Your Tucson -bound knapsack should include a few essential items, whether you’re coming in spring, summer, or second spring. Definitely bring along a swimsuit, even if you’re coming in January — most hotels have a heated pool and a hot tub. Bring sunscreen and a hat that casts a shadow over your face and your neck; even if it’s not too hot out, that sun is always shining and its rays are dangerous.
Bring comfortable shoes for walking, or even hiking shoes — you don’t need big boots; a sporty low-top hiker will suffice for most hikes. Bring along a small day pack for carrying around snacks and drinks. You may want to invest in a good pair of binoculars, especially if you plan to do any bird-watching or other wildlife-viewing.
If you are an avid biker — road or mountain — you should definitely consider bringing your wheels along with you. Otherwise, you can easily rent one. If you’re going to be here in the summer, pack light, comfortable clothes, but don’t forget a windbreaker or other light jacket; if you’re in the mountains after dark you may actually need it.
Also bring along a pair of flip-flops, Tucson’s official footwear, and wear them proudly with shorts or even jeans. A good map of the region is also helpful, though you can get one when you arrive. Make sure to bring your camera. You are definitely going to use it.