How to Pack for Adventure Travel

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Packing for a bucket-list journey to Nepal, Peru or a distant vacation spot within the U.S. might sound daunting, as a result of hey, it’s not daily you head a whole lot or hundreds of miles from dwelling. How many pairs of socks do you want? Should you pack trekking poles? What goes in your carry-on? And, how do you retain your passport secure?

We sat down with two consultants from REI Adventures, which gives world-class journeys to America’s wildest locations, and one REI journey skilled to carry you prime ideas from their years of journey expertise.

1. Keep vital paperwork secure.

Keep your passport, driver’s license and journey insurance coverage in your individual always. (If you’re occurring an journey journey journey, contemplate buying emergency medical and evacuation protection.) It’s additionally a good suggestion to scan these paperwork, save them to your cellphone and electronic mail them to your self and your contacts at dwelling. Save different vital paperwork—like reservations and itineraries—as images you can entry through your cellphone or create an electronic mail folder you may entry from any location. “If you’re traveling internationally, also have a physical copy of your passport and pack it separately so you can go to the closest embassy and show it to get help faster,” mentioned Belinda Gardner, REI Adventures program supervisor.

2. Lighter is healthier with journey journey. 

Travelers by a train

If you’re touring by bike or exploring a number of locations, you “may be moving every night, so you don’t want to have a ton of stuff. Keep your luggage light and small,” Janel Jensen, REI Adventures journey program supervisor, mentioned. Don’t know the place to start out? Ditch gadgets that don’t serve two functions—for instance, Belinda packs a poncho in lieu of each a rain jacket and a backpacking pack cowl. For extra ideas, learn How to Pack Light for Traveling.

3. Be good about your carry-on. 

Belinda all the time carries a heat layer, a spare toiletry package, medicines, clear socks and underwear in a daypack. She wears her mountaineering boots and straps her biking footwear and helmet to the skin of her carry-on (the combo doubles as an amazing dialog starter), so she’s prepared for day one in all her adventures, even when the airline loses her baggage.

4. Go with quick-dry clothes

“You want clothes that you can hand wash and dry overnight on a towel rack,” mentioned Janel. Synthetic pants and shirts not solely pack small but in addition wick sweat and dry in a flash after washing. Be further ready by bringing detergent alongside, too. We love the Sea To Summit Trek and Travel (liquid) and Pocket (mini-sheets) laundry wash, that are each TSA carry-on compliant.

5. Fewer garments are higher.

Janel brings three pairs of garments—a mixture of trekking pants and shorts and long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirts, and often one gown, too. “People get so worried about wearing the same clothes over and over again—but no one is paying attention,” mentioned Belinda. Remember what you’re there for, and assume and pack like a backpacker.

6. Pack small.

The consultants had been cut up on the age-old debate on whether or not to roll garments or fold them. Proponents of rolling say rolled garments take up much less area and you may see your whole stuff at a look. Those who fold say flatter garments are extra simply packed. Both proponents of rolling and folding suggest Eagle Creek packing cubes. These colourful cubes separate your underwear out of your toiletries to maintain you organized on lengthy excursions. Remember to fill each inch of accessible area in your baggage. “I always have a hat and it’s upside-down in the center of the bag with clothes stuffed inside. It seems to keep its form well that way,” mentioned Ashlee Langholz, program supervisor for content material at REI, and avid journey traveler.

7. Use a duffel bag

“Duffels are better than hard-case luggage because they are soft,” mentioned Janel. It’s true: Whether enjoying baggage Tetris within the trunk of a taxi or on the backs of pack animals, duffels have a leg up on hard-sided luggage. The REI Co-op Big Haul 40 Recycled Duffel or Big Haul 60 Recycled Duffel, with straightforward backpack conversion, are two tremendous versatile choices. Simply put, duffels with straps make dashing by means of the terminal or working for the bus simpler, to not point out the truth that they’re sturdy and smashable—a necessity in the case of journey journey. Plus, “I feel like I’m training when I walk through airports,” mentioned Ashlee.

8. Double up on socks.

They’re the one factor that hardly takes up any room. “I don’t skimp on socks. I don’t mess around with them,” mentioned Janel. Don’t neglect to stash away a pair of “sacred socks.” That’s the pair you save to put on when every little thing else is soaking moist or ruined. For a couple of suggestions, learn our Best Hiking Socks information.

9. BYOWB (Bring Your Own Water Bottles). 

While you may’t carry water in water bottles by means of TSA, you may refill your bottles on the opposite facet. It’s one technique to be extra eco-friendly throughout your travels, whilst your carbon footprint expands with every aircraft journey. We are all in regards to the Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Water Filter Bottle as a result of it collapses into subsequent to nothing and filters water as you drink.

10. Be ready for rain. 

Hiking in Ireland.

In reality, be ready for any climate. Think like a backpacker and convey a rain jacket—and relying on the local weather, rain pants and a pack cowl, too. After all, “when you’re on an adventure travel tip, you’re going to hike regardless of the weather,” Janel mentioned.

“As long as you have your passport, clean underwear and a sense of adventure, you’re good to go.” – Belinda Gardner, REI Adventures program supervisor.

11. Always have your Ten Essentials.

I have the REI Co-op Expandable Packing Cube that I keep my Ten Essentials in. It goes with me everywhere, and I often travel with it if I’ll be doing anything active on the trip,” mentioned Ashlee. “And remember to take out your multi-tool if you’re not checking the bag!”

12. Bring your personal over-the-counter medicines. 

If you’re on a guided expedition, your guides could have loads of group first-aid choices. Even so, having your personal tried-and-true blister package, hydrocortisone, antibiotic ointment and allergy drugs is vital. Be certain to carry further prescription meds in your carry-on, too. There’s no assure you’ll be capable to get your arms on sure necessities in far-flung locations.

Two eager travelers, studying a map

13. Take a bandana or Buff.

This might be one of the vital versatile gadgets you may pack—you need to use it for mud, sweat, stopping runny noses, discovering new hairstyles and easily making a style assertion. And, if you happen to’re within the backcountry, pack two and also you’ll have a pee rag, too.

14. Don’t neglect your mild supply.

Janel makes use of her cellphone’s flashlight in dimly-lit shared areas, in order to not hassle her roommates. Places differ, she says, like “in Nepal where they regulate their light. Sometimes you’re caught without electricity for hours on end, and you’ll need a light source,” otherwise you’ll be caught at the hours of darkness. We suggest a small rechargeable headlamp like those from Biolite.

15. Locks could be a theft deterrent.

But they’re not theft-proof. If you’re going to place a lock in your duffel or baggage, put money into a TSA-compliant lock just like the Pacsafe Prosafe 800 so airport workers can entry your checked baggage with out having to break your bag. As all the time, don’t pack something useful—hold it in your individual as an alternative.

16. Ask your airline for backpack safety.

If you’re solely flying with a backpack, be certain that to guard the straps by cinching them tight and wrapping your hipbelt across the again of your pack. Then pack the entire thing in a big duffel or plastic bag, which most airways can present.

17. Check your trekking poles.

It’s an age-old query: carry-on or test? Although we’ve heard tales of carrying them on, most airways require you to test them as a result of they do have a pointed tip. “I love my Leki trekking poles that weigh nothing and fold up. Just be sure to make sure they fit in your suitcase,” Belinda mentioned. To shield your duffel, use the trekking poles’ tip protectors, and to guard them from bending or breaking, pack them near one thing substantial, like your daypack.

18. Keep your lesser-used gadgets on the backside of your duffel. 

Stack the underside of your duffel with heavy gadgets you aren’t planning on accessing immediately—assume further footwear, rain pants, crampons and a daypack. And, what are you utilizing immediately? Pack toiletries proper on the highest, so that you’re not digging by means of your pack if you happen to get to your vacation spot late at night time.

19. Double-check TSA laws earlier than you pack.

Here is your full useful resource for TSA laws.

20. What gear do you have to carry and what do you have to lease?

Biking in Europe.

Belinda has this all the way down to a science. If she’s spending a day or two doing a sport, she’ll lease every little thing she wants when she will get to her vacation spot. If she’s there for an extended tour, she’ll carry an important gear she wants for every exercise:

  • Cycling: Pack your helmet, footwear, gloves and saddle. Leave your bike at dwelling—you may lease very nice bikes and check out a brand new model in a distinct nation. Plus, you’ll save your self the associated fee and problem of taking your bike aside, flying it there and placing it again collectively.
  • Backpacking: Pack your boots, sleeping bag and backpack. You can lease pads, tents and trekking poles from most guiding corporations.
  • Mountaineering: Pack your boots and harness. Your information can present the remainder.
  • Watersports: Pack your favourite masks and snorkel—as a result of if you happen to’re in Baja California swimming with sea lion pups, you’ll actually desire a good match. Rent the wetsuit, paddles, PFDs and boats at your vacation spot.
  • Yoga: Pack your mat and towel. It may take up some area in your bag, however being comfy is price it. Plus, if you happen to’re planning on having fun with your follow on the seashore, at an area park and even in your resort room, it’s a lot more durable to lease a mat overseas.

Once you’ve mastered the artwork of packing for journey journey, plan your subsequent journey!

This article was initially printed on Sept. 17, 2017, and was up to date on Oct. 18, 2022.

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