17 Top Denver Packing List Items for 2021 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

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Updated on by Asher Fergusson

A trip to Colorado is incomplete if you don’t make it to the “Mile High City” of Denver. With colorful, vibrant neighborhoods this city hosts outdoor activities and has a bustling art scene that can attract any visitor. Whether you’re visiting the renowned breweries, enjoying the incredible music scene, or roaming art festivals, Denver will not disappoint you.

Take a short drive out of the city to be enthralled at the scenic views and unbelievable outdoor activities. Being here is an outdoor enthusiast dream with hiking, biking and camping being at the for front of Denver living. To help you prepare, we have created a Denver packing list that includes 17 essential items. Additionally, you will find sections on what to wear in Denver, what NOT to bring and answers to FAQs.

What to Pack for Denver – 17 Essentials

1. LifeStraw Water Bottle

LifeStraw Water BottleHaving a reliable and clean source of drinking water is a must when planning a vacation. While the tap water in Denver is perfectly safe to drink, this LifeStraw water bottle provides advanced filtration, durability and is BPA free. Use this while walking around the city, during a hike or everyday use.

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2. Natural Altitude Adjustment Meds

Natural Altitude Adjustment MedsWith an altitude of 5280 feet, the “Mile High City” can sometime pose a problem with altitude sickness. This natural herbal medicine allows you to acclimate quicker and reduces the likeliness of headaches, nausea and dizziness. Get to Denver and begin exploring and enjoying the city immediately without the threat of altitude sickness.

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3. Paracord Bracelet

Paracord BraceletThis wonderful little bracelet is a great idea to bring if you decide to go hiking while in Denver. It is compact and fitted with a fire starter, 12-foot paracord, compass, whistle and knife ensuring safety and reliability while camping or hiking. Its straps are adjustable and is very inexpensive, making it the perfect add on to any wilderness activity.

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4. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

HERO Travel Towel - BlueWith Denver boasting world class hiking, a travel towel is an excellent addition to any day trip. This quick drying, absorbent and light weight towel is perfect for the occasional swim, sweaty afternoon or relaxing swim day. Use it during any season for fast acting results and soft texture.

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5. Lightweight Waterproof Day Pack

Lightweight Waterproof Day PackDiscover the city or go for a high intensity hike with this ultra-lightweight, waterproof day pack in Denver. Easily store away belongings for the day with this high-tech, tear proof design, with easily adjustable straps ensuring all day comfort. Rest assure you will use this day pack not only in Denver but in daily life too.

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6. Packing Cubes

Hero Packing CubesThis set of packing cubes comes with 2x large, 2x medium and 1x small cubes for easy storing and organization while traveling. Easily find toiletries, outfits or electronics with these highly durable and strong cubes making packing and discovering stress free while on holiday. Find items quickly and hassle free during your Denver get away.

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7. Electrolytes

ElectrolytesWhile in a high-altitude city it is best to always monitor electrolytes and maintain hydration to avoid sickness and fatigue. These easy to use tablets are flavorful and replenish your energy after a high impact day while in Denver. Take these tablets to maintain balance, hydrate and improve overall health while visiting Denver.

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8. Travel Insurance for Denver

Travel Insurance for DenverWhen planning to go to Denver I would definitely look at Travel Insurance. Even with being extremely careful and cautious; emergencies can always occur. Travel insurance can help in case or medical emergency, theft or cancelations. With hiking and camping being main attractions in Denver, it’s always best to look into options to be worry free.

View their plans at WorldNomads.com ➜

9. Hand Sanitizer Spray

Hand Sanitizer SprayThis is an excellent item to bring with you on your trip to Denver. Use it while camping, hiking or for everyday use to stay clean and germ free. This spray is in a travel sized container, making it great for long journeys and doesn’t take up too much space in bags. Use it to stay sanitized and clean throughout your holiday.

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10. Deet Free Insect Repellent

Deet Free Insect RepellentThis 12-hour long insect protection is ideal for those buggy days and nights. The fragrant free spray works wonders when repelling ticks, mosquitoes and other disease-ridden insects while out at night, hiking or camping. It dry’s quickly on skin and is suitable for all skin types or ages, it also does not damage equipment or clothes.

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11. Lip Stick Sized Portable Charger

Lip Stick Sized Portable ChargerIf you plan on using your phone or other gadgets while away, I would highly suggest a portable charger. Easily listen to music, navigate or take pictures without the worry of losing battery life throughout the day with this small charger. It is compact and easily fits into any bag making it super-efficient for day trips where power sockets are not readily available.

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12. Affordable Waterproof Camera

Affordable Waterproof CameraI truly believe a waterproof camera is great for any destination you plan on going to. Take incredible quality pictures and videos with ease, without worrying about water damage. This camera has excellent quality, is affordable and is a fun addition on your trip to Denver. Use the multifunctional accessories to take incredible photos and remember all the memories.

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13. Quick Dry Hiking Pant that zip into shorts

Quick Dry Hiking Pant that zip into shortsThis cross functional hiking pant to short combo is great for any hiking condition you may come across in Denver. They have a casual, flattering style and fit, are water resistant and are made with durable fabric. Easily change these pants to shorts for any incoming weather condition and enjoy a day full of outdoor activities.

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14. Windproof Travel Umbrella

Windproof Travel UmbrellaNo matter the season in Denver, packing an Umbrella is always an excellent idea. No one wants there day ruined because of the rain, so remember to pack it in the unfortunate event that this occurs. This compact and portable umbrella comfortably fits two people underneath and has advanced windproof protection for those windy days. Feel secure, dry and comfortable while using this umbrella.
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15. Neck Wallet

Neck WalletBring this neck wallet with you on hikes, music festivals or days of browsing downtown, while feeling safe and organized with your most valuable belongings. Easily wear above or underneath clothing ensuring your credit cards, cash or phone are protected and secure while having a day of high intensity activates or in unfamiliar areas.

Available on HeroTravelSupply.com with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

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16. Waterproof Light Jacket

Waterproof Light JacketEscape the rain and feel cool while wearing a waterproof light jacket. In the occasion of a rainy day be prepared with this durable jacket, then easily store it in a bag while out and about. Wear this jacket for cooler days hiking or to enjoying this vibrant city that is comfortable, stylish and dry’s quickly for optimal days of vacation fun.

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17. Bluetooth Portable Speaker

Bluetooth Portable SpeakerDenver has an absolutely amazing live music scene, so definitely bring a portable speaker to enjoy some tunes while hiking or relaxing in the main parks in the city. Easily relax during a beautiful afternoon with a craft beer and music, or hangout under the stars with the stunning scenery surrounding you, all while listening to your favorite band.

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Other Denver packing list items not to forget


What to Wear in Denver

What you wear in Denver really depends on what time of year you visit and your activities you plan on doing. Denver is a fun, loving casual city so anything that makes you feel comfortable and good is best. Activewear and casual clothes that are lightweight and breathable are perfect for wandering the city or having a hiking day. I would always suggest bringing layers because they are perfect for winter but also nice for the windy, chilly days in the other seasons. Always bring comfy shoes to see the wonderful sights that Denver has to offer. Below is a more in-depth look as to what to pack.

what WOMEN should wear in Denver- (Click to expand)

Below is a sample women’s clothing list.(All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Women normally dress casually but have fun with it. Depending on the time of year they can be seen wearing layers, hats, and fun booties. They also tend to wear activewear for the active lifestyle that they live, such as sneakers, breathable shirts, and leggings.

Girls tend to throw anything on, and it looks good; they definitely have fun with there style. In the warmer months, they can wear jean shorts and fun going out tops with their effortless fashion. No matter what you wear, as long as you feel good will have you feeling like a local Denver girl.

what MEN should wear in Denver - (Click to expand)

Below is a sample men’s clothing list.(All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Men in Denver can dress in the typical hippy and snowboarder fashion. This can include fitted jeans, vans, beanies, and casual t-shirts. In the winter and colder months, they will wear more layers to stay warm, think sweaters, and flannels but they still have that cool guy vibe.

They dress practical for the weather and always have comfort at the forefront of their style. Men will also wear sunglasses no matter the time of year, the sun will be bright in the winter and even brighter in the summer. They live an active, outdoor lifestyle so be prepared for anything at any time of the day.

SPRING in Denver – March, April, May

Once May arrives, days begin to get a little warmer and stay lighter much longer. Before then it is still quite chilly and has periodic showers with people wearing jackets, layers, and boots. These are the key months where layers are very important.

SUMMER in Denver – June, July, August

The weather in the summer is absolutely beautiful. The summers will range from the ’70s to ’90s, so it’s best to wear breathable lightweight and casual clothing. Sandals, sundresses, shorts, t-shirts, and activewear is perfect for these warm days, but always bring a rain jacket just in case a quick shower may occur.

FALL in Denver – September, October, November

September still has warm and lovely days so you can still dress as if you are in the middle of summer. After that, it starts to drop in temperature so bring layers, sweaters, jeans, a jacket, and sneakers. This time of the year tends to be drier so you can get away with not having a raincoat.

WINTER in Denver – December, January, February

Winter in Denver means extreme cold and snow, so pack up warm layers, long pants, and warm coats. This time of year can get into the negatives so you want to come prepared for the frigid temperatures and bring hats, boots, mittens, and anything that can keep you as toasty as possible.

Dressing Appropriately for the Activity - (Click to expand)

Downtown Denver: When wandering around downtown you always want to keep it casual and comfortable. Depending on the season t-shirts, jeans, shorts, and comfortable shoes work best. Then you can go to the arts district, museums, sights, and Larimer Square with style and ease.

Snow sports: If you drive about an hour you can make it to the mountains and enjoy snow sports. This is when I would wear warm layers, mittens, activewear tops, sports jackets, boots, and hats to stay warm in the cold temperatures.

Hiking: Denver has great hikes that are close to the city. This is when you would want to wear hiking pants, activewear tops, hiking shoes, or sneakers. You can also bring hiking accessories like a paracord bracelet, hats, Camelbaks, and LifeStraw water bottles to improve your hike.

Breweries: Going to any brewery means you want to relax and have a good time, so staying casual but fun is the vibe. Jeans, t-shirt, booties, flannels, hats and cute crossbody bags will have you fitting in and feeling like a local drinking a craft beer.

Concerts: Denver’s music scene is wonderful, they have local shows in small venues, they have big festivals on surrounding grounds and have the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. No matter the season its best to wear lightweight, breathable clothes, sneakers, and minimal accessories. Layers are great too because you always get hot and sweaty from dancing, then cool down between sets.


What NOT to Bring to Denver

1) 🚫 DON’T BRING Books: You might want to relax and read a book while away, especially if you have to travel to get there. However, books will weigh your bag down and take up valuable space. Instead, think about getting a kindle, this allows you to read as much as possible and have a lighter bag.

2) 🚫 DON’T PACK Valuables: You definitely want to dress up your outfits with accessories, but don’t bring your most precious pieces. Bringing valuables puts them at risk for being lost or stolen and while Denver doesn’t have a high crime rate, it’s better to be safe and leave them at home.

3) 🚫 DON’T TAKE Unnecessary Gear: Unless you can drive your gear with you to Denver for a camping or hiking trip, don’t bring all you gear with you. If you are flying his can be very pricey and you at risk of damaging your gear or having it lost or stolen.

4) 🚫 DON’T BRING Cash: It’s a good idea to have a small amount of cash with you in Denver for those places that are cash-only, but generally you don’t need it. Almost everywhere you go will accept all major credit cards. Having too much cash can make you a target for theft or at risk for misplacing it yourself.

5) 🚫 DON’T PACK High Heels: You might want to bring high heels for a fancy night out, but I would suggest bringing booties with a thicker heel. Booties with a thicker heel are best in the cold months when the weather is not too favorable to strappy, thin heels.

6) 🚫 DON’T TAKE overly Dressy Clothes: Apart from a going out outfit to wear on a nice evening out, there is no need to bring overly dress clothes. Denver has a laid-back vibe and people really just dress for fun, so while it’s important to look good in the evenings; there’s no need to be fancy.

What NOT to Wear in Denver – (Click to expand)

Honestly whatever clothes you have are perfect to wear in Denver, but I really wouldn’t bring formal attire with you. Denver’s cool, relaxing and fun sense of life doesn’t call for anything to fancy. I also wouldn’t wear any shoes that you haven’t broken in or are not super comfy. Hopefully, you will be doing lots of outdoor activities and be seeing lots of Denver’s funky spirit so bring shoes that offer tip-top relief is key.

FAQs about Denver travel

1. How can I get around Denver?

Denver has really good public transport, with a train that takes you directly from the airport into the center of the city or to the various bus routes; there are many options. They also have Uber and Lyft which isn’t too expensive. If you want to get out of the city for hiking or snow sports renting a car might be the best option.

2. Should I go to Red Rocks Amphitheater?

Yes, Red Rocks Amphitheater is breathtaking. Whether you go to see a concert or just go to check it out, it’s quite outstanding. The rock formation is unbelievable, and the acoustics are too. Check out their website to see upcoming shows or outdoor activities like yoga.

3. Is Denver Expensive?

Like most cities, Denver can be a little pricey, but it all depends on what your plans are while visiting. They have free walking tours of the city and you can always go hiking and camping which can reduce the cost of your accommodations. Pick restaurants that are a little cheaper and give you a bit more bang for your buck, it’s not hard but can take time to research.

4. When is the best time to go to Denver?

If you like snow sports, then the best time to go is in the winter and spring months. If you want to go enjoy the city and see the food, arts, music and brewery scene then the summer and fall are the best times. If you want hiking and camping, the shoulder months of the summer are perfect, since they are not too hot and still offer so much beauty.

5. What are the breweries like in Denver?

The local brewery scene is huge, producing world-class beer and learning the history of Denver’s beer culture. It wouldn’t be a trip if you didn’t make it to one of the hundreds of breweries that you’ll come across as you walk down the street. This will come as no surprise that Denver locals love their beer.

6. What are the top things to do In Denver?

Hiking and camping may be the more obvious things to do in Denver, but there is so much more to see and do. Denver has two different arts districts, RiNo and Santa Fe. Both communities host art galleries, studios, theaters, and quirky businesses. Denver also has a great food and bar scene, with delicious markets, restaurants, breweries, and bars to choose from. If you get a chance stop off at some of the informative museums or go to a Baseball game.

7. What are the best Hikes around Denver?

If you drive a small way out of Denver you can reach Red Rocks Park, Deer Creek Canyon, or Hanging Lake. All three produce stunning scenic views and offer a great day trip activity while you are in Denver.

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