Things to Pack before you visit a National Park

Anjali Mar 22, 2022 Articles

Things to Pack before you visit a National Park

Every National Park is unique and you must experience the adventure it offers, at least once in your life-time.

Depending on the time of year and expected weather, you should do the prepping and packing beforehand.

You must research about the park’s inclement weather, climate, wildlife and etc. to prevent all the risk and hazards.

Since your leisure time in the park is probably limited, you would never want to waste and miss out your trip just because you did not pack right.

Since, most of us have no idea what necessary things to stock up, we are providing a set of things to pack before you go visit a National Park.

This will indeed help the readers to prepare them before they go on seeking adventure. So, without further ado, let us check out the list of essentials:

National Park Map

National parks are often spread over a large area and your cell phones and GPS won’t work in a lot of places within the parks.

Thereby, it is recommended to pack the map of the park you are visiting, to make sure that you will still find your way around, when you are off the grid by navigating through the old-fashioned way.

Rain Jacket:

A lightweight rain jacket is a go-to for any outdoor adventure. At high elevations, weather can change instantly, and thus a compact rain jacket is advised to stuff in your daypack for your ease.

It will make you prepared from sudden rain or temperatures plummet, by keeping you dry and warm.

Pair of gloves:

The wildlife photographers or anyone who intend to capture the raw landscape and wilderness of the park during morning wee hours, don’t forget to take along a pair of light-weight gloves with your camera kit.

The gloves must be thin yet warm to provide sufficient movement of the hands.

Refillable Water Bottle:

While you go on to explore the national park, staying hydrated remains always vital. The refillable water bottles will help you keep going throughout the day.

Bringing your own bottle will save your money and also eliminate the risk of unnecessary plastic waste.

Hydration system:

You may also carry a hydration system in place of water bottles. Frequent drinking water will help you combat the sunlight and effects of high elevation.

Because the air is dry, your sweat quickly evaporates and drinking water will make sure you don’t get dehydrated and keeps your spirit high and going.

Weather appropriate Hat:

A weather appropriate hat is must recommended for the visitors to park.

A winter hat for cold and windy days would cover the ears and keep you warm while a good summer hat on hot and sunny day gives you protection from sun and is truly a blessing for your eyes.

A Good Camera:

You would surely don’t want to miss out to capture all of your outdoor adventures with a good camera which prints your snaps instantly and a selfie stick that gives a bit closer look to what you are snapping.

So, pack a good camera for you trip to the park to capture the wonderful experience.

Water shoes:

To make your plan of hanging out or doing swimming at the beach, rivers or hot springs, hassle free, it is advised you take along a pair of water shoes with you.

A water shoe will help you avoid getting bruised toes from river rocks or cuts from stray logs.

Sturdy Hiking Boots:

There is always a chance of rugged train in your journey in the national park and if you are trekking through serious conditions, you are advised to pack a pair of sturdy hiking boots.

It will protect and support your feet as you walk over rocky surfaces and allow you to explore make most out of your

Hiking Backpack with Waterproof materials:

To explore the park, you need to travel and hike a lot during the journey and thereby you require a hiking backpack along for the ride, with waterproof material that suits your travel style.

The backpack offers outside storage pockets that fulfill your quick need of access to the essentials.

Layering scarf:

Many of the national parks are prone to sudden and abrupt temperature changes.

So, layering yourself with protective scarf will give you protection against sunlight or a sudden temperature drop and will also elevate your style.

Functional Swimwear:

If you are planning on to take a dip in the river or want to swim, a functional swimwear is all you need.

Packing a swimsuit will help you in your adventure if you are thinking of soaking or swimming in the water river.


The campsites within the national parks are of a great value to the visitors who just want to live in the moment, away from the crowds.

Getting your own tent is the best way to have your own experience of living the true wilderness in the lap of nature.


No matter in which season you are planning your trip to the national park, you are definitely going to need a pair of sunglasses.

Be it snow or sun, a functional sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun, snow and water glare. You must choose a good quality of glasses that are both functional and fashionable.

Good socks:

You are required to do pack some of the pairs of good socks on your go to the trip.

Avoid having little fitting socks and pack the one that hug your arches and in whom you are comfortable in.

It is also advised to not bring your regular cotton socks.

Insect Repellents:

Your list of things to pack before visiting a national park must include a insect repellents with yourself to keep pesky insects away.

A strong insect repellent will help you ward off those unwanted companions and protect you from any insect bite risks and hazards.

Bug spray:

Depending on the location of the park and what time of year you are visiting, it is a must requirement you pack bug spray to avoid any kind of unnecessary risks from the mosquitoes, black flies, ticks, or other pests around the park.

They are a problem during specific months and thus it advised to be prepared beforehand from the likelihood of bugs that may affect you.

Comfortable All-day shoe:

A comfortable and versatile all-day shoe is a must thing you should keep with you before your ride to the national park.

This comfortable shoe will keep your feet happy after a long day of exploring the park farther or doing trekking.


Getting sunburned after a day of exploring is a painful souvenir for and you can avoid it by applying a sunscreen before you head out for the day and keeping a bottle in your backpack for reapplying.

A sunscreen is always a necessity no matter what the weather is, to keep your skin protected while you explore.

Small Backpack:

A small day backpack is super handy for the day hiking and exploring through the parks. It will keep you tension free with all your essential things accessible at ease.

A small cooler or Backpack cooler:

A cooler packed with food and drinks for the day will be a heavenly thing for you and will save your money as well.

It will ensure that you have something to drink even if you are miles away from the park facilities of offering food and drinks.

First-Aid Essentials:

Packing a first-aid kit with all the medicines and essentials should always be the first priority of the visitors before going to the park.

The kit must include few things such as: few band-aids for blister and scratches, ointment for bugs bite, pain relievers and anti-nausea medications.

Snacks, Foods and Drinks:

When exploring a national park to its fullest, you tend to walk a lot and all that physical activity can makes your more hungry than usual.

So, it is advised to be best prepared with all the food and drink items and keep some in your daypack. This will save your money and time.

Weather appropriate Clothes:

Keep weather appropriate clothes counting for each day you are going to spend your time at the park.

Also, never forget to keep the comfortable clothes according to the variety of activities you are planning to do during your journey.

Binoculars or spotting scope:

There are times when the Wildlife wanders close to the road or along trials but mostly they are in the distance.

In such cases, to get a close good view and spot wildlife from afar, binoculars or spotting scope are really helpful. You also get to appreciate the beautiful scenery from distance.

Picnic basket:

You can keep a picnic basket to have lunch or snacks during leisure time of your exploring.

The basket helps you keep all the food and drink items for the family, friends and children and gives you a real picnic feel.

Camp chair:

For the camping purposes, you may bring your camp chair to watch the wildlife and nature’s beauty, seating peacefully at distance.

It may not be necessary for all park visitors and is an optional choice as per your needs.

Quick-dry travel towel:

The travel towel dry really fast and takes up barely any space to pack. It will help you if you are going to soak in the river water.


It’s better to pack a headlamp if you’re planning to go on a night hike or want to read in your tent. You may also use this to safely walk to and from evening ranger talks.

They require no hand and are comfortable to use.

Plastic bags:

Everyone is advised to carry plastic bags.

They come in handy and are useful for many reasons such as clean up your picnic site, pack out the toilet paper, organizing snacks.

Child backpack carrier:

Not every visitor is required to pack this as on their list of things.

Only those who have little ones that may not walk very far can bring child carrier. It is quite convenient and easy to carry.

Extra battery:

A car charger and a portable battery charger are two of the necessary accessories that may help you on your trip. A rechargeable external battery would not let your phone die in the middle of your adventure.

Bear spray:

Not every national park allows bear spray so it is better to check the park’s guidelines.

But the parks where it is essential to be carried, it is advised to pack bear spray if you plan to do hiking or walking along trails. You must need to learn how to use it before you head into the wilds of park.

Walkie Talkies:

The location of many parks is such that you would be lucky to have a cell service throughout the park.

Thus, it is recommended for the visitors coming with families and friends to bring a walkie talkie for the ease of communication.

A Tablecloth:

This may prove to be useful for you when you stop at the roadside weathered picnic table to eat lunch or have snacks.

You can pull out the tablecloth to go from down home to gourmet quickly.


Bringing along a light daypack, carrying all your essential things is a really good idea because it gives your flexibility to move freely.

You can place all your extra layer, snacks, flashlights, binoculars and basic first-aid kit in it.

Proof of Identification:

You must keep the proof of identification of yours and every visitors coming with you as you will be asked to show it at the entry of the different zones of the national park.

Warm or cold clothing layers:

The temperatures at the national park drop as the sun sets very quickly so make sure that you pack the light layers for the day time and warm layers for the evenings.

Sanitary requirements:

Keep all the sanitary requirements as you will need through your visit to the park like hand sanitizers, soaps, shampoos, sanitary napkins, disposable bags etc.

This will ensure your hygiene and keep you ready to-go with every situation.

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