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Channel Islands / Southern California / Travel Resources / USA / USA National Parks

Packing List for a Day Trip to Anacapa Island

During my first trip to Anacapa Island, I learned how much more I should’ve packed. I had done a good amount of online research, and was pretty well prepared, but there was a lot I learned from experience. Below is a packing list for a day trip to Anacapa Island. This isn’t meant for those camping on the island, or those looking to kayak or scuba dive. This is a packing list for those taking a day trip. If looking for general information and tips on visiting Anacapa, be sure to check out my Anacapa Island Travel Guide.

Packing list for a day trip to Anacapa Island and Inspiration Point on the Channel Islands.
Inspiration Point on the Channel Islands

Packing List for a Day Trip to Anacapa Island

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Packing for The Boat Ride

I visited at the end of April in late spring, and we had strong winds and choppy waters. Do you research ahead of time on the expected sea conditions, not just the predicted temperature and general weather report.

  • Jacket. The ride was much colder and windier than I expected. An hour and half boat ride is a long time to be cold.
  • Hat- one that won’t blow away. Bring a cap or something that straps down, because that wind is no joke. This is a must have on your packing list when planning for a day trip to Anacapa Island. Chances are you will be sitting in the sun on the boat, and will be walking in the sun all day.
  • Sunscreen
  • Backpack. It was really nice to have everything in my back pack on the ride. I knew all my stuff was secure, and didn’t have to worry about dropping or losing stuff.
  • Comfortable, sturdy shoes. This is as important for walking on the boat as it is for walking on the island. The deck may get slippery as well.
  • Motion sickness pills or ginger chews if you are prone to getting sea sick. They sell some on board if needed as well.
Packing List for the boat ride to Anacapa Island with Island Packers
Boating to Anacapa Island

Packing List for the Island

  • Water. There are no water fountains or bottled water for purchase on the island. Water is absolutely essential for your packing list when planning a day trip to Anacapa Island. Reusable bottles like Hydroflasks are recommended if avoiding plastics.
  • Lunch. If you’re boating out in the morning and not getting back until evening, you are going to be thankful you brought some snacks. Be sure to package food in reusable tupperware to reduce the risk of any plastic blags getting blowing away and trashing the island.
  • Trash bag. Bring a small one to keep in your back pack, because there are no trash cans on the island and you will have to take any trash home with you.
  • Towel. This will come in handy when sitting down for a picnic, or putting across a bench before sitting. If visiting in Spring in peak bird season, this is a necessity.
  • Camera. Phone cameras are awesome these days, but if you’re looking for a good camera recommendation, I use the Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Camera and I love it.
  • Back up power bank for your phone. Whether you’re using your phone as a camera or are using it during down time on the boat, you will most likely need a back up charge. I include this on every packing list I create, and it definitely applies for a day trip to Anacapa Island.
  • Any medical necessities. Since this location is really remote, be sure to be prepared with anything you think you may require during an adventure filled day.
  • First aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer. There is no running water on the island.
  • Travel Insurance. I always recommend this any time there is risk of injury or losing personal belongings.
Adventure Hiking to the East Ancapa Hiking Trail in Channel Islands National Park
Hiking the East Ancapa Hiking Trail

Other Tips for Anacapa Island

One other thing to prepare ahead of time is to download NPS Channel Islands App before your visit. It offers some offline maps for downloading before you go. It also has a ton of helpful visitor information for each island. For tips on what to see and do on Anacapa, as well as how to get there, check out my complete Anacapa Island Travel Guide.

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