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Hiking 4 - Most Strenuous

Hiking 4 trips are meant for experienced hikers. Trips of this level of difficulty involve some of the most rugged hiking conditions in the East. Most of the peaks you will climb will be above treeline and must be reached by steep ascents. Distances average ten miles a day. You will spend the night in shelters or under tarps supplied by the DOC. These are tough trips but the spectacular scenery makes them well worth the effort.

Packing List

The following list is a strategy on how to pack. You might not be sure why we have included/excluded certain items, but each item on these lists has a special, important purpose in the grand scheme of living, playing, sleeping, and eating in the outdoors. Remember that all these items have to fit into your pack which you will be carrying. Pack what you need but don’t pack too much, because you don't need to carry extra, unnecessary weight! 

Remember that you’re only going away for 5 days. And since it's an outdoor trip, so you won't look the same way you do when you are able to shower and access your full wardrobe. And guess what? You'll look awesome no matter what, because you ARE awesome (both deeply and superficially) and so is everyone else. Think about what’s practical, not fashionable. 

If you have any questions give us a call; we'd happily walk through this with you! We know that it isn't every day that you have to pack for adequate living in the outdoors. 603-646-3996. 

REQUIRED: (you can rent a sleeping bag, pack, and pad from DOC First-Year Trips for free if you don't have one or want to purchase one) 

- A frame pack (internal or external that FITS YOU!) 
- Hiking boots or work shoes: well BROKEN-IN* (not brand-new), preferably ankle height. Sneakers are not sufficient! 
- Sleeping bag (synthetic or down, not cotton or flannel lined, and packed in a stuffsack lined with a plastic bag,) 
- Foam sleeping pad or thermarest 
- Wool sweater or fleece pullover 
- Raincoat or poncho 
- One pair long pants (wool or synthetic to insulate when wet -- NOT blue jeans or cotton sweatpants) 
- 2 pairs heavy socks (preferably wool) 
- 2 t-shirts and underwear 
- 2 pairs hiking, biking or gym shorts 
- Warm long-sleeved shirt (Wool or synthetic material insulate when wet) 
- Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries 
- Wool or fleece hat 
- Gloves or mittens 
- Bathing suit 
- Small towel 
- Plastic bowl and cup, spoon. 
- 2 plastic/metal water bottles (at least one liter each) 
- One pair sneakers or sport sandals (for in camp - optional) 
- Sunscreen and Insect Repellent 
- 2 large plastic bags (one to cover your pack in the rain) 
- Several smaller ziplock-style bags 
- 1 gallon zip loc bag for a map we will give you as a gift for the rest of your travels here in New Hampshire 
- Toilet articles: toothbrush, small toothpaste. You don't need more than this! No razors, makeup, hairdryers, etc. 

*If you decide to buy new boots or work-shoes, spare yourself the agony of big blisters and have them well broken-in before your trip by taking several long walks or hikes in your new shoes. You WILL get blisters if you don't wear them in first. 

- LUNCH for the first day! You won't get dinner until 6pm on the day you arrive, so make sure you have food for when you are traveling to Hanover. Sustenance will sustain you! 
- bandanna, pocket knife, compass, camera, sunglasses, wind or rain pants, harmonica, etc. 
- your journal – journaling can be a great way to record your thoughts/drawings and process life, and the first few days you find yourself in New Hampshire, about to set foot in your new home for four years, may be a great time to process the past, present, and future! Some people connect very strongly to journaling, and some not at all – this is just an idea...and maybe it will spur others! Be sure to have a Ziploc bag that can fit your journal, so it doesn't get wet. 
- small object of significance to share with your trip (and you can continue to share it with your first-year floormates, etc.): a picture, a leaf, a piece of string, song lyrics: keep it small so it isn't cumbersome to carry. Bring yourself to your trip! Ah we can't wait! It's actually not technically optional to bring yourself on your trip; we hope that the person you can bring is the one that is you! And it's alright if it takes a long time for you to bring yourself to this new place with these new people too – we have four years living, studying, being together to build a community! 

- cooking equipment, first aid kit, stove, and all other group gear. 

- firearms, private food, cd players, iPods, radios, TV sets, cellular phones, alcoholic beverages or non-medical drugs, garden gnomes. 

- If you have allergic reactions (bee stings, peanuts, etc.), we ask that you acquire an epinephrine kit from your doctor, and if you have an athletic brace, remember to bring it! 
- The rivers and lakes of New Hampshire get quite chilly by September, and weather in New Hampshire is unpredictable. It can be quite hot during the day but it gets COLD at night. Even if you're roasting in your town's summer heat right now, prepare for some chilly nights on your trip by bringing warm, non-cotton clothes. If you bring the proper clothing, you will remain toasty warm, even while wet. Don't cut corners on things like hats, sunscreen and warm, non-cotton layers. 
- The COTTON issue: You should avoid bringing cotton clothing as your warm clothing in the woods. Think about throwing your favorite cotton sweatshirt in cold water and then putting it on to keep warm -- it's heavy and doesn't insulate. Late summer is likely to be wet at least some of the time, and therefore you should provide for your own comfort and warmth by bringing a long-sleeved top and bottom layer that is not cotton. Any kind of synthetic material will work, as will wool. Don't be afraid to wear an old wool shirt or thermal underwear! Better to be wet and warm than wet and cold! 
- Line your bag with a plastic trash bag and pack your clothes in plastic bags as well. In the event of rain you will be thrilled to have some dry clothes and a dry sleeping bag in camp. 
- Remember, if you do not have the proper equipment, try borrowing it from a friend or check out your local Army/Navy surplus store. You don't need the top-of-the-line, Himalayan expedition-caliber gear; just make sure it's functional and relatively light. Much excellent wool and polyester can be had for next to nothing at Salvation Army and Goodwill. 
- If you have gear questions, contact your local outdoor outfitter such as EMS or REI. Here are some websites that sell less expensive gear: Campmor, REI, Backcountry Store, Sierra Trading Post.

Gearing Up

We at DOC Trips know that it can sometimes be tough to get all the equipment you need for your trip. If you haven’t been camping before, or just don’t own equipment, it may be a burden to procure the backpack, sleeping bag, etc. for your trip. And we at DOC Trips want to help you out!

Step 1 - Read: Read your packing list to figure out what you need. You might not actually need legit backpacking equipment for your trip (for instance, Cabin Campers will be fine with just a duffel bag, and many hikers will be fine with well-worn tennis shoes instead of brand-new hiking boots). Figure out what gear you already have. Figure out what you need.

Step 2 - Ask: Ask everyone you can to borrow equipment! Ask your parents, your neighbors, your co-workers, fellow classmates, anyone! The best outdoor eqiupment is gear that’s been used before. If you have really old-school stuff, so much the better! You’ll just look that more hardcore.

Step 3 - Buy: Go to your local Army surplus store, thrift store, rummage sale, or outdoor gear store (EMS, Sierra Trading Post, etc.) and buy the things that you need. If you’re buying something you’ll probably use only once, don’t spend lots of money. However, if you’re buying something you’ll use in the future, it might make sense to invest in the high-quality option (b/c you get what you pay for).

** IMPORTANT ** This is so critically important, every year tens to hundreds of trippees make this mistake: Do NOT, repeat do NOT, bring brand-new hiking boots on your trip. You WILL be miserable. If you are getting new hiking boots, buy them at least three weeks in advance and wear them around on a daily basis to break them in. Brand new boots will eat your feet alive, and you do not want that. Your Trip is about fun, not blisters.

Step 4 - Email us: If you are unable to find or buy gear, send us an e-mail with the subject line ’Gear request’ and a list of the gear you would like to borrow from us. We provide the following items free of charge for use by students during their trip.

  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping pads
  • Frame packs
  • Fishing rods
  • Mountain bikes

Gear is not done on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will be given to students who are recieving financial aid. We do hope to be able to accomodate all gear requests, but there is a chance demand will outstrip supply. If for some reason we are not able to provide gear for you, we will notify you well in advance to give you time to explore your options.

** Also pretty important ** Please be sure to try other resources (friends, family, goodwill, etc) BEFORE applying for gear from us. Our gear is a BACKUP in case all else fails.

We ask that all gear requests be sent to us by August 1.

Last Updated: 10/21/12