With this week welcoming the launch of The Outdoor Guide Foundation’s Waterproof and Wellies project, knowing what essentials to pack is an important part of any outdoorsy trip.

Having the right equipment and clothing for you and your family will ensure you’re prepared for any eventuality, making for a more enjoyable and comfortable excursion.

It’s not so much about how much you pack, rather that the items you take with you are useful and fit for purpose. This guide will help you pack like a pro for your family’s upcoming adventures and travels.

Plan for the Weather
Weather is the first factor to consider when packing for any trip away, whether you’re staying in your home country or travelling abroad:

  • Check what the weather will be like in the country you’re heading for this time of year.
  • What type of environment will you be spending the most time in?
  • Is it likely to rain or snow when you’re there?

All these points will affect the clothing you might bring with you. For example, if you’re travelling around the UK, you’d struggle to find a local who wouldn’t recommend having an extra layer or two on hand, since rain and cold weather is highly likely all year round! You’ll want to bring a light waterproof jacket with you to protect you, and in the depths of winter, you’ll need something thicker and more insulating, especially if you’re going to be outdoors for long periods.

Pack Like a Pro

Having light layers like hoodies on hand makes layering easier when the temperature suddenly changes. Image source: STORROR

Consider All Activities
Whatever type of holiday you’re going on, there are some items that you should always pack, just to be on the safe side. One such item is swimwear. They’re lightweight and don’t take up much room, but you never know where your holiday will take you, whether it’s a swim break at your hotel or outdoor swimming at a lake, beach or river. It also means you have the option to take up water sports like kayaking, parasailing or snorkelling if the mood strikes during your holiday.

Pack Comfortable Footwear
Active holidays will involve a lot more walking, running or cycling than you’d have on an ordinary getaway, so having comfortable footwear is essential to ensure you’re not held back by discomfort or painful shoes. There’s nothing worse than having to endure blisters from day one of your getaway, especially if you’ve planned a lot of activities.

If you’re planning on hiking or cycling, it’s best to avoid flip flops as these won’t provide any support and walking on uneven surfaces will be difficult. Instead, choose walking shoes or hiking sandals if you’re travelling to a warmer climate, which will be more supportive but still comfortable in hotter weather. Heading to colder climes? Hiking boots provide warmth and stability when you’re walking over rougher, potentially icy terrain. Just make sure you’re choosing a waterproof design.

Pack Like a Pro

When choosing hiking boots, remember to factor in thicker socks into the size and fit you’ll need so that your boots aren’t too tight. Image source: REI

Double Up
Versatility is a great thing to look for in clothing when you’re planning an active outdoor trip, so you want to look for items that serve a dual purpose. For example, you might choose zip-off walking trousers that can be worn as trousers on rainy days and turned into shorts if the weather gets warmer, or jackets that can be zipped off to become gilets. Light windproof jackets are a great thing to pack as they can be rolled up to take up minimal room in your bag but serve as an extra outer layer on cooler days, or as a mid-layer when it’s really cold and wet.

Stay Organised
Great organisation is essential for a smoother trip, so start the packing process early and make sure you follow a list so you don’t forget any crucial items. It can help to lay out what you have, so you can make sure that everything is ready to be packed away and won’t get forgotten about.

Put your jackets and any heavy items at the bottom of your bag and utilise pockets for an emergency kit, any electronic devices and other items that you’ll need quick access to. Rolling your clothes rather than folding them can be great for saving space and keeping your bag organised. It’s also worthwhile taking a light canvas bag with you that you can use to separate out your dirty clothes from clean ones as you’re on the road.

Don’t Forget the Bag Itself
Finally, in addition to making sure you’ve got essentials like a compass, first aid kit and batteries, you also need to consider the bag you’re putting those items in. Daypacks have a large enough capacity for day trips, hence the name, but the longer your trip, the more clothing and equipment you’ll need to take with you, so bear this in mind when you’re choosing a bag.

Choose a bag that’s got plenty of capacity, is made from high-quality materials that aren’t going to rip when you’re out and about, and will sit comfortably on your back throughout the day. It’s worthwhile visiting your local hiking or outdoor supply store prior to your trip to get your bag adjusted properly before you set out on the road.

Outdoor getaways are fantastic for immersing you and your family in beautiful natural surroundings and getting active at the same time.

From hiking and mountaineering to cycling or watersports, there are many forms an active outdoorsy trip can take, so it’s worth doing your research into the place you’ll be travelling to. Checking the climate and considering the activities you’ll want to take part in before you start packing will all help to ensure you’ve got everything you need.

Blog Author: Annie Button