U.S. national parks offer epic experiences for adventurers of any skill level—and, for each one of these activities, you’ll need a different set of gear.
This season, with the help of professional athletes, National Geographic Explorers, and adventurer photographers, we're showcasing items to help you tackle four of these awesome adventures: hiking around Arches’ rock formations, skiing Glacier’s snow-covered peaks, paddling Grand Teton’s glistening rivers, and camping under Acadia’s colorful canopies—plus a gift guide for the gear that was just too great to exclude.
Explore our must-get gear for 2017’s winter season.
Hiking in Arches National Park
The best way to see Utah's Arches National Park is by trail, lacing up your hiking boots to go beyond the paved roads and into the wilderness of the park’s towering arches. Whether you’re planning a weeklong trip or a day hike, pack these gear essentials to traverse the slick rock terrain with ease.
Fjällräven Keb Eco-Shell Jacket
Skiing in Glacier National Park
As one of the most remote backcountry skiing destinations in Montana, Glacier National Park is a vast wilderness of extreme terrain—blissfully free of ski lifts and crowds. During the winter, it’s imperative to pack the right kit for this off-the-grid adventure. Whether you’re looking for the perfect winter tent or new a pair of skis, here are your touring essentials.
K2 Luv Boat 105
Paddling in Grand Teton National Park
Paddlers of all skill levels will find plenty of adventure and crowd-free views in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. Whether you plan to boat for the day or embark on a multiday navigation of Jackson Lake, packing the right gear will ensure you have a safe and memorable time on the water.
Jackson Kayak Traverse
Camping in Acadia National Park
With a verdant shoreline and plenty of mountains and islands to explore, there’s a reason Acadia National Park is one of Maine’s most popular attractions. Whether you plan to summit Cadillac Mountain or hike another of the park’s many trails, be sure to book your campground in advance—and pack the warm, dependable gear on this list.
Big Agnes Copper Hotel HV UL2
- Nat Geo Expeditions
Adventure Gift Guide
Some gear proves useful no matter the endeavor, which makes those items excellent gifts. A camping enthusiast might need a set of cards to play during starry nights, and a backcountry hiker may enjoy drinking espresso-style coffee in the woods. Regardless their preferred activities, the adventurers on your list will be happy to get this gear guaranteed to improve their outdoor experiences.
LEICA Q Silver
Michaela Trimble is a writer and photographer based in Florida. Follow her on Instagram @michaelatrimble.