Tactical Bag & Backpacking Checklist – What Gear to Bring

Tactical Bag & Backpacking Checklist

When loading your Tactical bag, the contents depend entirely on several factors. Purpose (Military training, MilSim, Hiking, Prepper, Camping, etc.) is hugely important, because you will never pack the same gear in every loadout because each mission is different. When I was in the 10th Mountain division in the early 90’s, we were out in the field for a few days. Anyone who knows how much an Army issue Alice pack rucksack will hold should know how heavy this ruck tends to get when you start loading it down. MRE’s were our main food source in the field, and one of the reasons is the weight. They are light and easy to pack.

But one of the guys in my platoon was struggling after a few clicks through the woods. He kept falling back for some reason, and I realized why when we finally stopped for the night. He had packed some canned food to go along with his meals. Canned food is great, depdending on the food, but in a rucksack or tactical bag it will weigh you down quick.

The following checklist is not meant for every field readiness exercise. It is a nice (large) list that you can go through and make sure you have thought about everything you need on your next adventure.

Water & Containers

  • Canteen
  • Water
  • Water filters/purification tablets

Fire Essentials

  • Lighter
  • Flint and steel
  • Matches
  • Tinder
  • Waterproof storage

Food & Utensils

  • Metal pot
  • Metal cup
  • Fork, spoon or spork
  • Protein bars
  • Can opener
  • Portable stove
  • Stove fuel
  • Canned foods
  • Dried fruit
  • Trail mix
  • Peanut butter
  • Fishing kit

First Aid

  • Bug repellent
  • Anti-diarrhea meds
  • Prescriptions
  • Bandana



  • Tent or tarp
  • Sleeping bag or blanket
  • Sleeping mat


  • Hand sanitizer
  • All-purpose soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Small towel
  • Wet napkins
  • Mirror


  • Multi-tool
  • Survival knife
  • Rope
  • Duct Tape
  • Survival guide


  • Headlamp
  • Glowstick
  • Candles
  • Batteries
  • Mini LED keychain


  • Cell phone
  • Crank power
  • Charger


  • Emergency whistle
  • Pencil and notepad
  • Compass
  • Map/atlas
  • Cash in small bills

Other Survival Items You Probably Forgot About

  • Ax and/or saw (How else will you chop your wood to make a fire?)
  • Baby wipes and/or hand sanitizer (This is an easy way to keep clean.)
  • Booklights (If you’re staying up for entertainment, don’t waste your flashlight’s batteries on reading a book. Booklights are cheap and last forever.)
  • Bug spray (No one likes bug bites)
  • Bullion cubes (Make boring meals much more delicious by popping one of these babies in.)
  • Cotton balls (These are great for many things: first aid, cleaning, and kindling, just to name a few.)
  • Duct tape (A must-have item for those who want to feel fully prepped)
  • Plastic sheeting (This will help to repair leaks, collect water, keep contaminants out, you name it!)
  • Shoe laces (Not only can these come in handy if you have a footwear fail, but shoe laces have plenty of practical survival uses).

Let us know what you never leave home without when heading out with a tactical loadout!

The post Tactical Bag & Backpacking Checklist – What Gear to Bring was first written and sourced by MiliTactical.

  • January 30, 2017
  • Bryan Robinson