Five Day Backpacking Trip: What I Pack

So you’ve got the perfect backpacking trip planned? Now you just have to decide what to bring!

My brother and I are about to embark on a 56-mile, five day hike on the Superior Hiking Trail. That means we have to bring enough equipment, food, and water for five days of fairly strenuous activity and limited cellphone reception.

I’m not going to focus much on the food as we will be picking that up at the local grocery store after I fly up to meet him. Below is a picture of the entire pack out (for now, without toiletries) and weighs in at about 15 pounds (~6.8 kg).

Overall Pack
Almost everything in one photo.

Here’s what is missing from the entire photo:

  • Toiletries: my toothbrush, deodorant, contact lenses, comb, glasses, and bandaids for blisters
  • Food: being picked up near the trailhead
  • Additional water bottle (plastic, store-bought)
  • Cookware: at my Brother’s house
  • More electronics: chargers, kindle (for flight) – to be left at my brother’s house during hike.
  • Tent: at my Brother’s house

I will break it down by section, giving a link to almost every item for more information or purchase!

Camping Equipment

Camping Equipment

Sleeping bag: EcooPro LW210 (50-degree Fahrenheit summer bag)

Sleeping pad: Venture Outdoors Travel Light Camp Pad

Sunscreen and bug-repellent

(Not Pictured) Refun High-power Flashlight

Swiss-Army Pocket Knife (gift from my brother)

Matches: which will not be packed on my flight but I thought I would show them as something to pack!

Water:

Sawyer Water Filtration System

Nalgene Bottle: 32 oz

It is important to note two things: where we are going there is an abundance of “wild” water from springs, rivers, and lakes. That allows us to travel with a water filter rather than carrying the whole trip’s worth of water supply. I will also be picking up a 32 oz. plastic water bottle from the grocery store.

Fun Stuff:

Video: GoPro Hero+

Photos: Sony DSC-W300

Shoes and Socks

Core Clothing

Shoes: My trusty Solomon Trail Shoes (not sure if they still make this exact design)

Underwear: Equipo underwear: any brand of polyester/spandex underwear will do…

Timberland Socks & SmartWool Socks: make sure you pack nice and moisture-wicking socks to avoid swampy feet, especially if there may be rain during your trip. Even though the Timberland socks are cotton they dry very nicely overnight.

Pants & Shorts:

Columbia Hiking Pants: amazing pants, got them from Columbia.com on sale a while back and I don’t think they make this style any more. Overall Columbia is a high-quality brand so other pants they manufacture will do great.

Timberland shorts, Basketball shorts, and a pair of khaki shorts. The basketball shorts are for hanging around camp and working out (I’m flying up one day earlier than the trip so I’ll have some time to kill).

Outerwear

Other Stuff…

Shirts: Moisture-wicking shirts from Nike, Old Navy, and a Columbia long-sleeve.

Swim trunks (there’s lots of lakes there) and my Timberland Hat.

Outerwear:

Columbia Water-Resistant Jacket for insulation and light rain.

Old Navy long-sleeve pullover for campground nights and fighting bugs.

Kelty Backpack: inherited from my brother, this slightly-too-small-for-me backpack is going to be on quite a journey in a couple days.

Some More Advice

It is critical to evaluate every item in your packing list to make sure you want to carry it all the way. As you can see I brought four pairs of underwear for a five-day trip… you have to make weight decisions.

With the temperature expected between 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees Fahrenheit it is perfect for light backpacking. No need to be strapped down by big jackets, blankets, or anything else unnecessary.

Thank you for reading. I would love any suggestions for your “must-bring” items or any items I packed that you would deem unnecessary!

A new post about the whole adventure will be coming out next week or the following. Stay tuned 🙂


UPDATE: Night before the trip, including all food and water, pack weighs 28 pounds. It will likely weigh 22-23 pounds by the end of the trip (no food). Try to keep pack weight less than 25% of your body weight and within your capabilities.

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