Questions about equipment? Send them to

For those of you not familiar with the different levels of camping:
Car Camping/Walk-In - easy, drive right up to the plot, typically restroom/showers nearby
Primitive/Backcountry/Secluded - moderate, typically without restroom/showers nearby
Backpacking - difficult, you walk miles from your car with everything you need on your back

Minimum When Backpacking With TOC (Or On Your Own)

One or More Buddies!!!
Tell Someone at Home of Your Intended Route
Backpack (3,500 to 5,000 Cubic Inches)
Lightweight Ground Cloth (Tarp)* & 3 Season Tent** with Rain Flap!
Lightweight 20 Degree Sleeping Bag, Pad, and Optional Fold-Up Pillow
Eating/Cooking Utensils, Mess Kit (Plate, Cup, Bowl) Doubles as Cookware
Small Stove & Fuel
Water Bottles & Water
Water Purification Filter or Iodine Tablets
Snack Fuel Food for Hiking (Protein Bars & Trail Mix)
Freeze-Dried Meals
Flashlight or Headlamp
Camp Soap & Washcloth
Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Dental Floss
Small, Hand-held Mirror
Nearby Swim Hole? Swimsuit & Towel
Sunscreen (which should be at least SPF 15 & applied 30 min ahead to be effective)
Lip Balm
Insect Repellent
Trekking Poles
Hat, Visor, and/or Sunglasses
One Change of Clothes, Long Underwear Can Double as Pajamas, Bandanna, Fleece Jacket, Gloves & Hat for Cold Weather, Plus Extra Underwear & No-Cotton Wool/Synthetic Socks (Liners Too)
Broken-In/Waterproofed Hiking Boots with Ankle Support for Backpacking & Camp Shoes
Poncho & Cover (Large Garbage Bag) for Backpack if it Rains
First Aid Kit (Bandages, Antibiotic Ointment, Prescriptions, Tweezers, Bee Sting Kit)
Women: Pack Tampons Even If Not Expecting To Use Them (Backpacking Can Do Strange Things to Your Cycle)
Contact Lens Wearers: Bring Solution & Back Up Glasses
Swiss Army Knife
Waterproof Matches
Rope, Twine, or Bear-Bagging Cord
Reading Material, Deck of Cards and/or Journal & Pen
Guide Book & Maps
Plastic/garbage bag to carry out garbage
Toilet paper (plus a plastic bag to carry it out)
Backpacking Camp Permit Information

*To protect your tent from accidental snags on rocks or roots, you should always use a tarp or ground cover under your tent! Be smart when selecting a tarp or ground cover if one is not supplied. You want your tarp/ground cover to be cut exactly to the size of the bottom of your tent. Why? Because, if it were to rain, you don't want to encourage rain to collect in pools on the tarp and roll right under your tent. You can buy a cheap tarp at a discount store and the first time you set up your tent - cut it to size. Another word to the wize - set up your tent on high ground, away from the fire pit, and not at the bottom of any slopes in the ground.

**When you go backpacking with another person that you will be sharing a tent with, it is best to have one person carry the rope and tent in their pack and the other carry the poles and the rain flap. If you were to get separated on the trail, at least you each will have parts for a make-shift shelter.

Think we forgot something from one of our lists? Let us know.