How Tos + DIY Outdoors

Backpacking Gear List Spreadsheet: My Checklist + Pack Weight Calculator

January 28, 2022

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Backpacking gear weight can add up quickly! Over the years, I have added all my gear to a handy spreadsheet. This serves as both a backpacking checklist – so I don’t forget anything – and a pack weight calculator! So here’s my sharable backpacking gear list spreadsheet and how I use it for trip planning and even planning before buying new gear upgrades!

One of the great things about having a spreadsheet is that you don’t always need or take all your gear. So having a list of all your items not only jogs your memory of what you might need, but helps you realize the items you won’t need depending on the trip.

Backpacking Gear List Spreadsheet

This Backpacking Gear List Spreadsheet helps you keep track of all your camping gear, gear weight, backpacking itineraries, and backpack weight calculator. Jump below to download! Here’s a run through of what’s included in the spreadsheet.

backpacking gear list spreadsheet and backpacking weight calculator

Backpacking Weight Calculator

The Backpacking Gear Weight Spreadsheet is a full list of all your gear with a backpack weight calculator! This is your backpacking packing list which auto-calculates weight for Shelter & Sleep, Camp Kitchen, Water, Food, Wearing Items, Clothing Packed, Toiletries & Personal Items, and Extra Gear. Yep, including water! Remember, water is one of your heaviest items. Over 2 pounds for every liter of water!

Just mark the items you want to be included in the calculation as a “Yes” in Column A. I designed the spreadsheet this way so I didn’t need to have several different lists. I love being able to see all my gear in one list and the difference that taking one item versus another, has on total pack weight. My packing list for the Kalalau Trail in Kauai is pretty different than what I might take backpacking in shoulder season in the Pacific Northwest. For example, taking a 5oz sleep sheet vs my 52oz sleeping bag. Wow! That’s almost 3 pounds lighter in total pack weight!

I’m not an ultralight backpacker. I’m more along the lines of use what you have, bring fun things, and get out there! But I still like to track the gear I have and make smart gear upgrades, based on that. Every year, newer gear gets lighter and fancier. Some of my older gear is heavier, but I’ve also made a few gear upgrades in the last couple years. But you can definitely use this spreadsheet as your ultralight backpacking gear list too, if that’s your jam.

I’ve also found this sheet helpful when I’m planning gear upgrades before buying new gear. How much weight or space is this new item going to save you. And do you really need it or is it just an exciting new piece of gear?

Backpacking Trip Planner

The Backpacking Trip Planning Spreadsheet is a trip-specific backpacking itinerary. It includes your planning checklist (distance, elevation, parking, fees, meal plan, etc) and all your important info in one spot.

Backpacking Itinerary sheet on my Backpacking Gear List Spreadsheet

Do I use every aspect of my Itinerary sheet for every trip? No, but it really helps to glance over and remind you of the things you need to look up and research pre-trip. Even things like sunset and sunrise times for how many daylight hours of hiking you’ll have. And high and low temps and weather forecast which helps determine your packing list!

For example, when I was planning for backpacking the Napali Coast, it was a good reminder for me that sunset this time of year was at 7:20p. So we would really needed to plan to get through the tough sections and all the way to the beach before then. (Coming from Portland, where our sunset was currently 9pm!)

Backpacking Meal Planner: Food & Nutrition

Backpacking Meal Plan spreadsheet

The Backpacking Meal Planning Spreadsheet is an extra sheet to help you plan out your backpacking food and nutrition. Think of it as more of a sketch pad to remember what you like to eat while backpacking. If you’re extra ambitious, there are columns to track nutrition and weight of the meal. This is helpful for longer trips or if you have specific calorie and nutritional needs!

I recently added the Backpacking Meal Planner to my backpacking spreadsheet. I knew roughly what I wanted to eat and how much I needed to fuel for shorter backpacking trips. But before I went on my first bikepacking trip, I realized that with this new activity type – biking with a loaded bike, off-road, and some higher elevation gain – that I needed to be a bit more mindful of having enough food. And not only enough food in quantity, but being able to compare some of the snacks and foods that left me feeling really good after biking vs still hungry! So more of the right mix of carbs, fat and protein for my body. This part is a work in progress, so if you have any tips, do share! Need more ideas? Check out my backpacking lunch ideas here.

Backpacking Gear List Spreadsheet Download

Download the spreadsheet with example data and empty sheets to fill in your own gear, calculate your pack weight, and plan your next epic backpacking trip! I’ve listed the spreadsheet as a “Pay What You Want” price.

After you have all your gear listed, you might not use it in detail for every trip, but it sure makes things easier when you’re planning a big adventure and want to make sure you remember everything.

Backpacking Packing List

Not a spreadsheet person? Wait what?! How did you get here? :) While I love a well organized and useful spreadsheet, I also like lists. So here’s my backpacking list in checklist format.

backpacking flatlay - Things Organized Neatly for a summer bikepacking trip
Backpacking Flat-Lay aka Things Organized Neatly! (For my first time bikepacking!)

Essential Backpacking Gear

Shelter & Sleep Gear:My Gear:
BackpackREI Trail 40L
Backpack rain coverREI Duck’s Back Pack Rain Cover
Tent, rainfly, footprintNEMO Bikepack 2P
Sleeping padSea to Summit Ultralight Air Sleeping Mat (R-Value 1.1)
Sleeping bagKelty Cosmic 40 Sleeping bag
PillowPillow case for puff as “pillow”
Camp Kitchen:My Gear:
Cook pot, bowl, utensilDualist cookset (pot, 4 bowls/mugs, 2 lids, 2 spoons, carry bag)
StoveMSR Pocket Rocket 2
Fuel canisterMSR IsoPro
lighter & matcheslighter & matches
Camp mugPolar camp mug
cleaning itemssmall piece of kitchen rag & mini silicone spatula top
knifeknife spoon combo
eco camp soap (dishes, hands, body)Wilderness Wash
1 paper towel
ziploc bags for trash, storage
Fire starter for campfire tinder
Food & Water Needs:My Gear:
Food bag
CoffeeInstant Coffee
Coffee filter/pressGSI Ultralight Java Drip Coffee Maker
BreakfastsOatmeal packets x2, almond butter packet, freeze dried strawberries
Lunchespita, hummus, jerky, carrot, crackers, cheese, apple, pb packet etc
DinnersBackpacker meals, ramen, salmon jerky etc.
Backpacking SnacksLarabars, gummies, etc.
Electrolyte tabsNuun tabs
flaskflask
Water filter Katadyn befree .6L
Backup water bottle32 oz Nalgene
Water Reservoir Hydration PackPlatypus 2L
Soft water bottle bladderPlatypus 1L
Clothing & Gear: Wearing!My Gear:
hiking polesREI Trailbreak Trekking Poles
Trail running shoesMerrell trail runners
running socksWrightsock Coolmesh
running shortsLululemon Trackers
Quick dry tank
sports bra
Trucker hatRoxy Trucker hat
Sunglassesgoodr or surf sunnies
Clothing & Gear: PackedMy Gear:
sleep outfitleggings & REI baselayer top
sleep sockswool mid-length socks
sleep underwear
sandals, flip flops, or camp shoesBedrock Cairn Adventure sandals
swimsuit (or use sports bra & shorts)
hooded sun shirtMountain Hardwear hoodie sun shirt
camp outfit – joggers
camp outfit – thin shorts & fresh tank
long sleeve button down – for bugs, cooler weather
Puff jacketUniqlo Ultralight down jacket
rain jacketThe North Face Venture 2 jacket
buff or beanieBuff Original
rain pants
extra hiking outfit: shorts, tee etc.
Toiletries & Personal Items:My Gear:
Small shovel & ziploc bagThe Deuce Backcountry trowel
TP/tissue pack
hand sanitizer
kula cloth (women’s pee rag)Kula Cloth
First Aid Kit (band-aids, wipes, Neosporin, tweezers, needle/thread, Ibuprofin, arnica gel, matches etc.)
Toiletry kit bagKAVU Pixie pouch
wipesWilderness Wipes
toothbrush/pastetravel size
floss2 strands pre-cut
tiny mirror
lotion mini
deodorant mini
chapstick SPF
Sun screenThinkBaby(Reef safe)
bug sprayIn mini-atomizer bottle
HandkerchiefBandana
Any other toiletries or personal items you needperiod products, prescriptions etc
Extras: Tools, Safety, Navigation, Electronics etc.My Gear:
Camp towelREI Packable
DrybagSea to Summit 5L Big River Dry Bag
HammockENO Doublenest with straps
Sit pad or chairThermarest Z Sit Pad
HeadlampBlack Diamond
Cell phone backup charger power bankpower bank
Multi-tool with knife/Swiss Army knifeknife
Extra batteries
Extra blanket
Lantern or battery string lightsTent lights
Travel speaker (like Sony Mini Bluetooth)
Compass, printed maps etc.
Travel clothesline
Campsite quiet activities – card deck, small game, book etc.
extra day supply of food or snacks
Duct tape
Voile nylon strapVoile 9″ for hiking poles etc.
nylon cord 5′ etc
Cash – $5 for campsite reservation etc.

Tip: The best time to upgrade more expensive gear – like tent, sleeping bag, backpack etc – is during one of REI’s 20% off coupon sales!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this way granular look at adventure planning! And I wish you happy (and slightly more organized) backpacking trips!

Kalalau Beach on the Napali Coast
Double rainbow at Kalalau Beach
Backpacking gear list