Colorado

Pack With Me: Light & Easy Packing List For Colorado Summer

Somewhere, in the midst of packing for my summer Colorado trip, I gave up. 

My giving up wasn’t a tired “I’ll finish it tomorrow” kind of giving up nor a light “I’m sure this is good enough” kind of giving up.

It was a full throttled, Instagrammable dresses flying, I have no idea what I’m doing, kind of giving up.

Calm, Anshula. Calm. 

I was not calm.

I would like to say Colorado helped me reach my zen. The meditative mountain state delicately lifted me into a forest of tranquility.

I overpacked for this trip.

I also underpacked.

But somehow, when I was there, it didn’t matter. A quick stop to a convenience store to pick up a few knick-knacks wasn’t an issue.

Would I pack differently on my next trip there? Probably.

But Colorado had such a powerful positive vibe that I didn’t feel bad.

In fact, after I returned from a road trip criss-crossing the state, I felt enlightened.

So if you are planning a trip to Colorado, don’t stress. Sit back. Enjoy your time. And without further ado, here is the perfect light and easy packing list for Colorado summers. 

Feel free to add on anything you want or remove anything from this list to adapt your travel needs.

Colorado Summer Packing List Essentials

  • Reusable Water Bottles: My friend gifted me a KOR water bottle last year and I’ve been obsessed with it. I packed two BPA-free KOR NAVA water bottles for this trip (yes, I bought another because that is how much I loved the first one) and filled them up with water every night at the hotel. For longer hikes, I also packed a Life Straw.
  • Sunscreen: “I’m gonna’ to soak up the sun….gonna’ to tell everyone…about sun burn.” Wait? That’s not how Sheryl Crow’s lyrics go? Silly me. Regardless, I can’t stress how important wearing sunscreen is when you are visiting Colorado. I typically use a mineral-based, eco-friendly sunscreen.
  • Sneakers/Socks: You’re going to be walking a lot so bring a comfortable pair of sneakers and socks. I bought a cute pair of sneakers for about $15 from ROSS.
  • Toiletries: Hotels provide a lot of different toiletries so I skipped out on packing most of those. I did pack a toothbrush, a bottle of toothpaste, a comb, a mini-first aid kit, and all my contact lenses into a small pouch. I bought my pouch from a local thrift store for about five dollars (score).

Read More: How To Prevent Altitude Sickness While Travelling

Packing All The Outfits

Ohhh...goodness, this shot of the Maroon Bells (cliched blogger standing in front of mountains) is one of the bucket list things to do in Aspen

  • Sweatershirt: I packed two sweatershirts – a pastel green off-shoulder sweatershirt and a burnt orange sweatershirt. These thin quasi-sweaters were perfect. I never struggled through a Goldilocks situation of feeling too warm or too cold during the entirety of my trip.
  • Jogging pants/Leggings: Leggings were my saving grace while hiking the Garden of Gods. I typically buy all my leggings from Forever 21 because they are oh-so cheap.
  • Athletic Top: I took one breathable athletic top for hiking and potentially working out in the hotel (yeah, right).
  • Romper: I brought a super cute print romper that I bought from Forever 21. It’s loose and baggy which makes it perfect for hiking. And it has real pockets. Enough said. Even though I didn’t pack them, I do own a lot of cute rompers from Amazon that I’ve linked.
  • Heavy Jacket: It was summer. I thought it wasn’t going to snow so I packed one hoodless heavy jacket. Big mistake. It snowed at the top of Pikes Peak. Do I still love my yellow jacket? Absolutely. Would I pack it again for Colorado? Probably not. I think I’ll get something with a hood.
  • Raincoat: I packed one raincoat in case weather was anything like Texas – crazy and unpredictable. It didn’t rain. In fact, while I was in Aspen, the sun was shining as brightly as a laughing Budhai’s smile. I still wore the raincoat because it was cute (yes, I’m one of those girls who wears impractical Instagrammable dresses).
  • Boots: I found some vegan leather boots on Amazon and I had to buy them. Then I needed an excuse to wear them. I’m actually really glad I packed the boots because Independence Pass was freezing. In fact, my toes vigorously thanked my boots after I stopped at the Continental Divide to take some pictures.

Accessories To Add To Your Packing List For Colorado Summers

  • Earrings: I don’t normally wear a lot of jewelry-style accessories but I love wearing earrings that match my outfits. My brilliant mum designs and makes all of my earrings and I am eternally grateful.
  • Hats: I’m obsessed with floppy hats but I didn’t pack any on this trip (surprise, surprise). I packed a visor and a baseball cap instead because they are more comfortable and practical during longer walks and hikes.
  • Belt: I packed one belt. I actually took a belt from a dress that I bought from JC Penny and used it for my jeans on this trip.
  • Chapstick: My lips typically dry really quickly at high altitudes so I brought my go-to drugstore chapstick – Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm.
  • Hiking Survival Kit: I packed a mini hiking survival kit which included a compass, a flashlight, and a map. I didn’t go on any overnight hikes but if I did, I would have brought a tent, a knife of some kind, and a lighter.
  • Camera Gear: Last but not least, I brought all my camera gear. I brought a Canon EOS Rebel 3ti DSLR camera with an 18-55 mm lens. As far as I know, Canon is no longer manufacturing that particular model but if you are interested in professional photography, I highly recommend a DSLR.
  • Electronics: I packed my phone, a laptop ,and bundled all the chargers (camera, laptop, and phone) together. I also packed a flash drive, a micro-SD converter, and some headphones.

And that was actually everything I packed for this trip. I usually see “pack with me” videos on YouTube and find them really helpful so I wanted to adapt the idea into a blog post. The result: a hopefully light and easy packing list for Colorado summers that you can use.

Did you enjoy this packing list for Colorado summer? Am I missing anything essential in the packing list? Would you pack differently? Let me know in the comments below! As always, I love hearing from you. 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase any product, I get a really small percentage. All the money goes into keeping all the content on this website free and available for public use. 

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Shreya Saha
    May 15, 2018 at 1:25 PM

    That’s a super detail list for packing stuff for summers in Colorado. Thanks for the share. You nicely mentioned the clothes also that you packed along with other essentials. Good content!

  • Reply
    Swati Sinha
    May 15, 2018 at 3:19 PM

    That is an exhaustive list of everything you need for Colorado summer. I liked the humor and the conversational tone of the post. Good work

  • Reply
    Cat Uy
    May 15, 2018 at 4:23 PM

    very detailed stuff for summer season. I really appreciate how you put them all and share with us. good read.

  • Reply
    Karie
    May 15, 2018 at 7:31 PM

    Aah yes a packing list is super important.I always have one for all trips to ensure I don’t miss out on anything. Your list is super helpful down to minute details. If I ever visit Colorado in summer would definitely keep this in mind.Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    sam
    May 16, 2018 at 1:51 AM

    Whenever I travel, I always subscribe to capsule wardrobe philosophy where I use basic pieces and colors and mix-and-match. I don’t mind wearing the same clothes twice because I do not like to sacrifice the comfort of packing light! Great tips you shared here. Perfect for the season.

  • Reply
    Hetal Kamdar
    May 16, 2018 at 8:05 AM

    That’s an excellent packing list, Jogging pants, leggings and some basic tees are a must in my packing list wherever I travel. However, your idea of packing boots did not convince me until I read that it came to use while you were at the freezing pass. The accessory list is amazing and Chapsticks are something that never goes out of stock.
    Well, I can not survive without my Shades in summer so a pair of those is a must for me. Thanks for sharing your list with us.

  • Reply
    LaiAriel Samangka
    May 16, 2018 at 1:30 PM

    Truly, this is such a perfect light and easy packing list for Colorado summers. I love that you have written this in a concise, but very detailed and useful. I personally have struggled when packing, just like you I feel like I underpack and overpack, but when I get to my destination it didn’t matter at all. I have not been to Colorado, and this is really a big help. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  • Reply
    Sophie
    May 16, 2018 at 7:09 PM

    This is a really good packing list for a hike. I usually try and take as little with me as possible but I never seem to be very good at it! Jogging pants are definitely a must!

  • Reply
    sumit walia
    May 17, 2018 at 8:36 AM

    loved the way you opened up the post , could relate to few items in the packing list . i have my own list too as i do few treks into the mountains and to have a list is so important

    • Reply
      anshula.varma
      June 15, 2018 at 4:05 PM

      Yes, it is so important to have a consistent list! It makes the packing process so much easier! xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    neha
    May 18, 2018 at 3:21 AM

    A very useful packing list for summer not just in Colorado. But it will work for summer trips to a lot of other places. I love the way you have included only the most essentials here. I know so many people who struggle to pack light. I will pass your blog link on to them

    • Reply
      anshula.varma
      June 15, 2018 at 4:04 PM

      Thank you so much, Neha! That is very thoughtful of you! Hoping you are having a warm and summery day! xx – Anshula

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