First Time Backpackers One-Night Packing List

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One of the greatest things about living in Seattle is our proximity to beautiful mountain trails! Within just an hours distance, we can find hikes of all distances and difficulty levels. Between the easy day hikes and the difficult day hikes that left us begging to never hike up a mountain again, Tim and I decided to get into backpacking. Our lack of supplies delayed this desire for adventure – but these past two weekends we’ve been lucky enough to borrow the missing supplies and head into the mountains!

The Washington Trails Association calls the Talapus and Olallie Lake trail “the perfect introduction to the outdoors for hikers and beginning backpackers,” with its wide trail on a moderate grade. We couldn’t have agreed more! Tim, Kuma, and I headed up to Olallie lake with two of our good friends, Scott and Sam (who have backpacked many times before). Tim and Scott found the perfect spot right on the lake just 6.2 miles up! Even our 12 week old Alaskan Klee Kai enjoyed the weekend trip.


Tim and I packed based on the Backpacking Checklist from REI. Here’s our moderation of the list, perfect for an overnight trip for two. Your list may vary based on the weather – we had 75 degree fall days with windy nights cooling down to 50 degrees.

What We Packed:

  • Map
  • Compass (though we don’t really know how to use it…)
  • Chapstick
  • Sunglasses
  • 2 Headlamps
  • 2 small flashlight/lanterns
  • First Aid Kit (we like this one)
  • Waterproof matches
  • Fire Starter
  • Knife
  • Hatchet
  • Duct Tape
  • Water Bottles/Camelbacks
  • Water filter (borrowed from a friend)
  • Tent (we carried a Coleman three person tent up – not ideal, but it worked!)
  • 2 Backpacks
  • 2 Garbage bags
  • 2 Sleeping Bags
  • 2 Sleeping Pads
  • 2 Pillow Cases (we stuffed them with clothes which was a sufficient pillow without extra bulk)
  • Whistle
  • Waterproof Watch
  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • 2 Pans
  • Small potholders (or dishcloth)
  • 2 Bowls, 2 mugs
  • Utensils
  • Bear Canisters
  • Bug Spray
  • Camera
  • Permits
  • Toilet Paper
  • Trowel
  • Camp Soap
  • Tooth Brush/Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Comb
  • Quick dry towel
  • French Press

Clothing (per person)

  • 3 pairs wool socks
  • 1 pair athletic socks
  • Jeans
  • Yoga Pants
  • Tank Top
  • T-shirt
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Sweatshirt
  • Warm Hat
  • Underwear
  • Sports bra
  • Rain jacket
  • Boots
  • Flip Flops (for camp)


  • Granola Bars
  • Granola
  • Fruit (2 apples, 2 oranges)
  • 2 Cans of Soup (with pull tab tops)
  • 3 Sandwiches
  • Bagels
  • Ground Coffee
  • Hot Chocolate Packets

12 Week Old Puppy

  • Floatable Frisbee
  • Stuffed Animal Toy
  • 2 collapsible Dishes
  • 4 Cups Food
  • Treats
  • Leash
  • Poop Bags

Am I missing anything big? Let me know! We were really happy with everything we packed here. We were so focused on going backpacking that we didn’t necessarily focus on weight, which ended up being totally fine!

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