How to Pack for a Multi Climate Trip

If you follow my travels you know that I am a minimalist packer. Check out what’s in my carry on or packing 101 to see what I mean. That said, sometimes you have to really think about what you’re packing or going to bring on certain trips. For me, these are always trips where I’ll be in different types of weather on the same trip. Here’s how to pack for a multi climate trip.
Lee Abbamonte, Torres del Paine, Chile
The most important thing of course is to know the weather wherever you’re going. This is an easy thing to Google but also very important. You need to know whether you should expect warm and tropical, if you need rainwear and most importantly for packing purposes, if it’ll be really cold; which will require extra gear.
Lee Abbamonte, ice climbing, Antarctica
How to pack for a multi climate trip really only comes into play if it’s going to be very cold and I’ll be doing outside activities like snowboarding, skiing, hiking, etc. Or if I’m on an expedition in Antarctica or my forthcoming trip to the North Pole. Extreme cold temperatures mean you have to pack a lot of cold weather gear like ski boots and waterproof woolen coats, and that takes up space.
Lee Abbamonte, South Pole
Obviously, you cannot risk frostbite or extreme discomfort and neglect to account for the weather so you must pack appropriately with all necessary gear, jackets and boots. My biggest suggestion based on how to pack for a multi climate trip is to use a separate duffel bag for the cold weather gear; which takes up all the space.

Lee Abbamonte, Alberta, hike

Hiking in the glorious Canadian Rockies of Alberta in Banff National Park.

So now you have all your bulky gear in a bag by itself. The way you travel with it will depend on whether the cold portion of your trip is in the beginning, middle or end of your trip. If it’s in the beginning, you bring your gear with you no question. You can’t risk having it get lost in the mail or whatever. You check it and hope for the best with the airlines.
Lee Abbamonte, St Andrews, Old course, Scotland, golf
However, if the cold weather portion is in the middle or end of your trip then I suggest shipping it ahead to meet you at your hotel or at your tour company’s office. This is to minimize hassles and so you don’t have to carry the excess bag around if you’re like me and move around a lot on trips.
Lee Abbamonte, Robinson Crusoe Island, Juan Fernandez Archipelago
You can ship overseas a lot cheaper than you think. There are a variety of options, some which charge flat rates that I am fond of using. Usually $50-$200 anywhere in the world depending where you’re shipping to. I personally, feel it’s well worth the cost. Plus you can track it online much like you would with UPS or FEDEX. It’s just cheaper but you can always use the old stalwarts as well if you don’t mind paying extra.
Lee Abbamonte, TripIt, Commercial, San Francisco, Concur
The bottom line is you should be able to get away with just a carry on for any warm to cool weather trip. For an active cold weather trip you’ll need to bring an extra bag that is packed separately so you can ship it to or from your cold weather destination. This is how to pack for a multi climate trip and I always feel it saves me time and hassle.
Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, Kenya, safari, Lee Abbamonte
Check out my friends at as they have some awesome gear to choose from.
Lee Abbamonte, helipad, Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE, United Arab Emirates
Disclaimer: I have a business partnership with TravelSmith and receive financial compensation. However, everything written in this post was written by me and is exactly how I pack for a multi climate trip. My opinions have not been influenced in any way.

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  1. Interesting Blog!! Thanks for sharing Such a Informative Content….

  2. Thanks for sharing! For women, this is always a little bit tougher….:-)

  3. I managed with a carry on (and a “personal item” that probably was slightly larger than regulations allowed) for a two week multi climate trip to Chile (Easter Island and Patagonia). It takes a lot of thought, you can’t try and look pretty (ladies, no makeup bag), but it’s possible. Admittedly I checked a bag on way home because I brought back some Concha y Toro wine 😉

  4. We traveled to Thailand and Nepal last year and simply bought our cold weather gear in Nepal. There were plenty of great options – most being knock-offs of North Face, Marmot and others. However, they gear served it’s purpose and we saved having to lug around down jackets and gloves. Total expense per person was somewhere in the $75-$90 range. That included thermal underwear, gloves, hat, down jacket, and mid-layers. Great photos!

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