Yellowstone National Park What to Pack
Traveling to Yellowstone National Park is a terrific chance to experience adventure in the great outdoors. Know what to bring before you go so you can be comfortable and make the most of your time there.
What to Wear
If you’re not planning on doing any real hiking, comfortable walking shoes will suffice for most walks in the park, however, if you do plan to hike, pack your boots – the hiking trails can be rather steep and rocky. Wear synthetic layers for the very changeable weather in Yellowstone. Remember, this park averages 8,000 feet above sea level and is generally a cool, if not cold, place. If you intend to stay overnight in the park, pack warm clothing and plan for all kinds of weather. With the high altitudes, the sun is hot, tuck a hat and sunglasses into your bag.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies
There are general stores in each main tourist area but bring the basics so you don’t waste your vacation time shopping. Additional items to bring:
- Extra toilet paper
- Bug spray and sunscreen (two musts!)
- Wipes for bug bites and some antihistamine, just in case
- Lip balm
Prices are higher in the general stores in the park.
A camera is a must-have, at the very least, your phone. Something with a good optical zoom is ideal (this is a place you will want the biggest, fastest zoom you can afford). If you’re an avid photographer, a wide angle lens helps you bring the foreground into your landscapes, making them more interesting. A tripod is helpful for low-light situations which you encounter often with wildlife photos. Also plenty of memory and batteries, you’ll be using them!
Bags and Outdoor Gear
Yellowstone has its share of backcountry camping so, if inclined, bring your backpack. Otherwise, a small day pack is sufficient for the relatively short hikes in this park. If planning to camp, bring your tent, mats and warm sleeping bags. The latter is necessary if coming after summer and, in this neck of the woods, that’s late August. Other items to remember are binoculars, an umbrella and a water bottle you can attach to your belt. Consider purchasing a can of bear spray or at least bear bells. If you fish, don’t forget your gear.
A tip: stay away from taking marshmallows to roast – they attract bears.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about packing lists for Yellowstone National Park.