Pack light, be prepared. Take special care as you prepare. You do not want to carry any more than you need. You will be carrying not only your own gear, but food and equipment for the group.
On the other hand, once you are out in the wilderness, you can’t run back home to get something you wish you had taken. And because you may face a wide range of weather conditions, you need to be prepared for both warm and cold, for both wet and dry weather.
As you pack for camp, think carefully: do you really need it? Will you be unprepared without it? Keep in mind the Three Virtues of Trails Gear:
- lightweight (the pounds add up quickly),
- low bulk (there’s only so much space in your pack), and
- multiple use (whenever you can use something for more than one purpose, you’ve saved yourself some weight on the back).
Christikon provides you with a backpack, tent, and gear needed for the group (food, cooking utensils, bear bags, rope, maps, stoves, etc.) You need to provide your own personal gear (see the checklist in the PDF file).
Foot wear. Plan to take care of your feet. They are your only means of locomotion. For most hiking, sneakers or tennis shoes simply cannot provide the support and protection your feet need when you are carrying an additional one-fourth to one-third of your body weight. You will need well-fitting hiking shoes that are already broken in. If you buy new hiking shoes, be sure to wear them for several weeks before you come to camp to avoid blisters. Good foot support and protection are the most important considerations.
You want to have several changes of socks with you. Sometimes hikers wear two sets at a time, a thicker pair over a thinner set. It can help keep your foot from sliding around in your shoe. Wool or synthetic fabrics are better at wicking moisture than cotton.
You will also need sturdy sandals or similar light-but-secure footwear (no flip-flops) for crossing creeks and for use around the campsite.
Sleeping Bag. You want a sleeping bag that is as warm and lightweight as possible, made specifically for backpacking if possible. Look for the temperature ratings to compare between various bags in the same brand and try to avoid bringing bulky sleeping bags if you can.
Sleeping Pad. This can be either closed-cell or open-cell foam. There are some inexpensive ones available, as well as some more elaborate ones (ex. self-inflating). Lightweight and insulating capacity are important considerations.
Clothing. Be prepared for extremes of weather. While we hope you have warm, sunny days, you may have to face a snowstorm. Generally, the nights get cool in the high country, sometimes near or below freezing.
It is best to have clothing that you can layer for better insulation. Wool and synthetic fiber fabrics make excellent choices, while cotton fabrics insulate very little and take a long time to dry. A stocking cap and gloves or mittens are also good to bring along.
A lightweight rain jacket/rain gear is essential. The camp has a limited number of ponchos available; but we do not have enough for everyone, so have your own if possible.
It is good to pack most of your items in small plastic bags, to help protect against wetness. You might also want a large garbage bag to use as a pack cover at night or in the rain.
Insect Repellent. Because mosquitos become quite active in the high country, you will want insect repellent. Some even like to have a hat with mosquito netting