11 Outdoor & Road Trip Must-Haves

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m talking outdoor travel essentials. If you’re getting ready to hit the road or if you’re gearing up for a trip off the grid, here are some must haves:

Travel Must Haves
1 // Something cozy: My Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla® Snap-T® Pullover was a lifesaver. I loved having this pullover because its just the right amount of comfy you need. I’ve been a huge fan of Patagonia since high school, but I picked up this specific one in Boulder, Colorado on my road trip out west and I’ve been wearing it literally everyday since. I’m not exaggerating.

2 // Comfy bras and undies: For both my road trip and my backpacking trip, I wore sports bras the whole time. Just so you know, nothing is more uncomfortable than being stuck in a car for hours or walking through the forest without the right support underneath. My go to sports bras, believe it or not, are the Danskin ones at Walmart. And they’re $7. I like the v neck ones the best! Look for comfort in undies too! Look for cotton underwear and avoid anything tight and sexy. I’m serious!! Tiny underwear with strings is NOT your friend when you’re climbing up the side of a waterfall. A waterfall like this one:

(How many times have I posted this pic of the waterfall? I don’t know. Deal with it.)

3 // A rain jacket: I got a Patagonia rain jacket in high school and its been in perfect condition since. I love mine because its the perfect thickness, so you can wear layers underneath and not get sweaty, but you’re protected against chilly weather too. Splurging on a rain jacket is okay because this is usually your outer layer and the layer that needs to be the most durable!

4 // First aid: When I went on my backpacking trip, I forgot the first aid kit, and I was so worried something bad was going to happen. When I went out west, I got a nasty stomach parasite from the water (I guess, even though the guy I was with didn’t have ANYTHING bad happen to him but I think thats because he has an immune system of superhero strength) and I stopped in SO many gas stations and markets looking for medicine to help with the stomach issues. I know, ew. Trust me, I KNOW. I would recommend a first aid kit for a trip big or small, because you never know what’s gonna happen! Things I’d throw into a plastic bin for first aid include band aids (duh), wipes, Imodium, Advil, Tums, Tampons/liners/feminine products, hand sanitizer, Neosporin, bug spray, sunscreen, Q-tips, tweezers, ace wrap…you can see more from this list on A Bowl Full of Lemons.

5 // A GoPro: Another splurge I’d recommend for an upcoming outdoor trip. For backpacking it would be a burden to carry a fancy camera because of its weight, so I would stick to something small. I took my GoPro with me to Hawaii and filmed non stop. The pictures and videos I captured on that thing will stay with me forever! The GoPro has great photo and video quality and some models even offer a wifi connection so you can take a look at what’s on your GoPro and even film/take pictures from the screen of your phone!

6 // Nice and sturdy shoes: When I went out west, I didn’t wear my hiking boots as much as I thought I would (I wore my Birkenstocks or tennis shoes instead), but I honestly wish I would’ve worn them during my backpacking trip (how many times have I said “backpacking” in this post so far? Holy geez I’m sorry). I went to the outdoor store nearby and took some time to try on different styles and fits. Make sure you break in any travel shoes before you leave, too!

7// Thick socks: I can NOT stress how important good socks are. When I slept in a tent, my feet were the first thing to get cold. Having thick (preferably wool) socks will ensure a good nights sleep when the temperature drops.

8 // A big backpack: I don’t mean big as in HUGE, I just mean big enough to comfortably fit all of your stuff and leave a little room for extra stuff. My Patagonia backpack has been with me since maybe junior year of high school and the poor little thing has been through hell and back but it still looks brand new and holds like a champ. Obviously if you’re going – I’m about to say it again – backpacking, you’ll need a specific kind of backpack, but for other travels a normal school sized one is great!

9 // Light: Whether it be a headlamp or a flashlight you carry by hand, light is SO important! Not gonna lie, the headlamps are always super frustrating for me because its just one straight beam in front of you and the light doesn’t span across a lot of space. I use Energizer’s Light Fusion line for handheld flashlights. But I know a lot of people who love headlamps. So. Its a personal choice!

10 // Something to write in: While traveling, sometimes you don’t see the internet for days at a time (but isn’t that part of what makes travel so freakin’ great?). I loved writing everything about my adventure out west down during the car rides from state to state. When I say everything, I mean it: the smells, the sights, the weather, the people, the gas stations, the road conditions, the speed limit, how unruly my hair was that day, the color I was going to paint my toes next, what it would be like if Mark Wahlberg stayed in his Marky Mark phase forever and he proposed marriage…you know, the usual. And the necessary.

11 // Hydroflask: I’m not going to say water bottle, because you don’t need just any ordinary water bottle. You need a Hydroflask. I’m serious. It keeps the cold stuff cold and the hot stuff hot. I had lemonade one day and put ice in it, and by the end of the day – I’m talking like 10 hours later – the ice was BARELY and I mean BARELY melted and the lemonade was still cold. I don’t recommend getting a white Hydroflask, though. I got one from Hawaii because I thought it was ~chic~~ (who tf needs chic when you’re surviving in the wilderness? who, I ask? who?) and it has lots of scratches and marks on it that are only visible because of the color.

What are you outdoorsy or road trip travel must haves? Do you have any of the essentials I listed up above? Talk to me!

And, for the record:

# of times the word “backpacking” was used in this post: 7.

Sorry bout it.

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  • This gets me so excited to go on a road trip soon!! Love all the essentials!

    Mikayla | A Seersucker State of Mind.

  • What a great list!
    I am not super outdoorsy but this is definitely a good list for anyone that is.

  • Kristine Circenis

    This was a super comprehensive list! I love road tripping, but have yet to go on an outdoorsy one. Now that the weather has turned cooler, I’m definitely inspired to hit the road!


    Kristine | My Little Box of Tricks

  • Oh wow I’ve never heard of a hydroflask and I’m a huge water drinker (like 20 glasses a day!) I need one in my life, I’m convinced 🙂

  • Kayleigh

    I love patagonia season! Can’t wait to see the new prints


  • Ally

    I never heard of the hydroflask before! Sounds like it really gets the job done with every beverage. When I was camping, I really underestimated the importance of warm socks, so I’m glad you brought that up! I was absolutely freezing!

    Alessandra | The PumpUp Blog

  • Merisa Ferrell

    These are all amazing must-haves! In fact, I must have a hydroflask now! haha xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

  • Excellent must-haves list! I must file this away for my future trips.

  • Ashley

    I am OBSESSED with my hydroflask!!!! I take it to work and love that it literally keeps my water cold all day. I love that the ice really doesn’t even start to fully melt for 48 hours. Favorite purchase ever.

    xo Ashley

  • Okay it is SO good to know you can find a good sports bra for $7. I am sick of paying like $60 for a Lululemon sports bra, it’s worth it for super cute clothes but for a bra no one will see anyway…so not worth it. Great list girl!!!

  • Lauren Ashley

    Love! I wish I was more of an outdoor person. I’m so cranky when someone keeps me outdoors!




    • Savannah Ward

      Oh I’m definitely cranky sometimes when I’m doing outdoor stuff, especially when there are bugs!

  • Carolina thelovelylina

    The go pro and hydro flask are definitely my go-to’s! When I was in Hawaii and Alaska I was constantly filming (especially Hawaii – I was there a week and I had over 10 hours of filming by the time I got home, SO MANY HIKES!), the hydroflask is just way better to carry around then a plastic water bottle, but it’s cute 😉


    • Savannah Ward

      I had SOOOO much beach footage from Hawaii. I’m so jealous about your trip to Alaska and I’m sure you got beautiful footage and photos there!

  • Miss ALK

    All of your pictures from your adventures look like so much fun! Isn’t hiking to see waterfalls just the best?! Great packing list. 🙂

    xoxo A

    • Savannah Ward

      Thanks so much! And YES hiking to see waterfalls is so fun. I get such an adrenaline rush because I’m so eager to make it to the end to see the water! And take pictures, duh.

  • Allison Ellzey

    I would love to go on an outdoor adventure! And I’m definitely checking out those sports bras from Walmart!

    • Savannah Ward

      They’re the BEST! i would definitely get a couple to try out!

  • That Patagonia sweatshirt is amazing and i want it for Christmas! A first aid kit is an absolute necessity!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

    • Savannah Ward

      I love mine because the print is so unique! I haven’t seen anyone with the same one. Thanks so much for commenting!

  • Cat

    You are way too cute! I’ve been wanting a Patagonia for a while now.


    • Savannah Ward

      Thank you so much!! 🙂 and I love Patagonias! They’re so comfy and they last forever. I definitely recommend getting one when you can!

  • Yes to all of these from the rain jacket to the backpacks and flashlights! These were all definitely things my friends and I had while backpacking in Europe this summer!
    xx, Southwestern Prepster

    • Savannah Ward

      Thanks so much for commenting! Wowwwww, I’m so jealous of your trip! That sounds amazing. I hope I can do that one day!

  • I “NEED” a Patagonia for this upcoming season! I don’t plan on doing an outdoor trip but its always good to have one of those in your closet!

    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

    • Savannah Ward

      I LOVE Patagonias. They’re so comfy! Thanks for commenting!!

  • Tiffani Grosser

    Seriously, backpacking is a fun word. No apologies needed! Can I also say, you are not alone in the walmart sports bra love? I have five of them, seriously, they’re cheap and they do their job! Good enough for me!

    • Savannah Ward

      Exactly! I’ve looked at Lululemon, Aerie, Gap, even Target..too pricey and they are uncomfortable. I never knew that Walmart would have such great ones!

  • I probably live in sports bra more than anything else, especially on road trips! I cracked a rib a few years ago playing field hockey and it will still hurt on long trips, the sports bra definitely helps!

    with southern grace,

    • Savannah Ward

      Oh my gosh, that’s crazy! Comfy under layers can make or break a road trip. So glad the sports bra helps!

  • This is awesome!! I’d like to add – some great snacks and a great playlist! 🙂 But the GoPro is such a gamechanger… I had one for my summer travels & it definitely made the cliffjumping footage seem that much more exciting! 🙂

    • Savannah Ward

      Those two are really great additions! I didn’t go cliff jumping when I traveled over the summer because I was too scared hahaha

  • I’m not a huge outdoorsy kind of girl, but I definitely have that travel itch. These are some great must-haves!

    xx. Brittany | Southern Soul

    • Savannah Ward

      Thanks for commenting! Hope you had a great weekend! 🙂

  • Your road trip sounds like it was so much fun! I’d add lots of snacks 🙂

    • Savannah Ward

      Lots of snacks is a must have for SURE! My go to snack for road trips is fruit snacks from Motts (the people that make the really good apple juice).

  • I’m not really outdoorsy, but this list is an awesome resource! I carry something to write in with me all of the time!

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

    • Savannah Ward

      I think having something to write in all of the time is so important! When I carry my notebook around I use it so randomly and write down lots of little things!

  • I’ve never done anything really outdoorsy but I think most of these things are great just to have! I’ve heard a lot of good things about Patagonia, that pullover looks amazingly comfy!

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com