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Ultralight Packing List- Backpacking the Deserts of the Southwest

Page 1: Going Ultralight
Page 2: The Desert Explorer Ultralight Packing List
Page 3: The Desert Explorer Ultralight Packing List Explained
Page 4: Desert Explorer Recommended Gear- Our Gear Shop
Page 5: Homemade Gear
Page 6: DeLorme inReach SE, SPOT Messenger and ACR SARlink
Page 7: Choosing Your Survival Knife

The Desert Explorer Ultralight Packing List

Below is our Ultralight Packing List as we use it.This is an updated version as of 01 March, 2016. Click here to jump to the explanations for each piece of gear and gear recommendations.

Italicized items are worn or carried on body
Bold items are survival / always carry items


  • pants or shorts with zip-off legs
  • desert shirt
  • light polypro shirt
  • light polypro pants
  • light pile vest
  • light pile shirt (optional)
  • rain gear- jacket and pants
  • socks (pair per day +/-)
  • polypro gloves, cap
  • desert hat
  • bandana
  • hiking boots


  • bug juice
  • sunglasses, sunscreen
  • flashlight (Photon microlite as backup)
  • headlamp, extra batteries (Petzl e+LITE)
  • compass, wrist compass
  • map and case
  • lighter
  • lip balm
  • fixed blade knife
  • metal match
  • backpack
  • trekking poles
  • pole repair parts
  • watch

Survival kit:

  • matches
  • parachute cord
  • duct tape
  • first aid kit
  • chlorine water purification tabs
  • 2 meals, snacks

Sleeping (options)

  • sleeping bag or liner
  • bivy sack
  • sleeping pad
  • poncho/siltarp
  • bug net
  • tyvek ground sheet


  • notebook, pencil
  • camera
  • T.P.
  • toothbrush, powder, floss
  • electrolytes
  • sport slick
  • handiwipes
  • silcloth daypack


  • stove, fuel and acc's.
  • water bottle
  • MSR Dromlite w/ cap (4L)
  • Platypus (2L)
  • water purifier
  • titanium cup
  • spoon
  • soap
  • food
  • hot sauce

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