This past week, Berty and I have been diving into the adventurous Hawaiian island of Kauai. Also known as “The Garden Isle”, this place is filled with lush greenery to explore and white sandy beaches in all directions. With so many different activities to do, we did some research to find out what we should bring and what should be left behind. We’re happy to report that we packed the right stuff! In this post, we’re sharing our adventurous Hawaii packing list with you. This is for anyone who wants to get outside and connect with their surroundings!
This is not a luxurious packing list. Berty and I like to get into nature, so if you’re looking to immerse yourself in all the rugged fun that Kauai (or any other Hawaiian island) has to offer, read on to find out what to pack for your next trip!
What To Pack For Kauai: Adventure Edition
Before we begin, here are some things to know about Kauai:
- The dress code for Kauai (and really all the other Hawaiian islands) is very casual. Leave your fancy clothes at home.
- Pack clothes that you are willing to get dirty and muddy. The red dirt on this island stains everything!
- Bring clothes that dry relatively quickly. We got caught in surprise downpours a lot.
READ MORE: 11 Once-In-A-Lifetime Things To Do In Kauai
What To Carry On:
When considering what comes with you on the plane, remember these two things:
- Bring anything valuable that you don’t want out of your sight. Never check a camera, laptop, or anything else expensive in a suitcase. Keep track of those things!
- Pack just enough to survive without your suitcase for 1 day. This means packing an extra pair of clothes and basic toiletries in case your bag gets misplaced.
Carry-On Essentials: (Also Read More: 30 Carry-On Essentials For The Light Packer)
- 1 change of clothes
- Laptop + charger
- Headphones (these are our favorite noise-silencing headphones. Pricey, but worth it if you travel often.)
Our tip top toiletry tips (try saying that 3 times fast): Want to avoid overpacking? Keep those tiny sample bottles and fill them up with your favorite products for your trip. Save space and take only what you need. If you want to to buy some reusable travel-sized bottles, try these ones made by Nalgene or these squeezable ones from GoToobs.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Face wash and moisturizer
- Mini hairbrush
- Aloe Vera
- Bug Spray
What To Check In Your Suitcase:
- Sandals For Town: Like these Tevas – pack a fuss-free pair for walking around town.
- Sandals To Get Wet: Here’s a pair of Crocs that are simple and stylish. They may not be the most fashion-forward choice but they are the real MVP in those Hawaiian downpours. Crocs are extremely easy to clean and dry, and there are more options than just the clog style.
- Hiking Shoes/Boots: There are a lot of short and beautiful hikes on the island that only require a good pair of walking shoes. However, if you’re looking to hike the Kalalau Trail or the Kalepa Ridge, you’re going to need some sturdy boots (like these waterproof ones) that can handle the rain and mud.
- 3-5 tanks tops (like these quick dry ones)
- 2-3 pairs of shorts
- Underwear to last your entire trip
- EXTRA SOCKS – We changed our socks a lot after wet, muddy hikes
- 1-2 pairs of quick-dry leggings/athletic shorts (click here for men’s shorts / women’s shorts)
- 1 simple skirt
- 1 zip-up hoodie
- 2 lightweight long sleeve shirts
- 2 swimsuits
- 1 swimsuit cover
- Pair of pajamas
- Lightweight rain jacket (Read More: Our Favorite Rain Jackets)
Read More: Wanna Go Carry-On Only? Read This.
- Beach/Hiking Hat
- Bandana or headband for those hot tropical afternoons
- Fanny Pack
- Day Pack, like this Kavu shoulder bag or this one from Krochet Kids
- Hammock + straps
Most of these should go in your carry-on, but consider packing larger items like tripods and accessories to lighten your load in the airplane cabin.
- Camera extras (extra batteries + memory cards)
- Gnarbox for easy uploading + storing high quality images
- Laptops + Chargers
- Dry Bag: If you’re looking to go out on a boat, you’ll need one of these
- Tripod – for photos together with your friends!
Read More: Our Complete Travel Photography Gear List
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What is on your Hawaii Packing List? Do you pack adventurous like us or are you packing to lounge at the beach? Let us know in the comments below!
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Follow Our Kauai Inspiration Board on Pinterest for more adventurous ideas on the island!