Weekend Backpacking Checklist- Part 1

There’s no doubt that backpacking is one of the greatest ways to experience the outdoors. Whether you’re a beginner backpacker or you’ve been hitting the trails for years, the number one question is ALWAYS “what should I pack?”

With it being the beginning of fall, that means it’s officially the best time of year for backpacking and hiking. The scorching temperatures of the summer are behind us and it’s time to take in the crisp, fall air and beautiful leaves. Are you planning your own backpacking trip sometime this fall and need some guidance on what to pack? Well, you’re on the right trail (no pun intended). Over the next few weeks, we’re going to outline exactly what you need for a weekend backpacking trip— nothing more and nothing less— after all, you’ll be carrying it all on your back!

Disclaimer: Throughout this blog, you’ll notice that some links go to our online Compass Point shop, and some go to Amazon. Our goal at Compass Point is to have all things backpacking and hiking gear in our store. While we work on getting more items in our shop, we’ve set up an Amazon Affiliate account so you can still support us by shopping through those links. As time goes on and we get more items in our shop, this blog will be updated with links to our online Compass Point shop. If you do choose to purchase something through the online Compass Point shop, please know that you must pick up in person- we do not ship items (and we want to see your face). Thank you for supporting our small business- we are excited to equip you with the knowledge and gear you need to have memorable and safe adventures in the great outdoors.

For the first section of the checklist, we’re talking big gear essentials and the necessary accessories you need for a weekend backpacking trip. In the weeks following, we’ll outline camp cooking items, backpacking toiletry bags and clothing.



Your backpacking adventure does NOT have to be painful. The biggest factor to your comfort while backpacking is…. take a guess…. your backpack! We recommend the Osprey Aura 65 for backpacking trips of three days or more in length. This pack is women’s specific- meaning it’s smaller, lighter, and has narrower shoulder straps and hip belts that are shaped for a women’s anatomy.


The key things to look for when choosing a backpacking tent are weight, durability, weather-proof features, and ease of set up. It sounds pretty simple, but there’s so many to choose from and the search can get a little daunting. This two-person Mountainsmith Morrison tent is a great starter tent, used by the Original Dirty Girl herself (Denise).

Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent (Citron Green)

Sleeping Pad

Sleeping in a tent with a crappy sleeping pad will probably leave you never wanting to go backpacking again. This incredibly lightweight and affordable sleeping pad is a great choice because it has a V-chamber design that limits air movement and heat loss for better support and comfort.

Klymit 9005496 Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad, Coyote-Sand

Sleeping Bag

One of the best investments you can make as a backpacker is a good, cozy sleeping bag. This is a great beginner sleeping bag from a brand that we love at Compass Point. It’s an efficient and compressible sleeping bag with water-resistant fibers. You can insert your sleeping pad into it as well for optimal comfort. You may not get the greatest sleep ever while backpacking, but a cozy sleeping pad paired with a comfortable pad can get you close.

Therm-a-Rest 32-Degree Synthetic Mummy Sleeping Bag


Trekking Poles

Using trekking poles on a hike may look a little goofy, but you won’t be thinking that after using a pair just one time- they make a huge difference in strength, endurance, weight distribution and also help increase balance. These trekking poles are made with carbon, keeping weight to a minimum. They also have cork handles, offering an unmatched level of comfort that eliminates hot spots and pressure points.

Mountainsmith Carbonlite Pro – Carbon Pair

First Aid Kit

We recommend putting together a DIY first aid kit using this Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack and adding the minimum supplies to the bag that you will need to address minor wounds, as well as travel-sized packs of some handy medications. In addition, add some extra blister band-aids and any medications that are specific to your needs.

Headlamp and Camp Light

A light source is an essential element for any backpacking checklist. In case you haven’t heard, there are no street lamps miles deep into the woods like in Narnia. 

Here’s a great option for a lightweight, rechargeable headlamp that packs well, wont break the bank, and puts out a great amount of light. 

UCO Air Lightweight Rechargeable LED Headlamp

This collapsible camping light is also very handy- you can set it on the ground, in your tent, or even hang it on a tree. It doesn’t take up hardly any space in your pack and has three different lighting modes! 

Power Bank

Backpacking without technology is risky, and a reliable power bank is a must have. This power bank is a good price point for the impressive battery life and performance. 

Anker PowerCore Portable Charger

So, there you have it. All the big gear and necessary accessories you need for a weekend backpacking trip. If you subscribe to our blog by entering your email, you’ll receive a notification anytime we post a new blog.

If you are participating in Adventure Bingo, you can get a square marked off if you subscribe OR if you’re already subscribed, share this blog onto Facebook to get a square marked off.

Tune into the blog next week to read about all the camp cooking items you’ll need!!

Camping with Dirty Girl Adventures
Camping with Dirty Girl Adventures

Adventure Bingo

The Adventure Bingo card is filled with DGA activities and Compass Point events.  Most of the bingo squares require you to attend an event with us or do some sort of outdoor activity on your own, share it on social media and tag us!

The current plan is to have an Adventure Bingo every quarter— so this bingo game will run from September 1-December 31.

Here are the rules…you can choose to turn in your card for a single bingo (5 spaces in a line marked)  OR keep going for a blackout (entire card marked). The first person to get a blackout ends the game until next quarter. If you choose to turn in your card for a single bingo, you have to turn in your card and can’t keep going for a blackout. Once you need a square marked off, show us your proof and we will sticker your bingo card. To get your Adventure Bingo card, you must come into the shop and grab one!

Now for the fun part…prizes!

If you choose to turn in your card for a single bingo, you can choose one of the following for your prize:

  • Free yoga class
  • Sticker of choice
  • DGA camping cup
  • Compass Point koozie w/ a beer
  • Canister of Republic of Tea (flavor of your choice) 

The first lucky person who gets a blackout to end the game will receive a black Dirty Girl Adventure canvas bag (on display at the shop) with the following items:

  • 3-liter Osprey dry sack
  • Wakami “Adventure” bracelet
  • Sawyer bug spray
  • Yoga punch card 
  • Shirt, tank top or hat of choice
  • Bring a friend for 1/2 off next event of choice

Once again, you must come into the shop to get your bingo card. If you have any questions about Adventure Bingo, shoot us a message on Facebook!

Dirty Girls REFRESH! A retreat!

It is time to take a breath, chillax and renew our energy.  It’s time to REFRESH!  Join the Dirty Girls for a sweet day of rejuvenation and REFRESH yourself with all the awesome activities we have planned.  We will nurture our beautiful souls with a free flowing day of art, yoga, small water paddling, a delicious healthy lunch and snacks, hiking, special programing and education about self care from certified marriage and family therapist Vickie Hull.  The goal is for you to leave feeling refreshed at the end of the day with a “toolbox” full of tools for you to “REFRESH!” at will within your daily life!  Practice giving yourself the time and space to breathe deeply and love your life!  After we make it through the transition of back to school, we will need this serious moment of relaxation!


There are three strands that will be addressed within the day – physical health, social/emotional health and spiritual health.  We will spend some time on each of these areas but the bottom line is that the free flowing structure of the day will allow each Dirty Girl to gravitate to the activity that they need the most.  This will be a lovely day of personal reflection and rejuvenation.  I, for one, am looking forward to this day of down time! Join us for a day of taking care of yourself.  We can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves!


For those who would like to continue the togetherness post retreat, we can shower and change at Camp Curry then head to the restaurant in Winchester for a street dance!  The Dirty Husband’s band is playing and it should be a good time.  All Dirty Girls are welcome to come out for the street dance!  We can change it up, head to dinner and enjoy some social time!

When:  Saturday September 13th, 8:30 – 4:30

Where:  Camp Curry (gorgeous and secluded yet not too far off the pavement)

What:  Energizing yoga, art, hiking, kayaking, time alone, socializing, great food, snacks, restoration yoga, relaxing …

Who:  Dirty Girls Only!  (We’ll meet up with the Dirty Dudes at the streetdance)

Supplies you will need:  You should bring comfortable clothing to spend time outside moving and relaxing.  There are showers and bathrooms to change clothes within the context of the day.  We will send a confirmation email with a supply list we will need for the special art project and specific directions.

Cost:  $60 per person – includes all aspects of the day! Buy Now Button

Limited space is available for this special event!

Winter Adventures!

Hello Dirty Girls!  Are you ready for spring?  I know I am!  Meanwhile, I’ve been taking advantage of some of our more mild days.  At this point though, the definition of mild is becoming questionable!  I decided to brave the wet feet and icy ankles and took a hike Saturday.  The trailhead parking lot was still snow packed so I had to park on the gravel road to hit the Perry Lake Trail.
With about a foot of snow on the trail, the going was tougher than usual.  My awesome Salomon trail running shoes are water “resistant” and the temperature was below thirty so the snow only turned to water after prolonged exposure to my warmth!  Ha!  Really, I thought of a couple of items for a wish list – leg gaiters and snow shoes!  Overall, I had a fun time in the woods all alone!  It is soooo beautiful!  There were tracks and animal sign all along the trail.  I could see bird feet and wing tip sweeps, deer scrapes (they scrape their antlers on trees to rub the velvet off) and bunny tracks.  The woods were so quiet and peaceful.  It is pretty awesome to be the first or only on the trail.  Usually, you can’t really tell if others have hiked along before you but in this snow the only trail break was from animals.  Kinda cool!
I was wearing my wool socks, winter running tights, compression sleeves and I was pretty warm  My ankles and lower legs got a little cold because snow was sticking to me as I went.  No problem!  I just knocked off the snow every once in awhile!
The backs of my legs had the most snow – all the way up to my knees!  It was a good hike, I spent almost ninety minutes going out and back.  I didn’t travel much distance, maybe three miles, but I had a great time! A combination of beauty and ridiculousness made my morning great!
I can’t believe that the first BIG event is in ONE MONTH!!  I have already have one person registered!  YaY!  I stopped in at Hog Holler, the official Dirty Girl Club House and things are looking promising.  March 8th we will be hiking 8 miles to end there for lunch and refreshment.  I really hope that all this snow melts and that we will be able to feel spring in the air!!
Get outside to take some hikes if you can! If not, hit that treadmill for some cardio so that you are ready to take a hike in a month!  It’s gonna be great!

Fall is a great time for a hike!

Hello!  We have had some great times on the trail lately.  Even though the weather has become “suddenly summer”, it has been great to get outside.  I am, however, eagerly waiting for true fall to come with cooler temperatures, crisp nights and changing foliage, ie:  less brush and bugs!  Dirty Girls have taken to the trail for both a slower, short hike of 3 miles and a longer more intensive Saturday hike of about 5 miles.  It is working out to have both fast (runners) and slower (woggers and hikers) as long as we plan our route in advance.  It has been nice to catch up with a variety of people on the trail as well!  I can’t wait for the Dirty Girls Half Day on the Trail in October!  Making plans now for food and comfort at the end of the trail.

Dirty Girls and Dirty Kids!

The view from the trail!

I have determined that I have been a slacker this summer! I need more time on the trail. Especially if I am going to go on a ten mile hike with the Dirty Girls October 13th! I am also planning to participate in the Bonkhard Racing Perfect 10 Rogaine Event on October 19th – it is a ten hour maximum orienteering event. Unlike an adventure race, which includes biking and paddling, this is an all trekking event. It is in the Lake of the Ozarks State Park, which should be absolutely beautiful (and hillllly!).  I better get my butt in gear!
I hope that you are finding some time to explore the trails near you or at least get outside to enjoy the gorgeous world!
More Dirty Girls!
More Dirty Girls!

It's the FIRST post!!

Hello all you Dirty Girls!!  I am so VERY excited about this new endeavor and I am SO thankful for the already amazing response from all of you out there!!  Our trademark and logo are pending but in the works which is awesome and a little bit scary.  I have been thinking and dreaming about doing something like this for a long time now and suddenly it’s happening.  It wouldn’t be happening if it weren’t for my most awesome and amazing Original Dirty Girls.

Me with two of the Original Dirty Girls last summer!
Me with two of the Original Dirty Girls last summer!

These friends are so wonderful and supportive and they are full of energy and creativity.  Here are some of the things we are working on right now…
First, the trademark of Dirty Girl Adventures and our almost done logo.  This will be amazing and will lead directly to some fabulous Dirty Girl swag – most excitedly for me at the moment a t-shirt and a decal!
Also, we are working out the details of membership in this great adventure club.  We will soon have memberships for local and distant Dirty Girls.  With membership you will get some cool stuff (mostly as of yet undetermined but obviously including the decal and t-shirt which will doubtless be amazing)!  It has been very interesting thus far… chatting with various women about this idea.  It would appear that either you are a Dirty Girl or you’re not!  Some women just look at me like it is the weirdest thing they have ever heard.  This is when I change the subject.  Other women are immediately SUPER, OVERWHELMINGLY EXCITED!  These are obviously the true DIRTY GIRLS!  Obviously we must UNITE!
Next, we are discussing the need for development of Dirty Girl Chapters.  I’m not yet sure how this will work but it seems like a good idea.   How else will we find Dirty Girls from across the country?
Dirty Girls on Lake Perry Kansas
Dirty Girls on Lake Perry Kansas

I am already planning an adventure in Colorado for next summer.  Dirty Girls Do Pike’s Peak!  Seems like a pretty hard core activity, hiking a 14’er but it will no doubt be amazing.  The research and planning portion of this adventure is already underway.  In addition, future travels will definitely include a little jaunt into the Smoky Mountains to retreat in a super cute and comfy cabin while hiking on the Appalachian trail!
One thing to remember is that Dirty Girls can dream big dreams!  The trick is to take the next step and make the dreams come true!!   Make some time for yourself today, go outside and get dirty! Here are a couple of pictures of past adventures to inspire you!  I am going to hop on the Harley and ride today.  What are you going to do?
Bald Eagles on Perry Lake  Kansas.
Bald Eagles on Perry Lake Kansas.