Preparing and packing for travel to Montana or Yellowstone? The style in Montana is casual and packing should be geared toward getting out and having fun! No fancy duds here—comfortable casual clothes and shoes are fine. If you feel like “dressing up” that’s great too but definitely not required.
What is more important is preparing for the weather and the activities you’ll be doing. During the summer the days in Montana can be quite warm, nights quite cool in the mountains, and the weather can change quickly, so pack for a variety of temperatures and conditions.
The following are our top tips to use as a guideline for packing for your Montana vacation.
Hiking & Outdoor Activity Preparation
For hiking and exploring outdoors you need to be prepared for all kinds of weather: cold, hot, rain, and sun. You’ll want to have good footwear, an optimal daypack and be prepared to stay hydrated.
- Two things important to your comfort are synthetic fibers and layering.
Synthetic fibers are crucial because they help to wick moisture away from your body. Layering is the system which allows you to add and subtract layers as needed, before you get either too cold or too hot. Mountain weather can change drastically and quickly, resulting in body temperature fluctuations.
- Your innermost layer next to your skin should be made of wicking material. The next layer (or layers) should be insulating and warm. The outside layer should be waterproof and breathable. A hat is the easiest item to put on and take off to increase or decrease your warmth.
- You should have footwear with soles that will provide support and cushion your feet from rocks, and that it is important to wear them in advance to break them in.
- Your daypack should be comfortable and have adjustable shoulder straps and a hip belt or strap to help you carry the load on your hips as well as on your shoulders.
- We want you to remain hydrated on your hikes and so you should have the ability to carry two liters of water.
Packing for Travel to Montana: Hiking Essentials
These are the must haves when packing for an active adventure in Montana:
- Comfortable, worn-in boots or hiking shoes
- Tank tops/camisoles, T-shirts, and long-sleeve shirts you can layer
- Hiking shorts and hiking pants
- Fleece jacket or warm sweater for an insulating layer
- Waterproof, windproof, breathable pants and a jacket with hood
- Hat with brim offering sun protection
- Light gloves and beanie
- Hiking “blend” socks “ such as Smartwools or Darn Tough brands
- Day backpack large enough for extra layers, water and lunch
- Water bottles: Two one-liter bottles or a camelbak hydration system
Packing for Travel to Montana: Other Essentials
Of course, there are other important items you’ll want to pack to be sure to get the most out of your vacation:
- Casual clothes and shoes for non-hiking activities
- Sunscreen & lip balm
- Medications / prescriptions
- Camera, charger, storage cards
- Reading material and/or journal
- Credit card, ATM card, cash
- We recommend bringing a good set of binoculars for the days we will be looking for wolves in the Lamar Valley and for easier spotting of all the wildlife along the routes
- If you have a spotting scope, even better!
- Swimsuit if swim at our last hotel or – if it is open – soak in the Boiling River
Family Vacation Essentials
Most of our family oriented public vacations include adventure activities such as river rafting. visits to hot springs, and horseback riding. It is ideal to be sure to include a few items for these outings.
- If you’ll be visiting the Chico Hot Springs or have a a pool at your hotel, be sure you have a swimsuit
- If you’ll be rafting, pack a swimsuit, water shoes, and a cord to keep your sunglasses on
- If your trip includes horseback riding, we recommend long pants, and you cannot have exposed toe
Need more tips on planning a vacation to Montana? Don’t miss our Montana Vacation Planning Guide. Curious about why you would want to take a guided vacation to Montana or Yellowstone? We’re happy to explain it to you!