When it’s time to start packing for your trip, use our US National Park Packing Lists for spring, summer, fall and winter.
After searching for US National Park vacation ideas and picking a destination, you need to know what to pack!
The lists are fairly comprehensive and you may not need every item depending on your type of travel or the things you will do. Make modifications to the lists as needed.
Download the packing lists for free below!
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US NATIONAL PARK PACKING LIST
Weather, region and elevation are important to consider when packing for a US National Park trip. Weather can be unpredictable any time of year, so be sure to check the forecast and pack accordingly!
Planning and preparation are key when when visiting the US National Parks. Research the weather, region and elevation of the parks you’ll visit to help you know what to pack.
National Park Packing Checklist
The America the Beautiful Annual Pass
We highly recommend you get the US National Park Pass, especially if you’ll be visiting multiple parks. It’s valid for one year from the date of purchase. Check the National Park Service website for the most current pricing information.
If you’re a US citizen these other passes are also available:
- Senior Pass if you’re over 62
- Military Pass
- 4th Grade Pass
One of the cool features of the national parks pass is it allows two signatures so the pass can be shared. The two people don’t have to be related either. You will need to show photo ID each time you use the pass.
We like to buy our pass through REI – they donate 10% of sale proceeds to the National Park Foundation which is cool! Plus that purchase goes toward our REI annual member dividend. You can also get them at any of these Federal Recreation Areas.
Daypack Items for Outdoor Activities
- WATER – water bottles or hydration backpack
- Healthy snacks
- Flashlight or headlamp
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Insect repellent
- Hand lotion
- Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
- Disposable urination device & feminine hygiene products
- Toilet bags
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Rechargeable hand warmers – awesome for winter!
- Bags to pack out trash
- Bear spray (you can rent at Yellowstone)
Hiking Gear for National Parks
- Hiking shoes
- Waterproof hiking shoes
- Hiking sandals – summer
- Insulated boots – winter
- Darn Tough socks
- Trekking poles
- Traction cleats – winter
- Snowshoes and poles – winter
- What to Bring on a Day Hike
- Hiking Gear and Tips for Kids
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Best Cameras for Hiking
Clothing for Spring, Summer and Fall
You’ll want to wear wicking clothing so it pulls moisture (sweat) away from you and moves it to the fabric’s outer surface, where it can dry quickly. Wicking clothing allows you to sweat without feeling clammy or chilled.
- Wicking, quick-drying clothing: underclothes, UV shirts, pants or shorts
- Fleece jacket
- Rain jacket – you may need this at locations with summer monsoons
- Bandana, buff headband or brimmed sun hat
Clothing For Winter
- Wicking and quick-drying base layers
- Fleece or insulated jacket
- Wool, down or heavy-weight insulated jacket
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Insulating hat
- Insulating winter gloves
- Fleece neck gaiter or buff
Packing Item #3 – Other Important Gear
- Cell phone
- Portable charger
- National Park guide books and maps
- Blister balm – you won’t need this if you wear Darn Tough socks (just sayin’)
SHOP FOR US National Park Guides and Maps:
FREE DOWNLOAD: National Park Packing Lists!