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What to Pack for Your Oregon Trip

Published: May 18, 2021

 

When you are planning a trip, deciding what to pack is very important. While each adventure depends on what you plan to do, the primary region you plan to visit, and the time of year; here is a basic packing list to get you started.

Generally, the residents across our Eugene, Cascades & Coast region dress casually. You will see a lot of jeans, athletic wear, tennis shoes — even out in nice restaurants or at the theater. Business casual is an easy go-to from the Oregon Coast to the Cascades unless your industry or event requires more formal attire.

When locals do dress up it will be in the Market District in downtown Eugene, at the Hult Center for Performing Arts, some fine dining restaurants for date night, formal work functions and special events. The rest of the time you will see a range of comfortable, expressive, alternative or sporty styles.

The most important thing is to be adequately dressed for the weather. Luckily, Eugene is a temperate destination in the Willamette Valley between the Oregon Coast and the Cascade Mountains. Wherever you travel, you will want to be prepared with layers, warmer and thicker during the winter and lighter and cooler during the summer.

Pack

General

  • long pants (jeans, athletic or business depending on your plans)
  • shorts (spring through early fall)
  • optional: pants that zipper to become shorts 
  • long sleeved shirts for layering
  • short sleeved shirts for layering
  • flannel, sweatshirt or sweater
  • seasonally appropriate jacket
  • comfortable walking shoes or hiking shoes (closed toed shoes)
  • extra socks
  • warm hat (mountains or coast; fall, winter and spring)
  • sun hat (all areas; spring through fall)
  • gloves (winter)
  • sunglasses
  • backpack or waist pack, purse
  • re-useable water bottle and/or coffee mug (to be really hip bring your own straws)
  • re-useable shopping bags (or you can usually purchase one in the stores)
  • chapstick
  • sunscreen
  • hand sanitizer
  • bug spray (if you are heading into the mountains during spring and summer)
  • your phone and charger (there are a lot of great selfie spots)
  • cash and credit cards
  • permits, some you may wish to order in advance online, others you can pick up here
  • a mask (while pandemic requirements are in effect)

Rain Gear 

  • waterproof jacket with a hood (lightweight and easy to stuff in a backpack or bag)
  • optional: waterproof pants (if vigorous outdoor activities are planned fall through spring)

Swimming

  • swim attire
  • water shoes - closed toed that can go from hiking trail to water

Speciality Activities by Region

If there are activities or places you wish to pack especially for, here are tips of common experiences by region.

In the Cascades you might:

  • fish (outfitters can set you up with lessons, gear, boat rentals)
  • mountain bike (outfitters can set you up with bike rentals and shuttles)
  • hike
  • kayak or river raft (outfitters can set you up with bike rentals and shuttles)
  • camp (tent, camping gear)
  • swim (loaner life jackets may be available upon request)
  • star gaze

On the Coast you might:

  • shop
  • walk on the beach, play in the sand (bucket, pail, towel)
  • camp (tent, camping gear)
  • hike 
  • fly a kite (there is a great kite store in Old Town Florence)

In the Willamette Valley and metro area you might:

  • go out to a nice dinner and show
  • go dancing
  • go to a movie
  • shop a farmers' market
  • shop malls or districts
  • hike, swim or ride a bike on paved paths (bring your own helmet)
  • visit a winery or brewery
  • play golf
  • go to a sports event

What you can probably leave at home

  • umbrellas, most locals just pull up their hoods
  • stiletto heels, unless specific to your event or personal style 
  • suit jacket, unless needed for your business or event
  • cowboy hat, unless specific to your event or personal style 

What you can get here

  • tie dye shirts, socks, underwear etc.
  • University of Oregon Duck logo wear
  • Birkenstocks
  • Nike and running gear
  • Columbia and Patagonia brand outdoor wear
  • regional map available at the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Visitor Center

The most important thing to bring is your smile! Our communities are warm and welcoming to all, and you are sure to take home some great memories and treasured moments.

Author: Taj Barnhart Morgan

Taj Barnhart Morgan is the Director of Content Strategy for Travel Lane County. A journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, Taj has two decades of special event management and hospitality marketing experience in San Diego, CA and Maui, HI. Passionate about mothering, and back to her Oregon roots, she is discovering the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region all over again through the eyes of her daughter.