Jump to content

Backpack Gear list for Camping / Outdoor Survival

Michael aka Mac

Recommended Posts

Michael aka Mac

Backpack Camping Gear List

  • Tent & tent stakes
  • Sleeping bag
  • Self-inflating mattress pad or just a sleeping pad (get insulated R value 5 versions for winter camping)
  • Stove ( fuel sources:  canister, liquid fuel, fuel tabs, alcohol stove, propane, wood burning, kerosene, white gas, or gasoline stove types)
  • Mess Kit & cookware ( this varies with the type of stove you have and type of cooking i.e. cooking dehydrated foods vs. stewing foods)
  • Items to bring for making fire:  Waterproof matches, Bic Lighter, Ferro Rod & striker, Magnesium Fire Starter, charred cloth, Fat wood sticks.
  • Knife: preferably fixed blade  ( call the police precinct in the area you are traveling to for knife restrictions of blade length, & type of knife )        ( I personally use the Ka-Bar BK2 , Tops Mil Spie 3, Boker Magnum lil Giant, Schrade SCH57, ORELA , Condor Rodan, or Oerla knives)
  • Multi-tool: Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife..  ( I personally use the Victorinox Swiss Champion Swiss Army Knife)
  • Navigational / Direction items: Compass & Map , GPS, Smart phone w/GPS App, GPS Watch
  • Cordage: I prefer at least 550 lb.  paracord ( Mil Spec ) and 750 lb. paracord for heavier endeavors.  Warning : Not meant for Climbing.
  • LED Headlamp
  • Small LED Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit: Band-Aids, medical tape, compression bandage, Bleedstop or Qickclot bandages & spray, tweezers, scissors, needle, & alcohol
  • Medications ( Anti diarrhea , Benadryl, Aspirin, Aleve, Neosporin, Iodine, Activated Charcoal powder, TUMS, and any personal medications)
  • Hygiene :  Buy Trial size: TP, soap, moist towelettes, toothbrush & paste, hand sanitizer, camp towel (Coleman), deodorant, Shampoo, comb
  • SaS  Survival Handbook ( the one that fits in your hand/palm)
  • Mini Sewing kit & fishing wire & hooks
  • 1 Lawn Size garbage bag (optional) this can be used as a rain poncho, shelter, sleeping bag Bivy, water collector, drybag, sleeping pad (fill     with leaves)
  • Water filtration device
  • Hydration pack or canteens
  • Bandana: can be used to filter out dirty heavy sediment water, head cover, tourniquet, wet compress, towel, handkerchief, or god forbid, T.P.
  • Duct tape ( several feet wrapped around something small to save space)
  • Cell phone 
  • Carabiners (optional)
  • spare clothing  underwear and socks too   (no clothing should be made from cotton)
  • Tent protection mat (optional)
  • Pocket chain saw or wire saw (test the wire saw 1st to make sure that it works before going out on your trip)
  • Glow sticks (optional)
  • Deck of cards (optional)
  • Waterproof paper and pen (optional)
  • Tent repair kit (optional) depends on if you know how to repair a tent and location you are going to & weather conditions.
  • Tea candles ( 3-4)
  • I even bring waterproof kayaking shoes  (lightweight, inexpensive and u can use these if you have to walk in streams to get to your destination)
  • Emergency whistle (smallest and loudest is best)
  • Rain Gear ( rain hat, rain jacket, rain pants, rain slip on overshoes)
  • Waterproof backpack cover (optional)   
  • Water purification tabs
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Shatterproof Sunglasses  ( to protect your eyes from debris and foliage/branches, protection from sun, use dark lens for winter to prevent snow blindness also wear sunscreen on your face and neck)
  • Kayaking Dry Bags (optional)
  • Telescoping Fishing Pole & reel (optional)
  • Hatchet (optional)
  • Wood Saw (optional)

Tips on saving weight

The intention of the list above is to have the bare necessities and maintenance items  with you incase your trip has any unexpected circumstances that arise.  There are some items that can be particularly useful to you that have numerous functions that combined several gear items into one little package.

The Victorinox Swiss Champ for example will eliminate having to bring several items of the above list thus saving a lot of weight from your backpack. This pocket knife  contains surgical sharp knives, scissors, tweezers, toothpick, wood saws, metal & Nail Files, magnifying glass, awl, fish scaler & hook remover, & pliers.  So with only having just this knife on you, you are covering aspects of hygiene, food prep, fire making, wood cutting, first aid, hot pot handle (pliers), and bushcraft. I have procured fire wood from sawing dead branches, making feather sticks with the knife blade and  then using the magnifying glass to start a fire, all  with this pocket knife.

The knife also has cork screw, bottle opener, can opener, pliers, & screw drivers for repairing your gear and opening your favorite cans of food, beer and wine.

Nearly everything that I listed above in the gear list have ultralightweight versions.  The advantage of carrying the lightest gear is your ability to carry more food and water, or just the fact you are doing less physical work by carrying a lighter load.

This is a continuation of a previous post



about the author

Michael aka Mac, (his Trail name, short for MacGyver), is a Survivalist and outdoor enthusiast with over 40 years of experience in the great outdoors. His background is in engineering & physics and he brings this knowledge into his gear inventions and outdoor experiences.  Now Michael aka Mac, when he is not in the wilderness, spends his free time as a Freelance gear reviewer of outdoor gear & gadgets, an outdoor Blogger,  and teacher of outdoor non combat survival skills.


Edited by Michael aka Mac
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...
Michael aka Mac

Finally hooked up my external hard drive to this computer where I had a photo of the SAK Swiss Champ, showed below


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...