How to Pack: Tips To Help You Pack Like A Pro
There’s a bit of a long-standing joke among Pacific Northwesterners that we’re always dressed for a potential hike and/or rain. And if we’re being honest, it’s true. Thurston County is full of amazing hiking and outdoor opportunities just minutes from Olympia proper, and unless you’re visiting in July and August, you’re probably going to experience some rainy weather.
Whether you spend weeks making inventories of your closet or you toss things in a bag at the last minute, it’s important to put some thought into what you’ll be bringing with you.
If space was unlimited and checking your luggage was free, I’d recommend bringing as much of your closet as possible – the weather can change quickly so a variety of attire is going to be a bonus, but that’s not very practical. So here are a few recommendations to help you arrive prepared and hopefully underweight at check-in.
Regardless of the time of year you visit, bring a rain jacket – lightweight if it’s summertime, but definitely waterproof. If you plan on spending any amount of time outdoors, pack some sturdy hiking boots or muck boots for all that shellfish harvesting.
Here’s what we “mossbacks” consider the essentials:
- Rain Jacket – lightweight if it’s summertime, and preferably waterproof. If you’re visiting in the colder months of winter and early spring, bring a winter coat
- Sturdy hiking boots, or muck boots if you plan to do any shellfish harvesting. We wouldn’t look sideways at you if you tossed in some rain boots either
- 3 warm layers – suggestions would be a sweater, a thermal shirt, and a vest
- T-shirts – a couple short sleeve and at least one long sleeve
Walking shoes – if hiking’s not your thing, we still have lots of urban trails and downtown shopping that will make you glad you brought appropriate footwear
- Warm socks
- A reusable water bottle
- Sunscreen and lip balm – we know we said it can get rainy here, but it also gets pretty sunny too!
- Bug spray – this is especially important if you plan to explore near lakes and streams
Outside of clothing, bringing a bag for daily excursions is a solid move. Consider a lightweight bag with lots of pockets. Bonus points if it’s also waterproof!
Packing Your Suitcase
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but here are our favorite ways that help us maximize space and show up somewhat presentable:
- Roll your clothes and pack them before other items: make the most of your space and help eliminate creases in your clothing by rolling your clothes (lay shirts face down, fold in the sleeves and roll up from the bottom | for pants, put the legs together and roll down from the waist). Once your clothes are packed, add shoes and accessories on top.
- Not a fan of rolling? Use packing cubes to help you stack things neatly and keep your suitcase organized.
- Choosing travel-friendly fabrics like knits and stretchy fabrics will keep you looking presentable without breaking out the hotel ironing board.
Going on vacation and exploring new outdoor adventures is fun! What’s not so fun is showing up unprepared and being miserable, or worse, missing out on opportunities, because you didn’t plan ahead.