Travel Nurse Packing Hacks for Backpackers: How to Pack as a Travel Nurse 

Travel nurses have some guts. After all, who else would pack up and leave their homes every 13 weeks to go live, work and play in a new part of the country? We think that’s why so many travel nurses are such avid hikers—it’s a healthy hobby that doesn’t require a lot of money or equipment to get started. However, if you’re new to hiking, you’ll still need a few things to get started. That’s why we put together this list of newbie tips for packing for travel nurses who love to hike.  

Making Your Travel Nurse Backpacking List

Of course, what you bring on your hikes depends greatly on how long they are, the temperature and a lot of other things to consider. You’ll want to include plenty of water, either with a reusable bottle (insulated stainless steel will keep water cold for hours) or even a backpack canteen.  

You’ll also want to make sure you have appropriate clothing in your travel nursing bag. Weather can change quickly though, so you’ll need to plan on layers. If you head out early in the day, it can start out cold, but turn warm after just an hour or two, which makes a jacket or hoodie a good choice as you’re hiking. Look for wicking fabric to ensure you’re comfortable no matter what the weather.  

Your actual backpack matters too! Look for a backpack that has a support strap around your waist. This can help distribute the weight of a heavy pack and protect your shoulders and back. If you’re a woman, try out a pack that’s designed to fit a woman’s body. It will be more comfortable than a men’s or unisex pack. Outdoor retailers like REI or Patagonia will have a wide selection to choose from. How to pack it as a travel nurse is all up to you.  

Lastly, don’t forget about good shoes and socks. If you’re hiking rough terrain, you’ll want boots with a good tread and comfy socks. Look for actual hiking socks instead of regular cotton socks to help protect your feet even more. The last thing you want is a blister halfway into your hike. 

Travel Nursing Tips for Packing Before Your Hike

Now that you’ve got everything prepared, it’s time to pack your backpack before you hit the trail. First, fill up your water bottle and don’t forget about snacks. A trail mix, either homemade or store-bought, is a good idea, but other options include dried fruit, jerky, no-bake energy bites, protein bars or nuts. 

Other must-haves on your hike include sunscreen, a first aid kit, a poncho in case of rain and some sort of navigation. If you’re relying on your phone for navigation, make sure that you have a spare charger, especially if your signal is weak. It’s one of the tips for travel nursing backpack trips that we love most. If your charger can recharge with solar power, even better. It’s one of our best how to pack tips for new travel nurses who love to hike. 

If you’re a backpacker, use these travel nurse packing tips and tricks to make sure you’re prepared for anything on the trail. Or, if there are any other tricks for packing as a travel nurse, let us know! 

Looking for allied or travel nurse jobs? Check out the Triage job board or connect with a recruiter today.