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Greetings from Boise! My husband and I are currently honeymooning in Idaho, starting up north in Sandpoint and wrapping up here. The temperature varies greatly here throughout the state, with afternoons this week in the low 100s and lows in the high 60s. We started our trip on the top of a ski mountain with hiking, spent time on a lake, rafted the Salmon River, toured Idaho wine country, and ate at Michelin starred restaurants. When we were figuring out what to pack for Idaho, there was a lot of variation. Read ahead to see what I recommend when making your packing list for Idaho!
That Idaho sun is hot, whether you are in the arid land of Boise or the lush green mountaintops around Sandpoint. We brough sunscreen, sun clothing, and head coverage when making final decisions regarding what to pack for Idaho and our summer outing.
Both Eddie and I brought multiple hats when we started packing for Idaho. We each brought baseball caps for walking around and playing golf, and brought more full coverage sun shade style hats for hiking and outdoor activities. These sun shade hats both had vents and adjustability in the circumference, and both had under the chin straps to keep the hat secured in case of wind gusts.
Then there was the chemical stuff we used. We loaded up on our sun protection during the day as we spent just about every day in the blazing hot sun. We were really diligent and neither of us ended up with any sunburns!
What to Pack for Idaho: Clothes
We spent time golfing, hiking, rafting, and visiting wineries. It was over 100ºF four of 11 days of our trip, and got down to the mid-50s each night we were in Sandpoint. Eddie brought seven pairs of shorts, and two pairs of pants for the trip. Because of the extreme temperature changes, he purchased a pair of convertible pants with zip off bottoms that could be worn as shorts as well. We both brought moisture wicking shirts for all morning activities.
I brought four lycra workout tops and four pairs of capri or half length work out shorts. These I wore for our hikes. I also brought two pairs of hiking shorts, a pair of jean shorts, and two distressed pairs of pants. I wore the pants on days when I knew we would be inside for long periods of time because the air conditioning was on full blast everywhere we went. A fleece, zippered hoodie was also a necessity. When I found myself sitting on the balcony, staring at the stars under the moonlight, I had an extra layer to throw over my pajamas. I brought a few sports bras, and one convertible underwire bra to wear when I was out and about. We each packed one nicer outfit since we had planned on visiting Boise wineries at least one day.
Packing List for Idaho: Shoes
I really make sure not to bring too many shoes with me when I travel. While I will sometime find that I have a couple extra outfits, I never bring extra shoes. For this trip, Eddie brought four pairs of shoes and I only brought three. We both brought hiking boots and casual sandals, and he brought tennis shoes and loafers to my hiking sandals. I wore the hiking boots when we hiked, the hiking sandals when we participated in water activities, and the casual sandals for evenings out.
What to Pack for Idaho: Gear
When I was 16, I participated in a 15 day hiking trip in Colorado with Outdoor Adventures. I loved it. We hiked 10-15 miles a day with a forty pound pack on our backs and set up tents and our camp at night. We slept under the stars and then did the whole thing over again the next night. In my thirties, hiking five miles with a simple daypack requires hiking poles. Our packing list for Idaho included checking luggage so we bought telescoping hiking poles. If you aren’t checking luggage, it may be smarter to bring collapsible and folding poles. In the desert climate of Salmon and Boise, we needed a lot more water than in Sandpoint. While I brought quite a bit of chemical water purifiers, we didn’t ever hike for long enough that we needed to drink from a fresh water source.
I used an Eddie Bauer backpack from high school for the trip since it had an extra chest strap and lots of rings from which to hang carabineers. We bought some collapsible BPA free water bottles to hook onto our packs. Eddie purchased a liter sized Yeti and it may have been his favorite investment. It keeps hot drinks hot eight hours later, and ice water ice cold. In the 102ºF heat of the sun, having cold water to drink was an indulgent and refreshing treat. You could also use packing cubes to make things easier to find within your pack.
If your trip will include nicer dinners or dates, your packing list for Idaho should reflect that. We had two nicer date nights, and I could have worn the same dress both nights. Below, I’ve created a unisex packing list of items you’ll need on your packing list for Idaho.