Just remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

World’s Coolest Backpacking Checklist


I’ve tried various backpacking checklists in the past, mostly in spreadsheet form. I’ve been a Filemaker user since forever, so about five years ago I decided to toy around with building a backpacking database in Filemaker. It was, uh, utilitarian, but it saved me a bunch of time. I mean, I knew how it worked, but always had a hard time explaining to others its idiosyncrasies.
Then Filemaker 12 came out and the game changed. I realize most people don’t own Filemaker 12, 13 or 14, but for you smart and lucky backpackers that do, here’s my backpacking checklist, free for you to download. It works on both Mac and PC, but the Mac version is slightly prettier because of how well it displays fonts and graphics.
It also has iPad and iPhone specific layouts and you don’t even have to buy Filemaker. Just download the free Filemaker GO app from the App Store. Use iTunes to copy the database into Filemaker GO. The iPad and iPhone aren’t as full featured as the desktop version, but they’re still handy.
Download it, grab your scale and start weighing every piece of equipment you own. Have a blast as you start finding ways to trim weight from your pack.

Less Weight = More Fun.

(1.9MB .zip file. Contains a Filemaker 12 database and a .pdf file of instructions.
You must have Filemaker 12, 13 or 14, or download the free Filemaker GO app for iPad or iPhone.)



  • Equipment selection for up to six trips.
  • Check off items while you’re packing.
  • Instant weight updates. Handy if you want want to temporarily remove an item from your selection.
  • Automatically calculates Group Weight and a handy select tool to quickly divvy up the gear amongst trip partners.
  • Menu Planner for up to six days for up to six trips.
  • Master Food List that is easy to add or delete items.
  • Calculates Total and Average Daily Calories and Weight of food.
  • A Misc Info list is also included for trip entries or other esoteric backpacking information you want to keep.
  • Easy to use instructions included.
  • Completely unlocked. If you know what you’re doing, modify away.