Getting some much needed fresh air in the great outdoors is an absolute must these days. If you’re headed for a hiking trip in the Sierras or a tropical beach getaway in the Bahamas, there are some essentials you’ll want to make sure to have on hand.
Being prepared for your adventure is going to greatly increase your enjoyment of the experience. Here we’ve compiled an extensive packing list for your next outdoor getaway.
A Few Tips
First, we recommend that you make a definitive plan about what you’ll be doing. This will help you narrow down the appropriate gear. If you’re going camping, can you drive up to the site, or are you going to need to hike out to the location? This will determine if you need to have super lightweight gear, or if you can pack an air mattress.
If you’ll be out sailing, check the weather beforehand and make sure to pack a sweater in case the winds pick up. Or if you’ll be kayaking, ensure that your gear is waterproof or you have waterproof bags for things like your camera and food.
No matter what you’re doing outside, there are some very basic essentials for every excursion.
Even if you’re in the north of Scotland visiting the Isle of Skye and the weather forecast is cloudy all day, it’s still important to have some sunscreen. As a matter of fact, approximately eighty percent of the UV rays from the sun can penetrate cloud cover.
Even if you’re relaxing under an umbrella on white sandy beaches reading a book and drinking a Mai-Thai, the sun can reflect off the sand. So it’s always a safe bet to carry sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF and apply it hourly.
Staying hydrated is essential regardless of what you’re doing. Particularly if you’ll be out on long treks through remote areas where you can’t just stop at the store and pick up a bottle.
A water bottle that has a built-in filter is a great option. You can also look for something lightweight and dishwasher safe. Try a few out until you find the best one for your preferences.
Lightweight and Breathable Clothing
Choose clothing items that are lightweight, moisture-wicking to keep you dry and comfortable. Stay away from one hundred percent cotton items. Cotton does not keep moisture away from your skin, takes forever to dry, and doesn’t provide insulation when the sun goes down and it gets cold.
Instead, look for garments made of nylon, polyester, or a blend. These materials tend to be very durable and super-fast drying. For cooler weather activities, consider wool. Wool has come a long way and is no longer bulky and scratchy. Try an ultra-fine merino wool base layer. It’s moisture-wicking, fairly quick-drying, breathable, and itch-free.
Always carry a towel, and don’t panic. Though that is a joke from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it is a very accurate assessment. Travel towels are one of the most versatile items you can have.
They function as a towel, of course, for drying yourself off. You can lay it down to sit on the ground comfortably, use it as a blanket to wrap up in sitting around the campfire, or roll it up and use it as a make-shift pillow. Look for a lightweight, sand resistant one if you’re hitting the beach.
Ones that are made with one hundred percent Turkish organic cotton that is super absorbent and quick drying. Look for one large enough to be a picnic blanket or something to wrap up in to stay warm, but also fold up to fit nicely in your bag.
A good pair of activewear shoes are going to make all the difference during your outdoor experience. Again, this is where planning comes in. Will you be on a long backcountry trek or kayaking at Big Sur.
One suggestion is to look for a pair of shoes that will cover all your bases. Something that is lightweight, breathable, and super comfortable. A great pair of durable hiking sandals is a good way to go. They are good for a mountain trail or a day out on the paddleboard.
So you’re headed out on the rail and want to be prepared for an all-day adventure up to the top of a beautiful mountainscape. You’ll be best off if you have all of these things with you.
You’re going to have a decent amount of gear on hand for an extended day hike. Make sure that you have a solid backpack to haul it all. Look for soft and breathable shoulder straps and the same for the back panel. It should be padded slightly and made of breathable material. You don’t want a super gross and sweaty back at the end of the day.
Some external side pockets to carry your water bottle is nice. Also having a rain cover included is a good idea. Find a pack that is manufactured with thick and durable material to help protect your gear inside and the outer layer from being torn.
First Aid Kit
This one is mission-critical. Regardless of where you are going and what you’re doing. First aid kits can be made with a few standard items or purchased. A hand full of bandages and butterfly bandages in case of cuts or scrapes, an elastic wrap bandage, if there are unfortunately any sprained ankles along the way. Antibiotic ointment with a pain reliever is also ideal.
They make smaller versions of these kits that are ideal for hiking. They have compact scissors and tweezers, plus some tiny alcohol wipes and a small roll of adhesive bandage tape.
Depending on if you are a camper or a glamper, there are a few different types of camping gear items you’ll want to have on hand. Of course, you’ve got your tent, sleeping bag, and cooler full of food ready to go. In addition, here are a couple of things that will make your camping experience a fantastic one.
If you’re not going to be backpacking out too far, a larger camping stove can be a huge asset when camping. Though it’s fun to cook stuff on the campfire, it can also be a ton of work. Keeping the fire going enough to actually cook meat all the way through, or having to build a fire every morning just to make coffee.
Even if it’s a single burner propane stove it is worth packing a little extra gear for convenience at mealtime. Especially if you are cooking for a few people.
Not all campsites have great seating. Usually, there’s just a picnic table, and that’s about it. And we all know the best part of camping is sitting around the fire at night. Invest in your camping comfort by picking up a sturdy and durable folding chair.
Grab one that doesn’t sit too low to the ground, they are smaller yes, but they are a real pain to get out of every time you need to put more logs on the fire.
Let the Adventure Begin!
Whether you’re headed out to the Appalachian Trail, camping at the beach, or spending a day at the lake; make sure you plan ahead and pack accordingly.
Hopefully this little packing list has helped get you ready for your next awesome outdoor adventure. Have fun and stay safe!