Vancouver Packing List Tips by Carmanah Top 5 Page for this destination
Vancouver What to Pack: 56 reviews and 26 photos
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Summer in Vancouver is glorious. Everyone's out at the beach, or boating, or hiking in the parks, or playing beach volleyball, going out camping, exploring the local islands, sitting on restaurant patios and just soaking up the rare sunshine. Summer can start as early as June and last until late September, although statistically July, August and early September are the warmest, driest months.
Although temperatures are often in the 20's Celsius (70's-80's F), it rarely goes above. It's never humid and the temperatures drop into the teens Celsius (50's-60's F) at night. Air conditioning is unnecessary. If you're outside in the evening, you will definitely want to wear a light jacket or a hoodie. Also remember, it's cooler by the water and warmer inland.
During the day people are in shorts, t-shirts, skirts, skimpy summer dresses, swimsuits, and sandals. Of course, there are days when it's cloudy, overcast and (gasp!) rainy. So do bring some jeans and some light jackets to wear on those days.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: We call autumn "fall" in Vancouver. It's somewhat of a non-event in Vancouver when compared to elsewhere in Canada because our trees are evergreen and don't change colour, but it still occurs from mid-September to mid-November. This is actually a very dry and sunny time to be in Vancouver. September is still very summery and warm - temperatures in the high teens and 20's Celsius (65-75 degrees F), but it gets down to the single digits Celsius (40's F) by November.
People start putting away their summer clothes by late September, swapping shorts and sandals for jeans, long sleeves, and closed toe shoes. Jackets are often light or wool - lots of emphasis on new fall fashion styles which are often about earth tones. People start wearing sweaters (jumpers) and wool coats. Gloves and scarves might be worn when it's chilly. By late October Vancouver's famous rainy season kicks in, so expect a lot of gloomy grey skies.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Mid-November to mid-February is winter in Vancouver. That's when it's dark, dreary, wet, and cold. Temperatures are around the 0 to 7 degrees Celsius range (30's to 40's F). It'll always be colder inland or in the mountains and warmer closer to the water.
You will definitely want a warm coat. I make do with a wool coat, gloves and a scarf. Some people wear GoreTex jackets with fleece lining. Parkas are unnecessary. Many people like to wear a toque (sounds like "tuke") which is the Canadian word for a woolen winter cap. I generally wear jeans throughout the winter, although if it goes below freezing, sometimes it's nice to wear a pair of tights underneath. A closed toe shoe (with socks) should be worn in the winter - bonus if they won't get soaked in the rain. You'd be crazy to wear open toe stilletos or sandals. Only a few hardcore joggers wear shorts in the winter. Long sleeved shirts and sweaters (jumpers) are practical, although a lot of locals like to wear t-shirts with hoodies over top.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Spring comes early to Vancouver in late February and lasts until late June. This is a beautiful time in Vancouver as there's a sweet smell in the air, the flowers are in bloom, the gardens are lush, the daylight is longer, and people are outdoors.
Spring temperatures are best described as mild, usually hovering between 10 to 20 degrees Celsius (50's and 60's degrees F) and sometimes it's even warmer. Rain still falls, but not in large quantities. People break out the light jackets, the hoodies, or just go out in jeans and t-shirts during the day. Winter coats, gloves, and scarves are no more but you'll still want a jacket, especially in the evenings. Closed toe shoes are still common, but sandals are starting to emerge on dry, warmer days. There's a mix of short and long sleeves. It's still a tad early for tank tops, skirts, shorts, and summer dresses, however they're much more common by May and June. Sometimes during a warm spell, people can be out sunbathing on the beaches in swimsuits.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Protect yourself from the sun, especially between April and October. Sunscreen can be purchased at grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies all over the city. Although Vancouver may be known for its rain, the sun can give you as nasty burn if you're spending time outdoors.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you're camping in the region, having a tarp is a handy thing to bring along because you never know when it's going to rain. Be sure to bring rope so you can tie it to nearby trees so that it hangs well above your tent.
In the summer months after weeks of drought and high temperatures (especially in July and August) there is often a campfire ban throughout BC. While you won't be able to make a campfire, you can still use Coleman stoves to cook your food. I highly recommend bringing one along if you plan to go camping in the summer because you might not have any other option for cooking your food otherwise.
I personally never use bug spray around Vancouver, although it might be handy to have if you plan on going out into the bush or around stagnant lakes. Mosquitos are never problems around the coast, and black flies - though legendary in and around Ontario - aren't much of a concern. Whether you want to bring bug spray is your choice.
April rain on Granville Street
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The local philosophy is that you should always expect rain when coming to Vancouver, but if it's sunny and clear out, consider it a bonus. Of course, this is more true in the winter months than in the summer, but it's something to take into consideration year round.
Raincoats and gumboots aren't necessary, but having a pair of shoes that won't get ruined or soaked in the rain is ideal.
Although some locals like to proclaim that no real Vancouverite uses an umbrella, I beg to differ. I recommend carrying one of those tiny umbrellas that can collapse into a backpack, especially when you're going outside for any length of time. The small umbrellas are especially useful around downtown when navigating around the sidewalk crowds.
Umbrellas aren't so useful when you're going hiking in the forest as the trees act as a natural canopy. For that, I recommend wearing a waterproof (GoreTex) jacket with a hood.
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