Packing for Canada! Canada is pretty well-known for its quick-changing and unpredictable weather. Therefore, your packing needs to include a wide variety of items and layersss, especially if you plan to visit during the shoulder seasons of Spring or Autumn. Canada has beautiful weather in the summer. However, even at night in the summer, temps drop to the 40’s F regularly.
Essential Items: Don't leave without them
- Rain jacket
- In the summer you can likely get by with a lightweight rain jacket with layers underneath
- However, as soon as I got free time at the airport I ordered a 3-in-1 rain jacket! I brought a light rain jacket that I had to frequently squeeze over my down puffy jacket. It DIDN’T work well, and for this reason I recommend the 3-in-1 rain jacket!
- Waterproof Shoes
- Lightweight, waterproof hiking boots are a must if you plan to do any hiking. On our hike it was sunny with no snow on the ground at the trailhead. However, at the top, the trail was covered in snow and slush. Keep your feet warm and dry
- Beanie, scarf, gloves
- As I mentioned, even in the summer the lows can drop into the 40’sF, and if you plan to do any morning activities the temps will still be frigid. Add any wind to this and you won’t regret having items to cover your head and hands!
- Fleece-Lined Leggings
- We experienced the first snow of the season, and I wore my fleece-lined leggings ALL DAY. They are a life-saver when trying to see and do things in the outdoors when the temperatures are plummeting. Thus, make the small purchase!
Canada weather is not for the faint of heart. Pack accordingly.
5. Moisture-wicking Socks
- Moisture-wicking socks are always a good idea if you plan to do any hiking, especially when the temps go from freezing to 60 F in a few hours
6. Down Jacket
- Stay warm and comfortable is a must. Therefore, I recommend bringing a down jacket. My go-to is a North Face down jacket that I have now had for about 7 years.
7. Umbrella or poncho
- If you plan to visit the coastal cities such as Vancouver, expect more rain. We did half our self-guided biking tour in the rain and had to purchase a poncho halfway through. Therefore, pack and umbrella or poncho!
Other Clothing Items for 3 Days in Canada
Layers are key and rain/snow is common! Therefore, be sure to have some kind of waterproof outer layer with warm layers inside. The weather can warm up quickly with the sun, so be prepared for any type of weather! Here are a few more items I packed with the above-mentioned essential items!
- 1 pairs of blue jeans
- 2 black leggings
- 1 Patagonia pullover
- 2 long-sleeve t-shirts
- 1 flannel shirt
- 1 sets of PJs
Click here for a packing guide for all international travel to add to your list of items for Canada!
We stayed in hostels in Vancouver and in Banff. Therefore, we opted to bring our large hiking backpacks rather than our rolling carry-on suitcases. If you are staying in a hotel, this is not a requirement. You can get a suitcase around most places easily. Therefore, choose whatever form of luggage you prefer 🙂
Packing for Canada in a nutshell: bring layers. Below I have linked several items I recommend and use myself. As I mentioned, I ordered the 3-in-1 Marmot jacket I took to Ireland and Iceland in the airport after this trip. I found mine on sale on Backcountry.com. The exact one isn’t on the site right now. However, keep an eye out because I’ve seen them on sale several times (especially toward the end of the season)!