Skip to content
a person backpacking walking towards mountains

Ultralight Backpacking Essential Gear Checklist

Lighten Your Load: Ultralight Backpacking Essentials for Your Next Adventure


Are you ready to embark on your next outdoor adventure? Whether you're a seasoned backpacker or just starting out, having the right gear can make all the difference in your journey. At Next Adventure, we're passionate about helping you pack smart and travel light, so you can fully enjoy the beauty of nature without being weighed down by heavy equipment.

a woman backpacking

Clothing Essentials:

Clothing Worn:

  • Hat with brim (Wide-brimmed nylon) - Protect yourself from the sun with a lightweight, wide-brimmed hat.
  • Hiking shirt (Long-sleeve crew - wool/synth.) - Stay comfortable and protected with a versatile, long-sleeve shirt.
  • Underwear (Trim-fit) - Keep it lightweight and trim for maximum comfort on the trail.
  • Hiking Pants (Softshell stretch woven) - Enjoy freedom of movement and durability with softshell pants.
  • Hiking Socks (Wool trail running socks) - Keep your feet dry and comfortable with wool trail socks.
  • Hiking Shoes (Breathable trail running shoes) - Traverse the trails with confidence in breathable trail running shoes.

Other Items Worn/Carried:

  • Trekking Poles (One-piece, carbon fiber) - Enhance stability and reduce strain on your joints with lightweight trekking poles.
  • Whistle (Pealess on spectra cord lanyard) - Be prepared for emergencies with a lightweight, pealess whistle.
  • Watch (Compass/Altimeter watch) - Stay on track and monitor altitude with a multifunctional watch.

Other Clothing:

  • Wind Shirt (Breathable pullover) - Layer up for unpredictable weather with a lightweight, breathable pullover.
  • Insulation Layer (Synthetic pullover) - Stay warm and cozy during chilly nights with a synthetic insulation layer.
  • Rain Jacket and Pants (Waterproof-breathable) - Stay dry in wet conditions with a waterproof-breathable rain jacket and pants.
  • Warm Hat and Gloves - Combat cold weather with a lightweight wool beanie hat and liner gloves.
  • Rain Mitts (Waterproof-breathable shell) - Keep your hands dry and protected with waterproof rain mitts.

Sleep System:

  • Shelter (One-person tarp) - Set up camp quickly and efficiently with a lightweight tarp shelter.
  • Tent Stakes (Titanium skewer style) - Secure your shelter in place with durable titanium tent stakes.
  • Bivy Sack (Waterproof/Breathable) - Protect yourself from the elements with a waterproof and breathable bivy sack.
  • Sleeping Bag (Variable-girth down bag) - Stay warm and comfortable with a variable-girth down sleeping bag.
  • Sleeping Pad (Inflatable mattress) - Enjoy a restful night's sleep with a  lightweight inflatable sleeping pad.

Packing Essentials:

  • Backpack (Lightweight frameless) - Carry your gear comfortably with a lightweight and frameless backpack.
  • Stuff Sacks (Lightweight, small-medium) - Organize and compress your gear with lightweight stuff sacks.

Cooking & Water:

  • Stove (Canister) - Boil water and cook meals efficiently with a lightweight canister stove.
  • Fuel (Container - small canister) - Carry fuel for your stove in a lightweight canister.
  • Cook Pot (21oz. titanium mug/pot) - Cook meals and boil water with a versatile titanium cook pot.
  • Cook Pot Lid and Wind Screen - Enhance cooking efficiency with a lightweight foil lid and windscreen.
  • Utensil - Enjoy your meals with a lightweight spoon.
  • Lighting (Matches & lighter) - Light up your campsite with lightweight matches and a Bic lighter.
  • Water bottles and Treatment - Stay hydrated with lightweight water bottles and a chlorine dioxide water treatment kit.
  • Food Storage (Bear Bag) - Safely store your food away from wildlife with a lightweight bear bag.

Other Essentials:

  • Maps (Custom printed, waterproof paper) - Navigate confidently with custom printed, waterproof maps.
  • Light (LED headlamp) - Illuminate your way with a lightweight LED headlamp.
  • First Aid Kit - Be prepared for minor injuries with a lightweight first aid kit.
  • Firestarting Kit - Start a fire quickly and easily with a lightweight firestarting kit.
  • Sunglasses and Sunscreen - Protect yourself from the sun with  lightweight sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Bug Spray - Keep pesky bugs at bay with a lightweight insect repellent.
  • Hygiene Kit - Stay clean and fresh on the trail with a lightweight hygiene kit.
  • Consumables (Fuel, Food, Water) - Carry essential consumables for your journey, including fuel, food, and water.

With a total base weight of approximately 7.20 lb. and a carefully curated selection of essentials, you can lighten your load and focus on the adventure ahead. Remember, the key to successful ultralight backpacking is to prioritize versatility, durability, and functionality in your gear choices.

For more detailed information and tips on ultralight backpacking, we recommend checking out "Backpacking Checklist (Gear List): 3-Season, 3-Day" by Ryan Jordan on

So, are you ready to hit the trail? Pack smart, travel light, and embrace the wilderness with Next Adventure by your side!

a man and women backpacking
Previous article Paragon XL Inflatable Kayak Gear Review
Next article Essential Gear for a Day Hiking Adventure: A Comprehensive Checklist

Compare products

{"one"=>"Select 2 or 3 items to compare", "other"=>"{{ count }} of 3 items selected"}

Select first item to compare

Select second item to compare

Select third item to compare