Do you know what to pack for that perfect Yellowstone trip?
For those who crave adventure in the great outdoors, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is a paradise. It was the very first national park in the United States, covering over 3,000 square miles of majestic wilderness and attracting over 3 million visitors every year.
There are many possible accommodations in the park, depending on your personal needs. Anyone who is ready to answer the call of the wild with a resounding, Yes! can get the full Yellowstone experience by pitching a tent at one of the many campgrounds. On the other side of the coin, for those who love the outdoors, but want a warm, comfortable bed to sleep in, there are fantastic lodges in the park, available all year round.
When going on such an adventure, it’s important to know what to pack for a perfect Yellowstone trip, plan ahead in terms of what to take with you, and this list will vary of course, depending on what level of lodging you choose. The first thing to consider is booking your lodging. If you want to camp or park an RV, you’ll need to obtain a permit; or, if you want to stay in a lodge, you’ll need to book a room. You’ll also need to observe certain park rules that ensure the comfort and safety of you and all other campers. These include only starting campfires in designated fire pits and keeping food on food storage poles to keep away unwanted animal visitors.
Part of the appeal of camping is disengaging from the luxuries of modern life to fully embrace the beauty of the nature that surrounds you. While it can be hard to unplug from our iPad and laptops and all those other gadgets that are often as distracting as they are convenient, those items are not necessary. Twitter will still be there when you get back home! However, it is a smart idea to have a phone (or two, depending on the size of your group) in case of emergency. Since there aren’t electrical outlets in the woods, you may want to invest in a portable battery.
Make sure you’ve got all your campsite supplies, including tents, sleeping bags, a sleeping pad for if the ground is particularly hard, lanterns and flashlights, refillable water bottles (stay hydrated!), cooking supplies, bug spray, and a few other items. It’s also a good idea to keep a trail map handy. Remember that Yellowstone is a huge environment, covering thousands of square miles. That’s a lot of space for someone to get lost. While we’re all in support of losing yourself in nature, it’s not meant to be taken literally; you should always make sure you have a base of operations you can easily find.
If you plan on doing a lot of hiking, be sure to pack appropriate clothing, like durable and comfortable boots, short-sleeve shirts or tank-tops, hats and sunglasses to protect from the sun, and either long, loose pants or shorts, depending on the weather. For the pants, it’s important to find a good balance; you want them loose enough that you can move comfortably, but you don’t want them to be too baggy that they get caught on rocks or trees you pass. Though the days may be very warm, especially if you visit Yellowstone in the summer, the nights can be cold.
Pack a jacket so you can relax comfortably by the fire. Also, it is very important that you pack plenty of sunscreen and are sure to use it. Many people neglect this crucial task, but this simple procedure can prevent serious health problems. We recommend at least an SPF 30. If you have one at home, you could always bring a walking stick that will help you conquer any steep inclines, but there’s always the chance that you find a good one in the wild when you arrive, so there’s no need to buy one in advance
Even though you’ll be out camping, it might be helpful to bring some cash in case you want to get any souvenirs or a bite to eat at one of the lodges. Everyone in your group should also carry identifications with emergency contacts on them at all times. The chances of you needing them are slim, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Also, if you or anyone in your group has a serious medical condition, they should travel with a doctor’s note and any other necessary health documents and supplies. These items are not just necessary for camping, but are vital things for any traveler.
While this list covers about 90% of what you’ll need, that other 10% can vary based on your individual needs. It’s recommended that you do some of your own research online to find out what will make your camping trip to Yellowstone as exciting and comfortable as possible. From all of us here TakeTours, happy hiking!