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At first glance, a backpacking trip doesn’t sound too complicated. All you need is a backpack, right? It’s true, having a backpack for a backpacking adventure is a good idea. However, the reason you need a backpack is that you have to carry all the gear. This is typically the point where a beginning backpacker decides to go to a hotel, but if you just follow our Geek List of beginner backpacking gear essentials, you’re only a phone call away from taking on your first backpacking adventure.

Denver outdoor retail shop

Rent a beginner backpacking package at our Denver outdoor retail shop.

Backpacking for beginners

Before we get to the gear you’ll need to bring, you have to decide where you’re going. If this is your first time backpacking, we suggest you start slow. Find a campground that isn’t too far away – which should be easy, because you’re never more than a stone’s throw away from a campground, especially if you live here in Colorado.

Campground amenities

Choose a campground that has a few amenities. You want to ease yourself into the outdoor lifestyle. We don’t believe in the “sink or swim” philosophy when it comes to camping. We believe in taking baby steps. So, don’t start by finding a remote campsite, but find a site that offers camping supply shop, toilets, and hot showers. There’s no wrong way to camp, and having a few luxury items with your on your first backpacking trip isn’t going to detract from your experience. Quite the opposite.

Backpacking gear list for beginners

Once you have your location, it’s time to pack your gear. Starting with the backpack. You want a backpack that fits your frame and is comfortable. If your gear isn’t comfortable, you’re not going to have a good time. A badly fitted backpack can turn you off of camping and hiking altogether, and we’re trying to get all backpacking newbies hooked on the great outdoors.

Once you have your backpack, it’s time to fill it with supplies. According to Backpacker, your entire backpack, and all the supplies should weigh no more than 35 pounds.

Beginner backpacking gear list

Rent a complete beginner camping package.

Gear, apparel, and supplies

  • Comfortable clothes – Bring a few layers, but don’t overpack. You don’t need an outfit for each day. Pick an outfit for hiking and exploration, and then a campground outfit. If you’re going to bring extras of any type of clothing, make it extra socks.
  • Food and cooking gear – Get ready to treat yourself to some great food. Bring lightweight cooking equipment and gourmet ingredients to set up an outdoor kitchen.
  • Entertainment and comfort – You don’t have to rough it when you’re camping. The camping industry has gotten way too advanced for that. You’re allowed to bring comfortable chairs, games, books, music, blankets, and pillows to glam up your camp. In fact, we’re so serious about adding luxury to camping that we’ve given it a name – glamping!

Rent a tent and camping package

Before you become an Outdoors Geek like us, chances are you don’t have all the gear and equipment laying around, and buying everything you need can quickly amount to a pretty penny. To keep costs to a minimum, rent your tent instead of buying. You can even look for great camping packages that include everything a beginner needs to backpack like a pro, including a high-quality tent with plenty of legroom, a comfortable sleep pad, and a sleeping bag.

Denver outdoor retail shop

Stop by Outdoors Geek in Denver and get outfitted with a beginner’s backpacking rental package. While you’re here, you can try on our backpacks to make sure you get the right backpack for your frame. With a little help, we’ll have you backpacking in no time.