What I Packed for the High Sierra Trail

Let me preface by saying: I'm not an ultralight backpacker by any means. I'm probably considered the opposite... I don't mind carrying a few extra pounds if it means making the several days out in the backcountry seem more like home!

As always, packing for your own backpacking trip is a personal preference that you learn to hone with experience. The beauty of backpacking is it forces you to think about each item you pack and ask you to question the importance of each item.

Click here for my tricks on how to save money on gear!

All of the following fit inside my Osprey Aura 65L pack (I’m 5’4” and wear a size XS for reference):



This was for a 8 day backpacking trip into the Sierra in mid-September, so this was me packing for colder weather late in the season.

Items marked with * were freshly treated with Permethrin right before the trip. Mosquitoes are an easy way to ruin sunrises and sunsets, so I try to take all precautions to reduce their nuisance. I'll douse all of these clothes with one 24 ounce bottle.







Click here for my favorite backpacking meals and snacks!


  • Lighter

  • Map

  • Ibuprofen

  • First aid kit + moleskin

  • Extra batteries

  • Mini roll of duct tape



Sometimes I feel like a pack mule for camera gear.



These are all personal preference, but I love the mini sizes they sell at Target or drugstores! Wet wipes are a must for backpacking.. I'll lay them out to dry  after using to help me feel like my pack is getting lighter.


It always amazes me how much of my life I can fit into a single backpack, and how little I need to survive for a week in the wilderness!