FREE Downloadable Packing Lists for Day Hikes and Multi-Day Hikes

When you are first starting out with hiking and backpacking, packing can be confusing and even daunting.

You worry about packing too little and getting caught in an uncomfortable (potentially dangerous) situation.

You worry about packing too much and turning what should be a manageable hike into an unexpectedly strenuous challenge.

We have put together some guidelines as well as FREE downloadable packing lists to give you a starting point.

As we all have different abilities, preferences and goals, it will still take you trial + error to figure out what works best for you - so get out there and happy exploring!


Some standard guidelines

  • The Wilderness Survival Rule of 3:
    “You can survive for 3 minutes without air (oxygen) or in icy water.
    You can survive for 3 hours without shelter in a harsh environment (unless in icy water).
    You can survive for 3 days without water (if sheltered from a harsh environment).
    You can survive for 3 weeks without food (if you have water and shelter)”
    We can be overwhelmed with options. Remembering this rule will help you ascertain what is essential and what isn’t.

  • When heading outdoors, please adhere to the Leave No Trace principles which can be summarised into one line: leave everything as you found it, or better! This includes packing out toilet paper please!

  • The convention is to carry at least 2 litres of water per person

  • Your backpack should not weigh more than 30% of your bodyweight

Feel like we are missing some important points here? Leave a comment below

What should go in your First Aid Kit?

  • Gauze dressings in various sizes

  • Plasters/BandAids in various sizes

  • Triangular bandage

  • Sticky tape

  • Alcohol-free cleansing wipes

  • Antiseptic liquid or cream

  • Painkillers

  • Scissors and tweezers

  • Matches

  • Water purification tablets

PACKING LIST: for a day hike

Hopefully, once you download this list, you will see how simple it can be to head outdoors!

You will probably have most of these items already and if you don’t, consider them investments towards a lifetime of adventure :)

PACKING LIST: for those overnight backpacking trips (and multi-day!)

For multi-day trips, the only real change is that you simply need to carry more food.

Regarding clothing, you can honestly get away with only changing your underwear and base layers.


If you are after some more advice for starting out with hiking and backpacking, check out these related articles:

The Horror Packing Mistake I’ll Never Make Again

3 Hikes for Non-Hikers