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Seasons of a Dude Ranch

What Should I Pack for My Dude Ranch Vacation?

What to wear on a ranch vacationChoosing what to pack for your dude ranch vacation can be a bit overwhelming, especially if it is your first time visiting one of these great ranches.  Most ranches are very laid back and casual attire is the name of the game.  Occasionally you will find a ranch that has a dress code for the dining room, so make sure you look into this as you pack. Whether you are going to Arizona in January or Montana in July, jeans and comfortable shirts are absolute essentials on a ranch.  Temperatures can vary, so make sure you bring a variety of layers to stay comfortable.  Sunscreen is always a must and it is also a good idea to bring a hat.  Most ranches will have a gift shop with those little items you forget and many ranches also have guest laundry facilities.

It’s important that you pack for specific activities that you may be partaking in. Below you’ll find a list of items we recommend packing for certain dude ranch activities/events.

Items to Pack for Dude Ranch Activities

Horseback Riding

  • Jeans
  • Lightweight, breathable shirts
  • Riding boots with a 1″ heel and smooth sole (we also have boots available to borrow)
  • Light windproof jacket and fleece jacket
  • Long socks for riding, wool or wool blend is ideal
  • Rain jacket
  • Riding helmet (we also have helmets to borrow)
  • Cowboy/cowgirl hat

Fly Fishing

  • Lightweight shirt (no cotton preferably)
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Synthetic base layer (Patagonia® or Smartwool) for under waders
  • Rain jacket
  • Warm jacket or fleece jacket
  • Gloves and hat (for cooler days)


  • Lightweight breathable shirt and shorts or pants
  • Hiking Boots
  • Water Bottle


If interested in the overnight backpacking trip…

  • Backpack
  • Sleeping pad & sleeping bag (we also have these items to borrow)

Accessories & Other Items

  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Day pack
  • Swim suit
  • Comfortable clothing (yoga or relaxing)
  • Socks (wool or wool blend; no cotton)
  • Gloves and a warm hat (chilly mornings and evenings)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Lip balm with sunblock
  • Flashlight or headlamp (and extra batteries)
  • Binoculars
  • Camera and memory card

Additional Tips

  • If you are unable to fit everything, try sending us some of your items in advance to the ranch.  Contact the ranch for the best method of shipping and the appropriate shipping address.
  • Wear your cowboy boots or hiking boots the day you travel, as it leaves more room for other items if you are wearing the larger, heavier items


Dude Ranchers’ Association

Still searching for the right ranch to visit? The Dude Ranchers’ Association has you covered! Use our Find A Ranch Tool or browse through our other helpful blog posts to help you make a decision. Plan your visit today!