What to Pack for Jordan: 26 Essentials
By Destination

What to Pack for Jordan: 27 Essentials

Think you’re ready to take on the rough terrain of Petra, the salty Dead Sea, arid Wadi Rum, and stylish Amman? Uncovering the hidden gems of the Middle East on a visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan requires all the right items. Figuring out what to pack for Jordan depends on your itinerary—which could be filled to the brim with eclectic activities, from canyon hiking to rooftop dining. Here’s what to pack for Jordan, which I learned on my trek around the country with Intrepid Travel.

See recent posts by Shannon McMahon

1

The Suitcase

Osprey Packs Transporter 65 Travel Duffel Bag.

Osprey Packs Transporter 65 Travel Duffel Bag

A durable yet lightweight bag with lots of space and hauling power is a must for Jordan if you’ll be heading anywhere outside the city—where it’s sandy and hot. The varied terrain means you might have to carry your bag to the hotel. Osprey Packs’ Transporter 65 Expedition Duffel hits all the requirements: It packed down my hiking boots and packing cubes with straps so I could keep necessities accessible at the top, and still left space for gadgets and accessories in a zippered inner pocket. Detachable backpack straps allow it to morph between duffel and backpack in seconds, and the bag folds into a pouch for easy storage at home or in the hotel room when it’s not in use.

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2

The Purse

Arden Cove Full Anti-Theft Waterproof Cross-Body Bag.

Arden Cove Full Anti-Theft Waterproof Cross-Body Bag

As in most cities in Europe and the Middle East, in Amman you’ll want to dress up a little bit for your average day out. At the same time, I needed a day pack for necessities on hikes and at sites like Petra. This meant carrying a secure yet stylish day-to-day purse, plus a day pack to roll up and keep in my main bag for the days I’d need to throw everything into a hiking pack. Arden Cove’s Waterproof Anti-Theft Cross-Body is both sleek and utilitarian, with enough card slots and zippered pockets to secure all your valuables, plus your passport. The chain makes it dressy enough for nights out, but it also blends in enough to suit casual environments.

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3

Day Pack

Ultralight Daypack.

Herschel Ultralight Daypack

A super-light daypack is stashed in my main suitcase on any active trip I take. This one’s internal sleeve and spacious main compartment can fit and organize necessities, including a big water bottle, extra layers, sunscreen, a hat, and sandals

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4

The Hiking Boots

KEEN Men's Gypsum II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot.

Keen Gypsum II Waterproof Hiking Boot

For steeper or longer hikes, a hiking boot with ankle support, like these lace-up hikers from Keen (for both men and women) is a good idea.

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5

Trekking Socks

 Alvada 80% Merino Wool Hiking Socks Thermal Warm Crew Winter Sock.

Alvada Thermal Wool Hiking Socks for Men & Women

High socks with extra padding might be the most valuable thing you take on a hike.

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6

Trekking Poles

Montem Folding Collapsible Hiking/Walking/Trekking Poles.

Montem Folding Collapsible Hiking Poles

These are optional, but a good idea if you need extra support going downhill on rocky terrain—which you’ll find a lot of on the way down to the Dead Sea and Petra. Opt for foldable trekking poles that pack away easily.

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7

Waist Pack

Kammok Pika Pack.

Kammok Pika Pack

Take the plunge and embrace the fanny pack. Kammok’s Pika Pack is better than a day pack for those hard hikes where you only need a water bottle and some sunscreen on hand. It can be fastened around your waist for hands-free trekking when you’re using poles on rocky terrain, or slung over your shoulder on less demanding hikes. It fit my large canteen, hat, scarf, and bottle of sunscreen, while the zippered front compartment held my phone and smaller items like lip balm, sunglasses, and cash.

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8

Hiking Pants

Columbia Women's Pilsner Peak Pull-On Cargo Pants.

Columbia Pilsner Peak Pull-On Cargo Pants

Protect your legs while staying cool and comfortable with hiking pants or leggings that still breathe, like Columbia’s Pull-On Cargo Pants for women or Silver Ridge Pant for men, which feature built-in sun protection and lots of pockets.

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RELATED: Hiking Outfits That Are Both Comfortable and Stylish

9

Sun Hat

Home Prefer Men's Sun Hat UPF 50  Wide Brim Bucket Hat.

UPF 50 Wide Brim Bucket Hat 

A baseball cap will work, but a sweat-resistant sun hat is better.

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10

Canteen

Half Gallon Water Bottle BPA Free.

ArtLife Sport Half Gallon Water Bottle 

A lightweight water bottle that can hold at least a liter is ideal.

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RELATED: The 10 Best Water Bottles for Travel

11

Shorts

HEAD Women's Athletic Workout Shorts.

Head Athletic Workout Shorts

You’ll want shorts for hot hikes outside the city, but women should again opt for something more modest or ones that will fit under pants since it’s uncommon for women here to show their legs. I love HEAD track shorts because they dry fast and are thin enough to wear under pants in case you’re not sure when you’ll need to cover up for a mosque or church visit.

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12

Travel Towel

Matador  NanoDry Shower Towel.

Matador NanoDry Shower Towel

For camping or a post-hike dip in the Dead Sea, a travel towel like Matador’s NanoDry Shower Towel is a must-have travel—the super-thin, 47-by-24-inch towel fits into only five ounces of bag space.

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13

Travel Sleeping Bag or Liner

Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Liners.

Sea to SummitThermolite Reactor Fleece Liner 

Camping in the desert means surprisingly cold temperatures at night. Prepare by bringing a travel sleeping bag, or a packable sleeping bag liner like Sea to Summit’s Thermolite Reactor Fleece Liner. I was glad I had it, even with the blankets and mattresses provided at our camp.

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RELATED: Best Sleeping Bags for an Amazing (and Toasty!) Night’s Rest

14

Soft Sandals

Sanuk Women's Yoga Dawn TX Sandal.

Sanuk Yoga Dawn TX Sandal

Long travel days are not where you want to be breaking in a new pair of stylish sandals. Sanuk’s Yoga Dawn TX Sandals have a yoga-mat insole and soft faux-leather straps that cushion your feet. They’re the style you want without the blisters.

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15

Sneakers

DailyShoes Unisex Flat Memory Foam Cushioned Insole Casual Slip-On Loafers.

DailyShoes Unisex Memory Foam Slip-Ons

In addition to hiking boots, you might still want to bring some durable lightweight sneakers or slip-ons for easier walks, like traversing through Petra’s rocky Siq, where you won’t want clunky hiking boots on.

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16

Outerwear

Craghoppers Madigan Classic Thermic Ii Jacket.

Craghoppers Madigan Jacket

One warm-yet-thin jacket you can layer will be useful and stylish in both the desert and the city. Craghoppers’ Madigan Jacket fits the bill and has plenty of pockets to boot.

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17

A Long Skirt

Made by Emma Women's Stylish Fold Over Flare Long Maxi Skirt.

Made by Emma Maxi Skirt

Respect the local customs of the Middle East by dressing modestly. Travel-friendly options include this Made by Emma option, which has lightweight moisture control fabric.

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18

Modest Dresses

Craghoppers Women's NosiLife Savannah Dress.

Craghoppers Women’s NosiLife Savannah Dress

If you pack a dress, go for something knee-length that also has adjustable sleeves to protect you from the sun. This dress by Craghoppers fits the bill and has added UPF50 and mosquito protection.

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19

T-Shirts

Lululemon Swiftly Relaxed Short Sleeve.

Lululemon Swiftly Relaxed Short Sleeve

For long days of walking in the sun, exercise T-shirts that are made from sweat-wicking material and cover your shoulders are a must-have in Jordan.

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20

Jeans

The Tomcat High Waist Ankle Straight Leg Jeans MOTHER.

Mother Ankle Straight Leg Jeans

A pair of comfortable, dark-denim jeans are perfect for nights out in Jordan.

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RELATED: 18 Pairs of Soft, Stretchy Jeans That Feel Like Leggings

21

Fleece

Amazon Essentials Women's Full-Zip Polar Fleece Jacket.

Amazon Essentials Women’s Full-Zip Polar Fleece Jacket

Cool desert evenings call for a versatile fleece you can layer or wear on its own, like this one from Amazon Essentials.

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22

Sunscreen

Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion.

Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

If you’re diving in the snorkel-worthy Red Sea, make sure you’re using all-mineral sunscreen that won’t harm the colorful coral reefs.

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RELATED: The Best Drugstore Sunscreens To Add To Your Amazon Cart Right Now

23

Micellar Water or Wipes

 Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

If you’re camping or hiking you won’t always have running water, so bring a travel-size bottle of micellar water or some wipes to cleanse dirt and oil from your face after a sweaty day.

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24

Portable Charger

Anker PowerCore 10000.

Anker PowerCore 10000

Camping in the desert calls for a back-up charger. This by one Anker has over 10,000 five-star reviews.

25

Plug Converter

NEWVANGA International Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter.

Newvanga Universal Travel Adapter

Jordan uses an array of travel outlets, but the U.K. and E.U. plugs on the average universal adapter seem to be the most common.

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26

Sunglasses

SOJOS Classic Square Polarized Sunglasses.

Sojos Unisex Polarized Sunglasses

We love this tortoiseshell style with 100% UV protection, but choose whichever pair of shades is most comfortable for you.

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27

Scarves

Achillea Large Soft Silky Pashmina Shawl Wrap Scarf.

Achillea Large Pashmina 

A necessity for women as an option to cover up whenever appropriate, scarves come in handy as for sun protection for men, too.

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