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What to pack for Nevada

When you're travelling to Nevada it's important to be prepared. When you're driving big distances across the state, the last thing you want is to realise you left some essential items at home and start stressing as you try to find the nearest amenities. From layered clothing to comfortable shoes, check out this essential packing list to get the most out of your Nevada trip. 

Clothing and footwear

1. Cool and warm layers

You may encounter a wide variety of weather on your Nevada tour – from mountains to desert to coast – so it's important to be prepared. You can't go wrong with leggings, thin pants, vests, t-shirts and shorts. If you're visiting in late spring through early autumn, aim for breathable fabrics that will keep you cool, and maybe a few light and breathable jerseys as they dry quickly in case you need to give them a quick wash. A thin scarf or linen shirt is also handy to cover your shoulders in the sun.

For winter trips, you'll need jeans, long-sleeved tops, sweaters, sweat pants and a warm coat as average lows sit at around 2°C, sometimes plummeting even lower. Make sure you check the weather forecast before your trip and bring clothing that you can layer.

2. Smart-casual outfits

As well as comfy and breathable activewear, you might also want a couple of dressier/smart casual outfits to wear when you're out in Las Vegas before or after your tour, or for when you go out for dinner in the evening. 

3. Light rain jacket 

Nevada is the driest state in the US, but it's worth bringing a super lightweight poncho just in case the weather turns while you're on the road. Something like a mac in a pack will do just fine as they're so light and small you'll forget you even brought one. If you're cycling in Nevada, you should consider bringing a jacket that is also windproof for those early morning rides or downhill sections when you might catch a bit of wind chill.

4. Sports shoes

With all the national parks you'll be visiting, a comfortable pair of hiking boots or sports shoes (with good grip on the sole) is a must. If you're cycling, we'd recommend bringing a flat sports shoe with a relatively stiff sole as it makes pedalling much easier. Good footwear can be the make or break of developing pesky blisters, so make sure your shoes are properly worn in before your trip.

5. Sandals

It's well worth bringing a pair of sandals or thongs (flip flops) to slip into when you're going for dinner or travelling in the car from place to place. There's no denying a Nevada tour is an active one, but you might want a smarter-looking shoe to wear in Las Vegas or to simply give your feet a bit of a breather from all the walking. 

Essentials

1. Sunglasses

There are around 250 days of sunshine per year in Nevada, so sunglasses are an absolute must all year round. Try to bring a well-fitted, polarised pair to protect your eyes from dust, insects and (of course) the sun.

2. Sunscreen

Make sure you don't forget sunscreen. High SPF (say, 50 SPF) is the way to go as it'll protect your skin from the powerful rays that beam down on the desert, especially in the summer and shoulder months. 

3. Day pack

On a Nevada tour, your main bag will be transported to each destination for you so you don't have to worry about lugging it around. But you'll still need a small day bag for your snacks, camera, water bottle and anything else you may need during the day.

4. Water bottle

You’ll need a water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, aim to take advantage of the water dispensers which are provided at hotels and in public spaces. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, and if it is, you can refill with tap water. If you'll be doing lots of hiking or cycling, you could also bring a Camelbak which is great for staying hydrated on the go.

5. Camera

You can't go to Nevada and not bring a camera. If you're a keen photographer, you'll be in photography paradise as you capture everything from the vast desert landscapes in Valley of Fire, to the otherworldly sand dunes in Death Valley. You'll be so amazed by what you see that it'll be hard to put your camera down. Considering you'll be using your camera so much, you should also bring a spare battery camera or your camera charger.

6. Laundry bag

You're bound to get a little sweaty after long days exploring in the Nevadan heat. Keep your clean clothes fresh by bringing a lightweight laundry bag to throw in your dirty clothes at the end of the day.

Nice-to-haves

1. Mini first aid kit 

Your tour guides will have first aid kits, but it might be worth bringing a mini kit with you for minor scratches, insect bites, blisters and sunburn, especially if you're continuing your journey after Nevada. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but a small bottle of antiseptic, bandaids, tweezers, electrolytes and a small bottle of calamine lotion or aloe vera gel should do the trick. 

2. Travel pillow

Nevada is huge and you'll be doing plenty of driving (or sitting in a car or van) to get from place to place. A travel pillow will be your neck's best friend and save you from nodding off on your neighbour's shoulder (we've all been there).

3. Power adaptor

A power adapter is handy to charge your phone, camera and any other electronic devices on the road. You might be out for the whole day before returning to your accommodation for the night, so if you're taking photos on your phone, it might be worth bringing one to avoid running out of juice.

4. Earplugs

A pair of earplugs can come in handy when blocking out noisy neighbours to ensure you're fully rested.

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