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What to Pack for Glacier & Waterton Lakes National Parks

The following packing list contains general recommendations for Glacier & Waterton: An International Treasure. If you are currently booked on a Glacier and Waterton adventure with Nat Hab, please consult your pre-departure materials for the most up-to-date packing list specific to your trip. You will receive these materials 60-90 days before your departure.

Items indicated in color below are typically available in the Nat Hab Gear Store. Please note that due to global supply chain issues beyond our control, we cannot guarantee that every item will always be in stock.

Adventure Guidelines

  • Since the weather in Montana can change by the hour, we recommend layering your clothing (i.e. wearing a T-shirt, fleece and jacket) so you can be comfortable throughout the day, regardless of the temperature.
  • Remember that during the adventure, heavy rain is always a possibility, and proper rain gear is a must.
  • Be sure to pack warm clothing, including hat and gloves, and rain gear in your carry-on bag when traveling by air.
  • Keep in mind that we will be hiking throughout the day, so you may wish to bring a change of casual clothes for dinner in the evenings.

Clothing

  • Lightweight neck gaiter (included in your pre-departure package)
    —Provides sun, wind and/or dust protection.
  • Lightweight, breathable, waterproof rain gear
    —You will need both a rain jacket with a hood and rain paints. It is extremely important your rain gear be fully waterproof, not just water repellent, as it can rain frequently and quite heavily in the areas we will be visiting. Gore-Tex-type shells that can be layered over fleece, should temperatures be chilly, are ideal. Flimsy, plastic rain gear is easily torn, rendering it useless for the remainder of the adventure, so we recommend you avoid these items when possible. Your rain gear may be your most useful pieces of clothing.
  • Ankle-high, waterproof hiking boots
    —Bring boots with good traction and sturdy ankle support. Make sure they are broken in prior to your departure to prevent blisters. Trails may be muddy or even snowy.
    —If you are comfortable hiking in tennis shoes, you may opt to bring these instead of hiking boots. Keep in mind, however, that hiking boots will be better suited for mud and snow!
  • Socks
    —Bring several pairs made of wool or synthetic material. Cotton socks are not recommended for hikes.
  • Silk or polypropylene thermal underwear
    —It can be quite cool during early morning wildlife-watching excursions.
  • Warm jacket or fleece (for cooler evenings) 
  • Warm hat and gloves 
    —Especially important for departures in June and early July
  • 2 pairs of long pants (or zip-off pants)
  • 2 pair of shorts
    —You may not need extra shorts if you are bringing zip-off pants.
  • 2–3 long-sleeved shirts 
  • 2–3 short-sleeved T-shirts 
  • Casual change of clothing for evenings/dinners
  • Extra pair of walking shoes (tennis shoes are fine)
  • Polypropylene sock liners (optional, for longer hikes)
  • Underwear
  • Sleepwear
  • Swimsuit 

Additional Items

  • Cash
    —For discretionary gratuities (you may want to bring envelopes for discreet presentation).
    —For personal spending (souvenirs, Internet use, or food and beverages not included in your trip fee), or airport/hotel transfers for early arrivals or late departures.
  • Water-resistant daypack 
    —To carry gear during outings.
  • Binoculars 
    —Binoculars are essential for optimal wildlife viewing on this adventure. A good quality pair will definitely enhance your wildlife-viewing experience, and you will get the most out of them if you practice using them at home and make a habit of having them with you regularly on the adventure. Waterproof binoculars work well but are not required.
    —Nat Hab does provide a handful of binoculars for each group to share
  • Reusable water bottle (included in your pre-trip package)
    —In our continuing effort to operate our adventures with as little impact on the environment as possible, you will receive a reusable water bottle (unless you opted out on your Booking Form) to take with you on your adventure. We will provide drinking water throughout the adventure for you to refill your bottle. By doing this, you will avoid using multiple disposable plastic bottles.
  • Sun hat with brim 
  • Hairdryer (optional)
    —Hairdryers are available in-room at The Firebrand Hotel and upon request from the front desk at all other accommodations. However, because supplies may be limited, if you would like the use of a hairdryer throughout the adventure, we suggest that you bring your own.
  • Hiking poles (provided by Nat Hab) 
    —We will have hiking poles available for your use, but if you choose to bring your own make sure they fit in your checked baggage, as you will not be allowed to carry them on the plane.
  • Sunglasses (with UV filter)
  • Prescription glasses/contact lenses
  • Headlamp or small flashlight
  • Toiletries in reusable bottles to help minimize waste
  • Insect repellent and anti-itch ointment
    —Repellents containing DEET are the most effective against mosquitoes, but please be aware that DEET is a very strong ingredient that can damage plastics, clothing and equipment.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm (at least SPF15)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Dry bags or reusable waterproof bags 
    —Bring several sizes. These are great for wet or dirty clothing and to protect camera equipment from the elements.
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