This post is part of our series that focuses on Yellowstone National Park. We’ve helped you plan now we’ll show you how to pack for a trip to Yellowstone.”
Okay, now that you have your Yellowstone National Park trip scheduled, I’m going to give you a few tips on what to pack. If you have been there before, you may be a bit of a pro at packing for Yellowstone, but if you haven’t, you may be completely lost as to how to pack for your trip. It’s okay though, I’m here to help!
There are a couple of steps to taking an amazing Yellowstone trip, first would be planning the trip, then making your reservations (don’t put this off if you plan to stay in or near the park), and finally, making sure you pack everything you need to make this a memorable trip for all the right reasons.
How to Pack for a Trip to Yellowstone
Don’t forget your National Parks Pass
If you’re driving to Yellowstone, it doesn’t really matter what direction you’re traveling, it’s possible that you’ll pass several national parks. If you plan to visit those or any other’s within a year, it may pay to purchase the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass for 2019/2020. Good for a full year after purchase, this pass allows the driver and passengers and up to 3 additional adults (children 15 and under are free) admittance to sites managed by the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.
If you purchase your pass through REI.com the company donates 10% of the proceeds to the National Park Foundation.
Clothes for Layering
The temperature and weather change often at Yellowstone National Park, so be sure to be prepared for it.
If you are going in the summertime, you need to still have at least a lightweight jacket, sweatshirt and pants to keep you warm at the higher elevations where it is colder.
If you are going in the wintertime, be sure to bring warm clothing that will move with you if you plan on doing any adventuring.
My husband and I visited mid-July and found the temperatures chilly in the morning and evening, cold at night (we even built a fire in the stove in our cabin to stay warm) and hot during the day, with the exception of time we spent around the lake where we found it to be chilly as well.
Bring comfortable shoes.
What do you plan to do while at the park?
Are you going to be doing any hiking? If you said yes, then definitely bring a good, sturdy pair of hiking boots.
If you are planning to spend time near the water, bring some good, quality water shoes and definitely bring some comfortable tennis shoes for the times spent walking around the park.
You don’t want to get to Yellowstone and discover that the shoes that you brought with you are uncomfortable. If your feet hurt, you won’t be having much fun.
Water Bottles or Hydration Pack
You are going to be very busy exploring the park and trust me, you will get thirsty! Be sure to bring a good water bottle or two with you so that you can stay hydrated while you are out and about. Make sure everyone in your party has their own. One bottle for the family to share is not going to be enough.
Alternatively, you can bring a hydration backpack to carry your water as well as some of your necessities. These come in handy when hiking!
Bring a Backpack
Definitely pack a lightweight backpack or daypack for your adventuring in the park. It will help you keep your necessary stuff on hand (water bottles, phone, sunscreen, etc).
Don’t Forget Binoculars
Yellowstone National Park is filled with stunning sights and beautiful wildlife.
Don’t miss out on them just because you forgot your binoculars at home. If you have them on hand you are sure to see much more than you would without them.
Being outdoors all day, you will be exposed to the sun more so than on your regular days. Be sure that you are prepared to protect your skin. You can do that with some sunscreen, a hat, and a long-sleeved shirt to lessen sun exposure to your skin.
It’s also wise to bring some aloe lotion along with you just in case you forget a sunscreen application and get a sunburn during your adventures.
When you are spending time outdoors, you should always expect bugs. It happens and there is nothing to be afraid of, but you might want to bring some bug spray so that you can avoid annoying insect bites.
This one is tricky, but if you are planning on being out in the park all day, you are going to need to eat at some point, so be sure and bring snacks or lunch along with you.
Don’t forget though that if you are camping in the park, very strict rules need to be followed because bears can smell food and you put yourself at risk if you do not follow proper protocol with it.
I am a big believer in the “Leave No Trace” motto Whatever you pack in with you needs to be packed back out of the park to lessen your environmental impact on nature while you are there. Be sure to bring along a plastic bag to carry out your trash.
This is a very basic list and yours may vary from mine when it comes to packing for a trip to Yellowstone.
Fun and Helpful Items to Pack for your Trip to Yellowstone
Have you been to Yellowstone National Park before? Can you think of anything else that be listed for How to pack for your Yellowstone National Park trip?
© 2019, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.