Luggage and bags:
Washington State is a backpacking paradise and this is one place you can truly use a backpack to carry all you need for a multi-day camping trip. For those not so inclined a simple day pack will suffice for long beach walks or even shorter ones in the rain forest and alpine areas.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Pack layers of synthetic clothing for the highly changeable weather that is the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific is cold and even on warm days, the breezes are cool. If it fogs up, the temperatures drop quickly. It can snow in alpine areas even in the summer so always carry warm gear including a warm hat. Sturdy water proof hiking boots are needed for all but the shortest beach walks and don't scrimp on socks. Your feet will thank you for it. Rain gear is essential in a state that gets its fair share of rain.
Photo Equipment: A wide angle is great for bringing the foreground into your landscape photos and a zoom is like gold for shots of wildlife. Get one with image stabilization for less than optimal lighting. A tripod is needed for low light shots in the rain forest and for cute couple shots.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: WA is great for camping. Bring a tent, synthetic sleeping bags, mats and a backpacking stove.
Miscellaneous: Someone to enjoy all the great outdoor activity with. Thanks D. You're perfect.
Luggage and bags:
When considering luggage and bags, make sure your bags are lightweight and water-resistant. Take an extra (empty) duffle or backpack, because of the current weight limits set by the airlines, so you can be sure to have room to bring home souvineers. Bring a backpack with you for exploring - especially a water-proof backpack, that is comfortable to haul around. DeKine makes backpacks with cooler pockets, too, which is nice (because you need to drink plenty of fluids).
Ziplock Baggies - in ALL sizes for storing snacks, cellphones, camera's, iPods and other things you don't want to get wet. Ignore the categories below. They run over so all of this info fits.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Obviously in the winter, you will need winter gear and rain gear. However, I prefer to go between July and September. Here is a sample of what you'll need if you're driving the 101 around the peninsula on a week-long trip.
Jeans - a pair for every day (unless you're planning to do laundry). They will end up damp, no matter what, on beach visiting days or if it rains. You could also wear sweatpants, or the like. I do not recommend slacks, as to get to many of the really cool beaches, you will be climbing over trees and rocks (it's an easy climb - I have MS and I can do it).
Long Sleeve T's - Five or Six (Flannels are okay in the morning and evening, but too hot during the day if you're exploring. THINK - LAYERING!
Short Sleeve T's - Five or Six
Sleeveless/Tank Shirts - Three (these allow you to strip down to your own comfort level as the day grows warmer - which occassionally happens).
Shorts - Three to Four Pair of comfortable walking shorts
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bathing Suit and towels - YES... not for the cold 55 degree ocean water, but for the Sol Duc hot springs, or other hot springs you'll find as you travel around. Please be aware that there are some nature lovers out there who prefer to enjoy the springs au-natural (especially if you are traveling with children. Also, some hotel locations have indoor swimming pools and hot tubs.
Sweatshirts - Two (for evening and for early morning walks)
Shoes - comfortable walking/hiking shoes (2 pair - one will invariable end up soaked), waterproof shoes (you can find these on line, I like Land's End for these), and "water shoes" - sneakers that drain water. Pack one more pair of shoes than you think you'll need (a comfortable pair of flats for running around Port Angeles, etc.).
Photo Equipment: Socks - If you like dry socks, pack two pair for each day.
Hat - Wearing a hat makes sense.
Under "things" - I would pack two per day, and (if you're a female) a couple extra bras.
Fancy Clothes and heels - LEAVE THEM AT HOME! NO ONE... not even in Seattle... dresses "up." Women - leave your uber fancy handbags at home and opt for a water resistant handbag, or coated canvas bag.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, wipes (for the plane and rock hunting, etc. Always handy for a quick clean-up), soap, shampoo, conditioner, hairbrush, hairdryer (a lot of the little non-chain hotels do not supply these), hand sanitizer. Hairspray won't help much if you're in the misty areas. Whatever else you require for your daily grooming. I buy trave-size, FAA approved bottles, and put them in a one-quart baggie (required). I double-bag them, to prevent leakage.
Bug-repellant wipes or spray/pump. Double bag these and pack them in your luggage.
Small/travel First Aid Kit. Bring something for bug bites, too.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Rain Jackets/Windbreakers - At least one of each. I always pack a raincoat, unlined windbreaker and a lined windbreaker, large enough to layer over sweatshirts. It's often chilly at the beaches, expecially at La Push and Ruby Beach, north. If you are joining a whale watching expedition out on the water, bring a lined raincoat. Even in July and August - it is pretty cold out on the water.
Digital camera in a water-proof case, extra memory cards. Extra batteries and your charger. Buy a car charger, if available, for your camera model. Or, buy an "inverter" for your car. It converts DC to AC using your car's lighter. It is honestly enough energy to run a small television or your laptop. You can charge everything on the go.
I still like to bring my 35mm camera with me. I keep it in a ziplock bag, and I BRING FILM with me. It is hard to find film around the peninsula... it's usually NOT Kodak if they do have film... and it's expensive. Go to your local discount store and stock up.
Miscellaneous: If you are camping, make sure to bring extra tarps and a waterproof tent.
For the beach... again... think layering. It is too cold, even in July, to go in the water without a wetsuit. Most of the lakes are spring-fed and are also cold. Start with layers, based on the day's temperature, and strip down from there. PLAN for chilly and be pleasantly surprised when it gets warm.
Important note: When renting a car... DO NOT RENT FROM THE AIRPORT. There are extra taxes and fees there. For example: I was quoted $400 to over $500 for a week various airport locations. Instead... I called the company that "picks you up" to come and get me from my first hotel in the morning in Burien (near SeaTac), and my total for a week was $154.46 including tax! Look for coupons in entertainment books and online, too.
Whale Watching? Peak whale season is June through August. I like to leave from Port Townsend (only 20 minutes off the 101)... but BOOK BEFORE YOU GO! In peak season, trips sell out early. There is a nice four-hour cruise that guarantees you'll see whales, too. I like PSexpress.
Canada?? Since June 1st, all land, sea and air travel requires a passport or passport card to exit and return to the US. I purchased passport cards, which are cheaper than passports and cover all land and sea travel. YOU MUST HAVE EITHER A PASSPORT OR PASSPORT CARD TO VISIT CANADA.
Rock/Driftwood Hunting: I pack a medium-sized strong canvas bag to carry rocks and small driftwood that I find. It dries quickly and is strong enought to handle the rocks, with comfortable handles. It works much better than just buying a cheap bucket to use while I'm there, and it's easier to carry. I actually pick up boxes from the USPS and carry tape and pre-addressed labels with me because I love to pick up rocks and small pieces of driftwood on my travels, not to mention a few bottles of wine from the awesome Washington wineries. It is cheaper to ship them home than to pay for the extra weight on the airlines. Hint: The beaches on the north-west peninsula are full of natural jade and great rocks for hot-rock massage!
Driving Around?? It is EASY to navigate the 101. When we go, we turn down side roads to the west and find incredible beaches with no one even on them! We turn up mountain roads and find gorgeous, huge trees and wonderful scenery (and one time, a bear!). BE AN EXPLORER! GO OFF ROAD... then turn around and head back to the 101.
Visiting Olympic National Park and Hurrican Ridge?? Buy a weekly car park pass for $15 and go in and out all of the different park entrances to explore. Hurrican Ridge is COLD, so make sure you're very layered!!
Luggage and bags:
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: West side of the Cascades: remember to pack a light rain jacket (it doesn't rain All the time, but it does some of the time).
East of the Cascades: Pack sunblock, tank tops for summer, and remember to pack heavy snow boots in winter, to protect you from snow snakes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sun block and cold pills.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: See above
Average daily temperature: 70 degrees. Water temperature: 55 degrees.
Miscellaneous: It rains up to 100 inches a year, so come in August, one of the driest months. And keep your eyes peeled for otters, pelicans, and the occasional bald eagle.
Luggage and bags:
There isn't a very big problem in Seattle or the surrounding areas with purse snatching, or the like. So, you can wear a purse or a bag, without having to fear. However, if you are going to be walking around (which is easy and fun in Seattle) you should pack light and comfortable.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Seattle is known to rain, and in fall, winter, and early spring it is usually pretty cold or chilly. Extra layers are highly recommended.
Luggage and bags:
Waterproof bags are the only way to go when heading into Washington and Seattle.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I took my umbrella which was a good thing.. Unfortunately, since it was rather hot summer at home, I didn't think to take thick jeans and plenty of changes of socks.
Waterproof a backpack so that you can take it with you wherever you go. That way you can pack extra socks for a day jaunt around the city and don't have to leave your feet wet.
Make sure you have good hiking boots packed if you plan on walking around anywhere as it's pretty hilly there.
Take clothing for all weather... heading out during the day and getting back to your place at night means that you will see any kind of weather from wet, cold, hot, humid, or balmy all in one single day.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Think to take band-aids and film with you unless you want to pay too much in downtown Seattle. Everything is more expensive there. Just in case, take some cold medicine with you.
Photo Equipment: Make sure that your camera can stand getting wet. Luckily, I have a waterproof camera that I take everywhere. You might think to make a little package for yourself with a plastic baggie that can hold your film, tissues... etc.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Antihistamines, for allergic reactions. Iodine tablets for drinking water, if you can't bring your own or are unable to boil any.
First-Aid pack list:
antibacterial hand cleaner,
adhesive and butterfly bandages,
self adhesive roller bandages,
steril gauze pads,
large wound dressings,
large plastic bag,
tweezers and needles,
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Camping Pack List:
Map of area,
flashlight and extra batteries,
extra clothing and raingear,
sunglasses and sunscreen,
matches in a waterproof container,
candle or firestarter,
Miscellaneous: Be sure to plan ahead, proper clothing and equipment are essential. When biking or hiking use caution when traveling service roads, I almost got run off the road by a big truck. You'll want to watch the plants if you are not familiar with poison oak or poison ivy. Whatever you do watch were you squat!!!
Luggage and bags:
Whatever works for your kind of travel.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring your boots and your rain coat. Avoid cotton clothing and underwear. The best clothing for conditions that often turn cold and damp, or wet, are polypropylene or coolmax. These fibers wick moisture away from your body to keep you drier. No, this isn't an endorsement of any kind of antiperspirant. For second layers you might consider polyester or nylon pants and shirt. You'll want to have some sort of fleece pullover or jacket. You should even consider rain pants. Make sure your rain pants/coat are made with GoreTex or some other waterproof breathable laminate. I would also recommend a fleece hat and some kind of light weight gloves made with artificial fibers or wool. After all, you never know when a cool fog will roll in off the ocean. Of course, there's always the Hoh rain forest where they get 120 inches of rain each year.
Photo Equipment: Bring as much as you can carry.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you're camping you'll almost certainly need some kind of tarp that you can setup above your picnic table so that you'll be able to cook in the rain.
Miscellaneous: You might consider bringing one or two adjustable hiking poles. Not only are these handy in the mountains, but they're great for helping you navigate some of the tricky footing on rocks and driftwood along the shore.
Visit the Olympic National Park Tour at http://www.mninter.net/~byerlys/onp.html to see more.
Luggage and bags:
From our experience of touring the state in May, be prepared for any weather. We encountered snow around Mt. Rainier and wore shorts around Yakima and Tri-Cities.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Rain will probably be in the forecast so prepare for wet weather.
Photo Equipment: Bring lots of film! There are photo opportunities everywhere!
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