To go on a 3-day backpacking trip whether it is for camping, hiking, or perhaps military purposes means that you will need to be prepared properly with the right equipment.

Type of Backpack

3 Day Backpacking Trip and Gear ListsYour backpack should be one that is lightweight, yet highly durable and preferably made from nylon for waterproofing purposes. Plus, it will need to have a large compartment for your clothing and sleeping items and smaller compartments for storing various items.

The size of the backpack should be large enough to handle all of your items, yet small enough to fit comfortably as you walk. Plus, the total weight should not exceed ¼ of your body weight as it will become quite tiresome to carry. If you are going on a military mission, it is possible that the backpack will be selected for you.

However, if the backpack is to be of your choice, then get the one that is most comfortable for your needs.

3 Day (72 Hours) Backpacking Gear List

Naturally, this will depend on the type of trip that you are going on as the list will be different for each activity. Of course, the basics will include the following;

  • Sleeping bag
  • Water
  • Change of clothing, including socks
  • First aid kit
  • Fire starter kit
  • Small knife
  • Flashlight (preferably a tactical one)
  • 3 days worth of non-perishable food: Protein bars or trail mix for example
  • Emergency phone

The difference comes with the type of trip that you are taking since it will require gear specific for that purpose.

Camping: A 3-day backpacking list for camping will include items needed when you select the right camping site.

  • Tent: You can carry shelter halves and poles which combined make a tent
  • Food: Bring along food that can be prepared
  • Cooking gear: plate, skillet, or cooking pan
  • Utensils

Hiking: Here, you will be on the move quite a bit, so a tent is out of the question. Instead, you’ll need the following items;

  • Waterproof blanket or sheet
  • GPS & Maps
  • Extra socks
  • Binoculars

Military Mission: The 3-day backpacking gear list that you will need depends in large part on the mission that you are undertaking. A hit-and-run type adventure will emphasize minimal gear while a scouting or recon mission will require more search equipment.

  • Camouflage & paint
  • Extra sighting gear
  • Large Knife
  • Ammo and cleaning kit for weapons

Extra Items

Although a 3-day trip is not all that long, you may find yourself with extra time on the adventure where having a few additional items will be desired. You will only want to take extra items if they do not weigh you down or take up much space.

  • Playing cards
  • Backup batteries for flashlights
  • Insect repellent for summer
  • Extra jacket for winter

In the end, the best 3-day backpack is one that gets you through the adventure with the exact amount of items needed and nothing more. Every time you go out on such a trip, you’ll learn what to take and what to leave behind.


My name is John Winger, I was born and raised in Virginia. I spent a good part of my early adult life in the US military, namely the Army and served in Iraq. I saw my fair share of combat missions and thanks to that experience I have a better understanding and appreciate for what my country means to me and the world.

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