What to Bring

Below is a checklist of the items you'll want to have for this Introduction to Backpacking course.  This list is not intended to be a planning resource for anything OTHER than this course.  As you progress and learn backpacking skills your list of items will change dramatically.  Once you learn the equation "Weight = Pain = Luxury" you'll find yourself developing your own list of items to carry.

Additionally, as you will learn, each trip has a different "purpose" and as such, your packing list will change.

Some items below are required while the majority is suggested.  You are welcome to bring items not on this list.  Just make sure you have somewhere to store the gear you thought you were going to bring until you learned what you really need.


  • Backpack (45L-55L)
  • Tent (we suggest you purchase an inexpensive tent from Walmart; we'll explain why in class)
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Cup/bowl/spoon
  • Stove, fuel and pot - search Amazon for "backpacking stoves" and "backpacking cookware".  No reason to buy the expensive stuff initially.
  • Headlamp/flashlight
  • Clothing
    • Quick-dry shorts/pants
    • Quick-dry shirt
    • Long-sleeve shirt
    • Layers appropriate for the temperature - this could be long underwear, a puffy jacket, fleece layer, or even a light wool sweater.
    • 2-pair of wool socks
    • Hiking shoes/boots - DO NOT come to this class with brand-new shoes/boots.
  • Rain gear (Frogg Toggs) - the probability of rain is directly proportional to whether or not you carry raingear.
  • Personal Hygene & Medicines - this includes toilet paper and baby wipes (you'll have to carry out baby wipes).
  • Personal 1st AID kit - click HERE for a good starting point.
  • Water & bottles - bring the ability to carry at least 3-liters of water; this can be anything, but the lightest options are Smartwater brand water bottles in 1-1.5L sizes.  YOU MUST BRING 5-GALLONS OF WATER FOR THE ENTIRE TRIP.  This includes water you'll need while in class, on the trip and for cooking your meals.
  • BYO Food - this is the foods you'll need to provide, including breakfast & lunch on day one, lunch and dinner on day two, and breakfast and lunch on day 3.


  • Clothing
    • Bandana
    • Sunglasses
    • Watch
    • Sun hat
    • Underwear
    • Camp shoes - flip flops, shower shoes, Crocs
  • Mobile phone
  • Pocket knife


Request Information

Backpacking is a very challenging endeavor and each route will require a certain level of fitness, capability and in some cases, experience.  Our goal is to ensure that you do not get in over your head to the extent it requires an evacuation.  Our staff is eager to work with you to put together the adventure that's best for you and your group.





Arizona Backpacking Company