The Complete Idaho Packing List (All Seasons)

Post Summary: The Complete Idaho Packing List (Season by Season)

Ahh, the Gem State! Idaho is a place Berty and I come back to time and time again.

From quick trips to Coeur d’Alene for a date night, road trips to Idaho hot springs, or exploring gorges and caves near Twin Falls, there are plenty of reasons to keep returning to Idaho!

Emily Mandagie backpacking to Goldbug Hot Springs near Salmon, Idaho - Idaho Packing List

If you are curious about what to wear in Idaho, you’ve come to the right place.

In Idaho, there is a huge diversity of landscape, adventure, and climate to consider. This is why we’re covering a packing list with great detail, specific to even the seasons!

Here, we’ll tell you exactly what to pack for Idaho, including a free downloadable checklist (Coming soon!!)

This guide will include outfits perfect for around town, fits for the trails, and lots of in-between moments too.

Let’s get started!

Emily Mandagie standing near Balanced Rock in Twin Falls, Idaho

The Ultimate Idaho Packing List

First of all, what season are you visiting Idaho?

What you need to pack for Idaho really depends on what season you’ll be visiting. Here’s an overview of general seasons in Idaho and what to expect:

Idaho in winter is cold and snowy. You can expect light to heavy snow in the deep winter, the sun going down in the afternoon, and dry weather. The average temperatures during Idaho’s winters are 30-40ºF!

Idaho in fall is lovely and temperate, with a few hot days and a few cold days. With that, Idaho can be rainy, but is usually sunny and nice. The average temperatures during Idaho’s falls are 40-50ºF at first, with it dropping to 30ºF the later it gets into the season.

Summer in Idaho is hot throughout the state–especially in Southern Idaho and Hells Canyon area. The average temperature during Idaho’s summers is 75ºF and above! You can expect lots of sun (don’t forget to pack your sunscreen!) and dry weather.

With summer fighting winter, Idaho in spring is cold at first, then warm and lovely. It’s usually dry, but there are many days of rain as well. The average high temperature in Idaho’s springs is 61ºF and the average low is 34ºF.

Emily Mandagie standing at a lake in the Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

What To Wear in Idaho

Idaho is a casual place, leaning towards outdoorsy on a day by day basis.

People LOVE their recreational sports, so you’ll fit right in if you love Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shop! In general if you love outdoor adventures, here’s what to wear in Idaho:

Fleece Jacket

REI Trailsmith Fleece Jacket

A fleece jacket is essential when visiting Idaho’s wilderness, especially when camping in North Idaho or in the Sawtooth Mountains.

Fleece jackets will keep you warm when temps drop in the evenings or act as another layer during your day trips in Idaho!

Another plus is that they’re a pretty popular fashion staple in the PNW.

Light Jacket / Windbreaker

A light jacket or windbreaker is great for windy adventures in South Idaho! This was especially true on our last trip to Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Among all of the jackets to have in the PNW, a light layering jacket like a windbreaker is a must.


The fashion in Idaho is fairly relaxed, so you’ll fit right in with a sweatshirt or zip up.

For casual evenings or to use as another layer, bring a sweatshirt!

Comfortable Walking Shoes

Like many places in the PNW, touring Idaho means lots of walking and hiking.

So, you’ll want to make sure to bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes like tennis shoes, Chacos, Tevas, or Birkenstocks.


Emily Mandagie view of back - wearing jean jacket and leather backpack, visiting Jerry Johnson Hot Springs in Idaho

With the diverse weather of the Pacific Northwest, it’s a good idea to pack layers.

This way, you can take them off when it’s warm and be prepared when it’s cold.

You’ll also want to bring thermal layers, if you’ll be traveling somewhere cold like the Sawtooth Mountains or Northern Idaho.

Read More: How To Layer Clothes For Winter and What to Wear Hiking in the Fall


What To Wear in Idaho - Jeans

Idaho is a casual place. Sometimes with a nice top, jeans can even considered date-worthy!

We recommend adding a pair of jeans to your Idaho packing list if you plan to hang around downtown, catch a sports game, or go out with some friends.

Idaho Gear List (Outdoor Adventure)

Hiking Boots

How To Break In Hiking Boots - Teva Boots - The Mandagies

Whether you’re hiking to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs or backpacking in the Sawtooth Mountains, you’ll want a solid pair of hiking boots that won’t give you blisters and are broken in!

We’ve got all our favorite hiking boot picks (with recommendations from readers like you!) and all the deets on how to pick the very best ones for you.

Day Pack / Duffel Bag

Osprey Farpoint Travel Duffel Bag

To bring all the essentials on your adventures, bring a day pack or small duffle bag. You could also bring a fanny pack for just the necessities.

If you want to pack a full duffel bag but want to save space, the Osprey Farpoint 40 L Daypack is a great option!

First Aid Kit

10 Essentials For Hiking - First Aid Kit

It’s always a good idea to bring a first aid kit to your adventures. We recommend this small first aid kit from Amazon.


Black Diamond Spot

Planning on backpacking in Idaho? Bring a headlamp!

Even if you’re not out in the wilderness, it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp or flashlight with you in the car in case of emergencies.

The Black Diamond Spot 400 does the trick, comes in many colors, and is really affordable!

Read More: How To Build Your Own DIY Car Emergency Kit

Water Bottle / Water Bladder

Camel Bak Crux 2L Water Reservoir

Carrying a water bottle/bladder with you is very important. It’s essential to hydrate because Idaho can be very dry!

Stow away this Camelbak Crux 2L Water Reservoir in your day pack for adventures in drier areas, like Tea Kettle Cave or Balanced Rock!

Trekking Poles

Cool Gadgets For Hikers - Hiking Poles

If you’re going on long hikes in Idaho, you’ll want to bring a set of trekking poles.

The terrain in Idaho can be quite rocky and difficult to traverse at times, so trekking poles will steady you as you hike.

Blister Patches

When you start to feel a hot spot in the middle of a hike, you’ll be so glad that you packed blister patches!

You can even put them on before you hike/walk all day, so that there’s less chance of getting a blister. You’ll thank yourself later!

Travel Insurance

The purpose of travel insurance is to protect you against risks and financial losses while adventuring. Whether you’re flying to Idaho, going on a tour, or trying out a high-risk activity, travel insurance will give you extra security in case you get injured on vacation. 

VisitorsCoverage could be a great option for you, especially if you’re visiting from out of the country.

Travel insurance is optional, but important if you are doing high-risk activities like mountain climbing, rafting, or backpacking!

Hiking Pants

Death Valley Packing List - Long Pants

Hiking pants protect you from the sun, are an extra precaution against rattlesnakes (especially if you’re in Southern Idaho/Hells Canyon territory), and protect you from scratches.

There are tons of great options for everyone on REI.

These include the popular Trailmade Pants, and the RecTrek Pants from Outdoor Voices are also highly recommended (especially the zip-off ones!).

Bear Spray

Counter Assaunt Bear Deterrent - Gifts For Hiking Safety

Bear spray is essential, if you’re planning on being in backcountry settings (like in the Sawtooth Mountains).

In addition to bringing bear spray, be sure to take all the proper precautions in bear country, such as using bear bins, hiking in a group, and never approaching or disturbing a bear.

Don’t forget to add bear spray to your Idaho gear list!


Goodr OGs Sunglasses

It can get very sunny in the PNW–especially in the spring and summer–so you’ll want to pack a good pair of sunglasses.

Unless you’ve got a solid setup for storing your sunglasses while backpacking, consider bringing a cheaper pair in case they get dropped or lost!

Toiletries to Pack For an Idaho Trip


The sun is searing at higher elevations in Idaho! You’ll want to bring a high SPF sunscreen on your next trip to Idaho.

Hydrating Lotion

It can get pretty dry in Idaho, so combat the dry skin with a hydrating lotion! Your hands will thank you later.


Level up with an SPF chapstick to protect your lips from those rays! Check out this hydrating Aquaphor Lip Repair Lip Balm with Sunscreen ($4) from Amazon.

Tech For Your Idaho Packing List

Peak Design Tech Pouch

Portable Battery Pack / Power Bank

Goal Zero Flip 36 Power Bank

To charge your essentials while on the go, bring a portable power bank! This battery pack can charge your smartphone up to three times!


Capture all your memories in Idaho with a camera of your choice!

If you’re feeling fancy, we recommend checking out our favorite film cameras under $500. You could also try out these instant film cameras for travel!


Nocs Provisions Binoculars

Add binoculars to your packing list for Idaho! There’s so much wildlife in this area of the PNW, many of which are birds that you can only see through binoculars.

What To Pack For Idaho (Season By Season)

Idaho Winter Packing List (November, December, January, February)

Winter Boots: Idaho in winter can get very cold and snowy, so you’ll want a solid pair of winter boots. You can also kill two birds with one stone and use waterproof hiking boots!

Mittens: Keep your hands warm with mittens! You can pack a waterproof options like Gortex-lined mittens or pack something more heavy duty like the Black Diamond Mercury Mittens from REI ($120).

Hat: A beanie is an essential winter item to add to your Idaho packing list!

Scarf: A warm scarf is a great way to keep warm in the winter. One of the best things about scarves is that they’re multi-functional and an easy layer to take off, if needed.

Ski/Snow Gear: This includes a helmet, neck warmer/Buff, gloves, google, hand warmers, ski pants, ski jacket. Oh, and don’t forget your skis or snowboards!

Microspikes: These will be especially important if you’ll be hiking in Idaho’s mountains–or hiking at all! Add microspikes to your Idaho packing list for extra security while adventuring.

Sweaters: Not only are they cute, but they’re warm as well! Layer over a thermal base layer for added warmth.

Wool Socks: Wool socks will keep your feet warm without making your shoes all stuffy, due to the unique properties of natural wool. We love wool socks from Smartwool, Bombas, and Darn Tough!

Down Jacket: A down jacket is one of the top essential winter jackets to wear in the Pacific Northwest. It will keep you warm in Idaho’s cold weather!

Thermals: Thermal base layers can be a great way to stay warm in the cold weather or wick away sweat when doing something active during Idaho’s winters. It’s always a good idea to have layers–even in the winter!

What to pack for Idaho in spring (March, April, May)

Baseball Cap: Bring a baseball cap or sun hat to protect your face from the sun!

Rain Boots: This is an essential item to pack when visiting Idaho in the spring. April showers bring May flowers, so you’re likely to encounter rainy days among lovely and warm ones.

Light Jacket / Sweater: Layers! Layers! Like we’ve said before, it’s so important to have lots of layers with you–especially in the transition months where there’s all kinds of weather in the PNW! Bring a light jacket or button up sweater as an easily removable layer.

Bonneville Hot Springs

What to pack for summer in Idaho (June, July, August)

Sunscreen: Sunscreen is absolutely essential during Pacific Northwest summers. Really, you should wear it year-round, but it’s extra important when the sunlight is most direct in the summer.

Bug Spray: Summer in Idaho can get pretty buggy (especially in the mountains), so you’ll want a strong bug spray with you.

Baseball Cap (or any hat really): A baseball cap, sun hat, or bucket hat is a must during the summer. Not only do they protect your face from the sun, but they’re also stylish!

Quick dry towel: This is especially useful if you’ll be doing watersports or backpacking in Idaho.

Tank Tops / Shorts: It’s definitely shorts weather during Pacific Northwest summers–especially if you’re in Southern Idaho! Pack lots of tank tops and shorts for your next trip to Idaho. Athletic materials are also a good idea, if you’re planning on doing active adventures.

Sandals: Chacos, Tevas, Birkenstocks, or flip flops are all excellent footwear options during the summer. There are tons of beautiful lakes and hot springs in Idaho, so you’ll want a pair of waterproof shoes if you’re planning on doing water activities around these popular attractions.

Swimsuit: Whether you’re swimming in Lake Coeur d’Alene or backpacking to a secluded mountain lake, you’ll want a swimsuit with you. Pair it with a quick dry towel and some sandals and you’re golden!

Pioneer Cabin Trail Sun Valley Idaho

What to pack for fall in Idaho (September, October)

A Book to Read: For ultimate cozy vibes, bring a book or your Kindle and settle down in a PNW coffee shop for a while. A pumpkin spice latte and a good book is an iconic duo!

Beanie: Fall in Idaho is the perfect time to start wearing beanies again! Carhartt beanies are a classic in the PNW.

Scarf: With the coming of cooler temperatures, a scarf can be a nice extra layer. A shawl or large scarf is another great way to get a bit of warmth.

Sweaters: It’s officially sweater weather in PNW! Pack a few comfortable sweaters for cozy vibes.

Leather or Suede Boots for a Night Out: While Idaho’s fashion is fairly casual, it’s fun to have a night out on the town every once and a while! There are lots of cute places to eat out and attractions to visit, so you’ll want to pack a nicer pair of boots.

Flannel / Plaid / Corduroy: A shacket, flannel, button up, or light jacket is the way to go during the cooler months. Plus, they’re stylish and match the fashion of the PNW!