You Need These 5 Things on the Washington Coast

Post Summary: Packing Essentials For The Washington Coast

Cold beaches and constant rain.

Not exactly the dream combination, but there’s something about any ocean shore that draws people to its rhythmic waves and soothing sounds, regardless of the longitude.

It just so happens that our closest options are soggy places like La Push, Rialto Beach, and Ruby Beach

And we love it. 

Not only is the drive there gorgeous, (I mean heck, we made an entire road trip around this area!) but the memories made with friends along the way keep us returning again and again.

Berty brings his cameras, and every time we go to the ocean it’s a new feeling, a new experience, and another sweet layer to a familiar spot.

One of our favorite things to do is return to a place already visited. You can reminisce on old memories, while making new ones all in the same space!

We love returning to the Washington Coast because there are miles of beach we have yet to explore, and we are excited to keep coming back.

Since the Washington Coast is a place that we return to time and time again, we have learned what is necessary to bring and what to leave at home. We hope this list can help you start to plan your own road trip to the coast!

5 Essentials For A Trip To The Washington Coast

1. Good Rain Boots

On a recent trip to the Olympic National Park, we stood in shock as we saw a dare-devil woman run toward the ocean into the rising tide.

Her intention was to quickly take a picture by this rock formation and run back to shore but her plan quickly backfired. First it was her shoes that the ocean took…then her whole legs…then she was submerged from the waist down clinging onto this natural sculpture before the waves drew back into the ocean.

After watching this episode unfold I look down at my shoes and thanked the Lord that I wore rain boots.

Wearing boots allowed me to get close to the water, trod through puddles, and be unabashed by the wet obstacles all around. We suggest wearing a trusty pair for ultimate ocean shore exploration.

Our Favorites: Hunter rain boots for men and women.

SEE MORE: Ruby Beach 

2. A Sturdy Rain Jacket

It’s no secret that it rains a lot here on the Washington coast.

We highly recommend bringing a rain jacket (and NOT an umbrella…it’s guaranteed to blow away).

The best kind of rain jackets are the ones with inside pockets. Berty and I have discovered that most jackets won’t keep our gear 100% dry, so we like to store things like phones and batteries on the inside. This ensures that the important stuff doesn’t get wet!

Our Favorites: Patagonia Torrentshell, Stutterheim Mooseback, and Helly Hansen Jackets

Read More: 21 Stylish Rain Jackets For The Pacific Northwest

3. Waterproof Backpack

If you are visiting the coast, say, for an entire day, you’ll want something that keeps your stuff safe and dry.

Berty and I have gone through many backpacks, and honestly, there’s a TON of good brands out there.

Pick something that suits your style and is waterproof. You can’t go wrong with those two things!

 Our Favorites: Madewell Lorimer, Timbuk2 Bags, Mountain Hardware Single Track

Read More: 7 Travel Bags For The Adventure Lover

4. Camera

Just seeing the sunset on the coast is worth the 4-5 hour trip from Seattle.

Make sure you’re prepared to capture all the sky has to offer with some camera gear!

Berty is a strong supporter that any camera you have is a good one. Use what you have – iPhone, DSLR, Go Pro….your EYES. Sunsets are gorgeous any way they are captured!

What we use: Canon 5D Mark III, Lens 24-70 F2.8, 5omm F1.2, 35mm F1.4

Read More: Our Complete Travel Photography Gear List

5. Your Friends (Totally Essential)

The ocean is no fun if you are by yourself!

Grab a friend (bonus points if they have never been to the Washington coast!) and take the long car ride to catch up on life and create memories together.

Berty and I LOVE taking people to new places. Too often we can get caught up with only seeing our friends on social media.

So our challenge to you is to give them a call and plan an adventure!

Read More: 8 Vital Reasons To Travel With Your Friends

 Did we miss anything? What do you bring on your trip to the Washington Coast? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!


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  1. I love this list. I need to get a pair of Hunter boots. The deal to move to Seattle jokingly was a pair of Hunter boots since it always rains. I didn’t think about the rainproof backpack.

    1. Yes! Rain boots are definitely a wardrobe staple here. haha We are thinking about making a roundup post of our favorite backpacks so stay tuned for some waterproof choices!