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Ultralight backpacking checklist

Ultralight backpacking checklist

The gear you bring can make, or break your outdoor adventure. Trust us, the weight of your backpack matters and packing with purpose can help you reduce this. Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or going on your first backpacking trip, this checklist will help you gather all the essentials.

Printable backpacking checklist

What could make the adventures of covering thousands of miles outdoors even more fun and practical? Indeed, reducing the weight that you’re carrying with you. It’s possible to shave off some of the weight of your current setup, whilst not compromising your own comfort and safety. This will also help you to more easily keep track of the stuff that you’re actually taking with you. And let’s be honest, do you really need to take that iPad with you when you’re enjoying the outdoors?

Hiking set-up

At the base, you’ll need the items that help you on your hike and carry your essentials. A sturdy and lightweight backpack, a waterproof pack rain cover and trekking poles. These items are the foundation for your ultralight setup.

Navigation system

To help you navigate through the mountains, a phone with a portable charger is a no-brainer to take with you, also for emergency reasons. However, if you’d like to go traditional or get away from the digital world a local map of the area and a compass will do as well. With the extra bonus, these maps won’t let you worry about battery life.


Most importantly, a tent. This will help you stay dry during rainstorms and create the space where you’ll most likely sleep in. Depending on the probable weather conditions of the region you’re backpacking in, check whether your tent can sustain rain or even snow. Otherwise, only a tarp does the job as well in warmer weather. Lastly, dependent on your tent you may need to bring stakes and guylines as well.


A sleeping bag, plus a sleeping pad for extra comfort are the two most important items to definitely bring. Most of the time, a small pillow is also fine to bring as it doesn't take up too much space.

Cooking and food

A small butane powered stove with extra fuel and a lighter does the trick most of the time. A cooking set and a spork to prepare and eat your food are all you need. Using the water that’s in the area and a sponge will help you clean your dishes afterwards.

Depending on the type of trip you’re going on, you can choose to bring food or eat at the local spots or gather it yourself. When bringing food from home, it's important to bring a dry sack to keep the food nice and fresh during the trip. Together with a water bottle plus a water filtration system and purification drops you’ll be set in terms of nutrition.


Listed below are the essential garments you’ll need to keep you comfortable while hiking, camping and when the weather starts getting wet.

  • Hiking boots
  • Synthetic, or wool t-shirt
  • Hiking pants, or shorts (depending on the weather conditions)
  • Synthetic, or wool underwear (short/long depending on the weather conditions)
  • Synthetic, or wool socks
  • A hat to protect you from the sun
  • Sleeping underwear
  • Warm hat
  • A warm mid-layer jacket
  • A waterproof jacket (Cortazu offers hard shell jackets to keep you dry)
  • A pair of waterproof pants
  • Gloves

Hygiene and medical care

The last thing you want is to get hurt or get an infection from improper hygienic care without remedies at your disposal. Therefore it is essential to bring some of these items with you to have a safe trip. Soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, sanitation towel, prescription medication and toilet paper contained in a zip-up pouch are essential. Moreover, you should always bring an adventurer’s medical kit.


Lastly, some uncategorizable but important items that you should bring are a microlight, sunscreen, sunglasses, some cash, a credit card, a knife, needle and thread, your camera and possibly a journal plus pen.

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