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How to Do Everything: Pack Faster

We'll show you how to be ready for the the trail in 20 minutes, guaranteed. Now gear up.

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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:

First-aid kit
Mug, spoon, bowl
Headlamp
Extra batteries
Fuel
Stove
Cookware, scrub pad, soap
Two kinds of firestarter
Repair kit
Compass
Pocket knife/multitool
Bandana/camp towel
Zip-top bags
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.