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What to to Pack For an Adventurous Elopement

Texas Adventure Photographer

Hiking/Camping Packing List 

If your elopement location involves hiking and exploring, it is essential to pack all of the necessities. It wouldn’t be fun to hike up a mountain and realize you forgot a pen to sign your marriage licenses or worse, your dress for the photos. 

To help you out,  here is a packing list of items that can be extremely useful on your adventurous elopement. Also, not a bad guide to send to your guests if you have anyone coming to witness your union, especially if they aren’t as outdoorsy as you are. But seriously even if they are and even if you are,, it is a good guide to look at in order to be prepared and not frantically be shopping the week before. 

1. Hiking Shoes / Boots

This may be one of the most important things you can’t afford to forget on your adventurous elopement, so you’ll want to be prepared! I recommend something light, and waterproof and super comfortable.

PS: make sure to wear your boots a lot prior to your elopement! There’s nothing worse than blisters or finding out a boot doesn’t fit quite right on your special day.


2. Rain Ponchos

You don’t need anything too fancy or expensive here, but who wants to be drenched during their elopement. Even when there’s supposed to be a 0% chance of rain, you just never know. 

A clear, disposable raincoat like this 5-pack from Amazon is perfect. Bonus: buying clear raincoats means opportunity for some aesthetic rainy pictures, featuring your beautiful wedding clothes underneath. And if you want a few photos with all the rain and it’s glory, these ponchos are easy to remove and put back on. 


3. Windbreaker / Warm Jacket

Depending on the season of your adventurous elopement, you should plan to bring a durable jacket that can help break the wind and/or keep you warm. Look for one that has removable layers so you can adjust throughout the day.


4. Wool socks (pack extras)

It’s so important to have moisture-wicking socks that can keep you warm as you hike and stay breathable. Believe us, it’s worth it to spend a few extra dollars on some quality socks! Make sure you bring extras in case they need to be changed for some reason (soggy socks is a no-go). 


5. Comfortable pants

The rule of thumb for hiking pants is pretty simple: anything but jeans. Try and find some comfortable (and warm, depending on the season) joggers, workout leggings, or cargo pants. 

PS: Nude leggings are great under wedding dresses. 

6. Seasonal items as needed

Depending on the location and season of your elopement, you may need some extra items. It’s a good idea to check local weather to see what to anticipate. For example, you may need foot/hand warmers.


 7. Backpack 

Whether or not you have a good backpack can make or break your hiking experience. Note, that does not mean you have to go out and spend $300 on the finest top of the line professional backpack.

If you have a backpack that you know works for you, use that! Whatever you do, make sure you take the pack you’re using for a test run with most (if not all) the things you plan to bring on the big day. You also should make sure your backpack is either waterproof or has a rain cover. This TETON backpack would do the trick.


8. Matches / lighter

If you want to light candles or start a cozy, romantic fire, you’ll need to pack something to spark the flame. But even more importantly, if you are going for a long hike, fire is one of the “ten essentials” of hiking in case of emergencies.

If you go with matches, pack them in a ziploc bag to prevent them being ruined by spilled water or rain. Our recommendation is a lighter like this one that is windproof and waterproof.


9. Compass

Your great grandpa was right, sometimes you can’t trust technology. Bring a compass just in case your phone dies or simply want to avoid pulling out your phone on the trail. You may never need to use it, but in the off chance that you do, you’ll be glad it’s there.

Remember, you can pre-load a map of most trails, and it will use your phone’s GPS to show you where you are on the trail, even without service.


10. Flashlights / headlamps

Packing extra lighting is extremely important, especially if you’re planning an elopement at sunrise or sunset. We can speak from personal experience…headlamps may seem like overkill at first, but when you’re hiking at 4am to catch a sunrise, you’ll be so glad.

A couple tips:

  1. Your phone’s flashlight might not be bright enough. Your depth perception can be distorted without enough light (which can be dangerous when hiking), and it can be hard to see when rocks are casting shadows in front of you. Also, you probably don’t want to risk dropping your phone.

  2. A headlamp can be really nice, because it frees up your hands. If you trip, having those hands freed can save you from taking a nasty fall.


11. Water / filter

We can’t overstate how important it is to stay hydrated during your adventurous elopement. Nothing is worse than running out of water on a long hike.

Depending on the length of your hike to your elopement spot, you may not want to pack enough water to last through the day. Instead, you can buy a purifier like this that you can attach to your water bottle and even connect a little more with nature. (:


12. Snacks

When thinking about what snacks to pack for the trail, you want to make sure you’re getting protein and carbs. Some great options are nuts, bananas and peanut butter, beef jerky, or a protein bar.


13. Pocket knife

A great all-purpose pocket knife almost always comes in handy. From simple things like a tag you forgot to cut off to first aid emergencies, a simple knife is a great investment.

14. Sunscreen

Depending on the season and weather, you should plan ahead with sunscreen. Burnt honeymoon skin? Not the experience we’re going for.

If you’ve every gotten a really bad burn – like red as a tomato bad – you can probably imagine how unpleasant it would be to put on a wedding dress and suit in that condition.


15. Bug spray

This one’s pretty self explanatory, but if you don’t do much hiking, you might not realize how important it is to have bug spray. This is essential, unless of course you want to be thinking about the bug you’re trying to swat away rather than your vows!

You can get some unscented bug spray, or even bug repellent wipes like these ones.


16. Battery pack for phone

As someone whose phone is constantly dying, I’ve been saved by these before. Find one that can hold a couple charges and be sure it’s charged before you pack it and head out!

Having your phone charged can be super beneficial, even if you don’t have service on the hike. You can use it as a backup flashlight, compass, and trail map.

17. First aid kit

You can go as fancy or simple as you feel here, as long as you have the basics. If you want to, you can definitely make your own first aid kit, but you can get a pre-assembled one off Amazon. 


18. Bear spray

If you’re hiking in bear country for your adventurous elopement, it’s a great idea to bring bear spray. 

Again, the idea is to prepare for the worst case scenario that probably won’t happen, but if it did, you’d be ready.


19. Waterproof bag / ziplocks

When you’re hiking, stuff happens. Things can fall onto a muddy trail, water spills, sometimes it rains, etc.

A good rule of thumb: if the thought of it getting wet on the trail stresses you out, throw it in a bag. For example, you do not want to drop your marriage license in a puddle of water!

Better safe than sorry! You can separate small things into categories and throw in transparent, waterproof bags for easy access.


20. Lightweight tent

Depending on where you are eloping and how adventurous you are being, it can be worthwhile to have a tent. You don’t need anything too fancy here. Just go for something easy to assemble, lightweight, and relatively durable.

(There’s a good chance this will end up in pictures, so buying a slightly nicer option that looks more aesthetic could be worth it depending on what you already have.)

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