I don’t mean to be over the top, but come on – there really aren’t many resources for “what to pack for your adventure elopement”, you know? Here’s a thorough list of what I think is important & good to have on hand for your adventure elopement – whether here in Tahoe or somewhere else – after dozens of elopements on top of mountains.
Be sure to bring LAYERS! Winter, spring, summer, fall – weather can change easily! In summer months, I like to bring a lightweight long sleeve on hikes with me for sun protection, and in winter months I’m always layered up so that when I get movin’, it’s easy to cool off. Big fan of leggings under dresses in winter months, too! Also – for winter months, gloves & hand warmers will be your favorite thing.
NUUN hydration tablets. You’ve probably heard of liquid IV, and these are like those but BETTER. No sugar, no junk. Just electrolytes. I always have these on hand for my day to day life and if you’re coming from sea level or heck, just traveling, stock up and enjoy the magic of easy hydration. You won’t want to go back after you experience these! Buy my favorite flavor pack here! (they might seem expensive on the front end, but there are 10 tablets per tube & it comes out to about 70 cents a tablet. SCORE!)
SUNSCREEN. Doesn’t matter the season – the Sierra sun is strong. Obviously, you can buy that when you arrive – but I always like to be sure to remind people that you will need it.
For the elopement day, be sure to bring a BACKPACK so that you can fill it with all of the necessary items you might need!
WATER BOTTLES. I will always suggest a big hydro-flask or similar to keep your h2o cool in summer, keep it from freezing if you leave it in the car in the winter, and of course, cut the plastic. If you’re coming to Tahoe, our tap water is world class , trust me.
GOOD SHOES. Sometimes, couples will show up in super cute Keds & dress shoes and while I’m all about those vibes once we get where we’re going, there is something to be said for shoes that give you confidence in your steps & trekking up a mountain, if that’s on our docket. In WINTER: good snow boots are encouraged. If you don’t want to buy a pair, a good hiking shoe (dual purpose) works just fine and I would recommend getting a pair of YakTrax for you two & those hiking with us. In summer, again – a good pair of hiking boots will do wonders. If you want to wear hiking boots with your outfits, I’m a big fan of Kodiak boots & Timberland boots with wedding attire. So FUN.
If we’re trekking somewhere in winter/spring, a set of TREKKING POLES is always a good move. Pro tip: you can rent ski poles from most gear shops for a day. Easy, cheap, and you don’t need to buy them if they’re not something you’ll use in future.
SNACKS. Need I say more? Given that not everyone drinks alcohol, I won’t assume your beverage of choice – but bring that, too! (In addition to H2O!)
JACKET/SHAWL. If you’re getting married at high altitude even in summer, it’s a great idea to bring a light jacket (or heavy one in winter, let’s be real) for the walk down. Typically, we shoot until the very last light is gone and that usually means we walk down in the dark.
Which brings me to, HEAD LAMPS! Often times the final bit of daylight as we’re hiking back is enough to get us through, but it’s never a bad idea to bring a head lamp or two so that you can easily navigate terrain on the way down.
If it’s winter or the forecast says bad weather is possible, CLEAR UMBRELLAS are FAB.
A MAKEUP KIT for touch ups is always a great thing to include on the day of!
BUG SPRAY. If you’re like me, the mosquitoes love ya. Bug spray is a must for elopements in early summer into late fall!
Want to dance in the woods or on top of a mountain? Or just have some of your fav jams on while shooting? Bring a bluetooth SPEAKER & go the extra mile – make an elopement day playlist & have all the songs downloaded and ready to roll! Bonus, it’ll bring you back to your elopement day whenever you put it on!
Well – there you have it! This list is updated when new items prove themselves worthy – so feel free to throw anything YOU think would be helpful in the comments!
Ruthanne Z. Is a born & raised Lake Tahoe local, living in a tiny home in the woods with her mountain guide husband, Demetri, and mini Australian shepherd, Scout. She believes that elopements have the power to transform the way couples live their lives after their wedding day, and longs to share the beautiful parallel of the mountains & relationships within her photography. Ruthanne is based in the Lake Tahoe basin, but travels the world for couples in love – her favorite spots being Switzerland, Italy, Washington, and Banff National Park.