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Overnight Hiking Checklist

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

Your backpacking essentials for an overnight hike should almost always be the same. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a novice, your hiking gear checklist should bear the same items. Irrespective of your experience with hiking, having a list featuring gear to take with you on your overnight hike always helps.

Camping Gear

If you are on an overnight hike, you are most likely going to set up camp somewhere. So let’s start off with the camping gear you might need.


You need to have a backpack that can hold up to 30-50 L for an overnight trip. If a hike might go up to 3-5 days, a 50-70 L backpack is a better choice. Apart from the length of your trip, your gear, and how bulky it also defines the size of your bag. In the winters, you might need a bigger bag because of all the layers as compared to summers. Even if rain isn’t expected, carrying a rain cover is preferred. Always be prepared for the weather. While setting up camp, you have a number of options to choose from to sleep. It could be a tarp, a hammock, a bivy sack, or a backpacking tent. This is completely a personal choice as all of them have their own sets of pros and cons. Whatever gear you choose, make sure it is in perfect condition to avoid inconvenience.


While a flashlight is an option and more versatile, don’t miss out on a headlamp in your hiking checklist. With a headlamp, you have your hands free to cook or hike late into the night or early in the mornings without worrying about your hands being too busy to help you balance. Don’t forget to carry some extra batteries with you, even if it’s for one night.

Camp Kitchen Stove and Fuel

While you can skip bringing a stove on your overnight trips, the smell of fresh coffee and a warm breakfast is unmatched. While old-fashioned coal and fires are an option, many areas’ fire restrictions would not allow this. A small yet effective stove like the MSR Pocket Rocket is perfect to whip up something piping hot after a long day of hiking.

Cooking Gear

Other than your stove, you would need a pot to cook in, utensils, and a mug too. You could easily get a compact cookset to keep your gear minimal and easy to carry. These cooksets usually have everything you might possibly need. Two excellent options for a cookset are the Stanley Camp Cookset or Sea to Summit X-Set.


One bladder of water is usually enough for an overnight trip but it would be wise not to rely on that entirely and bring along a water filtration system in case of an emergency such as your only source of water leaking or spilling. A 4L bladder is perfect, but a 2L bladder would do too. For a water filter, here is one which is a good option.

Overnight hikes can be peaceful and relaxing but only when you are properly prepared for them. Make sure to check off everything from the hiking checklist in this article.


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