Haleakala Camping Packing List

Haleakala National Park Tips 

The following is true: Your Haleakala camping and backpacking trip will be completely unforgettable! Ok, let’s clarify that statement a bit by saying that your adventure will be unforgettable either because you had an awesome, safe, and fun adventure OR because you were ill prepared, cold, wet, sunburned, and miserable. The difference between the two? A simple packing list.

How you prepare for your Haleakala camping trip depends upon how and where you will be camping. Haleakala National Park offers two types of camping experiences: Drive-Up Camping and Wilderness Camping. Please refer to our Camping in Haleakala National Park article for more details about each of these experiences. In a nutshell, drive-up camping is much more family-friendly, while wilderness camping can be strenuous and is for serious adventurers only.

Based upon Haleakala National Park recommendations, as well as our own experience, we have created this Haleakala camping packing list in the hopes that you’ll hit the trail prepared for the extreme and often unpredictable conditions found in Haleakala National Park.

We are gearing the list towards the wilderness camping experience, although your adventure may be a bit more easy-going if you opt for drive-up camping.

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Haleakala Camping Packing List


Depending upon your location and activities, you could experience heavy rain, below-freezing temperatures, muddy and rocky conditions, and intense sunshine and/or heat. Know what you could expect along the way and pack accordingly. All items should be versatile wool or synthetic layers that will keep you warm and dry.

  • Rain poncho, raincoat, rain pants, or any combination that keeps you dry
  • Hiking boots (Make sure they are broken in!)
  • Non-cotton T-shirts
  • Non-cotton long-sleeved shirts
  • Non-cotton pants
  • Thick synthetic socks
  • Shorts
  • Underwear
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves/Mittens
  • Fleece or down jacket
  • Non-cotton thermal underwear
  • Wide-brimmed sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Backpack (We suggest framed styles for long trips)
  • Tent (If you won’t be using the wilderness cabins)
  • Water bottles/hydration pack
  • Flashlight with plenty of batteries
  • Lightweight day pack (If hiking day trips)
  • Camera (Optional)
  • Binoculars (Optional)
  • Hiking Poles
  • Headlamp
Personal Items
  • Sunscreen (Choose a reef-safe version with a high SPF)
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Small towel
  • Comb/Brush
  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Eyeglasses/contacts
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Identification, insurance cards, debit/credit cards, cash
  • Resealable bags
  • Plastic/garbage bags
First Aid
  • Prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Elastic bandage
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Moleskin
For the Cabin
  • Sleeping bag/Mummy bag (Bunks are padded)

Because of the huge variations in dietary and nutritional needs as well as personal preferences, each person’s food packing list will vary. That said, you will be doing lots of hiking and expending a large amount of energy, so make sure your caloric needs are being met on a daily basis. The last thing you want is to be tired and low on energy, so give your body the fuel it needs.

You will need breakfast, lunch, dinner, and perhaps some snacks in order to keep your energy up. The cabins do have basic cooking utensils and a small stove, but you are responsible for providing all your own food. We recommend foods that are lightweight and have minimal packaging, as you’ll need to carry out all of the garbage you produce. Some suggestions include:

  • MRE’s (These can be heavy, so you may opt for more lightweight options)
  • Tuna in packets
  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts
  • Protein bars/energy bars
  • Beef or turkey jerky
  • Flavored drink mix for water
  • Coffee (Yes, some can’t live without it!)
  • Instant oatmeal and cereals
  • Powdered milk
  • Instant soups
  • Sardines

Planning a Haleakala backpacking trip can seem like a daunting task, but with a little planning and list-making, your adventure should go off without a hitch. Above all, be sure to pack your sense of adventure and enjoy everything the House of the Sun has to offer.

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