resistant. I additionally go for Icebreaker over different Merino wooden manufacturers as a result of they’ve robust animal welfare requirements.

Store the Icebreaker 200 Oasis High at:

Climbing Pants

I desire to backpack in leggings (if it’s too cool for shorts that’s). The lululemon Cargo Tremendous-Excessive-Rise Climbing Tight 25″ have been BFT Director Linda’s go-to leggings this season as a result of they’re designed particularly for mountain climbing with considerate particulars comparable to snag-resistant cloth, zippered pockets, and a couple of loops that you need to use to clip keys or different small gadgets that you simply wish to preserve protected and simply in attain.

Store the lululemon Cargo Tremendous-Excessive-Rise Climbing Tight 25″ at:

Moisture Wicking T-Shirt

I at all times hike in a non-cotton, quick-dry, moisture-wicking t-shirt, and most frequently it’s the Patagonia Cool Capilene T-Shirt.

As I become older, although, I’m preferring the long-sleeve model as a result of it offers extra safety from the solar. These shirts are light-weight, so even with the lengthy sleeves, I keep good and funky.

Store Patagonia Capilene Tees at:

A woman backpacking high in the clouds clutching trekking poles
Carrying the Patagonia Capilene Lengthy Sleeve

Climbing Shorts

I wish to backpack in spandex shorts when the climate’s good, however recently, I’ve been liking these REI Co-op Lively Pursuits Shorts.

They’re snug and stretchy and supply a little bit extra breathability than spandex.

Store the REI Lively Pursuit Shorts at:

Sports activities Bra

Sports activities bras are my go-to even once I’m not mountain climbing, and today I’m personally loving the lululemon Run Occasions Bra.

It’s good for backpacking as a result of it doesn’t shift round, my breasts are totally supported, and don’t bounce round AT ALL. I additionally love the thick straps becuase they don’t dig into my shoulders.

Store the lululemon Run Occasions Bra at:

Fast Dry Lingerie

The lululemon InvisiWear Mid-Rise Boyshorts are light-weight and have a barely-there really feel, making them nice for backpacking.

I’ve tried two different cuts of those InvisiWear underwear, and the boyshorts keep in place one of the best out of all of them.

Store the lululemon InvisiWear Boyshorts at:

Climbing Socks

I alternated between 2 pairs of Darn Powerful Climbing Socks on my John Muir Path hike. That was years in the past, and I nonetheless put on these socks mountain climbing.

They’re extraordinarily sturdy and keep put when you’re mountain climbing so that you don’t find yourself with nasty blisters. Plus, Darn Powerful provides a lifetime guarantee. Free socks for all times!

Store Darn Powerful Socks at:

Climbing Boots

I’ve at all times been a giant fan of Oboz and just lately upgraded to a brand new pair of Bridger BDry Climbing Boots after carrying my final pair out by means of years of mountain climbing and backpacking.

The mid-height helps assist your ankles, plus they’re waterproof and have a stiff sole, so that you get loads of assist on these steeper, rockier slopes.

Store the Oboz Bridger BDry Boots at:

Camp Sandals

It’s at all times good to take these mountain climbing boots off while you get to camp to let your ft breathe, and for that motive, a pair of camp sandals are a should on my backpacking guidelines.

These Teva Common Path Sandals are light-weight (1 pound for the pair) and supply construction and grip for strolling round camp.

They’ve padding across the ankle and anyplace there’s a buckle to forestall rubbing, and they’re one of the crucial snug pair of sandals I’ve ever owned.

Plus, they’re made out of recycled water bottles, so it’s a win-win! See my full overview right here.

Store the Teva Common Sandals at:

Solar Hat

Even should you’ll be mountain climbing within the woods or the forecast appears cloudy, you’ll wish to deliver a solar hat to guard your face, neck, and shoulders from dangerous UV rays. Not solely do hats keep at bay sunburns, however conserving your pores and skin shaded may also assist stop dehydration and heatstroke.

The Wallaroo Sedona Hat has been my favourite for years. I really like the vast brim, fashionable look, and that it may well pack down with out dropping its form.

Store the Wallaroo Solar Hat at:
(Use the code BEARFOOT20 for 20% off)

Woman hiking on trail in high alpine terrain carrying backpacking gear and holding trekking poles
The Wallaroo Sedona Hat has been my go-to mountain climbing hat for years

Sun shades

Don’t overlook your shades at residence! You most likely already personal a pair of sun shades, however should you’re available in the market for some new backpacking sun shades, Goodr makes enjoyable, inexpensive choices. We additionally love that they’re a member of 1% For The Planet.

Store Goodr Sun shades at:


I additionally extremely advocate packing a buff – a flexible piece you can put on round your neck for solar safety, round your face and ears if it’s windy, and whilst a scarf soaked in water to assist preserve you cool.


If it’s going to be chilly, you’ll additionally wish to deliver a pair of gloves. I like these light-weight Smartwool liners. They’re touchscreen suitable and never bulking, in order that they work nicely with trekking poles.

Store the Smartwool Liner Gloves at:


It’s a good suggestion to pack a light-weight, quick-drying beanie to put on at evening or if temps drop in the course of the day. The Patagonia On a regular basis Beanie is an easy hat that does the trick.

Store the Patagonia On a regular basis Beanie at:

Need assistance planning or making ready on your journey? Try these useful backpacking how-to guides:

What’s in your backpacking guidelines that we missed? Is there something you’d add or subtract? Do you may have any questions on what to deliver backpacking? Tell us within the feedback beneath.

Bearfoot Theory | Get ready for your next outdoor adventure with this comprehensive 3-day backpacking checklist! From essential gear to practical clothing, our tried and true picks have you covered. Don't forget a thing and enjoy a stress-free journey into nature. Pin this checklist and start planning your next backpacking trip today!

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