Equipment List

Basic Equipment

  • For all trips but Day Hikes: Backpack with waist belt (~65L; internal or external frame)
  • For Day Hikes: A small day pack to carry essentials on daily outings. The backpack you used in high school or a drawstring bag would work perfectly! For travel to Yale, feel free to pack your items into a duffel bag, laundry bag, or any similar bag. 
  •  Sleeping bag (synthetic preferred)
  •  Sleeping bag stuff sack (waterproof preferred)
  • Sleeping pad (inflatable or closed cell foam)
  • Headlamp (preferred) or flashlight with new batteries
  • Cup, bowl, and fork/spoon (plastic or metal)
  • 4 sturdy water bottles (750mL or larger)
  • Whistle with string to wear around neck (absolutely mandatory!)


  • 2 sweaters; one thick, one thin (fleece, synthetic, or wool; not
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 1 pair of cotton or nylon shorts
  • 1 pair of pants (synthetic or quick dry preferred; not jeans!)
  • 1 set of long underwear (top and bottom)
  • Wool hat and gloves/mittens
  • Waterproof rain gear
  • 3 sets of underwear
  • Bandana (optional)
  • ~3 pairs hiking socks (wool or synthetic preferred; not cotton!)
  • 2 pairs of knee-high white socks for tick prevention
  • 2-3 face masks. We will not be wearing these the majority of the time; however, we want to be prepared if we pass through heavily trafficked areas while on the trip. 


  • Hiking boots—broken in and waterproofed (good work boots or
    strong running sneakers with ankle support can substitute)
  • Light sandals—to wear around camp (recommended)

Recommended Equipment

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal hygiene items (menstrual products, face wipes, tissues,
    ear plugs, etc.)
  • Sunblock and Insect Repellant
  • Sunglasses and baseball cap
  • Assorted bungee cords, nylon straps with buckles, or ropes (for
    holding things to your pack)
  • Assorted plastic bags—large garbage bags(~4), gallon-sized (~5), and quart-sized Ziplocs (for waterproofing backpack and clothing)
  • Small pocketknife**
  • Lighter**
  • GORP/Trail mix and hot/cold drink mixes (lemonade, cocoa, tea,
  • Disposable camera**
**helpful if you have one, but not worth stressing over!


Do not bring any extra gear! You will be issued group equipment that will also have to fit into your backpack. The lighter your pack, the better.
No need to bring extra food—we have plenty! Homemade GORP (trail mix) is all you might want to bring.
All of the items above are very important, and you will use them a lot on the trail (and later in life). This list was put together from years of camping experience and should serve as a helpful guideline for what to bring on FOOT; please plan to acquire these items before showing up for FOOT. While the Basic Equipment and Footwear items above are quite essential to FOOT, Clothing is slightly more flexible. Different hikers prefer varying amounts and types of clothing—what is listed above will be more than enough to keep you warm and dry on your trip. Plan ahead and contact us with questions. You can also often dig up clothing from your own closet, attic, basement, or a neighbor’s. There is no need to buy expensive equipment; function and comfort take priority!
That being said, if you find any of the gear on this list to be prohibitively expensive or difficult to acquire, please be in touch. We may have ideas for simple substitutions or be able to scrounge up some gear here in New Haven. Cost should not be a deterrent for anyone thinking of doing FOOT!

Equipment Specifics

Backpack   Make sure your backpack has a frame, either external or internal. Also make sure the waist belt extends all the way around your back. You want to be able to distribute the weight of your backpack equally between your shoulders and hips. Try it on before the trip. Pack it up and see how it fits. Capacity should be at least 55L (65L is preferred). The nylon straps are for attaching things to your pack, such as your sleeping bag. You can substitute bungee cords/good rope for the straps, but straps are preferred. You may find it convenient to line the inside of your pack with a large garbage bag and pack clothing in ziploc bags as a means of organizing your pack and for an additional layer of waterproofing.
Sleeping Bag   Please bring a polarguard or fiberfill sleeping bag. Synthetics only are permitted because they hold up better in rain. Temperature rating can be 40°F. Bring a stuff sack with a garbage bag around it to waterproof your sleeping bag while you are hiking. Also attach your bag to your backpack with nylon straps.
Sleeping Pad   The sleeping pad will insulate you from the cold ground. You can get one at most department stores (Wal-Mart, Sears, etc.) in their sporting goods department. Inflatable sleeping pads are often lighter and smaller to pack, but will take longer to set up. Closed cell foam take no time to set up, but are more bulky to carry. Any type will work!
Rain Gear   Must be durable and cover both your top and bottom. It will rain! Nylon is not acceptable—water will leak through. Your rain gear must be fully waterproof—water resistant is not good enough. Ponchos are fine if they are of a good quality.
Hiking Boots   If you do not bring your hiking boots we cannot let you go on a trip! Please obtain a good pair of hiking boots early. They should have thick soles and ankle supports. You will need them for the rocky terrain. They should be broken in well before the trip to prevent blisters. (“Breaking in” means wearing new boots around for at least a few hours at a time for about a week. If you do not do this, you will get blisters and your feet WILL HURT.) You should also sno-seal/waterproof them. If you tend to get blisters easily, you might also want to get a thin pair of nylon/cotton socks to wear under your thick ones.

Garbage/Ziplock Backs   Used for storing garbage and for waterproofing clothes and equipment. Bringing extra is always a good idea.

GORP and Drink Mixes   We supply your food, but bring your own snack food. The most common hiking snack is GORP, which is an acronym for “Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts.” Most hikers spice up this mixture with dried fruit, nuts or M&M’s. The function of GORP is to give you an extra energy boost while on the trail between meals. It should therefore have some protein for stamina. Some further suggestions to add to the mixture: dried pineapple, banana chips, yogurt covered raisins, dried apricots, pecans, almonds and cashews. A bag of GORP is much better than boxes of individually wrapped granola bars or sweets. If you’re on a nut allergy or gluten free trip, please make sure that your GORP is free of allergens. GORP is delicious regardless of its gluten and nut content!

Also, bring your own drink mixes if you want them. This can be whatever you like: tea, hot chocolate, lemonade or fruit mix . Make sure you put it in small plastic bags and bring enough for your trip.

Wool   The evenings are cool (in fact, it can get darn cold!) and so you should bring some warm wool or fleece clothing. Wool is important because it retains heat even when wet. This region is also known for afternoon rainstorms so you should prepare for rain. Do not wear blue jeans, corduroy, cotton long johns, flannel shirts, sweats; when they get wet, they are useless. Wool or khaki is better. Polypropylene and pile are acceptable as well.

Not Allowed   Alcohol, non-medical drugs, firearms, cigarettes, iPods, or radios! You may bring your watch and cell phone, but your leaders will collect them before the trip and return them on the bus home. Expect to hear more about phone policies when you arrive on campus in August!