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 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.
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
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 fat 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.
Essential Backpacking Gear
|Shelter & Sleep Gear:
|REI Trail 40L
|Backpack rain cover
|REI Duck’s Back Pack Rain Cover
|Tent, rainfly, footprint
|NEMO Bikepack 2P
|Sea to Summit Ultralight Air Sleeping Mat (R-Value 1.1)
|Kelty Cosmic 40 Sleeping bag
|Pillow case for puff as “pillow”
|Cook pot, bowl, utensil
|Dualist cookset (pot, 4 bowls/mugs, 2 lids, 2 spoons, carry bag)
|MSR Pocket Rocket 2
|lighter & matches
|lighter & matches
|Polar camp mug
|small piece of kitchen rag & mini silicone spatula top
|knife spoon combo
|eco camp soap (dishes, hands, body)
|1 paper towel
|ziploc bags for trash, storage
|Fire starter for campfire tinder
|Food & Water Needs:
|GSI Ultralight Java Drip Coffee Maker
|Oatmeal packets x2, almond butter packet, freeze dried strawberries
|pita, hummus, jerky, carrot, crackers, cheese, apple, pb packet etc
|Backpacker meals, ramen, salmon jerky etc.
|Larabars, gummies, etc.
|Katadyn befree .6L
|Backup water bottle
|32 oz Nalgene
|Water Reservoir Hydration Pack
|Soft water bottle bladder
|Clothing & Gear: Wearing!
|REI Trailbreak Trekking Poles
|Trail running shoes
|Merrell trail runners
|Quick dry tank
|Roxy Trucker hat
|goodr or surf sunnies
|Clothing & Gear: Packed
|leggings & REI baselayer top
|wool mid-length socks
|sandals, flip flops, or camp shoes
|Bedrock Cairn Adventure sandals
|swimsuit (or use sports bra & shorts)
|hooded sun shirt
|Mountain Hardwear hoodie sun shirt
|camp outfit – joggers
|camp outfit – thin shorts & fresh tank
|long sleeve button down – for bugs, cooler weather
|Uniqlo Ultralight down jacket
|The North Face Venture 2 jacket
|buff or beanie
|extra hiking outfit: shorts, tee etc.
|Toiletries & Personal Items:
|Small shovel & ziploc bag
|The Deuce Backcountry trowel
|kula cloth (women’s pee rag)
|First Aid Kit
|(band-aids, wipes, Neosporin, tweezers, needle/thread, Ibuprofin, arnica gel, matches etc.)
|Toiletry kit bag
|KAVU Pixie pouch
|2 strands pre-cut
|In mini-atomizer bottle
|Any other toiletries or personal items you need
|period products, prescriptions etc
|Extras: Tools, Safety, Navigation, Electronics etc.
|Sea to Summit 5L Big River Dry Bag
|ENO Doublenest with straps
|Sit pad or chair
|Thermarest Z Sit Pad
|Cell phone backup charger power bank
|Multi-tool with knife/Swiss Army knife
|Lantern or battery string lights
|Travel speaker (like Sony Mini Bluetooth)
|Compass, printed maps etc.
|Campsite quiet activities – card deck, small game, book etc.
|extra day supply of food or snacks
|Voile nylon strap
|Voile 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!