There is a vastness of Yellowstone that may not be comprehendible if you haven’t experienced it. Among the unknowns are the decidedly unpredictable weather, so it’s important to be prepared. Below are packing recommendations for your trip:
Weather in Yellowstone changes rapidly and layering is key. Depending on your activity, you may not need everything listed below, but plan to bring things that work in both sunny, warm weather and brisk, colder temperatures.
- Insulating underwear, preferably a material that wicks moisture away from the body.
- A mid-weight layer, made of synthetic fleece or wool.
- Heavyweight insulating layer: Wool, down or heavy fleece works best.
- Waterproof and windproof outer layer: This layer should be lightweight and breathable, such as ski attire or wind gear, and should include both a jacket and pants.
- Pants should be wool or fleece. Avoid cotton, as it won’t be warm enough and doesn’t wick moisture away from the body.
- A wool, fleece or insulated hat that covers your ears.
- Gloves or mittens, ideally with lightweight liners, and a water- and wind-proof outer layer. This will allow you to adjust as the weather changes.
- A neck warmer or neck gaiter.
- Socks can be layered with a lightweight liner and heavier outer layer, but one layer of wool or synthetic fiber will also work.
- For Nordic skiing or snowshoeing, you’ll want knee-high gaiters to keep your pants dry and the snow out of your boots.
- Boots should have a water repellent layer outside. Be sure they are big enough to fit over heavy socks and still afford you ‘wiggle’ room. Tight boots constrict your circulation, causing painfully cold feet. Hiking boots are usually not sufficient to ward off cold temperatures.
- Daypack for extra clothes, water, maps and food.
- Water bottle, holding a minimum of one quart/liter; more if you are capable of carrying the weight.
- Sunglasses or goggles.
- Sunscreen and lip protection. The high altitude causes skin to burn easily, regardless of the season.
- Camera or binoculars, for sightseeing and wildlife watching.
- Hand and foot warmers.
- Any prescription medications you may need, if out for an extended period of time.