Visiting a national park can be one of the most memorable and cheapest things for the family to do in the summer. Make sure you bring the proper necessities to enjoy your stay.
Here’s a quick list of things you should bring each time you visit a national park. And be sure to check out the Outdoorsy free park pass dates before you go.
#1: Hiking Shoes
You don’t ever want to show up at a national park without proper footwear. A sturdy pair of hiking shoes will allow you to take advantage of all the park has to offer. Many of the best sights to see are often on the other side of a trail, so anything less than a good pair of hiking shoes will make the trip tougher than it has to be.
Load up on hiking friendly snacks so that hunger doesn’t cause you to leave the trail early. A wide assortment of snacks will give you something to look forward to at the end of your hike, and provides a pick-me-up when you are in the middle of the journey and feeling depleted.
#3: National Park Passports
Pick up passports for you and the rest of the family that are good for all the national parks in the United States. They are a lot of fun to stamp and will help keep track of all the national parks you’ve been to and the good times you had there.
They come in two different versions, one for kids and one for adults. If you get an adult passport for the kids they can use it well into adulthood instead of having to buy one later.
#4: Sun Protection
See to it that you have the proper sun protection in place during the summer months. National parks are known for being woodsy and providing shade, but you’ll want to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sun hat to keep protected during long treks.
Staying hydrated is one important step to enjoying your stay at a national park. Make sure that everyone in the family has their own designated water bottle. You can even find water bottles that have built-in filters in them, making it easy to fill up at streams and creeks along the way.
#6: Backup Phone Charger
If you’re going on a long hike, purchase a backup phone charger so that your phone doesn’t die right at the time you want to take the perfect picture. It can charge your phone up just as if it was plugged into the wall, only while you’re on-the-go. You can also use your phone while it is charging so you won’t miss a shot.
#7: Cash or Credit Card
Every national park has its own gift shop, either large or small. It is part of the national park experience to peruse the different items they have and get a memento for your collection. Be sure to bring some extra cash or your bank card to immortalize the trip with a bumper sticker, shirt, or keychain.
Never idle. Visit a national park soon!