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Packing List

The Big Five 




A backpack meant for backpacking - with frame, hip/chest support system, hold at least 55 liters.


Should be a reputable backpacking brand, weigh no more than 5 pounds, and able to easily fit into your backpack.

Sleeping Bag

Lightweight/compact sleeping bag meant for backpacking. 

Sleeping Pad

Lightweight/compact sleeping pad meant for backpacking.

Hiking Poles

Size: At least elbow height when expanded.


Trail running shoes, Hiking shoes or boots

Tennis shoes may work but are typically not sturdy or durable enough for longer backpacking trips. Make sure these shoes are broken in.

Good Hiking Socks

2 pairs. Worth the purchase if you don't have any.


At least 2 pairs. Synthetic is recommended.

Sports bra

At least 2. Synthetic is recommended. Look for thick/flat straps to avoid unnecessary rubbing with your pack straps.

Base Layer Top & Bottom

Synthetic Long Johns and wicking t-shirt (no cotton). Shirts should cover your shoulders, to avoid unnecessary rubbing from your backpack straps.

Hiking Pants

No cotton, jeans, or khakis. Pants should be breathable and quick to dry. Sizing should ideally allow option to wear long johns underneath. 


Ideally quick to dry and minimal stitching/material/zippers around your hips/waist (where backpack’s hip belt will sit).

Midlayer long-sleeved shirt

This layer is worn for heat retention and insulation. No cotton. E.g. Patagonia R1 or R2 are great options.

Insulating Jacket

Puffy Jacket - synthetic or down. 

Rain Jacket

Must be waterproof (not water resistant). Gortex is highly recommended.

Rain Pants

Must be waterproof (not water resistant).

Winter hat, small gloves, and buff

It's Michigan...anything can happen.

Personal (Required) Items

Water Bottles

Two 1-liter(32oz) water bottles


With fresh batteries. #Protip: turn one of the batteries the wrong way when you pack so your light won’t turn on in your pack unexpectedly.


Fork and/or spoon

Bowl (or rimmed plate)

Camp/water shoes/sandals

Recommended if you want something to change into after hiking. Footwear must be worn at all times.

Hand sanitizer

Personal toiletries

Medication (if necessary), Toothbrush, contacts/glasses (if necessary), etc.


Brimmed hat


Insect repellent

Loose fitting and light-weight long sleeves and long pants are a good addition to the insect repellent.

Optional Items

Bug net

Head-covering or full upper body can be helpful and easy to use in addition to repellent.

Lightweight cup/mug

For coffee or tea drinkers this can be nice to have. You can easily use your bowl for this as well.


Optional. We’ll have one for the group.


Choose very light versions of these. Bedtime comes early, so night owls might want these.

Bathing suit

Probably only necessary for summer trips


Quick dry, backpacking towel to be used after swimming.

Biodegradable soap

**This three-page packing list is specific to The High Five Tribe trips. If you plan to go on a backpacking trip without a HFT leader, please be advised that this list does not cover all necessary equipment.