What to pack for California

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    many terrains means many necessities

    by richiecdisc Written Oct 11, 2009

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    Luggage and bags: California is a backpacking paradise. With park's like Yosemite and King's Canyon, and long trails running the length of the state, a backpack is something you will want to have with you if you have ever even thought of backcountry travel.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Hiking boots should be worn on all trails and trails are something you will find everywhere in the golden state. Even cities like San Francisco necessitate good shoes. Everyone thinks California is a hot place but really, it's quite temperate. You're more likely to find yourself chilly here than warm so bring layers which you can add or peel off when you need to. Rain gear should be carried in the mountains but it's not something it does in the rest of California all that often.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen. It may not be generally hot in the golden state, but it is sunny!

    Photo Equipment: A wide angle is great in cities and for capturing atmospheric shots of the state's varied and amazing landscapes. A zoom for getting good shots of its wildlife which is considerable and often overlooked. A tripod is great for low light situations and cute couple shots.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Accommodation in California is amongst the highest in the US. While camping is not always the easiest option in cities, the state is blessed with some of the greatest campgrounds in the world. The National Parks and coastal region in particular are teeming with beautiful opportunities to pitch a tent. Hint: bring a tent, sleeping bags, mats and stove. Save money and enjoy the state's great nature all in one go.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Camping

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  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Electricity

    by sim1 Updated Mar 3, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous:
    For 'grounded' plugs, flat blades (see previous tip), but with round grounding pin plug and receptable with side grounding contacts is used (see picture)

    An adapter will allow you to plug an appliance designed for one type of outlet into another type of outlet. Despite the fact that more than a dozen different types of plugs are in use, a typical travel adapter kit usually contains about five adapters which are capable of dealing with most of the outlets shown here. Adapters often manage this versatility by bypassing the ground/earth wire.

    Beware : an adapter by itself will not change the electrical voltage. You must be sure that your appliance can handle different voltages (either automatically or through a voltage switch). If it can't, you will need a voltage converter.

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  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Electricity

    by sim1 Updated Mar 3, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous:
    In case you want to bring any electrical appliances with you, here is the system the USA uses : 120 volts and 60 Hz. It is a flat blade attachment plug (see picture)

    The two-blade plugs are often polarized, with one blade larger than the other. Most outlets are designed to handle these. The larger blade is the neutral side of the current. This is a safety feature intended so the plug can be inserted one way only to reduce the chance of accidental shock. If you try to plug a modern plug into an old-style receptacle for equal size blades, it won't go in unless you file down the larger blade to the older plug size.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Photography
    • Birdwatching

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  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Be prepared for all types of weather

    by sim1 Updated Mar 3, 2005

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear:
    Okay, I admit it, I love the snow, LOL. I was supposed to be on a summer vacation, and it looked like summer in the morning... so I can't help it that I am wearing a miniskirt and sandels, now can I? hahaha, but the sight of snow I just couldn't stand the temptation and I had to throw a snowball. Yes.... it was cold on my feet, all the snow creeping in my shoes, but it was fun!!!

    Hahaha, this picture does show though how unexpected the weather can be when you are on a roundtrip like this. One day you can be in a super hot place like Death Valley, and the next you can drive through the snow in the mountains. The best thing to do is dress in layers, so you can easily adjust to the weather you encounter.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Photography

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  • Binoculars for Ocean Wildlife

    by TerryD Written Mar 11, 2003

    Luggage and bags: A day pack to haul around binoculars, cameras & maps.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring clothing to be worn in layers while exploring the Central Coast. Mornings can be foggy and cool in winter and spring but it heats up in the afternoon. And good hiking shoes for exploring.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You can get it all in California.

    Photo Equipment: Bring whatever you have. A disposable panoramic camera comes in handy for those wide angle coastal views.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A cooler filled with snacks and beverages keeps the crew happy on a long road trip. Binoculars are a must to focus in on blow spouts when the whales are migrating and watching offshore otters feasting.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Beaches
    • Road Trip

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  • dutch_anna's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by dutch_anna Written Sep 12, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous: You can get free booklets with coupons for discount on prices of lodging in hotels and motels, at most gas stations, visitors centers, rest areas on highways etc.
    Many hotels give discount from Monday thru Friday with those coupons at check-in.
    You can even find them on the Net, so make your own!

    http://www.roomsaver.com/

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  • Krystynn's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by Krystynn Written Sep 12, 2002

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you're taking the Pacific Highway 1 route, the towns you'd be passing by are blessed with a lovely climate.

    The following is a rough guide on what I'd pack along with me for a SUMMER vacation to places like Carmel, Pebble Beach, Monterey etc:


    1 pair of jeans
    1 pair of shorts/ bermudas.
    3 or 4 cotton t-shirts/ tank tops
    1 cardigan/ sweater
    (just in case the weather gets chilly...)
    1 pair of sandals
    1 pair of evening shoes
    (for that social gathering in the evenings in Pebble Beach!)
    1 little black dress
    (which can double up for day and evening events).
    2 nightgowns/ pyjamas
    1 bathing suit

    P.S. I didn't mention the more personal under-garment items because I think you should have no problem deciding on this yourself. :-)

    An important rule of thumb: DO plan your wardrobe in such a way that you'll have no problem mixing and matching your outfits and it should be able to see you through from day to night. So in this instance, that little black dress WILL come in VERY handy for the night events AND in the day time too! :-))

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: DON'T forget to transfer all your toner, cleanser, night cream et al into small plastic containers - to save luggage space, of course. :-)))

    Photo Equipment: These days, I bring along 2 to 3 types of cameras with me and load them with 2 or 3 different types of films i.e. ASA200 film (for day) and the high speed Kodak 800 film for museums or places that do not allow flash photography.

    So, the cameras that I bring along with me (in my knapsack or tote bag) are:-

    the Olympus mju Zoom (with wide-angle lens) which comes in a cool silver metallic color. I usually use this camera for day photography.
    the Pentax 150 Zoom which I use for places that does NOT allow flash photography.
    the ultra-small Canon IXUS Zoom camera - smaller than the size of my palm. I usually hang this camera around my neck. Frankly, it looks kinda cool this way too! ;-)) This camera requires a special type of film (APS) to be used.

    Miscellaneous: DON'T forget to bring along your much-treasured ATM card to withdraw cash. Yes, no need to rush to the money-changers to change all your currencies into American dollars before your trip.

    And NEVER use your Visa or Mastercard to withdraw cash.

    This is considered a CASH ADVANCE and you'd be slapped with a HEFTY fee whereas if you were to use YOUR own ATM card, you will NOT be charged for any fees. In fact, you WILL benefit and enjoy from the low interbank exchange rates. Trust me (I used to work for an American bank).

    Just ensure that you adhere to the following steps:

    Flip to the back of your local ATM card, do you see the logos 'Cirrus', 'Plus', 'The Exchange', 'Maestro' etc on it?
    If the answer is 'yes', then you have absolutely nothing to worry about!
    Why? Because you can withdraw cash from any ATM machines in U.S.A., no matter how obscure the town you're at is.
    If you use this method, you'd also save alot from the interbank exchange rates. Money changers will charge you much, much more compared to a bank.

    I've been using this method countless of times before and so far, no ATM machines in this world have failed me.... Yes, even at the remotest village in Africa or China! :-)) Have a great trip!

    'There are three wants which can never be satisfied: that of the rich, who wants something more; that of the sick, who wants something different, and that of the traveler, who says... 'Anywhere but here.' ' - Ralph Waldo Emerson (American Essayist & Writer); 1803-1882

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  • Packing List

    by j126j Written Sep 7, 2002

    Luggage and bags: Get a map if you are not with any tour group. (If you are AAA member, they provide free maps & tourbooks for anywhere in USA & Canada)

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you are going to the beaches to see sunset, please remember to bring some thick clothings; it can really gets very cold when the sun is gone - the wind is very chilly.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Moisturizer & lip balm are recommended for protection against cold and dryness.

    Miscellaneous: It is a good idea to carry some water with you while touring around (fill an empty coke bottle with plain water from the motel or hotel you stay) - drinking lots of water will prevent you from getting sick easily.

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  • miner's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by miner Written Sep 2, 2002

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: For San Diego:casual
    Sequioa Park: casual to rugged depending on your activity there and the season.In the winter dress for cold.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: For the Sequoia trip I got a little motion sickness from the several haripin turns.That was the only time I was ever bothered with it.Dramamine may be handy to have with you because it is a winding road to the top.

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  • raviv_ta's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by raviv_ta Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Luggage and bags: pack just a bit of everything. it's really depend where in california you are. it could be very cold and fogy. it could be very hot and humid. but you can always buy clothings in different pricess.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Hiking

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  • briana_80's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by briana_80 Updated Aug 26, 2002

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The weathern in California is very pleasant just about any time of the year, but the evenings can get pretty chilly-even in July. If you visit California make sure to bring a light jacket or sweater in case the temperature drops after the sun sets---especially on the coast.

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  • Packing List

    by candyrae Written Aug 26, 2002

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The climate here is always farely warm. Dont be affraid to bring extra shorts and shirts...and sandals!

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Check out the National Parks! They are awsome!...just be aware of the racoons who love to steal your food!

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  • Packing List

    by Travelin-gal Written Aug 26, 2002

    Luggage and bags: Warm weather clothes are best in the summer through November, but June can be quite chilly at times in southern California. Evenings usually require a sweater or lightweight jacket most months of the year.

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  • photobf's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by photobf Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen Sun screen!!!!

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  • Packing List

    by mverley2000 Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Luggage and bags: Baggage depends on what you need. If you plan to camp, well then you dont need to bring the blow dryer, or the curling iron with you. But do try to bring deodorant! That still has an effect on the ecosystem.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Family Travel

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Oh For Heavens sake! Do BRING TOILET PAPER!

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