No matter which itinerary you embark on, your travels will take you through stunning landscapes where towering mountains will beckon, warm waters will call, and unique attractions will lure you off the path for unexpected adventure. With so much to see and do—you’ll want to be prepared for anything! That’s why we’ve compiled the ultimate packing list for your summer road trip in New Hampshire; so you can focus more on the adventure and less on the planning.
Do yourself a favor and bring a camera; or simply clear out space on your phone to capture those epic road trip memories! Trust us, you’ll want to document the abundance of majestic landscapes, natural wildlife, and amazing attractions that you’ll encounter on your trip.
With 18 miles of oceanic coastline and 944 lakes in New Hampshire, there will be plenty of opportunities to make a detour and relax lakeside or seaside. In addition to the obvious; a bathing suit to swim with and a towel, plus protective sunscreen and sandals to navigate sandy terrains—a great tip is to bring along a blanket for impromptu picnics. You can spread out on sandy beaches or in shady fields and dine al fresco in a multitude of environments—adding to the summer fun!
- Hiking Boots or Shoes
- Bug Spray
- Clothing Layers
- Light Backpack or Cinch Sack
- Water Bottle
- Printed or Downloaded Maps
A pair of sturdy, tried-and-true hiking shoes is an absolute must for any trip through New Hampshire. Even if you’re not a hiker, there are hundreds of miles of easy trails through majestic landscapes that you absolutely won’t want to miss out on. More experienced hikers can challenge any one of our 48 peaks above 4,000 feet to be rewarded with otherworldly views well above the skyline. These brag-worthy peaks make any vacation one for the books! But if you do embark on any great hikes—you’ll want to be sure to pack along bug spray for protection, along with removable clothing layers to keep cool at lower elevations and to stay warm at higher altitudes as weather can change rapidly in the mountains. And when the service is spotty, you’ll want to have a printed or downloaded map on hand for safety.
- Mountain Bike
- Canoe or Kayak
- Rock Climbing Gear
If you’re into biking through rugged terrains or along cool mountain slopes—then strapping your mountain bike to the back of your vehicle is a must. Then you’ll be able to ride the epic trails at Highland Mountain Bike Park in Northfield or wind through the serene bike paths in our state parks when the mood strikes! As for enjoying the lakes—simply packing a bathing suit and a towel may be enough for some. But if you really want to take advantage of New Hampshire’s waters, it may be wise to bring along a canoe or kayak if you own one. But if you’d rather not lug around a watercraft, there are plenty of gear rental companies and local guides ready to supply your adventure. If you’re the bold type—ready and willing to scale natural rock walls and conquer steep slopes in the name of adventure, then pack along your rock climbing gear to make the most of our towering landscapes. With some of the best rock climbing opportunities on the East Coast, you won’t want to miss out on scaling epic crags like Cathedral or White Horse Ledges in the White Mountains!
- Warm Sleeping Bag and Pillow
- Cooking Supplies
- Flashlight & Lantern
- Folding Chair(s)
- Plates and Utensils
Sleeping under constellation-filled skies is undeniably one of the best ways to experience the Granite State. You can either map out your stays at pre-selected campgrounds, or leave it up to chance and roll in to one of the hundreds of campgrounds across the state each night for a true road trip-style adventure. But it does require a certain level of preparation and supplies to make the experience comfortable. So if you’d rather skip hauling around the camping supplies and want an easy place to rest your head at night, there are plenty more accommodating places to stay around the state!
So there you have it—all the road trip essentials you’ll need to make the most of your New Hampshire travels this summer. Now all that’s left is to pack up and hit the road!