Packing list for spending the day in a USA national park

Posted by TripMapper | 16th May 2023

With TripMapper being a vacation budgeting and vacation planning app, we obviously love to be organised when it comes to all things travel! Having a well-organised packing list allows you to focus on the experience and the incredible time you'll have in the USA's beautiful national parks, knowing that you have everything you need for your outdoor adventure.

You'll be well-prepared for your day with our packing list below. Tailor the packing list to your specific needs and the national park outdoor activities you plan to enjoy. Remember to check the specific park regulations and weather conditions before packing, as some items may vary depending on the park and time of year.


  • Comfortable hiking shoes or boots
  • Moisture-wicking socks
  • Lightweight, breathable pants or shorts
  • Long-sleeved shirt or t-shirt
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Sunglasses
  • Light jacket or fleece for changing weather conditions
  • Rain jacket (depending on the season and forecast)
  • Swimsuit (if there are swimming opportunities)
  • Bandana or scarf for dust or sun protection
  • Extra set of clothes (in case you get wet or need to change)

Safety and Navigation:

  • Daypack or backpack to carry your essentials
  • Trail map and compass (if necessary)
  • Smartphone with navigation apps
  • Personal identification and emergency contact information
  • First aid kit with band-aids, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and any necessary medications
  • Sunscreen (with high SPF) and lip balm with SPF
  • Insect repellent
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Bear spray or other wildlife deterrent (if applicable in the area)
  • Personal locator beacon or satellite communication device (if going to remote areas)
  • Whistle for signaling

Food and Water:

  • Sufficient amount of water
  • Snacks (granola bars, trail mix, energy bars, fruits, etc.)
  • Packed lunch
  • Lightweight, reusable water bottle
  • Water filter or purification tablets (if necessary)


  • Smartphone for capturing memories and for on the go access to your TripMapper itinerary app
  • Camera
  • Portable phone charger or power bank
  • Binoculars for wildlife viewing
  • Field guide or nature books (if you're interested in identifying plants, wildlife, etc.

Comfort and convenience:

  • Picnic blanket
  • Camping chair
  • Travel-sized hand sanitiser or wet wipes
  • Tissues
  • Garbage bags for waste disposal
  • Ziplock bags or dry bags (to protect electronics or keep items dry)
  • Backpack rain cover (if your backpack is not water-resistant)


  • Cash or credit card (for park entrance fees, parking, or other expenses)
  • National park pass (if you have one)
Image by Steven Cordes on Unsplash

Check out the TripMapper travel planner to plan your US national park travel itinerary. The TripMapper travel itinerary app also tracks your vacation budget - it's the best travel planner app out there! Available on the web and on mobile.

We think you will also like:

Getting excited about travel?

Sign up for the best travel planning & budgeting app, available on web and mobile.

Get started for free