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Packing Essentials For a Cross-country Adventure Trip

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

Save this pin! Keep these items in mind for your cross-country trip:

These packing trip should be considered for planning a vacation that involves a flight.
Keep in mind for packing for travel. If you are going on vacation consider these travel hacks when packing for your trip that involves a flight.

Adventures that are cross-country trips are the best trips!

Walking the trails in Olympic National park in Washington!

Before I jump into covering the additional items you’ll need, I recommend checking out these two blogs. First, what to pack for a day trip hike. Second, what to pack for a weekend camping. These two guides should help you see some must-have items for when you’re hiking or if camping is involved in your cross country trip.

Is this your first time traveling on what I would like to call, and adventure trip? I’m assuming yes if you are looking at what gear and knowledge you need when pack for a trip that either has a tent involved or hiking boots.

The first thing to know, you’ll most likely need to have a checked bag. If you disagree here is some food for thought, are you bringing trekking polls? Welp, that is considered a weapon due to the spike at the bottom. Or packing a tent? That itself could take up all the space in your carry on. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Preparing my pack properly when planning a trip especially cross-country it's important to keep the essentials together and no miss an item.

What the checked back does help with, all your dirty gear after the trip is kept all nicely together. Also, gear that is not carry on approved. For example trekking polls. My trekking poles have a small tip at the bottom which is considered a weapon. A checked bag can include the below:

  • Trekking pole

  • Multi-purpose tool

  • Sunblock

  • First aid kit - if this includes scissors

  • Crampons

  • Tent

  • Knife(s)

I have gone on three different cross country trips. For each, I had a checked bag. For two it probably wasn’t necessary because of the length of the trips and for two of them, I was still in my overpacking phase. This I recommend breaking as soon as you possibly can. Less is more in these cases. Pack the essential first, if there is room to spare, confirm you're not missing anything and leave that space to fill with snacks or a potential souvenir you get to keep.

My last cross country trip was longer and we did have some items that I listed out below and checking a bag was necessary.

If you do not know I’m based in Northern New Jersey and my cross country trips were to Colorado, California, and Washington. Each state has pretty different climates. With different climates, that means different packing needs. Also, very different activities too.

Located in Ne Jersey, Washington, California, and Colorado are across the country and involve more planning.

With a cross country trip, it’s important to check what the average temperature and conditions are for the area and time of year you’re going. When I went to Colorado it was November. I landed in Denver which was 70s degrees but I was staying in Steamboat and the average temperature was in the 30s. I share that difference because even though both cities are in the same state they have very different weather conditions.

For packing, you’ll need to review the weather and consider these different articles of clothing for your trip. I suggest wick material for hiking, down or puffer material for a jacket or vest. Items to consider and be mindful of proper hiking layering:

You may not need all the items listed above but it’s important to be mindful of what to pack. Use my last two blog posts for all gear references and have an amazing experience!

I hope this helps you consider the items you will need to pack and consider for your adventure at a distance. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

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