When it’s time to start packing for your trip, use our winter vacation packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything! There are many winter vacation ideas in the US. Once you pick the destination, you’ll have a better idea of what you’ll need to pack.
In this guide, we’ll go over a comprehensive packing list to ensure you’re well-equipped for your winter vacation. From thermal wear to emergency kit essentials, we’ve got it all covered.
Winter weather around the US can be unpredictable and temperatures can vary greatly throughout the day. It’s important to pack layers so you can adjust accordingly. We recommend packing at least one base layer, a mid-layer, and an outer layer.
In addition to layers, you also need to consider footwear, accessories, skincare products, and gear for hiking or other outdoor activities.
The winter packing list is fairly comprehensive, and you may not need every item depending on your type of travel and the things you will do, so make modifications as needed.
Download the printable winter packing list for free below!
This site contains affiliate links which means WE may receive commissions for purchases made through these links. We only provide links to products we actually use and/or wholeheartedly recommend! As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full Disclosure Policy.
Winter Vacation Packing List
There are a variety of USA winter destinations to visit in the winter and weather, region and elevation are important to consider when packing.
Weather can be unpredictable in the winter, so be sure to check the forecast and pack accordingly!
We enjoy traveling during the winter when it’s the off season at many locations. But winter exploration and photography can be a love-hate struggle. You’ll need the right winter clothing so you can still enjoy the outdoors!
If you’ll be traveling by car, check out our winter road trip supplies list so you are prepared for unexpected car troubles or bad weather conditions.
Winter Packing Checklist
Here are the items we consider packing for a winter vacation based on location and expected weather.
National Park Annual Pass
There are a variety of US National Parks to visit in the winter – weather, region and elevation are important to consider when packing. Weather can be unpredictable in the winter, so be sure to check the forecast and pack accordingly!
Definitely pack the US National Park Pass if you’ll be visiting any of the parks. The pass has one signature line for a single passholder. The pass covers the passholder and all occupants in a personal vehicle. Or it can cover the passholder and up to three additional adults. The passholder will need to show photo ID each time the pass is used.
CLICK HERE to buy the National Park pass through REI – they donate 10% of sale proceeds to the National Park Foundation which is cool!
Daypack Items for Winter Travel
- Water bottles or hydration backpack
- Healthy snacks
- Rechargeable hand warmers or Hot Hands hand and foot warmers
- Flashlight or headlamp
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses – especially in the snow!
- 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
- Bags to pack out trash
Hiking Gear to Pack Winter Adventures
- Insulated boots
- Waterproof hiking shoes
Heavy wool socks – we LOVE Darn Tough Socks
- Traction cleats
- Snowshoes and poles
- What to Bring on a Day Hike
- Hiking Gear and Tips for Kids
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Best Cameras for Hiking
- 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
Camera Equipment For Winter Travel
Winter travel brings a wonderful opportunity to capture tranquil scenes of snow-covered landscapes you’ll see around the US.
The right camera accessories can make all the difference to enhance the quality of your captures and make your photographic journey more enjoyable.
Rain or snow is a possibility in the winter depending on the location you’ll visit in the US. Be sure your camera bag has a weatherproof cover and carry a cleaning kit, microfiber cloths, and a rain sleeve for your camera!
- Winter Photography Gear List
- BEST compact travel cameras
- Camera bags
- BEST travel tripods
- Camera cleaning kit
- Memory cards
- Extra batteries
- DOWNLOAD the camera gear checklist!
Other Gear to Pack for Winter Vacations
- Cell phone
- Portable charger
- Blister balm – you won’t need this if you wear Darn Tough socks (just sayin’)
- National Park guide books and maps
Download and print the WINTER VACATION PACKING LIST to use over and over! Simply click the graphic below to get your free copy!