I’m back from my 3rd TrekAmerica tour. I went on the Northern Trail from New York cross country to San Francisco. It’s a long trip and it was my first camping tour. I’ve been camping before but this was my first time with Trek. I had a rough idea on what to take but I made a few mistakes so the list below is what I would take if I did it again.
If you are reading this but haven’t decided which trek to take yourself, then check out my post on how to pick your TrekAmerica trip.
If you want to find out more about the tours, check out my FAQ’S about Booking and Travelling with TrekAmerica.
This list is copied from my other post What to pack for a BLT or PLUS tour but has been changed slightly for camping tours. If you are going on a hotel trip look at that post instead as it will be more suitable for your trip.
Firstly, here’s some things you don’t need which is basically all the camping equipment and the tents. TrekAmerica provide all that. All you need to bring is a sleeping bag. Your Tour Leader will show you how to put the tent up which is really easy so don’t worry about that.
- Passport – Obviously
- Visa Waiver – Anyone who doesn’t have a US passport will need to apply for an ESTA for America and an ETA for Canada.
- Trek Confirmation – Print off your Invoice.
- Trek Tips – These are really handy and have all your joining information on them.
- Trek Hotel Vouchers – Print these off. They have the address on them and you might need to show the reception them on arrival.
- Flight information – Download the app for your airline carrier. They will send you notifications when to check in 24 hours prior and when the gate is open etc. It’s also good to have in case your flight in delayed etc.
- Additional Hotel confirmation – If you are staying a few additional night beforehand in another hotel/hostel then bring this confirmation with you.
- Oyster Card – For my fellow Londoners
- Driving Licence – Want to drink on trek? Bring your ID. Please note, not all bars/clubs take Foreign driving licenses as IDs.
- Bank cards – Bring a credit card in case of an emergency and don’t forget to inform your bank of your travel arrangements so they don’t block your cards.
- Money – Pack any cash in your hand luggage in case your main luggage gets lost.
- Travel Card – If you have a foreign currency card, make sure you activate this properly before travelling.
- Travel Insurance documents – You don’t need to have every page of your travel insurance. Ensure you have the policy number and the 24 hour helpline or in case of emergency’s number written down. Send yourself a copy of the full policy to your emails.
**EXTRA TIP – Put all documentation in your CARRY ON BAG and keep it all in a plastic wallet**
CARRY ON BAG / BACKPACK
- Sleeping bag – Some tours might require a sleeping bag despite not being a camping tour. Check your Trek Tips packing list which will indicate if you require to bring one.
- Sleeping bag Liner – The nights are cold. Very cold, in some places. This will keep you extra snug.
- Travel pillow – A MUST! You’ll want this for the plane and in the trek van.
- Emergency clothes – In case your luggage gets lost. Eternal pessimist.
- Comfy pants – To change into on the plane. Stay comfy.
**EXTRA TIP – When packing clothes, if you have a trek longer then 2 weeks still only pack 2 weeks worth of clothes. You’ll have laundry services in some of the hotels/hostels which you can use along the way. I did my laundry 3/4 times on my first trek which was 21 days long. I also stayed 4 nights before and after the trip.**
- PJ Tops x4 – I’m a t-shirt kind of gal. Stick to your own personal preference. It doesn’t really matter.
- PJ shorts x 2 – In case it’s nice and toasty in your room.
- PJ bottoms x 2 – In case you can’t figure out how the air con works.
- Sleep socks – 1 nice woolly pair is fine.
- Bras – Support for the twins.
- Sports Bras x 2 – Support for hiking days.
- Knickers/Underwear x 14 – In the words of Bridget Jones “Last nights panties go in the laundry basket”.
- Socks x 14 – You can never have enough socks. For girls, make sure you mix between ballerina, ankle and full socks.
- T-shirts x 12 – Aka Day tops.
- Hiking tops x 2 – For days when your going…hiking.
- Gym pants/leggings x 2 – For hiking
- Going out outfits – Depends on how long your trip is. I counted how many nights we had in big cities which worked out about right.
- Shorts – Amount depends on the weather when your going and where you’re going.
- Jeans – Same here. Depends where and when you’re going.
- Down Feather Jacket – To stay warm in those really cold places.
- Waterproof Jacket – Get a super cheap one from Primark or New Look. You don’t need something super expensive. Just something to keep you dry.
- Swimsuits x 2 – There will be swimming pools, Jacuzzis or even hot springs on trek so be ready. You’ll also have lakes to swim in on camping trips!
- Jumpers x 3 – I love to stay comfy and cosy. Even if your just visiting the West coast of America, you’ll need jumpers.
- Sweatshirt – Great for the van or at night when it gets a bit chilly.
- Jacket x 1 – One light jacket (demin is a good option)
- Cardigan (optional) – Not a granny one but a lightweight one for going out if it’s a bit cold
- Hat – Woolly hats are great if you’re going on a winter trip or going to the canyons at night. The national parks get a bit chilly. Baseball caps are great for hiking too.
**EXTRA TIP – Do not bring any item which are valuable on trek with you. Expensive jewelry etc is not recommend. Leave it at home.**
- Comfy Day Shoes – For day time walks and wondering around cities.
- Hiking boots or Trainers – If you have hiking shoes then great but don’t buy them unless your a serious hiker. Trainers with a good grip will be fine.
- Flip Flops / Sandals – For days on the beach or casual wear.
- Night out shoes – You won’t be able to get into some bars and clubs with trainers. Sorry boys. Especially for Vegas. You’ll need some nice shoes to get in. DOESN’T HAVE TO BE HEELS. A nice pair of sandals is fine.
- Shower shoes – If you are on a BLT trip (you’ll thank me for this one) buy a really cheap pair of £1 flip flops from Primark. You’ll want to throw them away once the tour is over.
**EXTRA TIP – Cover your shoes with bags. Lunch bags or frozen zip bags are the best.**
- Camera – To take as many photos as physically possible
- Memory card – Or two. Depends on how snap happy you are.
- Laptop – Only if absolutely necessary and insured.
- iPhone – Completely necessary to annoy loved ones with all your stories and pictures on social media.
- GoPro – Only if you have one. Great for some activities or water shots.
- Headphones – For the plane and general use.
- Phone Charger – For obvious reasons.
- Portable charger – Great for when you don’t have access to a plug or when your on the road.
- Travel Adapter – Or you won’t be able to charge your phone or electrical items at all.
- USB Cable – Keep with you in the trek van to charge your phone and for DJ duties.
- Straighteners/Curlers – Some straighteners don’t work in the US due to the voltage. Do not bring a hair dryer with you as pretty much all the hostels and hotels have them in your rooms. You won’t use these everyday. Only for nights out. Go au natural girls!
- 1TB Passport – If your bringing your laptops as a back up.
- Headlamp – Will save your life at night search for your stuff in your tent. Phone lights just wont do when your trying to get changed or move things around.
**EXTRA TIP – Make sure you are covered for all valuable items you want to take with you. Travel insurance only covers up to certain amount and sometimes only 1 items so check your policy thoroughly. You might need to look for an additional policy just for your cameras and laptop etc. I do advise not to bring any items which are not covered for damage or theft abroad.**
BATHROOM AND COSMETICS
Pretty standard. No explanations really needed.
- Bathroom bag
- Shower gel
- Hair brush
- Hair Bobbles/Ties
- Make up & Brushes
- Dry Shampoo
- Sun cream
- BUG SPRAY – Essential! They’ll go after your tasty foreign blood!
**EXTRA TIP – Have 2 different types of locks. One big lock for lockers and a small lock for your suitcase. Keep the keys in two separate places**
WHAT TO BUY WHEN YOU GET THERE
You might not go to Walmart on the first day! Your tour leader might do the first day shopping themselves to save time. It might be a few days before you go but the following items should be on your personal shopping list.
- Pillow – You’ll need a pillow
- Waterbottle – You need to drink a lot of water.
- Towel – Quick dry towels are the best.
- Blanket – A light weight blanket is great for the van and some nights under the stars on trek. No spoilers. Or steal one from the plane…Don’t tell anyone I told you to do that! haha!
Make sure you follow my YouTube channel for my travel vlogs from the Northern Trail and follow my blog for notifications on my camping packing list. Enjoy your Trek!
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Is there something I’ve missed off my packing list? Let me know in the comments below.