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Mount Rainier Packing List: All You Need to Know

Home » Mount Rainier Packing List: All You Need to Know


Hi, I’m Eddie, and I love traveling. It is one of the greatest joys of my life, even though sometimes a hike gets so difficult I find myself questioning what I am doing. Thanks to my experience of going to different locations and countries, I know all the difficulties of traveling. One of my favorite places to visit is Mount Rainier, National Park.

It is located in Washington State and is southeast of Seattle. The mountain is 14,410 feet and is the largest mountain in the state. It is one of my must-visit parks. Its territory is huge, and you can not miss a thing, whether you love hiking, camping, snowboarding, fishing or swimming in the river, – there is always something for you.

The entry rates are friendly, but if you have a national parks pass, you and your friends can get in for free. The prices are $15 if you are on foot or by bicycle, $30 for a non-commercial, private vehicle or $26 for people, who are 16 years old and above. The prices cover entrance fees for up to 7-days, so if you would like to camp, that is a fairly great deal.

I have made many mistakes with my packing process, and I know that I am not the only one who has experienced that. If you are new to hiking or trekking, then you will surely miss a few items. However, I can try to make your life easier and provide you with the best Mount Rainier packing list.

What to Pack for the Trip to Mount Rainier National Park

Packing for a trip like this can not be possible without an intentional list of what you need. Before you start, you need to find out what activities you would like to take on in the park. This article will guide your list and guarantee that you will not forget a thing. You will need different items depending on the season you travel. I have divided this list into two parts, so you have a better idea of what you will need in different seasons.

Mount Rainier Packing List in the Spring or Summer

Mount Rainier National Park in the summer

The best time to visit the park for hiking or camping is in the summer or spring. During this time the whole park is usually open, so you have options in terms of what to choose. Here is your packing list for the warmer seasons.

What to Wear to Mount Rainier

Since it is warmer during the summer and spring seasons, you don’t need heavy clothes. The unnecessary clothes will only slow you down while hiking or trekking. The best thing is to get breathable or fast-drying clothes, made specially for hot weather conditions. When deciding what to wear to Mount Rainier, be sure to put comfort first. Comfort is critical since the last thing you want to worry about during a hike is your clothes. Some must-have items include:

  • Short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts or tops: It is essential to have clothes that keep you cool no matter how long you’ve been walking.
  • Shorts, tights or pants: Some shorts or tights are great since they are light enough and have some breathing allowance.
  • Socks for hiking: Some socks help you to trek or hike better and longer, but cotton is not one of them. Woolen socks are excellent for this purpose but make sure they’re not too heavy.
  • Underwear: Make sure that you carry comfortable underwear, especially if you plan to move around a lot. For example, women’s sports bras are the best for outdoors since they are more comfortable.
  • Raincoat and jacket: While summers in the park are usually pretty warm, if you will trek far up the mountain you may get cold. And it is important to keep in mind that the nights are generally cooler. Make sure you have a raincoat or a waterproof jacket and something warm, preferably with a hood.
  • Swimsuit: There are about five rivers that originate from the mountains, so there are plenty of safe places to swim. It makes sense to pack a swimsuit.
  • Hat/cap: A light hat or cap is perfect to have to avoid sunburns on your face.
  • Pajamas: After a long day of trekking, you want to sleep in something clean and fresh.
  • Remember this Mount Rainier backpacking list contains the general items that you may need. You can choose which clothes you don’t need and only carry what you will use, based on your individual needs.

Mount Rainier Hiking Gear

Hiking shoes

One of the main activities to do when in Mount Rainier is to hike or trek up the mountain. To clear it up hiking is shorter and slightly more relaxed than trekking. Trekking may take days and is generally includes walking through much rougher terrain. Many of the things on this list are obligatory, not optional.

  • Water/Reusable water bottle: In the spirit of conserving the environment, it is best to have a water bottle that you can refill. It eliminates the temptation to litter in the mountains, which is a potential danger to wildlife.
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and watch: Whether or not you can see the sun behind the clouds, sunscreen is mandatory. Sunglasses protect your eyes, and a watch is essential for timing yourself.
  • Hiking shoes or boots: These are specially made for hiking, and they make the journey a lot easier and comfortable for your feet.
  • First aid kit, whistle walking pole: You never know what may happen, so a first aid kit comes in handy. A whistle is more of a safety precaution in case you get lost or need help.
  • Food and snacks: Even during a short hike, it is easy to get hungry, so it is best if you have some biting such as protein bars. If you will be up there for a few days, then canned food is the best choice. Besides, you can still get some fresh fish if you want to feel the real camping thing.
  • Maps, torch, lamp, or headlight: Choose red light over white since it allows you to see better without shrinking your pupil.

Packing List for Mount Rainier: Toiletries

I am all about going the whole nature camping way, but hygiene is necessary, so you need some items here. You will want to take a shower after a day of walking, and it prevents you from smelling like one of the wild animals. The following is a toiletries packing list for Mount Rainier.

  • Soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, hairbrush, deodorant, and chapstick.
  • Wet wipes, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and moisturizer.
  • Medicine. For example, pain killers, antibiotics, and blister ointment.
  • Insect repellent, body lotion, and sunblock.

Packing List for Mount Rainier: Electronics

Unless you want to do a complete detox from social media and electronics, there are a few items that will be useful. At the very least, have a camera since there many many sights in the park that you may want to capture.

  • Camera and camera equipment such as tripod, lenses, memory cards, batteries;
  • Phone, charger, and phone case;
  • Power bank and binoculars.

The great thing about visiting the Rainier park or any park for that matter during the warmer seasons is that you can be minimalistic and still have a great time. When deciding what to bring to the Mount Rainier, everything depends on how long your visit is going to be and what your preferences in terms of comfort are.

What to Bring to the Mount Rainier During Fall or Winter

Mount Rainier National Park in the winter

In the colder months, you have to be more deliberate with your packing since the temperatures are not so forgiving. In addition, if you plan on trekking, then you need to understand that the terrain may also be different due to ice. Many parts of the park are usually closed during the winter months, but there is still a lot to do and enjoy. Some of the items that you will need are already in the previous list, which is why this list is much shorter.

Mount Rainier Hiking Gear

While it is optional whether or not you will get proper gear in the warmer months, this is not the case when the temperatures drop. This is why you should pay extra attention to the following items.

  • Hiking socks: You need warm, comfortable and breathable socks that are suitable for long-distance walking. Woolen socks are the best for this purpose, and there are varieties from which to choose both online and in stores.
  • Hiking boots: In the fall you can get away with wearing regular shoes for hiking but during winter boots are better and safer. Make sure that they have a good tread, which means that you won’t slip and injure yourself.

What to Wear to Mount Rainier

Staying warm is one of the biggest challenges when you visit Mount Rainer Park when it is cooler. The following will give you an idea of what to pack for the Mount Rainier during the cold seasons.

  • Jacket: Get a warm coat. Choose a light, but warm material, the jacket should not be heavy. One with a hood is better in case it snows you can keep your head warm. Remember to layer up so you can stay warmer for a longer time.
  • Winter gloves: Another must-have that not only helps you stay warm, but it comes in handy when climbing the mountains.
  • Bennie hat and Earmuffs: A warm woolen Bennie won’t let you freeze.
  • Hand warmers: These help you to warm up your hands instantly, especially if you need to hold something and you can’t because they’re frozen.

Bottom Line of Mount Rainier Packing List

What you pack in your bag will make or break your trip to Mount Rainier. It makes you beat yourself over something that you can’t undo which is why I insist on you noting down your Mount Rainier backpacking list. Take time to think it through and decide what the most important things to avoid while packing are. The kits I have given are to provide you with an idea of what you may need. You can add some extra staff, but don’t forget to share your thoughts with us.

There you have it. The list of items that I always pack with me when heading to Mount Rainier. What are the five items that you never miss when getting ready for traveling, hiking, or mountaineering? Please let me know in the comments section below.

FAQ about Mount Rainier

Is Mount Rainier a sleeping volcano?

Some people believe that Mount Rainier is a sleeping volcano. Mount Rainier is an episodically active composite volcano, which means it has experienced eruptions in the past. The most recent eruption cycle ended about 1,000 years ago.

What type of eruption is Mount Rainier?

Mount Rainier is a type of volcano called a stratovolcano volcano. It has had alternating between quiet lava-producing eruptions and explosive debris-producing eruptions over the past half million years.

Can you climb Mount Rainier?

Climbing Mount Rainier is a popular challenge for many people. The mountain is 14,410 feet tall and is very glaciated. The average time it takes to complete the climb is 13 hours and 45 minutes, but most people take two days. The climb is considered challenging, but people of all levels of fitness can attempt it. The route most people take starts at Paradise and goes to Camp Muir, which takes about five hours. Then, from Muir, they climb to the summit using the Disappointment Cleaver route, which takes anywhere from six to eight hours, depending on the weather and the person’s level of fitness.

1 thought on “Mount Rainier Packing List: All You Need to Know”

  1. This nature is something incredible. How beautiful Mount Rainier is. I was there in the spring when the flowers were in bloom. I will definitely go back there again and use a few tips from the article. Thank you for the good advice.


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