Search
  • Lliam Buckley

Packing List: 17 Essential Items for Travel In Canada

Planning a trip is daunting, whether you’re travelling for a few days or a few weeks. The last thing you want is to forget something important and not realize until you need it! If you’re planning a trip to Canada or anywhere else it’s a good idea to make a packing list ahead of time. This way, you know exactly what you need to bring.





Being a cross-Canada tour company means we’re pretty experienced in what’s essential when backpacking here. So, we’ve assembled this packing list to help you figure out what to bring when you’re travelling in Canada:

  1. Important Documents

  2. Canadian Currency

  3. Backpack

  4. Packing Cubes

  5. Cell Phone (& Battery Pack)

  6. Camera

  7. Universal Adapter

  8. Clothes

  9. Shoes

  10. Hat (and Sunglasses)

  11. Sunscreen

  12. Reusable Water Bottle

  13. Toiletries and Hygiene Products

  14. Flashlight or a Headlamp

  15. Bug Repellent

  16. First Aid/Emergency Kit

  17. Travel Umbrella & Rain Jacket


If you’re looking for the best way to see everything Canada has to offer, be sure to check out our affordable tour packages for millennial backpackers!


1. Important Documents


The number one item on anyone’s packing list, whether you’re travelling in Canada or anywhere else should be any important papers or documentation.


This includes things like a passport, identification and travel insurance. The last thing you want is to end up far from home without any of these. So, pack them first, then double and triple-check that you have them!


2. Canadian Currency


This may seem obvious, but a lot of people don’t think of it when making a list of things to pack. If you’re travelling from another country, this is an important one. So, it deserves a place near the top!


You can always take out Canadian currency once you arrive in the country but we recommend planning ahead! Stop by a bank before you leave and take out some Canadian money so that it’s one less thing to think about during your trip.


3. Backpack


Another integral item to add to your packing list before travelling in Canada is a high-quality backpack. If you’re planning to do some intense camping for long periods of time, you don’t want to underspend on this item.


It’s worth the investment to get something that can hold all the necessities on this list. It should also be durable, easy to carry and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.


Check out this list to get an idea of what you may need.


4. Packing Cubes


If your trip to Canada is one of your first backpacking adventures then this item may be new to you, but they’re a must on any packing list!



When travelling around, it can be hard to stay organized and quickly find things. This is where the packing cubes come in handy. They let you sort your items into compact compartments, allowing you to know exactly where everything is at all times.


They may seem trivial but they make the world of a difference!


5. Cell Phone (& Battery Pack)


We hope while you’re travelling across Canada that you spend less time on your phone and more time experiencing the culture and landscape. However, it’s still a good idea to have a phone around in case you need it.


Just to be on the safe side, consider packing a small portable battery pack for recharging your phone. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but it will come in handy if your phone dies at an inconvenient time!


Finally, it’s worth the investment to purchase a durable, protective case for your phone that’s water-resistant, just in case!


6. Camera


This is definitely an optional item for a lot of people, especially considering that all phones have a camera built into them these days. However, for those who have a passion for photography, a nice high-quality camera is a must.


Just remember, if you bring one, pack it in a protective case, as you don’t know what could happen to it on your trip. Better yet, bring a durable camera like a GoPro and get exciting footage no matter what the circumstances are.


7. Universal Adapter


If you’re travelling to Canada from another country, packing a universal adapter is an essential item for your list. It will allow you to use your electronic devices without having to purchase brand new cables for all of them to fit Candian power sockets.


However, if you’re travelling to Canada from the US, this item is not necessary. Canada operates on the same power outlets as the US, so you won’t run into any issues.


8. Clothes


When assembling a packing list for your trip into Canada, it’s important to put a lot of thought into the clothes you bring. Additionally, Canada is massive and has many differing climates from coast to coast, making it important to come prepared for sun, rain, wind, and even snow in the higher altitudes!

You don’t want to pack so much that it’s hard to travel with it. However, you definitely don’t want to pack too little and end up wearing dirty clothes for most of your trip.


If you’re planning to go backpacking for a long time, our recommendation is to plan some laundry days. Then, pack slightly more than enough to get you through the time between laundry trips.


Think about the environments you may end up in and pack accordingly. If you’re travelling somewhere cold, you’ll want lots of layers and less so if you’re headed to a warm environment.


Don’t forget to bring a raincoat and activewear, if you plan to do a lot of physical activities such as hiking. Finally, remember to add a swimsuit to your packing list as Canada presents lots of opportunities for swimming and watersports in the summer months.


9. Shoes


Like clothes, you want to pack the appropriate shoes, for the environment you intend to visit. These could be snow boots, flip-flops, hiking shoes or any other form of special footwear.


In fact, we recommend packing a few different options for varying circumstances. Whatever you bring, make sure they’re high-quality and durable enough to last your trip.


10. Hat (and Sunglasses)


One last thing to think about in the realm of clothing is hats. This is an especially important item to add to your packing list if you’re visiting Canada in the summer (!


The last thing you want is to end up with sunburn or even worse, sunstroke. One of the best ways to protect yourself from this is by wearing a hat that has a nice brim to block the sun.


While we’re talking about protecting yourself from the sun, don’t forget to add a pair of sunglasses to your packing list as well!


11. Sunscreen


Speaking of blocking out those UV rays, don’t forget to bring sunscreen with an appropriate SPF rating.


Remember that the sun can do damage even on cloudy and cold days. So, this should be a necessity on everyone’s packing list, regardless of the time of year that you’re planning to visit Canada.


12. Reusable Water Bottle


The number one reason to add a reusable water bottle to your packing list is to help do your part in saving Canada’s beautiful environment! However, that’s not the only reason.


In fact, it’s much more beneficial to you to have one on you while backpacking. There are times you may find yourself on a secluded trail, where you won’t be able to purchase a water bottle. However, you will be able to fill up a bottle at a water station if you have one on hand.


Speaking of hiking, hydration is especially important in these scenarios. So, always plan ahead and pack enough water to get you through your trek.


13. Toiletries and Hygiene Products


It’s important to stay clean and smell nice, even while backpacking across Canada. So, don’t forget to pack all your hygiene products in this regard.


This may look a little different for each person, but could include any of the following:

  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste

  • Shampoo/Conditioner

  • Soap/Bodywash

  • Razors/Shaving Cream

  • Tampons/Pads

  • Deodorant/Cologne

  • Hand and Body Towels (Quick dry towels are the best for backpacking!)

  • Hairbrush/Elastics

There’s plenty of other things that fit into this category as well. So, think about your daily/monthly routine and anything that you may need while you’re away.


14. Flashlight or a Headlamp


We all have flashlights on our phones but using your phone for this can quickly drain your battery. So, it's a smart idea to bring a dedicated flashlight when packing for a trip to Canada.


If you plan to do a lot of hiking, bringing a headlamp could come in handy. It's useful if you're out late and don't have a spare hand to hold a light.


Don't forget to bring along a few sets of backup batteries as well!


15. Bug Repellent


If there’s one thing Canada’s got a lot of, its bugs, especially mosquitoes!


It all depends on what time of year you're coming and where you plan to be staying. However, if you're travelling to Canada during the warmer months and plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, adding bug repellent to your packing list is a must.


Certain chemical bug repellents aren't the healthiest thing to be putting on every day. So, we recommend finding a nice all-natural bug spray to bring with you. It will be better for your skin and the environment.


16. First Aid/Emergency Kit


Always be prepared for the worst-case scenario when planning for your trip. A small first aid or emergency kit should be an essential on everyone’s packing list for Canada or anywhere else for that matter.


On the first aid side of things, make sure your kit includes items such as bandages, cleaning and sterilization wipes, gauze, hot and cold packs, disposable gloves and small medical tools.


It’s also wise to bring some extra emergency items such as waterproof matches, an emergency whistle, a small blanket, a multi-tool and an emergency light.


17. Travel Umbrella & Rain Jacket


Rain is one of the biggest enemies of a backpacker. Canada can get a lot of it in the warmer months, so it’s an essential consideration when making a packing list.


Bringing a travel umbrella that compacts small and will be durable in high winds is a good first line of defence. Don’t forget to include a nice rain jacket on your list and make sure your backpack is water-resistant or has a rain cover.


While we’re on the topic, make sure your main pair of shoes are water-resistant as well.


Conclusion: Essential Packing List Items For Every Canadian Traveller


Canada is a diverse country with various environments you could end up in, so your packing list should reflect that.


It’s important to be prepared for all scenarios, good and bad. When packing, think about what you use in your day-to-day life, what you could do without and what to bring just in case.


As a recap our top items to add to any packing list for a trip to Canada are the following:

  1. Important Documents

  2. Canadian Currency

  3. Backpack

  4. Packing Cubes

  5. Cell Phone (& Battery Pack)

  6. Camera

  7. Universal Adapter

  8. Clothes

  9. Shoes

  10. Hat (and Sunglasses)

  11. Sunscreen

  12. Reusable Water Bottle

  13. Toiletries and Hygiene Products

  14. Flashlight or a Headlamp

  15. Bug Repellent

  16. First Aid/Emergency Kit

  17. Travel Umbrella & Rain Jacket


Obviously everybody’s situation is different and there are certainly a few items we didn’t include on this list that may be necessary to some. If you thought we forgot a backpacking essential, be sure to let us know in the comments below.



If you found this guide useful, share it with your friends, sign-up to our email list and check out the rest of the FML Blog for more tips on travelling Canada, coast-to-coast.


So You’re Packed, Now What?


Want to experience everything Canada has to offer but not stress about the planning side of things? FML Adventures is here to help, offering affordable cross-Canada adventures for the millennial backpacker.


Click here to learn more about the unforgettable adventure that awaits you!


Written by Lliam Buckley of FML Adventures

7 views
F.M.L Adventures-finalnomoon-01.png
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle

Proudly created by Rose Designs 

For tips, tricks, and all things Canada, be sure to sign up to our monthly FML newsletter!