The Adventure Checklist

Heading out on an adventure in the wild? The Oregon outdoors is a big, beautiful place with a seemingly unending number of places to explore. If you're new to outdoor adventures, new to Oregon or just dusting off your hiking boots for the first time in a while – here's how to explore the outdoors safely while making the most of the rich rewards that await you on your travels. 


Research and plan your route. Map your route and check for updates and alerts about trail conditions and campgrounds. Check for up-to-date information and tips on which trails will best match the needs of your group by calling the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Visitor Center

Purchase any needed permits. You will need permits for county, state and federal parks, and for specific activities like boating, fishing, hunting, foraging, collecting or accessing some protected or managed areas. Most permits may be printed from your computer, some may be mailed to you, and some may be purchased at the destination — but don't count on that! Research what you will need before departing.

Expect the unexpected. You may encounter recreation areas without restrooms or water stations, or unexpected road delays. Pack extra food and water for delays, detours and emergencies.

Be prepared for limited cell phone service.  Cell service may not be available in rural areas – in fact, you should expect spotty service once you travel outside the Eugene - Springfield metro area. ​​Download any apps or maps you plan on using prior to heading off on your adventure. Tell someone where you are going and how long you expect to be gone before you go.

Check road conditions and weather. Check TripCheck for road closures and weather warnings before you leave. For winter weather travel tips and advisories, check out ODOT’s Winter Travel Tips.


Take Care Out There. Be considerate and help us keep this special place beautiful for generations to come. Walk on designated trails and camp on durable surfaces. Pack-in, pack-out for you and your furry friends. Leave what you find, take only pictures. Show you care!

Prevent wildfires. Use designated campfire rings and research fire restrictions and campfire bans. Keep fires small and put out campfires completely. Be vigilant about extinguishing and disposing of cigarettes.


You're in a special place unplug and enjoy connecting with the great Oregon outdoors. Breathe in the rich earth beneath your feet or salty mist in the air; listen to the roaring rivers, crashing waves and critters around you.

The outdoors are for everyone. Share the path and say hello to adventurers you meet on the trail. Bring a friend to share the experience with. 

Engage in the local community. Have a post-hike beer or shop for a souvenir and help support local businesses. 

Oregon Outdoor Adventure Packing List

Here's a handy checklist of things to consider bringing with you as you venture outdoors. Use your discretion as some of these may not apply to your adventure (snow chains likely won't be necessary for a summer hike on the coast). Packing your day pack with this list nearby will help ensure you have the best adventure possible! For a quick list of the ten essentials to bring on any day hike, watch the video below from our friends at Travel Oregon. 

  • Day pack
  • Camera It is seriously beautiful out there and you'll want to brag about it later.
  • Food and water  No really – don't forget the snacks.
  • Appropriate footwear for weather and terrain Trails can be very muddy fall-spring, and some trails may involve crossing loose rock. Call the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Visitor Center for specific trail tips.
  • Extra layers for rain and cold Oregonians never leave home without a rain jacket.
  • Pack your permits Many natural places require a parks pass that can be purchased online (but may not be available at the park or trailhead). 
  • Trash bags - Be a good steward and pack out your trash.
  • Headlamp or flashlight This is especially helpful if you are hiking around sunrise or sunset or if you aren't sure how long your hike will take.
  • Sun protection This could include a hat, sunscreen, glasses and lip balm.
  • First aid kit 
  • Multi-tool
  • Whistle
  • Bug spray
  • Toilet paper 
  • Cell phone + car charger
  • Camping gear if you plan to spend the night, don't forget a tent, sleeping bag, shovel, fire kit and marshmallows for roasting. You'll also want to check current fire restrictions and bring a lamp in case campfires are restricted.
  • Chains or traction tires Check TripCheck before you go for current requirements.
  • Extra change of clothes for the drive home Snowy winter trips, rainy hikes and summer treks to waterfalls often mean you're likely to get a little wet.
Splash Around Safely - Tips for Water Fun
: Joey Hamilton
Jun 21
Guides & Lists

Splash Around Safely - Tips for Water Fun

Playing in the water can be the best part of summer — and Oregon's got plenty of the wet stuff! From lake shores to shady creeks, there are wonderful inviting places to cool off…

Discover Your Next Adventure