Two hikers at the Buckskin Gulch, Southern Utah, equipped with items from this Utah packing list

Utah Packing List (22 Things to Bring in 2023)

The perfect Utah packing list can really be a game changer when preparing for your trip. Forgetting essential items is never fun, and there are some packing list items fairly unique to Utah. 

I’m a southwest local who has been to Utah loads of times. In this guide, I’ll cover the essentials you can’t leave at home, including what to bring to explore Utah’s national parks, camping spots, rock climbing, cities, and other fun Utah activities. Let’s get into it!

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Utah Packing Checklist

Overnight Backpack

Our Pick
Osprey Eja / Exos Backpacking Pack

We tested 8 backpacking packs head-to-head and the Osprey Eja / Exos series came out as the winner. Made from 100% recycled materials, this lightweight pack excels at comfort and functionality.

Planning to spend time outdoors in Utah’s wilderness? Then a good quality pack is perhaps the most important part of your packing checklist for Utah.

Our team recently tested 8 of this year’s top outdoor backpacks in a head-to-head competition. The overall winner? The Osprey Eja (women’s) and Osprey Exos (men’s).

Our Pick
Osprey Travel Porter Pack 46

This backpack is another Travel Lemming favorite and is perfect for traveling light and doing so in style.

Looking for a travel backpack that is just as useful on a plane as on a hike? We’ve also ranked the top backpacks for travel, and our overall winner is the Osprey Travel Porter Pack 46. It is roomy, comfy, and a downright good looker. While 46 liters may not seem like a big enough storage space, it’s perfect for a weekend or quick week trip to Utah.

Hiking Boots

Our Pick
Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

These waterproof hiking boots are extra durable and ready to tackle Utah hiking trails in any terrain.

The number one thing you don’t want to forget on your upcoming Utah trip is a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Hiking trails line the state from north to south with fun Utah hiking trails suited for all fitness levels.

Don’t miss out on the fun and be sure to bring your Oboz Bridger Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots, also available in a men’s hiking boot. The waterproof technology of this pair makes it unstoppable on the trails in any season.


Our Pick
Osprey Daylite

This daypack is a Travel Lemming favorite thanks to its versatility, comfort, and roomy pockets.

This comfortable daypack saves you the hassle of needing to readjust and rearrange your pack every few minutes on the trail. The lightweight yet durable features of the Osprey Daylite put it high on our Travel Lemming favorite list and make it the perfect bag for running errands, exploring a new town, or hitting a Utah trail.

Water bladder

Our Pick
Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir 3 Liters

The large water capacity container of this water bladder allows hikers to explore all day without the need for pumping water.

You’ll need a lot of water if hiking in Utah, especially during the summer months. This Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir 3 Liters can hold up to three liters of water at a time, eliminating your need to pump for more water mid-hike.

The straw feature also makes it easy to drink water without stopping, an essential feature if in a time crunch.


Our Pick
Thinksport Clear Zinc SPF 50 Sunscreen

Stay protected under the hot Utah sun with this SPF 50, biodegradable sunscreen that doesn’t sweat off.

Sunscreen is one of the top hiking essentials that is especially crucial to pack for the Utah desert. I love Thinksport Clear Zinc SPF 50 Sunscreen because it has a high SPF count, doesn’t sweat off, and has full coverage.

I’ve worn this Thinksport sunscreen while skiing in northern Utah and while hiking through the Zion Narrows in southern Utah. You should always have this sun protectant in your hiking backpack or travel purse.

Sun Hat

Our Pick
Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Hat

Keep your head, neck, and shoulders protected from sunburn with this wide-brim unisex sun hat.

An SPF hat like the Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Hat is important to pack for the Utah desert heat. This sun hat will come in handy while exploring a new town like Ogden or Park City, or while hiking through Utah’s national parks.

Rock Climbing Shoes

Our Pick
La Sportiva Tarantulace Climbing Shoes

Climb longer with fewer aches thanks to these top-rated climbing shoes, now with roomier toe boxes.

If you’re an avid rock climber, you mustn’t forget to bring your climbing shoes to Utah! There are thousands upon thousands of rock climbing routes on the Navajo Sandstone throughout the desert state that are beckoning to be explored.

The La Sportiva Tarantulace Climbing Shoes, also available in a women’s shoe, are one of the comfiest climbing shoes on the market, with a roomier toe box and adjustable laces.

Water Filtration Bottle

Our Pick
LifeStraw Go
Filter water on the go as easy as 1,2,3. This bottle filter allows you to conveniently filter straight from the water source to your bottle, which helps save time on the trail.

The best season to visit Utah for hiking is year-round but each season requires a different packing list. You will generally need a LifeStraw Go water filtration bottle in the summer months when you’re likely to consume more water in the hot desert climate.

This is one of the most convenient water filters on the market, as you simply filter straight from the source to your bottle and voila! You have freshly filtered drinking water.

Rock Climbing Rope

Our Pick
Mammut Crag We Care Classic 9.5mm Non-dry Rope

This eco-conscious dry climbing rope is ideal for both trad and sport climbing on Utah’s sandstone walls and in the national parks.

Don’t miss out on some top rock climbing in Zion National Park or Arches National Park and be sure to pack this versatile rope. The Mammut Crag We Care Classic 9.5mm Non-dry Rope is perfect for avid trad or sport rock climbers. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it’s also smooth and extremely high quality.

If you’re on an ultimate Southwestern road trip, be sure to also check out the top rock climbing spots in California.

Rock Climbing Harness

Our Pick
Black Diamond Momentum 3S Harness

This comfy, unisex harness is a great piece of equipment to have on hand in case a climbing partner forgets to pack theirs.

If you have your eyes set on either top rope, trad, or sport climbing in Utah then you can’t forget your climbing harness at home. The Black Diamond Momentum 3S Harness is one of the highest-quality harnesses on the market and the unisex feature makes it easy for other climbers to borrow the harness in a pinch.

Crash Pad

Our Pick
Black Diamond Circuit Crash Pad

Fall comfortably with this ultra-padded crash pad. It’s affordable for every type of climber and is now made with a premium foam layup.

The super padded feature of the Black Diamond Circuit Crash Pad makes this pad a favorite among boulderers. Don’t miss out on top bouldering in Utah’s national parks simply because you forgot to bring yours.

Crash pads aren’t exactly small in volume, so I recommend traveling with this pad if on a road trip, as it may be a hassle to fly with. The top-rated climbing routes in Utah will make the hassle worth your while if you do choose to check the pad, however.

Rock Climbing Chalk

Our Pick
Metolius Super Chalk

Cling to the rock in a more secure way with this highly-rated climbing chalk.

While it’s not impossible to rock climb without climbing chalk, it certainly makes it more challenging. Chalk takes up virtually no space in your travel bag and helps you score a new climbing PR.

Metolius Super Chalk is affordable and widely available, making it my go-to chalk. Store your chalk in a cool chalk bag and you’ll be ready to hit the wall. 


Our Pick
REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent with Footprint

This two-person tent is roomier than most others on the market and is lighter to carry on an overnight backpacking adventure in a Utah national park.

Camping is one of the best things to do in Utah, especially in one of Utah’s national parks. Bring a tent for the chance to sleep under the desert stars in Zion National Park or another scenic Utah wilderness place.

The two-person REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent with Footprint is roomy enough for a pet or big backpack, making it one of my favorite tents on the market. 

Sleeping Bag

Our Pick
Mountain Hardwear Lamina 30 Sleeping Bag

The perfect bag for camping in Utah in the summertime, this sleeping bag also doesn’t break the bank and compresses down easily to fit in your pack.

The most popular time to camp in Utah is during the late spring, summer, or early fall when campsites are free of ice and snow. Be sure to pack your Mountain Hardwear Lamina 30 Sleeping Bag if camping in Utah at this time.

The 30-degree temperature rating is perfect for camping in the summer and early fall months and the unisex feature makes it a versatile bag suitable for the whole family to share.

👉 Pro Tip: Don’t forget to also check out the nearby top campsites in New Mexico!

Sleeping Pad

Our Pick
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT Sleeping Pad

Sleep as comfortably as you would at home with this fluffy blow-up sleeping pad, one of the highest-rated on the market.

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT Sleeping Pad is one of the most comfortable sleeping pads out there, and one that I’ll never camp without. Bring this ultra-comfy pad with you next time you camp in one of Utah’s national parks for the best possible experience.

Camp Food

Our Pick
AlpineAire Foods Mexican-Style Veggie Bowl

Dehydrated foods like these are great in the backcountry or when backpacking for multiple days through dense Utah wilderness.

Dehydrated foods are my go-to on multi-day backpacking adventures. They take up almost no space in your overnight pack and are ready in minutes.

I’ve tried almost every dehydrated camp food on the market and have come to the subjective conclusion that AlpineAire Foods is one of the best brands. In particular, the AlpineAire Foods Mexican-Style Veggie Bowl is packed with protein and carbohydrates and is the best meal to replenish your energy while on the trail.


Our Pick
National Geographic Utah National Parks Maps Pack

This map may just save you from getting lost in one of Utah’s ginormous wilderness areas.

Paper maps are absolutely essential when hiking a new trail. The National Geographic Utah National Parks Maps Pack will help you find your whereabouts if you get disoriented on a national park trail in Utah.

I recommend reviewing the map beforehand so you know how to read it in case of an emergency on the trail.

Other Utah Essentials to Pack

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Face wash
  • Deodorant
  • Hair ties
  • First-aid kit
  • Phone charger
  • Solar charger
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Books/ Kindle
  • Packing cubes
  • Pepper spray
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana
  • Shower sandals
  • Toilet paper
  • Bug spray
  • Hydration pack
  • Water bottles
  • Plastic bags
  • Flip flops

Clothing to Pack for Utah

The clothing you pack depends on when you visit Utah. If visiting in the winter, your packing list will trade in the bathing suit and water sandals for some down pants, ski goggles, and thermal base layers.

Some staple items should be packed year-round, however, like a rain jacket, shorts, underwear, pants, dressier shirts, and sunglasses.

So what clothing should you pack for Utah? Here is a quick clothing checklist for Utah:

  • 3-4 pairs of shorts
  • 2-3 sundresses
  • 1-2 swimsuits
  • 3-4 pairs of socks
  • 1-2 pants
  • 1 pair of casual sneakers
  • 1 pair of water shoes
  • 5 pairs of underwear
  • 4-5 T-shirts
  • 1-2 dressier shirts
  • 1 swimsuit coverup
  • 1 pair of casual sandals
  • 1 down jacket
  • 1 rain jacket

Let’s get into specifics about some of my favorite items mentioned above. 


Our Pick
Darn Tough Hiker Socks

Never get a blister on the trail with these trusty hiking socks, also available in a mountaineer option.

I never hike a trail without the Darn Tough Hiker Socks. Also available in a men’s style, the Darn Tough socks are the perfect, blister-free accompaniment when hiking in the desert heat through the Utah national parks or through the southern Utah monuments like Bears Ears or Grand Staircase Escalante.


Our Pick
Teva Tirra Sandals

Lounge comfortably around camp or take these epic sandals on a multi-day adventure, they’re sure to hold up exactly how you want.

I’ve personally hiked 4 days to Machu Picchu in these sandals without a blister or a slip. While sturdy hiking shoes also get the job done, sometimes a hiking sandal is the ideal choice for hiking in hot terrain.

I always carry my Teva Tirra Sandals with me when on a trip either national or international. Also available in a men’s style, these shoes can take you to new heights on a hiking trail or allow you to relax comfortably by the campfire.


Our Pick
Patagonia Baggies Shorts

Rep style on the trail in these colorful shorts, which come in a variety of lengths and a complete range of mobility.

Shorts are always a good option to have on hand while hiking through Utah national parks, as the desert weather can drastically change throughout the day depending on the season.

The Patagonia Baggies Shorts are my favorite pair of hiking shorts. They’re stylish, comfortable, available in men’s styles, and aren’t super tight, allowing complete mobility.


Our Pick
Beyond Yoga Spacedye Curves Movement Dress

Go on a short hike, visit top Utah monuments, or cruise around town in this super soft, cool fabric, multisport dress.

You don’t need to wear hiking clothes the whole time you’re in Utah. Pack a sundress like the comfy Beyond Yoga Spacedye Curves Movement Dress to switch things up on your trip.

This multisport dress can be worn hiking, biking, climbing, sightseeing in the Utah national parks, or simply while cruising around town, especially during the hot summer months.


Our Pick
REI Co-op Trailmade Pants

Ideal for hitting the hiking trails or hanging out around town, these comfy pants should be high on every traveler’s list.

The REI Co-op Trailmade Pants can be worn year-round in Utah. Prized by hikers for their extreme durability, these pants are guaranteed not to rip mid-hike or climb. Also available in a men’s pants option, the REI Trailmade pants are always in my Utah travel suitcase.

Utah Packing Tips

Don’t Forget the Hiking Clothes

Hiking is one of the top activities in Utah. Don’t forget hiking essentials when packing for Utah like hiking shoes, trekking poles, a sun hat, hiking socks, and a water bladder backpack.

Pack for a Variety of Adventures

A man mountain biking in Slickrock Bike Trail in Moab
The Slickrock Bike Trail in Moab

The best way to pack for Utah is to pack multi-functional clothes. For example, hiking sandals that can be used on the trail and in the water and bandanas that can double as a sun hat, face wind block, and shirt are great to pack.

Always Have a Jacket on Hand

It’s wise to always carry a “just in case” jacket in your backpack even in the summer months in Utah. Desert nights can cool down quite considerably and surprise monsoons happen occasionally in the summer months. A down jacket or rain jacket is necessary to carry year-round.

FAQs About Utah Packing List

How should I dress for a trip to Utah?

Bring layers for a trip to Utah. It’s always wise to have at least one pair of shorts, one pair of pants, one short sleeve shirt, one long sleeve shirt, a rain jacket, and a sun hat on you at all times in Utah.

What should I pack for winter in Utah?

You will want to dress warmly for a winter trip to Utah. Bring thermal layers, a down jacket, a rain jacket, warm gloves, a balaclava, and a beanie.

What should I pack for Salt Lake City Utah?

You should always have comfortable shorts, a down jacket, a short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve shirt, comfortable pants, sunglasses, a sun hat, and hiking sandals for Salt Lake City Utah.


Thanks for reading our Utah packing list guide! For more Utah travel tips, check out our best things to do in Moab guide.

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