The Ultimate Outdoor Adventure Vacation Packing Checklist

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.

Pin Outdoor Adventure Vacation Packing Checklist and read it later.

Make sure you have the ultimate outdoor adventure vacation packing checklist before you go! #travelclans
#outdoors #adventure #vacation #packing #checklist

Travel Documents

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:

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
  • Swimsuit
  • Bandanna or Headscarf
  • Fleece or Wool Hat
  • Rain-wear (Jackets/Pants)
  • Insulating clothes (Jackets/Pants/Thermals)
  • Liner Socks
  • Gloves/Mittens
  • 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

Travel Security

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?


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
  • Multivitamins
  • 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
  • Cologne/Perfume

Download your FREE printable Outdoor Adventure Vacation Packing Checklist

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 holidayYou can read my post on why you need travel insurance.

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Do you have the ultimate outdoor adventure vacation packing checklist? Get it before you go! #travelclans
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10 thoughts on “The Ultimate Outdoor Adventure Vacation Packing Checklist”

  1. Thanks for writing this article on an outdoor adventure vacation packing checklist.i must commend you for a job well done for taking your time to write on various items that is essential for outdoor adventure,i really find this article helpful in the sense that all the item in this article are important to take along because I can remember the day I forgot my phone charger and laptop charger.i like all the product in this article especially the travel security part

  2. I cannot tell you how important having this type of checklist can be before beginning one’s journey. Even after packing everything there is always that lingering feeling that I am forgetting something. It happens every single time. I have never made this type of checklist before and I just pack anything that comes to mind which is why I end up forgetting items on a regular basis. This checklist would be of great help and I can even add to it by tweaking it just a little bit.

  3. Hello, firstly I would like to say this is an interesting post and it has really helped me achieve a more comprehensive list for my vacation. Before coming across this site, I thought i already have a full list of all that I could need for vacation with my family, that changed when I came across this site, I discovered it wasn’t all there and it helped me add some other important things to the list. Thanks

  4. a very interesting post; in a vacation abroad I left without a voucher; I was confused about leaving with travel insurance; we were lucky that we were the second time in the same location, knew us at the hotel and allowed us to get in touch with the agency that bought us our vacation; it sent the voucher on the internet; since then I have a permanent list of everything I need to take with me on the journey

    • Hi Carmen,

      Experience is a wonderful teacher even though tough at times! But i’m glad you everything went well in the end

  5. Hi Tarun,

    Awesome packing list, thank you!

    We were just planning our trip to Hawaii this winter. We are going to watch whales , and your packing list will help us a lot because we usually pack too many things and end up with too many suitcases:) And the funny thing is that we always forget the most important things:)

    Just a question, please. Do you think it would be a good idea to bring a hair drier? 

    I can’t live without it:)

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    • Hi Daniella,

      You can carry a hair dryer but how much battery will you need to charge it and how often are you going to use it while you live in the outdoors

      plus if you having a bad hair day, do what I do and wear a cap 🙂

  6. There is a saying that state ” If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail” Having a checklist can help to safe us from lot of stress, most Before I started using checklist , I do go through the stress of going back home to get some things if I fail to pick it along with me or spend extra cost of getting it. Going through your post has really. Henceforth, I will start considering the use of checklist .This is a beautiful post and I love your points.


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