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what to pack for maine

What to Pack for Maine: 25 Essentials

Known for hardy fishing towns and rugged natural beauty, Maine draws hikers, skiers, photographers, and lovers of the outdoors. Its summers are mild but humid, while winters are long and cold. Because the weather is often changeable, figuring out what to pack for Maine can be a challenge.

When making your Maine packing list, you can forget about fancy shoes or dressy clothes. Instead, pack strategically with plenty of layers, comfortable shoes, and protection against sun, rain, and bugs.

What to Pack for Maine: The Suitcase

  • BuyAgain 3 in 1 Travel Backpack: For an outdoor-focused trip to Maine, skip the rolling suitcase and bring a versatile carry-on like this backpack that can also be carried as a duffel. The 33-liter bag fits most airlines’ carry-on restrictions and is made of durable, water-resistant nylon.

What to Pack for Maine: The Personal Item

  • Topnaca Ultralight Daypack: Waterproof and lightweight, this small bag makes the perfect daypack for hikes or other outdoor adventures. You can put it under the seat in front of you on the plane, or stow it in its fold-away pouch.

What to Pack for Maine: In-Flight Essentials

  • Tablet: In case your domestic flight doesn’t have in-flight entertainment, you’ll appreciate having a tablet stocked with your own movies, music, and reading material.
  • Earbuds: I prefer small earbuds over big headphones because they’re unobtrusive and easy to pack.
  • Silk eye mask: If you want to catch a few Zs on the plane, slip this ultra-soft mask over your eyes.
  • Snack bars: KIND bars are a good snack for both the plane and a hike.

What to Pack for Maine: Shoes

  • Hiking boots: You don’t want to tackle the hills of Acadia National Park without a sturdy pair of boots. Many Maine trails feature rocks and roots, and they can get slick when it’s wet. Consider boots with ankle support if you’ll be doing a lot of up- and downhill hiking on your trip.
  • Comfortable walking shoes: For days when you’re exploring towns or doing less intensive activities, pack a pair of shoes that will work equally well during the day and for a casual dinner out. Merrell is known for comfort and offers a number of options for women, men, and kids.

What to Pack for Maine: The Jacket

  • Columbia Interchange Jacket: For Maine’s changeable climate, your best pick is a changeable jacket. Columbia’s Interchange jackets feature waterproof outer shells and warm liners that you can wear together or separately. This gives you multiple options to mix and match based on the weather conditions.

What to Pack for Maine: Clothing

  • Jeans: At least one pair of jeans should be on your Maine clothing list for sightseeing and casual dinners out.
  • Hiking pants: Quick-drying, water-resistant pants are a must for hiking in Maine.
  • T-shirts: If you’re visiting Maine over the summer, throw a few short-sleeved T-shirts into your bag. Lululemon has sporty options for both men and women. If you’re traveling any other time of year, long-sleeved shirts are a better pick.
  • Base layers: In the cooler months, you’ll want a few underlayers to keep you warm.
  • Sweaters: Pack a cozy sweater or two for those crisp fall or winter evenings.
  • Warm socks: It’s hard to enjoy a hike or day on the slopes if your toes are cold.

What to Pack for Maine: Toiletries

  • Sunscreen: This is a must-pack for outdoor activities any time of year.
  • Insect repellent: Lyme disease is alive and well in Maine, so you’ll want to protect yourself from ticks and other bugs—especially on warm-weather trips.

What to Pack for Maine: The Purse

  • Dakine Jo Jo Women’s Crossbody Bag: This casual crossbody purse comes in a variety of styles and is just large enough to hold a tablet or bottle of water, along with other necessities such as a wallet and phone.

What to Pack for Maine: Gadgets

What to Pack for Maine: Accessories

  • Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella: This compact, lightweight umbrella is easily packable for dreary days. Hikers might prefer a poncho to keep their hands free.
  • Sunglasses: These are a must if you’re spending time outdoors.
  • Hat: Depending on the time of year and your own personal style, you might consider a sun hat, a baseball cap, or a cozy knit hat.
  • Scarf: A soft cashmere scarf can keep you warm outside on a chilly day or indoors in a place with too much air-conditioning.

What to Pack for Maine (That I Didn’t)

  • Camping gear: I stayed in hotels and motels on my own trip to Maine, but there are plenty of beautiful places to pitch a tent. SmarterTravel’s ultimate camping packing list can help you make sure you’ve got all the essentials.
  • Ski equipment: If you’re looking to hit the slopes in Maine, see SmarterTravel’s ultimate ski trip packing list for ideas and information.

What Not to Pack for Maine

  • Jewelry and dressy clothes: Maine isn’t a place where you need to wear pricey jewelry or other valuables. Nor will you have to dress up unless you’re traveling to Maine for a wedding or other special event.

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Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.

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