We’re counting down the days until Summer Break, and all the freedom and fun that comes with it! Like many of you, we’re excited to pack up and explore outside the walls of our home, and our National Parks are always a great option.
They offer miles and miles of outdoor spaces, and many times, without another human in sight! Some of our favorite family memories over the years have been visiting these national treasures. There’s something about wandering trails in the great outdoors that opens up communication and sparks new conversations.
And while these trips are fun and easy, hiking in the heat of the Summer is not something you can do casually… there is a bit of planning that needs to take place first. Today I’m sharing a must-have packing list if you’re headed out to the National Parks this Summer, plus our favorite parks we’ve visited so far.
Backpack (Up to 50% off!)
While our packing list varies depending on the season and difficulty of the hike, the shoes have never changed for me, and the Adidas Outdoor Terrex have been true workhorses for years. They’re super comfortable, weather-resistant, and offer great support and traction in most every terrain. When paired with Smartwool Performance Socks, my feet stay warm, dry, and comfy all day!
This North Face backpack is a Sugarplum family favorite, and not only accompanies each of us on every trip, but is our day pack for hikes, and the kids’ school packs! It’s the perfect size with tons of compartments and pockets, and a comfortable fit with shoulder and back padding.
When it comes to packing clothes, the key things to consider are sun protection and quick-dry fabrics. This hooded pullover is silky soft with minimal seams for an extra comfortable fit. The fabric is moisture-wicking, quick-dry, and even offers SPF50!
If you prefer a short-sleeve, this tee is a silky-soft, moisture-wicking fabric that also repels odors! It also provides SPF50, and is extra-stretchy for moving with your body.
Fit Tip: Size up if you want a looser fit like mine.
When it comes to the lower half, I vary between leggings and shorts, depending on the season. This pull-on style is performance-based for lots of movement, in a lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric. They have just enough stretch to move with you without pulling and have multiple pockets.
They also come in a range of colors and are currently up to 30% off!
If you prefer to keep your legs covered (great protection from sun, bugs, and scratchy branches!), these climb joggers are a great option! They’re super lightweight with great stretch for added mobility, a wide comfortable waistband, and cuffed ankles to keep them out of the way.
When it comes to accessories… a backpack, polarized sunglasses, water bottle, and hat are non-negotiable! Heat exhaustion and dehydration are two of the biggest dangers when it comes to hiking the Parks, so being prepared is essential.
This full-brimmed hat is great for shading your face and neck, and the woven material is cool and breathable. I wear it for both hikes and pool days. The leather strap comes in extra-handy on windy days!
Even if it’s an easy day hike, we always bring a few essentials in our pack. These are compact and don’t weigh down your pack, but come in handy more times than not… especially when hiking with kids!
Aviators | Backpack (Up to 50% off!) | Hydroflask Water Bottle (Up to 25% off!) | Full-Brimmed Hat | Tick and Insect Repellant with DEET | First Aid Medical Kit | Six Function Whistle | Vega Protein Bars
You can never be too prepared when it comes to hiking the Parks, so hopefully this checklist makes your Summer packing a little easier.
Of course all our outdoor gear and essentials come from Backcountry, my favorite one-stop-outdoor shop! If your trip involves more than day hikes, I’d highly recommend calling a Backcountry Gearhead as well!
They are incredibly knowledgeable in all the necessary gear for every outdoor activity, and their expertise and time is free!! I call them before every ski, camp, and hiking trip, and always come away with new and helpful information.
And don’t forget, if you’re a first time Backcountry shopper, be sure to use code SUGARPLUM15 to save 15% off full-price items on your first purchase (some exclusions apply)!
Do you have National Parks on your travel itinerary this Summer? What parks have you visited and loved… I’m always looking to add new places to our list!
[More Sugarplum Backcountry Love]
Our Favorite Hiking Spots in the United States
Spring Forward | Colorful Activewear Styles
Summer at the Lake
Brand Crush | Patagonia
Friends Trail at Beavers Bend
Skiing at Big Sky
Embracing The Cold
[All National Parks Posts]
National Parks Road Trip | The Itinerary
Trip Report | The Grand Canyon
Trip Report | Bryce Canyon
Trip Report | Zion National Park
Trip Report | Antelope Canyon + Horseshoe Bend
Trip Report | Big Bend National Park
Trip Report | West Texas Road Trip
*Photos are a mix of my iPhone and Audrie Dollins. This post is created in collaboration with and sponsored by Backcountry and ShopStyle Collective, and all knowledge and product selection was made with the helpful expertise of a Backcountry Gearhead!*