Pack in 20 Minutes Flat
- Keep a gear list taped to the inside of a closet door or under the lid of your storage bin. Visit our Gear Checklist section for samples.
- Stow your backpacking clothes–including hats, gloves, and bandanas–together in a dedicated place in your closet or dresser.
- Reserve a small corner of the pantry for camp food (dehydrated meals, dried fruit, nuts) so that you don't have to shop for staples en route to the trailhead. Replenish after every trip.
- Store essentials in a plastic "go box."
In Your Go Box:
Mug, spoon, bowl
Cookware, scrub pad, soap
Two kinds of firestarter
Sanitation kit (trowel, TP, hand sanitizer)
Bring the Right Amount of Food
Most hikers carry more food than they really need, which means dead weight in your pack. Take a maximum of 3,500 calories per person per day (about 2 pounds) for standard trips; bump it up to a max of 5,000 calories for extremely cold conditions.