Proper equipment can make the difference between a miserable camp experience and a comfortable, happy one. It is essential that you follow the equipment guidelines below:
It can get cold at night! All campers must have a sweater or heavy shirt of wool or poly-fleece that will be warm even if it gets wet, and warm long pants (not jeans) which they can take on trips and sleep in on cold nights. We also recommend a warm hat.
Backpacks and sleeping bags don't have to be expensive. Many outdoor outfitters sell used backpacks and sleeping bags, or one can be borrowed from a neighbor.
Rental and Loaner Gear
We understand that backpacking gear is not always affordable or easy to obtain. We have a small collection of backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and water shoes that can be rented or borrowed for the session. Upon Registration you will be able to note if you think you will be unable to provide certain equipment for your camper. Depending on the amount of gear requests we receive, we might be able to loan your camper our gear for free. However, if we receive more requests than gear in stock, we may have to charge small fees to help us obtain more gear to lend out. If your camper is already using a campership we will do our absolute best to avoid charging a fee for rental gear.
Due to the importance of hiking with a backpack and other equipment that is best suited for your camper (weight, size, etc.) we highly recommend that you obtain gear for your camper on your own whenever possible.
Please do not send your child to camp without the essential items on this list:
35 - 60 liters (internal frame highly recommended) Backpack:
This pack must also have padded shoulder straps and a padded hip belt.
A properly fitting backpack can make hiking a pleasure; and ill-fitting pack makes it uncomfortable. Padded shoulder straps and hip belt are essential. The pack should fit your child: the hip belt should draw tightly around the waist such that the child's legs carry the weight of the backpack. Check borrowed or hand-me-down packs for needed adjustments and repairs. Outdoor outfitter stores will adjust a pack to fit your child, even if you didn't buy it there. Older campers are often ready to carry more weight and group supplies, so for them 50-70 liter packs are more preferable.
For Teen Leadership Camp: We highly recommend the following pack sizes: 45-60 liters for Beginning Backpacking, 50-80 liters for Intermediate Backpacking, and 65-100 liters for Advanced Backpacking.
Sleeping Bag with Stuff Sack:
Avoid cotton and flannel materials! Although it rarely rains on backpacking trips, these materials take a very long time to dry and one quick rain can make both nights very cold and uncomfortable. A good hiking sleeping bag can fit into a stuff sack the size of a 2-liter bottle or coffee can. A bad sleeping bag can be bigger than your backpack (and very difficult to hike with)! A small, lightweight sleeping bag with stuff sack is very important for a pleasant hiking experience. We recommend synthetic materials and bags designed specifically for hiking.
Sleeping Pad for Camping Trips:
An ensolite (closed cell) foam pad or Thermarest. This should roll tightly and not absorb water. We don't use tents when camping, so it is important to have a layer in between you and the ground.
You will need several different kinds of footwear this summer.
Hiking Shoes: One pair of hiking shoes. Avoid new or new-ish hiking boots: We recommend sturdy sneaker-type shoes in good condition for hiking or well broken-in, lightweight hiking boots.
Water Shoes: Campers need a pair of shoes (crocs, tevas, and even old sneakers are best) for the pond and river swimming. These shoes will get wet and muddy and probably stay that way through the session. Flip flops are not acceptable water shoes - they need to attach firmly at the toe and heel.
In-Camp Shoes: Shoes must be worn at all times at camp. You will need closed-toed shoes for running around in, and perhaps another comfortable pair for coming and going (flip-flops or sandals are fine for the cabin area and bathhouse).
Further Essential Equipment (all the above plus...)
- Enough pants, shorts, and shirts for one week (we will do laundry over the weekend for campers staying for multiple weeks)
- Enough Socks & underwear for one week
- A swim suit and a towel
- A sweater or jacket that will be warm even if it gets wet (fleece or wool)
- Warm shirt and pants (not jeans!) for sleeping in on camping trips if it gets cold at night
- Warm pajamas for in-camp
- Wool socks (one or two pairs) for hiking
- A hat for keeping the sun off your face
- A warm hat for cold weather
- Essential toilet items and a towel for the showers
- A good flashlight or headlamp (with extra batteries)
- Water bottle (at least 1 liter!) 1 -2 water bottles that can carry at least 2 liters total required for Teen Leadership Camp
- Plastic bowl, plastic cup, and a spoon (or a mess kit) to take hiking
- Sun screen
- Bedding for your cabin - twin sheets, a pillow, and a blanket (if you don't want to use your sleeping bag as a blanket)
- Musical instrument that can stand up to the camp environment
- Laundry bag
- Reading material
- Writing materials and envelopes w/ stamps
- Bug repellent
- Journal or sketch pad
- Sports Equipment
- Playing cards
- Sleeping bag sheet (use a double bed sheet, fold in half, and sew two edges to make a liner) for camping on hot nights when mosquitoes are out
- Camera (please no cameras that play music, games, make calls or send messages)
- White garments that you wish to tie-dye (must be 100% cotton!)
Please do not bring:
- Any item you cannot bear to lose (especially jewelry and watches)
- Delicate clothing
- Food or candy
- Any illegal drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products
- Perfumed or heavily scented cosmetic products
- Any weapon
- Aerosol dispensers or spray cans
- Good luggage
- Fireworks, matches, candles or lighters
- Electronics: this is a very firm policy and no hair dryers, electric musical instruments, phones, music players and gaming devices are allowed at camp. Cameras that do not play music, make calls or send messages are permitted, but please remember not to send your child with anything too valuable to be lost or damaged.
Label everything! You wouldn't believe the size of the lost and found pile at the end of camp! If it has your name on it, it has a better chance of finding its way home.