The outdoor adventure vacation is a rite of passage most of us go through at some stage in our childhood. Packing travel bags & suitcases are my least favorite thing about going on holiday.
After hours of packing, there is always a sense you have forgotten something (usually have) or you end up bringing things you don’t need (usually do). I generally avoid this stress by having a checklist nearby – either on my phone or I go old school and have it on recycled paper.
Here is my ultimate outdoor adventure vacation packing checklist. Hopefully, it will help you get over the anxiousness of forgetting something.
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Some of the most important items you need to pack and forgetting even one item can ruin your entire holiday.
Passport – Vital for all international travel and just make sure it’s valid for the entire duration of the holiday. Also, ensure it has the required visa(s) for entry to the destination country. I carry a printed copy or two of the first page of my passport just in case I lose it and don’t have access to the internet or a printer.
Next up, a copy of the trip itinerary is shared with a family member (mostly my mum) – I watched James Franco in 127 hours and from then on I make sure someone who is not traveling with us knows what itinerary looks like. I keep a soft copy of the cloud to make sure we make the most out of the holiday. I also give her a list of key phone numbers just as a precaution.
With the flight and hotel confirmations, there is a printed copy kept with the luggage (check-in or hand, is your choice)
Last but least is a copy of the travel insurance certificate. We never holiday without getting travel insurance and make sure it starts on the day of the flight and ends the day after we have come home.
Bags & Packs
Having a superb outdoor adventure vacation does rely slightly on carrying a suitable bag. So you may want to consider the following:
- Duffel Bag
- Day Pack or Waist Pack
- Travel Backpack
- Dry Compartment Bag (For Wet Clothes)
- Hiking Backpack
- Internal Organizers
- Resealable Plastic Bags
- Laptop Bag or Backpack
- Tablet Bag or Backpack
- Camera Bag
- USB Charging Backpacks
Clothing and Footwear
Wearing and carrying the appropriate clothing is footwear is vital. You need to make sure you have prepared for all possible weather conditions.
- Short-sleeve shirt(s)
- Quick-drying pants/shorts
- Long-Sleeve shirt(s) (for insects, sun protection, itching)
- Sun-shielding Cap or Hat
- Hiking footwear
- Hiking/walking socks (2+ Pairs)
- Liner Socks
- Bandanna or Headscarf
- Fleece or Wool Hat
- Rain-wear (Jackets/Pants)
- Insulating clothes (Jackets/Pants/Thermals)
- Liner Socks
- Clothing for everyday travel or evening use
Sleep and Comfort
After a long day of hiking, walking or trekking, you want to make sure you get a good night’s rest. Here are a few items that can help ensure that.
- Eye Masks
- Ear Plugs
- Oral Care/Nose Guards
- Travel Pillows
- Soft Blankets
Protecting your gear is fundamental out in the wilderness and having these will go a long way in protecting it.
- Luggage Locks (TSA Approved – naturally)
- Money Belts & Neck Wallets
- Luggage Tags (2 per bag)
- Wallets & Pouches
- Luggage Straps (For Checked Luggage)
Now if you are like me, you like to get away from civilization and connect with nature but at the time the same as to have that safety net of the internet to fall back on. Plus how else are you going to share your pics on Instagram?
- Phone Charger & Cables
- Tablet Charger & Cables
- Laptop Charger & Cables
- Camera Charger & Cables
- Power Bank Batteries
- Music Listening Devices (Speakers, Headphones, Earphones)
- International Sim Card
- Handheld GPS Navigator (if you really are going off the grid – remember 127 hours!)
Even though you may be camping in an official campsite like Banff National Park in Canada, it is advisable you carry any prescribed and basic medicines, as well as a First Aid Kit.
- Collapsible Water Bottle
- Prescription medication
- First Aid Kit (bandages, gauze, adhesives, pain killers, etc.)
- Cold and flu medicine
- Pain and fever relief
- Diarrhea/laxative medicine
- Cold medicine and lozenges
- Motion sickness pills/tablets
- Allergy medicine
- Sunburn relief (Aloe Vera, lotion, etc.)
- Insect repellent/sting reliever
- Eye Drops/Solution
- Hand sanitizer/Wet Wipes
- Medicine and vaccinations (Specific to the country/region you visit)
Some items on this list are a necessity while others are more of a personal choice.
- Oral Care (toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, etc.)
- Deodorant (stick or spray)
- Shampoo/Conditioner (Use travel bottles to condense space and weight)
- Body Wash/Soap (Use travel bottles to condense space and weight)
- Makeup/Cosmetics Face Care (cleanser, toner, moisturizer, wet wipes, face wash)
- Lip Balm (keeps your lips moisturized for different climates)
- Sunscreen and face lotion with SPF Feminine hygiene products
- Contact lenses and solution. Sunglasses and prescription glasses with case
- Shaving gear (Razors, shaving cream, aftershave)
- Hairstyling tools and products
- Nail clippers, tweezers, scissors
- Laundry Kit (Laundry Bag, detergent/softener, coins)
- Sewing kit/clothing care, stain remover
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P.S. As someone who spent close to 20 years working in insurance, I strongly recommend buying travel insurance if you are going on holiday. It costs a fraction of your holiday but covers the potential risk of the entire holiday. You can read my post on why you need travel insurance.
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