Backcountry Course Participant Food & Gear Packing List in V.A.04.a
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Required ItemsSpecificsNotesMiscellaneousOther things you might want to bringThings we'll bring for the group - people will have to share the weightHelpful informational websites
Full water bottleplastic or metalcan use inexpensive disposable plastic bottled water container for 1 of your water bottlescan use platypus or camelbackif you have history of bad back/ankle/knee etc. please bring brace(s) just in casecamp stoves/fuel - it's also nice to bring your own to practice using
2nd water bottleUnlined, stainless steel recommended. We recommend 40 oz Kleen KanteenIf you only have plastic water bottles then you must bring an extra metal pot for boiling water.trekking/walking poles/sticktrowels for sanitation, etc
water purificationiodine tabs, filter, uv light, etc (you can save space by having one of your water bottles be a filtration water bottle) - your preference but must have at least 1 methodiodine tablets alone are not sufficient to kill cryptosporidium and are lacking with giardia as well, I personally carry the Sawyer Mini water filteryou will be responsible for your own drinking/cooking water (we can help)cameraFOOD (see Food Tab): Campers bring food for the first 2 days. We will provide the remainder. Each camper will pack and carry what they think they will need for the week. We will plan and share the weight of group meals.
toiletriesin gallon ziplock bagrecommend: toothbrush/paste/floss, sunscreen, toilet paper (for the week), baby wipes, medicines (you are responsible for your own personal hygiene)other options: female supplies, comb/brush, washcloth/small towel, lotion, foot supplies, hair ties, lip balm, hand sanitizer, bio camp soap for washingjournal & writing utensils
headlampprefer LED headlamp w/ extra new batteriesan extra flashlight can come in handy, make sure you have extra batteriesred light will help preserve night visionfield guides
eating utensilspoon, fork, spork - your preferencecan use swiss army knife with spoon/forkcamp pillow; otherwise use stuff-sack with clothing insideAdapted from Everyday Wisdom: 1001 Expert Tips for Hikers by Karen Berger (The Mountaineers Books, $16.95, paperback).
Metal pot & cupyou will use this for cooking meals, hot drinks, etcstainless or titanium are best but up to you, you need a pot and not a plate so it can hold both dry and wet foods (you will cook in this and eat out of it)it is nice to have a cup that fits inside the potfamily radio/walkie talkie; we'll supply but if you have one you know how to use, bring it with extra batteries1)    Use waterproof stuff sacks for your gear, especially clothing. Even use different colors to indicate what type of gear is in each.
giant plastic garbage bags (2)large enough you can fit into it, also, can use as backpack cover if raining3ml is ok 4ml is better if you can find itextra zippy bags for collecting stuff2)    As mentioned a lot above, use zip-lock plastic bags to keep such items as matches, food, camera, first aid kit, books, maps, journal, tea bags and sweeteners dry.
warm hatwool or syntheticIt gets cold at night (even in the summer) and you will need itextra snacks/bars3)    Be a quick-change artist (our weather most certainly is) and keep an extra layer of dry clothing made very accessible.
sun hatbaseball cap might be okay, but we suggest full brim/packablecan hang a handkerchief from the back of a baseball cap to protect your neck from sunwarm gloves in case you get cold easily4)    If you are hiking in intermittent rain, make sure your stops for water or snacks are during the dry moments on the trail, or stop underneath trees and overhangs that shed water so are a bit dry underneath
thin leather glovesfor working in camp, fire safetydown booties/fleece socks to wear in your sleeping bag, mmmm toasty… (store in sleeping bag)6)    Take advantage of your “pit zips” and other ventilation devices in your rain clothing. Open and close them to either cool off or warm up.
sunglasses with strapamber lenses are best, but it's up to you, preferably in a case, or in zippy bag in its own special backpack zip-up space you must protect your eyes, best to have glasses without special parts/screws, etc (less to break/go wrong). Look for the single-mold plastic kind (plain over nose, etc.)seasonings (salt, pepper, etc)7)    To keep your feet dry, put on your rain pants. These direct the flow of water down and over the waterproof exterior of your boots. If it’s too warm, gaiters will keep your feet dry for a while, but won’t keep the rain from dribbling through the tops of your boots.
sewing kitjust a mini with thread, needles, safety pins, button. Practice with it by sewing it onto your backpack!1-2 bandanas - can be used for 1st aid, comfort, neck shade, etc (highly recommend!)8)    Be a speed eater. Keep snacks handy in your larger exterior pockets, a waist pouch or somewhere that you don’t have to take off your rain coat to open your pack and expose your gear to the weather. Be inventive.
mirrored compasssee main gear list for details. We have some for sale at $15 but if you want one that lasts, the Suunto MC-2 is a good one (research on and other sites to find what will work best for you)we'll be practicing with the signal mirror and using it for sightinglet us know if you'd like to borrow one for the week and we can bring extrasshorts9) At the end of the hiking day, wring out your socks if they become wet and hang them up in your tent where your body heat can help them dry a little. (Better yet, stuff them inside your sleeping bag while you snooze.) If the next day is drier and sunnier, hang the wet socks up to dry outside. Then put them back on your feet for hiking if they’re not too wet, and save your dry backup socks for the end of the day as you enjoy camp with a warm beverage and some dinner in your stomach.
sleeping bagsynthetic or down okmust fit in backpack or be able to be tied on securely (without swinging around / catching on stuff / getting wet when we hike through wet brush or in case of rain like last year)stretch pants/tights for sleeping, super comfy, nice if you have to exit the tent quickly (store in sleeping bag)
closed-cell foam sleeping padroll-up or accordian (not the thermarest, blow-up kind which can puncture and won't protect in case of lightning)must fit in backpack or be able to be tied on securely (without swinging around / catching on stuff / getting wet when we hike through wet brush or in case of rain like last year)let us know if you need to borrow one, you can choose to bring a thermarest as well but you must have a foam pad alsogaiters (protection of pants/additional tick protection)
small fleece blanketoptional but highly recommended to keep the dew off when we sleep under the stars without tents, also helpful if there are mosquitoes at nightin tent, it is useful if cold, can use as pillow, protects sleeping bag from condensation if your tent isn't ventilated enoughinsect repellent - be respectful of those who choose not to wear it or don't like the smell, mosquito net
paracord and/or jute stringparacord is super strong and light and can be used to repair backpack, shoelace, tie gear to pack, hang food, repair tent, etc. Jute string is also the greatest fire tinder.binoculars
1st aid kitdon't get a fancy store-bought kit; save money and see what's in your kit by placing your individual items inside sandwich zippies, and those inside a gallon zippyIf you have experience/training, pack 1st aid kit while considering weather, terrain, plants (pokey/spiny), bugs (ticks), bees, blisters, sunburn, headache, diarrhea, cuts/scrapes, etc.For beginners, no worries, you're here to learn this from us. Just think "useful", and include band-aids, latex/nitrile gloves, etc.hand lens/magnifying glass
day pack (like a school-size backpack)for day hikes away from base campyou'll adjust your packing during the trip, but start off putting what you'd need for a little day hike in this smaller day pack, & put IT in your larger pack where you can quickly access itswimwear/towel
hiking/backpacking packinternal or external frame - either will work (MAKE SURE IT FITS!)big enough to hold all of this stuff, either internally or tied securely to the outside but in that case, you'll need to think about waterproofing, tearing when walking through brush, falling off, swinging around and driving you crazy, etc.vitamins/Emergen-C
tent w/ rainfly that goes all the way to the ground, all the way around the tentwe have some you can share with 1 other personyou can bring your own but must carry it yourself, if you share a tent, 2 people share the carrying weightsolar charger and usb charging cable/external battery
ground cover tarp1 per tent (you don't need a tarp if your tent comes with a separate ground cover/footprint piece to place under the tent)suggest a lightweight tarp barely larger than tent footprint (huge tarp is a bad idea - too heavy/bulky)
hiking bootswaterproof with good ankle support - this is important item so please do not skimpthis is THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM, make sure they fit well and are broken in BEFORE coming to campdon't forget your orthotics or inserts if you use them, liner socks inside your hiking socks help prevent blisters
extra shoessandals (that strap on) are fine, something you can change into after hiking/wear around camp that will allow your feet to rest/breatheNOT flip-flops; in fact, close-toed shoes such as crocs or close-toed Keen's are better than birkenstocks, for instance, because toe injuries are common around camp with open-toed sandalshighly recommended (your feet will thank you)
water shoessandals (that strap on) are ok substitute, but you will need to be able to wear them in the waterthese would be used for any water crossings - you must protect your feet in order to participate in this trip
appropriate sockswool/hiking socks. The best are Merino wool. Merino isn't scratchy, and wears as nicely as cotton If you are only used to cotton socks, bring some. They are nice around camp in the evening, or okay hiking if dry out, but they are a total detriment if wet.For comfort and foot care, we personally change socks every day. Must bring at least 2 pairs, and wash one daily in that case
underwearquick drying is nice but comfort is keyyou can line your undies with a disposable panty liner and replace that every day in order to use only 1-2 pair:)must bring at least 2 pairs
Gallon zip-lock bagsfor personal garbage disposalWe practice "leave no trace" so you need to pack out your toilet paper, menstrual products, wet wipes, food packages, etc.bring a couple so you have extra
pantsAll must be comfortable but have the ability to dry quickly. No jeans. They'll be too hot, and if wet, a total and complete bummer.A pair of THIN cotton cargos is nice down in the deserty areas, but synthetic hiking pants are best in all bioregions except if hiking through thorny patchesBring 2 pair. Thin wool pants are great and you can often find some in thrift stores. Same with thin cotton/mixed/synthetic cargos.
long underwear, top and bottomsynthetic or wool, and never cottonmandatory to bring 1 set
under shirtt-shirt style, sleeveless, tanknothing offensive please (either cut or logo), quick dry is nice, comfortable, your choicebring at least 2
over shirt, long-sleevesmandatory for sun protection, warmth, and hiking through brushTry to get one SPF (sunscreen) shirt, and one thin fleece or thin cotton long-sleeve shirtmust bring at least 2
super warm fleece pullover or warm wool shirtsomething w/ long sleeves that can be used for cool and misty weathermandatory, but if you want to save a few bucks, we have a bunch of extras, so just ask and we'll lend you oneGoodwill always has a bunch of these, too.
second warm jacket or pulloverfor warmth and wind protectionas long as it's not cotton at all, and can fit into your pack:)Only if you are used to hiking and backpacking and camping and don't get cold sitting around at night, sleeping and when getting up in the morning, you can leave this one off your list
rain gearrain and wind protection (it rained last year and we definitely all used our rain gear!)You never know what the weather will be like, so you must be prepared. I always carry rain pants and jacket (see website pic of Skye and I)must bring at least 1 set. The best is a gortex rain suit for over $100, but for temporary use, a $35 medium-gauge rainsuit from a big-box store is perfectly fine
knife if you don't have one yet, we use and recommend Mora of Sweden "Companion" in stainless steel (durable, comfortable, inexpensive)otherwise, see knife section of main gear list for details;not mandatory to purchase, we will supply as needed
fire starterif you've practiced fire making in the past, bring what you know (waterproof matches, lighter, firesteel, bow drill, etc.)If you haven't practiced all-natural, in the woods firemaking before, you can purchase one of our $15 firesteels (our favorite thing to carry for making fire) if you'd like
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