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Packing List and Gear Requests

We’re so excited to meet you this September! This document is to help you make sure that you have everything you need for your trip. Different trip types have slightly different packing lists, so click on the link below to your specific trip type to see what you might need! 

If you aren’t sure what something that’s listed here is, there is a short glossary of terms at the end to help explain. If you ever want to clarify anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us – we’re here to help! 

While you don’t need to read the packing list for every trip type, we do ask that you read through the Introduction before reading your trip-specific packing list! 

Introduction/ FAQs
Request to Borrow Gear
What if I’m not sure whether I have the right thing?
What’s provided on Trips?
What Shouldn’t I Bring?
Absolutely Not Allowed
Highly Encouraged to Leave Behind
Trip-Specific Packing Lists
Cabin Camping
Cabin Camping and Cooking
Cabin Camping and Lake
Cabin Camping and Meditation
Cabin Camping and Nature Literature
Cabin Camping and Meditation
Cabin Camping and Nature Photography
Cabin Camping Nature Writing and Art
Cabin Camping and Yoga
Cabin Camping and Performing Arts
Camping and Jamming
Canoeing
Climb and Hike
Explore the Upper Valley
Fly Fishing
Frisbee and Field-Day
Hike and Yoga
Hiking (Less Strenuous)
Hiking (Moderately Strenuous)
Hiking (More Strenuous)
Kayaking - Flatwater
Kayaking - Whitewater
Mountain Biking
Museum Exploration
Nature Exploration and Ecology
Organic Farming
Outdoor Stewardship and Trailwork
Paddleboarding
Rod and Reel Fishing 
Sailing
Social Impact
Timbersports
Glossary/ Explanation of Items 
Sleeping Bag/Stuff Sack
Sleeping Pad
Frame Pack
Hiking Boots / Sturdy Walking Shoes
Non-Cotton or Synthetic Materials
Layering Systems and Warm Layers
Headlamps
Water Bottles
Spork/Spoon + Fork and Bowl
 
 

Introduction / FAQs

Below, you will find the specific packing list for your trip type. Please review the following steps to ensure you are prepared for your trip: 

1. READ: Look through your packing list to determine what is required and optional.  You may not need serious backpacking gear for your trip (e.g. Cabin Camping trips will be totally fine with a duffel bag instead of a hiking pack). Carefully read over what you need and figure out what gear you already have! 

2. ASK AROUND: Before you buy lots of new camping gear, ASK friends, neighbors, relatives, classmates, etc. if you can borrow their equipment.  You do not need new equipment -- older gear is totally fine as long as it works properly! 

3. BUY: Now that you have identified what you need, what you already have, and what you can borrow – it's time to purchase any other items on your packing list. One affordable option is to purchase used gear. We suggest visiting your local Army/Navy Surplus Store, thrift stores, rummage sales, or outdoor gear stores (such as REI, Sierra Trading Post, EMS). Staff at outdoor gear stores can help figure out how to meet your needs and budget. 

4. BORROW: If you are unable to find or purchase the gear you need for your trip, we have a limited supply of gear, which you can request to borrow, free of charge. You can request gear by filling out this form. If you’re having trouble accessing this form, let us know via email. If you’re requesting gear, please fill out the form by July 29 at 11:59pm ET. We will do our best to meet everyone’s needs, but priority will go to students on financial aid and those who complete the form by the deadline. We will do our best to accommodate requests for equipment, but encourage you to explore your options BEFORE requesting to borrow from us. 


Stay tuned on Instagram for examples of what gear looks like and how to use it, and reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. We’re happy to answer any questions and are committed to working with you to make sure you have what you need. 
 

What if I’m not sure whether I have the right thing? 

To learn more about what each piece of gear is and does, see the glossary! If you are unfamiliar with any of the gear on your packing list or have a piece of gear but aren’t sure whether it will be ok for Trips, the glossary can provide guidance.

In general, we encourage you not to go buy a bunch of new expensive things. If you’re concerned that you might not be prepared enough, hesitant about the cost of things, not sure that you’ll actually use these things after Trips, or just don’t want to have more stuff, you probably don’t need anything new, fancy, or costly. While you could buy a new pair of pricey hiking boots or a space-age headlamp that will light up an entire forest, in most cases, any study pair of running shoes or a household flashlight will do. 


What’s provided on Trips?

Except the things in the packing lists below, we will provide you with everything that you need on Trips, including:

  • All food, and the equipment on which to cook it 
  • All first-aid and safety equipment 
  • All shelter and tarp equipment 
  • Any technical gear specific to your trip type 
    • Depending on your trip, this could include rock climbing gear, mountain bikes, helmets, kayaks, canoes, paddles, cameras, or fishing equipment/licenses 

What Shouldn’t I Bring?

While we encourage you to bring the things on Trips that make you feel comfortable and that you think you might need, here are some guidelines of what not to bring:

Absolutely Not Allowed

We ask that you kindly not bring these. If you do bring them on Trips, we will discard them.

  • Firearms or weapons of any kind
  • Alcoholic beverages or other non-medical drugs
  • Garden gnomes

Highly Encouraged to Leave Behind

These are items which, while not absolutely forbidden, we think will make a better experience if they’re left in your residence halls while on Trips, and we ask that you do not bring them. These requests are designed to help you further engage with and be respectful towards the experiences and people on your trip. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. 

  • Private food or snacks 
    • While on Trips, we will provide all of the food you need and ensure that it specifically meets your allergies and dietary needs. Lots of food is shared on Trips, so for the safety of everyone, we ask that you not bring outside food on your trip.
    • If you need to have a small supply of personal food for a medical or other need, please reach out to us. 
  • Valuables and money
    • While on Trips, you won’t have any opportunity to spend money, and your Trip Leaders will have everything you might need in the case of an emergency. 
  • Cell phones and other electronics
    • While on Trips, we encourage you to be engaged in the moment. Cell phones negatively impact the experience of the trip, both for you and the other people on your trip. Beyond this, most trips will not have access to cell phone service, wifi, or electricity to charge devices. 
    • If you use electronics to address a specific medical or mental health need, please reach out to us! We’ll be happy to talk through what might be the best way to do this on Trips. 
    • In the event of an emergency, your Trip Leaders will have access to cell phones or other communication devices. 

Trip-Specific Packing Lists 

Below are packing lists organized by trip type. You do not need to read through all the lists - use the Table of Contents above to go to your trip’s packing list! On each packing list, you’ll find a list of items that are required for your trip. You will also find a list of items that may be helpful, but are completely optional. 

Important: For all trips, make sure to bring the required number of water bottles! It might seem like too many, but believe us, it’s important.

Walking-Based Trips

Camping and Jamming, Climb and Hike, Hike and Yoga, Hiking (Less Strenuous), Hiking (Moderately Strenuous), Hiking (More Strenuous), Mountain Biking, Organic Farming, Outdoor Stewardship and Trailwork, Rod and Reel Fishing, Social Impact, Timbersports 

If you are on Climb and Hike or Mountain Biking, rock climbing gear, mountain bikes, and safety equipment will be provided. In addition to the items below, if you are on the following trips, please note any additional items you may bring. All the items below are optional unless marked otherwise. 

For Camping and Jamming: Instrument you feel comfortable bringing (e.g. guitars, drums, harmonicas, ukuleles) 
For Climb and Hike: Climbing shoes (if you own them already) 
For Hike and Yoga: Yoga mat (if you own one already)
For Hiking (Moderately Strenuous): Sturdy hiking boots (recommended), 3 or more 1-liter water bottles (required), warm hat (required - it gets colder than you think!) 
For Hiking (More Strenuous): Sturdy hiking boots (required), 3 or more 1-liter water bottles (required), warm hat (required - it gets colder than you think!) 
For Mountain Biking: Biking gloves (if you own them already), compression shorts (if you own them already), and flat-soled shoes (like skate shoes or running shoes) instead of hiking boots.
For Organic Farming: Work gloves 
For Outdoor Stewardship and Trailwork: Sturdy work gloves and pants, hiking or work boots (preferred, but sneakers are also acceptable)
For Rod and Reel Fishing: Water shoes/shoes you are ok getting wet (chacos, tevas, crocs, etc), fishing equipment (if you own it already)
For Timbersports: Sturdy work gloves and pants, hiking or work boots (preferred, but sneakers are also acceptable)

Required

  • Synthetic/down sleeping bag in a stuff sack (30 degrees or better)
  • Sleeping pad
  • Frame pack (50+ liter depending on your height, weight, etc)
  • Sturdy sneakers or hiking boots
  • 2 pairs synthetic/wool socks
  • Rain jacket
  • Headlamp or flashlight and 1 set extra batteries
  • 2 or more 1-liter water bottles
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Necessary medications (including an Epi-Pen, if you are prescribed one)
  • Spork/Spoon + Fork 
  • Plastic or metal bowl for food
  • 2 t-shirts/athletic shirts (non-cotton)
  • 3 pairs underwear (non-cotton)
  • Athletic shorts (non-cotton)
  • Synthetic/athletic hiking pants (non-cotton)
  • Long underwear or other warm pants (non-cotton)
  • Long-sleeved shirt/tight warm layer (non-cotton)
  • Fleece jacket/big warm layer (non-cotton)
  • 2 Large trash bags (to line your pack)

Optional

  • Baseball cap/sun hat
  • Warm hat
  • Pocket knife
  • Small camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Wind or rain pants 
  • Journal
  • One pair camp shoes (sneakers, crocs, or sport sandals)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Book
  • Ear plugs and eye mask
  • Bathing suit
  • Small towel
  • Menstrual products (we’ll have extra, but bring what you need!) 

Water-Based Trips 

Canoeing, Kayaking - Flatwater, Kayaking - Whitewater, Paddleboarding 

For all water-based trips, paddles, boats, and other safety equipment will be provided. 

Required Optional
  • Synthetic/down sleeping bag in a stuff sack (30 degrees or better)
  • Sleeping pad
  • Duffel bag, backpack, or bag to carry things in (at least 50 liters) – dry bags are ideal if you already have them
  • Sneakers
  • Water shoes/shoes you can get wet (chacos, tevas, crocs, extra sneakers, etc, but not flip-flops)
  • 2 pairs synthetic/wool socks
  • Rain jacket
  • Headlamp or flashlight and 1 set extra batteries
  • 2 or more 1-liter water bottles
  • Toothbrush, small toothpaste
  • Necessary medications (including an Epi-Pen, if you are prescribed one)
  • Spork/Spoon + Fork 
  • Plastic or metal bowl for food
  • 2 t-shirts/athletic shirts (non-cotton)
  • 3 pairs underwear (non-cotton)
  • Athletic shorts (non-cotton)
  • Bathing suit or shorts for swimming
  • Synthetic/athletic hiking pants (non-cotton)
  • Long underwear or other warm pants (non-cotton)
  • Long-sleeved shirt/tight warm layer (non-cotton)
  • Fleece jacket/big warm layer (non-cotton)
  • Baseball cap/sun hat
  • Warm hat
  • Pocket knife
  • Small camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Wind or rain pants
  • Biking gloves – to prevent blisters when paddling
  • Journal
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Book
  • Ear plugs and eye mask
  • Small towel
  • Menstrual products (we’ll have extra, but bring what you need!)

Cabin-Based Trips and Others

Cabin Camping, Cabin Camping and Cooking, Cabin Camping and Lake, Cabin Camping and Meditation, Cabin Camping and Nature Literature, Cabin Camping and Nature Photography, Cabin Camping and Nature Writing and Art, Cabin Camping and Yoga, Cabin Camping and Performing Arts, Explore the Upper Valley, Fly Fishing, Frisbee and Field-Day, Museum Exploration, Nature Exploration and Ecology, Sailing 

If you are on Fly Fishing or Cabin Camping and Nature Photography, fishing equipment/licenses and cameras will be provided. In addition to the items on the packing list, if you are on the following trips, please note any additional items you may bring. All the items below are optional unless marked otherwise.

For Cabin Camping and Nature Photography: Personal camera (if you own one already)
For Cabin Camping Nature Writing and Art: Notebook and pen
For Cabin Camping and Yoga: Yoga mat (if you own one already) 
For Fly Fishing: Fishing equipment (if you own it already), water shoes (recommended!)
For Nature Exploration and Ecology: Notebook and pen
For Sailing: Water shoes/shoes that can get wet (chacos, tevas, crocs, etc), bathing suit 

Required Optional
  • Synthetic/down sleeping bag in a stuff sack (30 degrees or better)
  • Duffel bag, backpack, or bag to carry things in (at least 50 liters)
  • Small day pack/backpack for optional day hikes
  • Sneakers that are broken in (or hiking boots, if you already have them)
  • 2 pairs synthetic/wool socks
  • Rain jacket
  • Headlamp or flashlight and 1 set extra batteries
  • 2 or more 1-liter water bottles
  • Toothbrush, small toothpaste
  • Necessary medications (including an Epi-Pen, if you carry one)
  • Spork/Spoon + Fork 
  • Plastic or metal bowl for food
  • 2 t-shirts/athletic shirts (non-cotton)
  • 3 pairs underwear (non-cotton)
  • Athletic shorts (non-cotton)
  • Synthetic/athletic hiking pants (non-cotton)
  • Long underwear or other warm pant (non-cotton)
  • Long-sleeved shirt/tight warm layer (non-cotton)
  • Fleece jacket/big warm layer (non-cotton)
  • Baseball cap/sun hat
  • Warm hat 
  • Pocket knife
  • Small camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Wind or rain pants 
  • Journal
  • One pair camp shoes (sneakers, crocs, or sport sandals)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Book
  • Ear plugs and eye mask
  • Bathing suit
  • Small towel
  • Menstrual products (we’ll have extra, but bring what you need!)

Glossary/ Explanation of Items 

In this section is a short description and explanation of what each item is, more granular recommendations, and the reasonings behind them. 

Sleeping Bag/Stuff Sack

  • This is, like it might sound, a bag for sleeping in. This has the advantage over regular sleeping linens of being a single item, easily compressible, lightweight, and very warm. A stuff sack is a bag to put your sleeping bag in, and designed to allow the bag to compress to as small as possible to easily fit inside a backpack.
  • We recommend a synthetic sleeping bag, because they will still keep you warm if they get wet. Down sleeping bags are also acceptable, but we do not recommend cotton sleeping bags.
  • A wide variety of sleeping bags will work on Trips, but we ask that you pay attention to the temperature rating of your sleeping bag. Bags rated to 40°F are acceptable for trips that sleep in cabins, while trips that sleep outdoors should have bags rated to 30°F (or lower).
  • If you are concerned your sleeping bag is not warm enough, you can bring additional warm layers or reach out to us for a second opinion.

Sleeping Pad

  • A sleeping pad is an insulating and softening layer that’s designed to be between you/your sleeping bag and the ground. It makes sleeping without a mattress much more comfortable, smoothing out bumps on the ground, softening the surface, and providing another layer of insulation between you and the cold ground. 
  • There are many types of sleeping pads - some made of foam, some inflatable. Some fold, some roll, and some get put into stuff sacks. For Trips, any type will do!

Frame Pack

  • A frame pack is a backpack with a supportive rigid frame that allows you to carry more things on your back than you otherwise would be able to. These backpacks are designed for hiking and have many more straps and adjustments than a backpack that you might use for school. They are also often much larger. 
  • Frame packs are highly adjustable, but do come in different sizes for people of varying torso lengths. If borrowing or purchasing a frame pack, check that it feels comfortable on you.
  • Frame packs vary in the amount  of space inside -- if you need a frame pack for your Trip, we recommend one of at least 50 liters.
  • If you aren’t sure if a pack has a frame, try bending it in half. If it can’t easily be bent, it likely has a frame inside!
  • Some frame packs have their frames visible on the outside, others have their frames internal and hidden. Either version is appropriate and functional!

Hiking Boots / Sturdy Walking Shoes

  • Hiking boots are shoes specifically designed for hiking long distances. They usually go above the ankle, and provide support to the whole foot, the arch, and the ankle. Often, they are waterproof to keep your foot dry even when the trail might be a little muddy. 
  • Even if they aren’t specifically “hiking boots,” there are many kinds of shoes that can be appropriate for hiking. The most important quality of hiking shoes is that they are comfortable even after walking long distances, and that it is sturdy enough to not fall apart on rougher terrain. 
    • Trail running shoes, athletic shoes, work boots, or running shoes can all be used effectively to hike. 
  • If you aren’t sure about your shoes, or want a second opinion, feel free to reach out to us! 
  • VERY IMPORTANT: If you do buy a new pair of hiking shoes for Trips (and there’s no expectation that you do), make sure that they are “broken in” before you get to Trips! This means wearing them around for several days before your trip to allow your boots to adjust to the size and shape of your feet and become more flexible and comfortable. Taking a brand new pair of hiking boots on a trip is a sure-fire way to get blisters on your feet.

Non-Cotton or Synthetic Materials

  • We highly recommend that you bring as little cotton clothing with you on Trips as possible. 
  • Non-cotton materials such as wool, polyester or polypropylene don’t become as easily saturated with water, tend to draw moisture away from your skin, dry more quickly, and can keep you warm even if the material itself is wet.
  • You can check what material clothes are on their tag. As a rule of thumb, most “athletic” clothes, such as running shorts, “silky” t-shirts and compression shirts are non-cotton.
  • The less you’re outside on your trip, the less that the “non-cotton” rule matters -- if you’re staying in a cabin or a bunkhouse where you can stay dry, it might not matter all that much. But if you’re camping outside and it rains, it might matter quite a lot. 
  • Non-cotton clothes can be found very cheaply at thrift stores!

Layering Systems and Warm Layers

  • If you’re spending time outside and/or working with unpredictable weather (like New Hampshire in September), it’s important that your clothing options let you adapt to changes in warmth or moisture quickly. 
  • Luckily, this is easier than you think. A robust layering system can be just four items:
    • Base Layer: a light layer of clothing on your skin, like a non-cotton t-shirt.
    • Mid Layer: a light or midweight layer that you can quickly take on or off that goes over your base layer,  such as a long sleeve t-shirt or tight fleece.
    • Heavy Layer: a warm layer that can go over your mid and base layers to provide a good amount of warmth, like a fluffy fleece, a puffy jacket, or light coat.
    • Shell Layer: a water/windproof layer, like a rain jacket, that can go on top of all of your layers to prevent water or wind.
  • None of these layers have to be fancy or expensive. But if you follow this layering guide, you’ll have a set of clothes that you can change quickly during the day so you’ll be comfortable regardless of if you’re hiking up a big hill, napping by a windy lake, or sitting on the porch of a cabin. 

Headlamps

  • A headlamp is a type of flashlight that has a strap which allows it to be worn on your forehead. These types of lights can be convenient by allowing you to use your light and both of your hands at once, and are very popular in outdoor activities. If you already have a headlamp, we recommend bringing it!
  • If you don’t already have a headlamp, there’s no need to purchase a new one. However, we do strongly recommend that you bring some sort of flashlight other than your phone, as most spaces on Trips will not have electric lighting at night. 

Water Bottles

  • Water bottles should be sturdy, reusable, and able to hold at least 1 liter of water.
  • For all trips, we recommend bringing at least two water bottles – for some trips we recommend you bring three or four. 
  • A classic example of this sort of water bottle is the one liter Nalgene, but almost any sort of water bottle will do, regardless of its brand or if it’s plastic, metal, or wood, as long as it holds around a liter of water. 
    • We do not recommend carrying glass water bottles on Trips because of the risk of breaking.
  • Disposable plastic water bottles are a cheap alternative. These bottles are acceptable as long as they are sturdy enough to last through your trip, can be reused,  and you bring enough of them. Disposable bottles are often small, and you may need 4 or more to carry enough water.

Spork/Spoon + Fork and Bowl 

  • You should bring some type of eating utensil to eat with during Trips. This can look like a plastic, metal, or wooden spork, spoon, or fork. Make sure to bring a utensil that is washable and not easily breakable. No need to buy anything new – something from your kitchen drawer is perfect!
  • You should also bring a bowl for eating on Trips. This can look like a plastic, wooden, or metal bowl, or even a sturdy hard plastic take-out container. Make sure to bring a container or bowl that you can eat hot foods from. Containers with sealable tops (like Tupperware and some camping bowls) are helpful but not required.

Last Updated: 7/22/22