What Do I Need for a 3 Day Backpacking Trip?

By Alice Nichols

A backpacking trip is a great way to get outdoors and explore the beauty of nature. To make sure you have a successful and enjoyable trip, there are some essential items you should bring along. Here’s what you need for a three-day backpacking trip.


Tent or shelter. A shelter is an important item for any backpacking trip.

It will provide protection from the elements, including wind, rain, and sun. If you’re camping in an area where temperatures can drop below freezing, then you may need a four-season tent or bivy sack to keep you warm.


Clothes that are appropriate for the type of weather you’ll be facing on your trip. You should bring enough clothing to stay dry and warm in cold weather or hot weather, depending on your destination. In addition to regular clothes like t-shirts and jeans, you should also bring layers such as long underwear, fleece jackets and waterproof outerwear.

Food & Water

Bring enough food for all of your meals during the trip plus some snacks in case of emergency. Consider lightweight options such as freeze-dried meals, trail mix, energy bars and dried fruit.

It’s also important to carry plenty of water with you on the trail. A good rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day.


Always bring a map and compass when heading out into the wilderness. If available, consider bringing a GPS device as well to help make sure that you don’t get lost along the way.

You should also learn basic navigation skills such as how to read a topographic map before heading out.

Lighting & Fire

Bring a headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries so that you can navigate in the dark if needed. Matches or a lighter will come in handy if it gets cold and you need to start a fire for warmth.

Other Essentials.

Pack items like sunscreen, insect repellant and first aid supplies just in case something unexpected happens during your trip. Don’t forget items like toilet paper as well as trash bags for packing out any garbage that accumulates throughout your journey.




A three day backpacking trip requires careful planning and preparation beforehand in order to ensure an enjoyable experience outdoors. Essential items that should not be forgotten include shelter (such as a tent), clothing suitable for the environment being explored, food/water supplies sufficient for all meals plus snacks, navigation equipment (map/compass/GPS device), lighting/fire starting materials (headlamp/matches) and some other miscellaneous supplies (sunscreen/insect repellent/first aid supplies).

With all these essentials packed away safely into your backpack – happy trails!