- Backpack (either internal or external frame) with waist belt
- Sleeping bag (synthetic only, not down)
- Sleeping bag stuff sack
- 4 bungee cords, nylon straps with buckles, or ropes (for holding things to your pack)
- Sleeping pad (preferably closed foam ¼” ensolite)
- 2 fleece/synthetic/wool sweaters (one thick, one thin)—NO COTTON!
- 2 t-shirts
- 1 pair of cotton or nylon shorts
- 1 pair of pants, synthetic preferably. NO JEANS! And nothing that doesn’t dry quickly.
- 1 set of long underwear (top and bottom)—NO COTTON!
- Wool hat
- Waterproof rain gear
- 3 sets of underwear
- Hiking boots—broken in and waterproofed (good work boots can substitute).
- Light sandals to wear around camp
- 4 pairs wool/synthetic socks—NO COTTON!
- Headlamp (preferred) or flashlight with new batteries
- 4 large garbage bags
- 5 gallon-sized ziplock bags
- 5 quart-sized ziplock bags
- Small pocketknife
- Cup, bowl, and spoon (plastic or metal)
- 4 sturdy water bottles (quart sized)
- Whistle with string to wear around neck—REQUIRED
- GORP/Trail mix
- Insect Repellant
- Swim suit
- Tampax (for girls)
- Hot/cold drink mixes (lemonade, cocoa, tea, etc.)
- Gloves or mittens
- Small notebook and pen
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!
Do not bring extra food—we have plenty! Homemade GORP (trail mix) is all you need 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 please do not show up for FOOT missing items on this list; plan ahead and contact us with questions. You can also often dig up clothing from your own closet, attic, basement, or a neighbor’s. Do not buy expensive equipment; go for comfort.
That 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!
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 3500 cubic inches. 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 pack clothing in zip lock 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.
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. Also, bring your own drink mixes if you want them. This can be whatever you like: tea, hot chocolate, lemonade or fruit mix (hot tang is great!). 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, iPods, radios, firearms, cigarettes, homesickness! If you bring a cell phone, it must be buried at the bottom of your pack.