Required ItemsSpecificsNotesMiscellaneousOther things you could bringHelpful informational websites
Full water bottleplastic or metalcan use inexpensive disposable plastic bottled water container for 1 of your water bottlescan use platypus or camelbackField Guide - recommended for wildlife focus: Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest by David Moskowitz; recommended for plant focus: Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar & MacKinnon (revised edition)There are links to 2 helpful articles about how much fuel to pack in Column B, Line 39.
2nd water bottleUnlined, stainless steel recommended. We recommend 40 oz Kleen Kanteen or similarIf you only have plastic water bottles then you should bring an extra metal pot for boiling water.if you have history of bad back/ankle/knee etc. please bring brace(s) just in case
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 method of purificationiodine tablets alone are not sufficient to kill cryptosporidium and are lacking with giardia as well, I personally carry a Sawyer water filter. Patrick says - I would recommend the standard Sawyer Squeeze or the Katadyn BeFree. The flow rates of both of these are much higher than the sawyer micro/mini and they clog significantly less. The Katadyn BeFree, in particular, has grown extremely popular within ultralight backpacking communities. you will be responsible for your own drinking/cooking water (we can help); clogged filters were an issue in 2021 so make sure you know how to clean your filter/purifier. Additionally, many do not like the flavor of the iodine tabs, so if carrying them I recommend a flavor enhancer such as gatorade powder, tang or similar. You can pre-filter/strain water through a bandana to minimize sediment.trekking/walking poles (can also just find a great stick)
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 washingcamera w/ protective case - know that this item is easily damaged and lostThe Mountaineers: 10 Essentials
headlampprefer LED headlamp w/ extra new batteriesan extra flashlight can come in handy, make sure you have extra batteriesred light will help preserve night visionjournal & writing utensils - highly recommend
eating utensilspoon, fork, spork - your preferencecan use swiss army knife with spoon/forkfield guides
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 pot; think about your food and if you'll need 2 pots to make what you plan to eatcamp pillow; otherwise use stuff-sack with clothing inside
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 itthe ones with the drawstring are often too small - think big garbage canfamily radio/walkie talkie; we'll supply but if you have one you know how to use, bring it with extra batteries
warm hatwool or syntheticIt gets cold at night (even in the summer) and you will need itextra zippy bags for collecting stuff
sun hatbaseball cap might be okay, but we suggest full brim/packablecan hang a bandana from the back of a baseball cap to protect your neck from sunwarm gloves in case you get cold easily
thin leather glovesfor working in camp, fire safetygarden style gloves are not safe or reliable when working around fire down booties/fleece socks to wear in your sleeping bag, mmmm toasty… (store in sleeping bag)
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.)1-2 bandanas - can be used for 1st aid, comfort, neck shade, etc (highly recommend!)
sewing kitjust a mini kit with thread, needles, safety pins, buttonshorts
mirrored compassWe have some for sale at $15 or to borrow, 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 extrasstretch pants/tights for sleeping, super comfy, nice if you have to exit the tent quickly (store in sleeping bag)
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 rainlet us know if you need to borrow one and if so make sure to leave space in your gear to pack it or bring something to tie it on withgaiters (protection of pants/additional tick protection)
closed-cell foam sleeping padroll-up or accordian (not the thermarest, blow-up kind which can puncture)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 let us know if you need to borrow one, you can choose to bring a blow up thermarest, but you must have a foam pad alsoinsect repellent - be respectful of those who choose not to wear it or don't like the smell; mosquito nets are fantastic; don't underestimate the suffering mosquitos can create for you - they are definitely out where we're going
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 tent, it is useful if cold, can use as pillow, protects sleeping bag from condensation if your tent isn't ventilated enoughtick repellent - while we haven't had a problem in the past, this is a warm year and tick numbers are increasing in our bioregion
1st aid kitdon't need to get a fancy store-bought kit; save money and be able to see what's in it by placing your individual items inside sandwich ziplocs, and those inside a gallon zippyIf you have experience/training, pack 1st aid kit while considering weather, terrain, plants (pokey/spiny), bugs (ticks & mosquitoes), 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.binoculars
day pack (like a school-size backpack)this will be used for day hikes away from base camp; must be able to fit 10 essentialsa day pack with an adjustable waist belt is the most comfortable optionswimwear/towel
larger pack (hiking/backpacking backpack is best, but if you don't have one and don't plan to backpack in the future, then something you can carry walking a half mile on flat trail like a duffle bag with wide straps over the shoulders is fine)if you get a backpacking backpack, either an internal or external frame - either will work but don't just order one online - go to REI or Play It Again Sports Etc. and make sure it fits; REI always has someone on duty to fit your backpack correctly;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 (bring extra big garbage bag, or two to replace it when it tears walking through brush, falling off, swinging around and driving you crazy, etc.)you can leave gear in our camp van (although there is a risk of theft when the van is left on the gravel road) but anything you want out at our primitive group camp the second half of the week you must be able to carry; it's fine if you have most gear in a backpack then carry some small/light extras in a hand-carry bag or a day pack that you strap on the front before putting the big backpack on the back, or visa-versa during the one or two camp location transitions we make;hand lens/magnifying glass
tent w/ rainfly can sub with a bivy (bivouac shelter); if your tent doesn't have a proper rainfly, you may bring a tarp or similar to tie up over it for rain protectioneveryone must pack their own tent unless coming with a sibling or someone in a covid bubble, rainfly should go all the way to the ground around the tentlet us know if you need to borrow one for the weekvitamins/Emergen-C
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). (Cut a piece of Tyvek sheet and/or heavy duty plastic to fit tent footprint instead of an expensive footprint/tarp -- Pat).a lightweight tarp barely larger than tent footprint (huge tarp is a bad idea - too heavy/bulky, hard to manage)solar charger and usb charging cable/external battery
hiking boots (must have lead instructor permission for an alternative)waterproof with good ankle support is recommended (especially if there's a history of ankle issues/sprains) - this is an important item so please do not skimp. must 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 blisterslightweight trowel for sanitation; you can also just use a stick
extra shoessandals (that strap on) are fine, something you can change into after hiking/wear around camp that will allow your feet to rest/breathe NOT 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); I bring tennis shoes and water shoesparacord and/or jute string - 550 paracord 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.
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 tripsmall hand sanitizer - we will have sanitizer available to refill as needed
appropriate sockswool/hiking socks. The best are Merino wool. Merino isn't scratchy, and wears as nicely as cotton; we recommend a pair for each day. (at a minimum, 2 pairs to rotate during the week days, 1 pair for at night -- Pat)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 3 pairs, and follow Pat's advice.
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; great for collecting cool stuff that you find
pantsAll must be comfortable but have the ability to dry quickly. No jeans for your 2 pairs. They'll be too hot, and if wet, a total and complete bummer.synthetic hiking pants are great - I find them at goodwill, sportco, sportsmans warehouse, etc.we recommend 2 pairs of pants; (do not bring a 3rd pair. I am wearing the same pair of pants all week and sleepng in long underwear -- Pat)(I also sleep in my long undies and usually wear the same pants all week but I do pack a 2nd thin pair just in case b/c I'm clumsy - Kim)
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 shirtwe recommend 2 long-sleeve shirts but must at least have one
super warm fleece pullover or jacketsomething w/ long sleeves that can be used for cool and misty weather that is ideally lightweightmandatory, but if you want to save a few bucks, we have some 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 protection -- down or synthetic down replacement will have best weight/warmth ratioas long as it's not cotton at all, and can fit into your pack:)If and 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, then you can leave this one off your list
rain gear (top and bottom)rain and wind protection (it rained in 2019 and we definitely all used our rain gear; there was a freak thunderstorm that rolled through in 2021 and everyone used their raingear)You never know what the weather will be like, so you must be prepared. 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; I actually like the Frogg Toggs jacket that I got at Walmart nearly as much as my Marmot gore-tex rain jacket.
knife if you don't have one yet, we use and recommend Mora of Sweden "Companion" in stainless steel (durable, comfortable, inexpensive)not mandatory to purchase, we will supply as needed
fire starter for lighting camp stoveif you've practiced fire making in the past, bring what you know (waterproof matches, lighter, firesteel, bow drill, etc.)please note - fire-making will likely be restricted due to dry conditions and high fire danger - your instructor will advise
camp stove & fuel to last the weekit can be as simple as an Esbit style with fuel tabs (one fuel tab per boiled pot of water plus a few extras would work) to something more complicated such as a whisperlite with liquid fuelI use an MSR pocketrocket 2 stove and 8 oz isopro fuel cannister. Some people prefer a Jetboil. It's up to you to choose your preferred method and we can help you with it. Please, absolutely no woodburners/rocket stoves on this trip due to the likely high fire danger. It can be hard to know how much fuel you will need for a week. I think the best way to find out is to google the burn time for the type of stove and fuel you're using. MSR does a nice write-up for their stoves and fuels: as do most other reputable brands. I don't like to run out of fuel so I carry an 8 oz canister of MSR isopro plus an extra 4 oz just in case. I don't make gourmet meals in the field, mostly just heat up water and do a lot of instant. And here's a great article from REI: PRACTICE COOKING multiple times on your camp stove - the most common cause of burns in the backcountry is cooking - don't learn to cook the hard way; If bringing an Esbit-style stove and fuel tabs, please note that it will only heat water to boiling and your food must be limited to instant-cook only.
sun protectionwe are fine if you use a hat, long sleeves and long pants; you can use sunscreen; you can use all of the abovea sunburn can seriously ruin your adventure; you are expected to protect yourself from the sunsun protection is mandatory
face maska well-fitted mask may be required for indoor bathroom use; recommend bringing 2 just in case
Counter Assault bear spray with safe holster
Petzl 300 lumen headlamp with red light option (or similar)
Foldable sawI carry this one; another that comes highly recommended is this onefor scotchbroom restoration