Reconnect Earth Backcountry Packing List

The following detailed packing list is intended to help you prepare for your upcoming Reconnect Earth trip in the backcountry. Most items—especially expensive gear such as backpacks, sleeping bags, etc.—are things we can loan you if needed. Please do not feel overwhelmed by this list; if there are things you don’t own, we will work with you to make sure you have what you need for the trip! You should not have to make any expensive purchases, and if you buy anything we do not expect you to spend any more money than necessary. For example, keep in mind a $0.50 thrift store food bowl works just a well as a $50 titanium one.

Please note that when it comes to clothing, cotton is highly water-absorbent and best avoided, especially for outer layers and clothes you would be wearing in the event of cold or rainy weather. It’s okay for T-shirts or clothes that you would wear mainly during sunny weather to be made of cotton.

Basic Equipment

  • Backpack: An internal frame backpack with a capacity of at least 65 liters.  Larger people with larger clothes, amounts of food, etc. should consider bigger packs.  The pack should fit comfortably.
  • Sleeping bag: Must be lightweight and intended for backpacking, so it doesn’t take up too much space/weight in your pack. The temperature rating should be 20 degrees F, or below if you get cold easily. Should also come with a compression sack for packing.
  • Sleeping pad: Closed-cell foam pads work well and do not puncture; lightweight inflatable pads (Therma-Rest or equivalent) are more comfortable and compressible, but require more careful use. Yoga mats are too heavy.
  • Headlamp or flashlight: LED lights are much more efficient than filament bulbs. Also bring extra batteries.
  • Water bottles: Be able to carry at least 2 liters of water. Hydration systems (e.g. Camelbak) can substitute for ONE bottle if desired. Empty Gatorade containers, etc. work just fine.
  • Eating Utensils: Durable plastic or lightweight metal food bowl. A securely sealing lid allows you to keep leftovers and is highly recommended. Be aware that thin Tupperware containers may crack, so are best avoided. Also bring a spoon; forks are optional.
  • Sunglasses: Best to also have a protective case.
  • Whistle: Plastic recommended.
  • Notebook and pen or pencil: Make sure these are lightweight.
  • Mug (suggested): A light metal or plastic mug for hot drinks.
  • Tool / Knife (optional): Lightweight Leatherman tool or SMALL knife.


  • Hiking boots: Our packs will be heavy and it’s important to use a boot with ankle support. Wear your boots as much as possible before the trip to break them in and prevent blisters!
  • Camp shoes: Something comfortable you can wear around camp. Sneakers, crocs, etc. work fine.
  • Hiking socks: Wool or wool blend recommended.
  • Rain jacket & pants: Must be waterproof and have a hood.  
  • Long underwear top and bottom: Synthetic or wool (non-cotton) is best.
  • Long sleeve sun shirt (recommended): Light, non-cotton fabric is best.
  • T-Shirts: Bring 1-2, best for at least one to be non-cotton.
  • Thin pants: Should be non-cotton and dry easily.
  • Shorts: Non-cotton preferred.
  • Warm sweater or jacket: For staying warm while in camp. No cotton!
  • Warm hat: Wool or fleece.
  • Warm gloves (recommended): Synthetic or wool.
  • Sun hat: Wide brimmed hats or baseball caps work fine. Straw hats are OK, but fragile and bulky. Think packable and light weight.
  • Bandanas (optional): Can be useful for keeping sun off or soaking in water to keep cool.
  • Lightweight bear can for storing food: If you have one, please bring it! Otherwise we’ll use group bear cans provided by Reconnect Earth.

Personal Items

  • Adequate supply of any medicines you are taking for the trip
  • Tampons or pads, etc. for those who menstruate
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste: Small tube.
  • Plastic garbage bag or other large plastic bag: For lining the inside of your pack to keep it dry.
  • Wristwatch (recommended)
  • Hand sanitizer (recommended): Small container.
  • Simple first aid (recommended): Basic supplies, such as Moleskin, tape, and preferred non-prescription pain medication. Reconnect Earth provides a full-sized group first aid kit.
  • Sunscreen (recommended): Small container.
  • Zip-Lock bags (recommended): convenient for keeping small items organized and dry.

Other Optional Equipment

  • Trekking Poles
  • Camera
  • Backpack rain cover
  • Mosquito head net
  • Bug repellent

Group Equipment we will supply: (You are not required to bring these items)

  • Tents (if you prefer to bring your own, that’s fine)
  • Large tarp
  • Cookware for dinner & group kitchen utensils
  • Cooking stoves & fuel
  • Water treatment equipment
  • Food storage equipment