The definitive packing guide for travelling in Jordan

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Jordan is hot by nature and conservative by inclination. Its capital Amman is a world away from the new-money glitz of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, but it’s still got a great cosmopolitan vibe, with trendy cafes and art galleries popping up on the palm-studded boulevard of the aptly named Rainbow Street.

People packing for a Jordan adventure have to be prepared for all conditions – burning sands, bustling souks and salty seas ­– and women in particular need to be aware of a few dos and don’ts when it comes to respecting local Sunni dress codes.

So we thought we’d take the guesswork out of things with our definitive Jordan packing guide*

* As definitive as we can be. We still have no idea how to fold a shirt properly or how to ward off the strange voodoo which causes socks to disappear.

Essentials

  • Wide-brimmed hat: you may look like a dork, but it’s better than frying your head under the desert sun.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen: for obvious reasons.
  • Lightweight linen pants: for the sake of religious modesty, short shorts are a no no. Pack a light, breathable pair of pants instead (white is good for reflecting the heat).
  • A lightweight jumper/sweater: the nights in Wadi Rum can get pretty cold. Pack a couple of lightweight layering options.
  • Non-leather shoes: the desert air and sand will destroy most leather after a while. Consider something more lightweight, open-toed and breathable.
  • T-shirts: t-shirts are acceptable, tank or halter tops not so much. The longer the sleeves the better.

Highly recommended

  • Chapstick and Vaseline: the Dead Sea’s minerals are great for the skin, but they can dry it out in seconds. Some sort of moisturiser is essential.
  • Water purification tablets: water in the major cities is usually fine, but these will come in handy as you move through rural communities.
  • Wrap or headscarf: more for sun protection than modesty reasons.
  • Mosquito coil: consider a natural sandlewood incense coil to ward off mosquitos and other bitey things.
  • Gloves and warm socks: temperatures can plummet in the desert at night. You’ll be glad you brought these.

Nice to have

  • Camp headlight: good for finding the bathroom in Wadi Rum at night.
  • Tripod: almost an essential for photographers keen to capture some killer desert stars.
  • Insulated water bottle: avoid buying bottled water (it’s bad for the environment). A well-made insulated model will keep you hydration nice and cool.
  • Earplugs: if you’re a light sleeper, earplugs are a good way to block out nearby mosques’ regular calls to prayer.
  • Pocket air blower: great for keeping sand particles out of your digital camera.

This packing list first appeared on IntrepidTravel.com