Everybody OutdoorsTravel TipsWhat to Pack for Travel

The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Travel Gear

By January 7, 2018 January 14th, 2018 5 Comments

Take a long, deep breath and be free – you’ve made it to the great outdoors! We love incorporating some time in the sunshine no matter where we travel. There’s something about the natural world that is so alluring, especially if your surroundings are very different then back home.

But if you’re not used to being outside or are going to a strange, new place…how do you know what to bring with you?

two women hiking with backpacks

Here are some fantastic ideas by season for scoring the best gear for outdoor trip adventures, from the redwood forests of California to the pristine beaches of the Maldives. If you rather know what to pack by situation, have a look at this great guide for hiking, fishing, camping and more!

Summer

Practical (and Fun) Swimwear

Whether you’re splashing around in your local lake, doing some laps at the hotel pool or about to dive deep into a tropical ocean, you’ll need some bathing suits – to suit every situation. I used to love my tiny little bikinis, but the more I spend time in the sun near the equator, I’m conscious of more protection for my skin. Ladies swimwear comes in a variety of styles – such as the trendy cut-out one piece – so you can still look great while maintaining coverage. As swimsuits tent to not take up too much space, I go for one suit that looks great for reading on the beach, and another that’s idea for serious swimming and snorkeling. Zipped-up racerbacks work well for laps, and a tankini or cut-out for lounging by the pool and ocean.

Packable Beach Blanket

I hate sand. It gets everywhere, right? I finally found something that keeps dry and sand-free that I can lounge on at the beach. I brig a separate towel then have this on hand as well when it’s time for a tan between swims. It packs away in it’s own little pouch too.

TomTom Adventurer GPS Outdoor Activity Watch

Of course you’ll want to brag about all the calories you’re burning outside on your trips this summer! The TomTom watch is unlike regular running watches, and will track your hiking elevation and distance too. It’s waterproof for swimming and hold music that can sync with wireless earbuds. The data nerd will love all the info that comes through the app on your smartphone.TomTom Adventurer fitness watch edinburgh scotland eileen cotter wright

Hiking Sandals

I don’t mind the classic hiking boot, but when I’m doing easy trails in the hot summer I like to have something a little more breathable. Sandals that come with a thick sole and have easy straps are best.

Fall

Sturdy Skinny Jeans

I love when you find that one pair of jeans that works for every scenario. Fall gets a little breezier, so I pack away shorts and dresses to opt for a great pair of denim. Dickie’s lasts for a long time and can move along with you while hiking, walking or even dressed up with booties to dance the night away.

Large Wool Scarf

I’ve always sworn by infinity scarves as my favorite versatile travel item. While layers work well in the fall, I like that  a over-sized scarf can come off quickly is you get warm while moving outdoors. It also doubles as a great travel blanket or bunched up as a pillow on the plane.

redheaded woman with scarf

Winter

Hand Warmers

There’s nothing worse while enjoying your ski break than freezing fingers. We keep a few of these on hand at all times to pass around to our squad. It’s a quick way to stay cozy on the slopes and can be put wherever you need a little warm boost.

Bramble Emergency Bivvy Bag

Any time you’re spending an extended trip outdoors, it’s good to have a plan if you get stuck. As in, have to stay overnight somewhere under the stars. Sleeping bags are often great but can be bulky and take up space. So something like a survival bag an be useful to have in your backpack in case of emergencies. It’s made of anti-tear material and can retain heat on cold nights.

Spring

B’Twin Road Bike

If you plan on a lot of springtime road trips, it’s well worth investing in a good bike you can bring along with you. Rentals are often a hit-or-miss situation, so having your own bicycle ready is key to a good roadside adventure. The B’Twin is a great holiday bike, as it’s reliable and usable for a couple seasons.

Spring Red B'TWIN Mountain Bike

Hydration Bladder

Serious hikers and those who like to work up a sweat will love this in their suitcase. A hydration bladder takes up very little space and can be used on its own or in  a backpack. Fill with water for quick hydration anytime on the trail. They are leak-proof and portable for almost any outdoor activity.

What do you have to take on your outdoor-centered holidays? What time of year do you usually plan your outdoor trips?

Eileen Cotter Wright

Author Eileen Cotter Wright

Eileen Cotter is a freelance travel journalist and owner of Pure Wander. She's our resident expat extraordinaire and falls down a lot in yoga class. Follow her on Twitter @Crooked_Flight

More posts by Eileen Cotter Wright

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Lynne Harper says:

    We travel to Europe with our car and hire bicycles there. We love nothing better than getting out and active as a family. At home we pop them on the back of the car and head to the beach for trail x

  • Adam says:

    Travel on mountain with mountains biking is the great and adventure full idea that makes the trip more enjoyable last year we went the mountains of US that was really unforgettable moments for us we had all gears that need to survive there and we enjoyed very well there also you have informative article here about outdoor gears and pictures keep it up guys really enjoyed your site.

    • sandy says:

      Hi Adam, we have a plan to visit California this summer. Which mountains you liked the most…can pls just give the idea. Thanks

  • sandy says:

    This season wise outdoor information is helpful. Last summer we went California for walking trail and enjoyed a lot. This summer have a plan too to go new places. Thanks

  • Burt Silver says:

    I really like that you mentioned hiking sandals and how those can be great for the summer when it’s hot out. This is something that I totally agree with and I would love to get some hiking sandals. My wife and I are looking into going hiking more this summer and exploring the outdoors so these are some good ideas of what to bring when we get packing.

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