Are you getting ready to start planning and preparing for an upcoming backpacking trip? The two questions I get asked all of the time when it comes to planning my own backpacking trips are:

1 – What backpacking gear do I need to bring with me for an overnight backpacking trip?
2 – How should I pack my pack for a backpacking trip?

Last weekend, I headed out with some of the students in my online backpacking program for women, The Confident Solo Female Backpacker System to go backpacking along the Chelan Lakeshore Trail here in Washington State.

The Chelan Lakeshore Trail is a great place for an early season backpacking trip here in Washington because it’s low enough elevation that there’s no snow on trail this time of year (we did this trip in mid-May), the whole area is surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountains, the trail hugs the coast of Lake Chelan for most of the trail and there’s tons of wildflowers throughout the area. Our hike was a total of 17 miles and 4,100 feet of elevation gain over three days and two nights.

In this blog post, not only will I share with you how I planned our backpacking trip on the Chelan Lakeshore Trail, but also share with you all of the backpacking gear I brought with me for this 3-day/2-night backpacking trip along with how I packed all of the gear I brought with me in my pack.

Chelan Lakeshore Backpacking Trip Itinerary

Here was our trip itinerary for this weekend:

Day One:

We started our trip with a 40-minute ferry ride up Lake Chelan on the Lady Express from Field’s Point Landing. We got off of the ferry at Prince Creek and hiked 11 miles until we reached Moore Point where we set up camp for the night. Moore Point has a couple picnic tables, a metal bear box and a pit toilet. You will need to pack out all of your trash from here.

Day Two:

From Moore Point, we hiked 8 miles into the little town of Stehekin, which is only accessible by foot, boat or plane. Once in town, we set up at the group camp at the Lakeview Camp Group Site, which has picnic tables, metal bear boxes, garbage, flush toilets and potable running water. After setting up camp, we made our way to the famous Stehekin Bakery. We also had plenty of time to explore Stehekin, both by foot and bike. Bike rentals by the hour are available in Stehekin, right across from the Purple Point Campground. For dinner, instead digging into our food bags and using our camp stoves, we opted to all have dinner together at the North Cascades Lodge Restaurant.

Day Three:

We visited the Stehekin Bakery one last time for breakfast and then hopped on the ferry for an 1.5 hour ride and headed back to the cars at Field’s Point Landing.

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Backpacking Gear For This Backpacking Trip

I think of my backpacking gear in systems so the different systems I packed in my backpack for this weekend include:

  • My Pack
  • Shelter System
  • Sleep System
  • Cooking System
  • Water Filtration System
  • Repair/Tool/Toiletry Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Poop Kit
  • Electronics
  • Misc gear
  • Packed Clothes
  • Worn Clothes
  • The 10 Essentials
  • And food for the weekend along with what I stored my food in, which was a 10-liter Ursack

There were metal bear boxes at each of the tentsites we stayed at along the trail (Moore Point and Lakeview Camp), which is where we were able to store all of our food and smelly items in while at camp so hard side bear canisters weren’t required for this trip.

Click here to download your FREE The Hungry Hiker Backpacking Gear Packing List to use for planning your next backpacking trip.

Here’s my complete backpacking gear list for this trip (includes weight and links for each item): 2023 Chelan Lakeshore Overnight Backpacking Trip Backpacking Gear List

How I Packed My Pack For This Backpacking Trip

The pack I used for this trip (and love) was the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60.

I started packing my pack by first adding in the Gossamer Gear Air Flow SitLight Camp Seat, which doubles as back panel padding for my pack AND a butt pad whenever I take breaks out on trail.

Then, inside the main body of my pack, I added in my DIY Backpacking Food Cozy in the internal hydration sleeve since I don’t use this section of the pack for a water bladder.

On the bottom of the inside of my pack, I stuffed in my sleep system horizontally to provide cushion against my lower back.

A bulk of the weight I carry in my pack is food so on top of my sleep system, I stored my loaded food bag, which for this trip is my 10 liter Ursack. I made sure this weight was stored along the length of my spine.

Then it was a balancing game with loading the rest of my gear.

On one side of my Ursack, I stuffed in my inflatable sleeping pad, which was the Therma-A-Rest Neo Air XTherm NXT.

On the other side of my Ursack, I stuffed in my Repair/Tool/Toiletry Kit.

Then to help fill all of the empty pockets of space inside my pack, I stuffed my tent, both the body and the fly. After stuffing in my tent, I stuffed in my rain jacket because here in the PNW, you ALWAYS pack a rain jacket, even if there isn’t rain in the forecast. I also stuffed in my puffy jacket and my fleece.

Then I added in my cooking pot and stove, which is the JetBoil Stash and my First Aid Kit, which I always like to have towards the top of my pack for easy access.

One thing I really love about this pack are all of the pockets. On one side of the pack on the outside, I used the huge pocket to keep the rest of my tent in like the floor print, tent stakes and the tent poles for easy access once I get to camp.

On the other side, there are two more external pockets. The top pocket is where I kept my Poop Kit for easy access.

The bottom pocket is where I stored my Water Filtration System, which includes my dirty water bag, my water filter and a small bottle for electrolytes and smoothies I make when out on trail.

Then on the back of the pack, there’s a spacious rear mesh pocket where I stored things I wanted easy access to like my bug head net, my water/camp/town shoes and if my tent fly gets wet, I’ll store it here along with my rain jacket if it’s raining.

I can then close the top of my pack with the OTT (or Over-the-Top) closure system and cinch everything down with the straps.

On the shoulder straps, on one side, I carried my clean drinking water in a 1 liter CNOC Outdoors Vesica collapsible bottle inside a CTUG Shoulder Strap Sleeve.

On the other side, I carried my Garmin inReach Explorer+.

Then, in the large, functional hipbelt pocket, I carried my knife and a pair of liner gloves for easy access.

On the other side, I kept extra snacks and sunscreen.

My total base weight for all of my gear, minus fuel, food, water and worn clothing was: 20.89 lbs.

Here’s my complete backpacking gear list for this trip (includes weight and links for each item): 2023 Chelan Lakeshore Overnight Backpacking Trip Backpacking Gear List

Click here to download your FREE The Hungry Hiker Backpacking Gear Packing List to use for planning your next backpacking trip.

To see the full demo of how I packed my pack (and to check out all of the amazing views we saw along our trip), check out this video:

Interested in learning more about The Confident Solo Female Backpacker System?

If you’re ready to start working towards achieving your backpacking goals this year, want to be a part of an amazing community of other likeminded women hikers and backpackers and join us out on trail for future group trips where you’ll be able to apply everything you learn in the program out in the field on trail, click here to learn how you can apply to be a part of this incredible program.

The Confident Solo Female Backpacker System

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