National Park Packing Essentials

Alex and I are headed off to Bryce Canyon tomorrow and as I started to pack I thought it might be helpful to share with you what my packing essentials are for any National Park or hiking trip we go on.

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National Park Packing Essentials
  1. Comfy Clothes: Comfort is king when you’re on the trails all day. Look for soft, breathable materials that will feel good to move in. I like to bring layers with me as I am 1) always cold and 2) elevation changes can have a major impact on temperatures. For Bryce I am packing these cozy green leggings and tank made in collaboration by Beyond Yoga and Parks Project. Bonus: each product supports conservancy projects in National Parks.
  2. Hiking Boots (not pictured): Depending on where you are hiking and the type of trails you will be on, trail sneakers may be enough but I highly suggest hiking boots if you have them or the budget to get a pair. Hiking boots are more durable than sneakers, provide good grip on trails, will help keep your feet dry, and will prevent injury. I got mine at REI (I think, its been years honestly). Sierra Trading Post tends to have great deals if you’re on a budget!
  3. Backpack: A good backpack is necessary to carry all of the below items and most importantly SNACKS. I got this Fjallraven backpack last year for a trip up to Washington State and love it! It’s not too big but holds everything I need for a day hike. I will caution that the side pockets are on the smaller side and don’t fit large wattle bottles.
  4. Sunscreen: If you’re outside all day, especially on open trails, sunscreen is a MUST. I like Bare Republic’s sunscreen because they are biodegradable and reef friendly, made without chemical additives, synthetic fragrances, or parabens, they protect your skin (UVA/UVB) and the environment.
  5. Water Bottle: This is common sense really but worth noting that the amount of water you bring with you should be in line with how many miles you’re hiking, how hot it is outside, how humid it is, etc. Better to be safe than sorry – always bring more than you think you need. And always bring it in a reusable bottle 😉 I love my Faucet Face bottles that I won in one of the first Instagram yoga challenges I participated in. Made of glass, these bottles feature fun designs on the side and donate a portion of all proceeds to clean drinking water charities.

    Bryce Canyon
    Bryce Canyon at sunrise, illuminating all of the hoodoos. pc: BryceCanyon.org
  6. Journal: I like to bring a journal to jot down the hikes we did, any anecdotes, stories, or things to remember. This helps me to remember the trip more vividly and is always fun to look back on.
  7. Camera: I am SO excited to finally have a DSLR camera to bring with us on this trip. For former trips all photos were taken with my iPhone, which was completely fine, especially when a nicer camera wasn’t in the budget. Alex and I recently sprung for the Nikon 5300, which is a good, entry level DSLR camera for beginner photographers.
  8. Face wash: I wear very little makeup regularly and basically none while hiking (I always wear mascara because I feel like my eyes disappear without it). I like to keep my skin routine as simple and gentle as possible when traveling. Natura Culina is one of my favorite skin care brands; their products are paraben and sulfate free, non-toxic, and cruelty free. They have a chamomile face wash that does a great job cleansing the skin without drying it out. You can get 10% off your order with my code “julia”.
  9. Chapstick: I’ve forgotten these a few times and regretted it so much. Between the sun, being outside all day, and hiking, my lips need some TLC. I love the Hurraw chapstick. They are vegan, cruelty free, and super nourishing.
  10. Compass: This is either the most or least necessary of the list. Most likely you won’t need a compass at all and it’s just a fun add on to bring with you but JUST IN CASE, it never hurts to have one. Phone batteries die, compasses don’t. I think it is kind of fun to think about navigating with one of these too.

That’s it! Did I miss anything you always bring with you on your hiking trips?

What National Parks are you dying to visit?

lmk.

xo

Jules

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