top

Summer Packing List

With more and more people going spending their time outdoors, questions concerning the right wilderness equipment are increasing. Appropriate gear is very much depending on the person, his/her interests and the nature of the trip. Some items are absolutely indispensable, but they come in many different shapes! There are numerous brands and versions from which to choose and it is necessary to clearly define one's real needs. There is always the risk of carrying too much or simply taking the wrong things. If you check thoroughly what you really need before you start packing you can save a considerable amount of weight without missing out on essentials. After several trips you will establish a routine in packing the right things and making appropriate choices comes more naturally. But until then an equipment list may come in handy.

This list does not claim to provide for all needs or situations but should be perceived as food for thought. Evaluate it carefully, take into account you own preferences and do not be shy to make changes. After a while you will have your own way of packing and use the list as a back-up reminder only.

This list is written to help you with planning a 1-week summer trip. For outings during the colder half of the year you may want to check the winter camping list.

In order to emphasize how important it is to keep track of the weight of each individual piece of equipment, we indicate both the lowest and the highest weight.

Click here to download this list as a PDF.

Individual equipment

Tap to expand

Item Min - Max weight Kg Min - Max weight lbs oz
Backpack 1.2 kg-4.5 kg 2 lbs10 oz-9 lbs14 oz
Ideas about backpacks have changed during the past 10-15 years. Where formerly frame-packs dominated the market softer and more shaped backpacks have taken over. The modern "softpack" has become the new standard. However, for voluminous and heavy loads a frame is still unbeaten. But for most of us with normal demands an internal frame with its adjustability is the way to go.
Rain jacket   500 g-1.5 kg 1 lb1 oz-3 lbs4 oz
Rain Pants   300 g-1.2 kg  10 oz-2 lbs10 oz
Sweater or other warm garment   300 g-1.2 kg  10 oz-2 lbs10 oz
Extra underwear & socks   200 g-1 kg  7 oz-2 lbs3 oz
Gloves, scarf (when needed)   0 g-  500 g  0 oz-1 lb1 oz
Sleeping bag   500g-3 kg 1 lb1 oz-6 lbs9 oz
Sleeping mat   300 g-1.5 kg  10 oz-3 lbs4 oz
Map & compass   100 g-  500 g  3 oz-1 lb1 oz
Toilet gear   100 g-  500 g  3 oz-1 lb1 oz
Bowl for food and drink   100 g-  300 g  3 oz- 10 oz
Cutlery   100 g-  200 g  3 oz- 7 oz
Matches (lighter)/fire-starter   20 g-  200 g  1 oz- 7 oz
Knife   200 g-1 kg  7 oz-2 lbs3 oz
Sunglasses/sun screen   0 g-1 kg  0 oz-2 lbs3 oz
Water bottle   100 g-  500 g  3 oz-1 lb1 oz
Repair kit/spare parts   100 g-  500 g  3 oz-1 lb1 oz
Total: 4.03 kg-19.1 kg 8 lbs14 oz-41 lbs9 oz

Food

The right choice of food is often the most significant factor for the weight of your pack. It saves weight to plan and prepare your meals well ahead of the trip. Pack the food for each day into a separate bag. Share the load of carrying and preparing the food with your teammate. Alternate between carrying food, stove, and fuel with carrying and pitching your tent. Make sure that you get 4 liters / 1 gallon of fluid per day to maintain your physical and mental strength and to stay warm. By planning your meals carefully, you can save a lot of weight. It is not unusual that the weight of food varies between 0.5 and 2 kg / 1 lb 1 oz and 4 lbs 6 oz per day! This means that on a week trip the weight of food can vary between 3.5 - 14 kg /7 lbs 7 oz - 30 lbs 10 oz!

Food (one week) 3.3 kg-14 kg 7 lbs7 oz-30 lbs10 oz

Shared equipment for a two-person team.

The weight indicated is half that of the item, i.e. the load each one carries.

Tap to expand

Tent 1 kg-2.5 kg 2 lbs3 oz-5 lbs8 oz
Stove and/or cook-set (for open fire)   200 g-1.5 kg  7 oz-3 lbs4 oz
Fuel   0 g-1.5 kg  0 oz-3 lbs4 oz
Total: 1.2 kg-5.5 kg 2 lbs10 oz-12 lbs2 oz
Total weight for necessary equipment: 8.53 kg-35.1 kg 18 lbs13 oz-77 lbs6 oz

Further equipment which may be good to have but not absolutely necessary.

Tap to expand

Down jacket   500 g-1.5 kg 1 lb1 oz-3 lbs4 oz
Over pants   300 g-1 kg  10 oz-2 lbs3 oz
Further change of clothes   500 g-2 kg 1 lb1 oz-4 lbs6 oz
Camp shoes (also for wading)   400 g-2 kg  14 oz-4 lbs6 oz
Sleeping bag cover   300 g-1 kg  10 oz-2 lbs3 oz
Camera   100 g-4 kg  3 oz-8 lbs13 oz
Binoculars   200 g-1.5 kg  7 oz-3 lbs4 oz
Candle, lantern   100 g-  800 g  3 oz-1 lbs12 oz
Safety rope   200 g-1 kg  7 oz-2 lbs3 oz
Thermos   400 g-1.5 kg  14 oz-3 lbs4 oz
Total: 3 kg-16.3 kg 6 lbs9 oz-35 lbs15 oz

Beyond this list there may naturally be further items, depending on the nature of the trip. If you go climbing or on glacier trips your need extra equipment: rope, ice axe, crampons, helmet, harness etc., perhaps even a climbing pack. If you are a fisherman your essentials would be your rod, bait, lures or flies and a landing net. A saw and /or a hatchet come naturally when hiking in forested areas, but apply common sense for your own safety and our natural environment when using these tools!

Summing up the weights in the above columns there is a considerable difference in weight between the two. 11.53 kg / 25 lbs 6 oz in the lighter suggestion and 51.40 kg / 113 lbs 5 oz in the heavy one! It is not very likely that you meet someone who actually carries all items listed, let alone in the heavier version. But it is not so unusual to meet hikers who carry 30 or even 40 kg / 65 lbs to 90 lbs. Unless you are establishing a base camp somewhere, from where you want to undertake your hikes it is really not necessary to tote weights like that.

Carrying a pack with 10 kg / 22 lbs for a 7 day trip is not common but not impossible when you are experienced and have bought really light gear. Your load will most likely be around 15-18 kg / 33 - 40 lbs which is acceptable for a pleasant hike.

Have a good trip!