*Notes about Specialized Equipment for Trippers* Being properly equipped for your trip is very important. In order to save money, consider borrowing some items from friends or family. Remember that what you pack, you will carry, paddle or pedal; think lightweight and minimal bulk. The following notes are designed to help you maximize your gear items and give you more information on the * items on your Packing List. Where to Shop Depending on where you live, you may find some of the following locations helpful:
Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) – numerous locations and on-line at www.emsonline.com
REI – located in Massachusetts and on-line at www.rei.com
Campmor – www.campmor.com
LLBean – www.llbean.com
Backcountry.com –terrific online only store with gear experts you can chat with online
Bring your equipment list and these notes with you when you shop; outdoor stores can offer additional tips and are very helpful with sizing, recommendations, and further explanations.
Name Brands While we recognize many name brands may be given in the details regarding a specific item, this is just for reference. Many in-store brands are just as functional as the name-brands and can offer you large savings.
General Clothing and Gear(Refer to your specific packing list)
Dry Shoes or Sandals / Hiking Boots: Hiking boots or sneakers are required depending on the nature of your trip. Hiking boots should have a good fit; when buying new boots, take your time and be critical in your selection. Look for sturdy soles, good ankle support, secure lacing, cushioned tongue, light weight, waterproof construction or material which you can seal manually. Try on new boots with at least one pair of socks you will be wearing on the trip (heavy wool). Boots must be well broken-in!!! Wear your boots for at least one week before arriving at camp. Boots that have not been properly broken in can cause severe blisters which can inhibit your ability to successfully complete a trip.
Sneakers are appropriate for many trips in which there is no official hiking; be sure these sneakers are well-constructed, fit well, are in good condition, lace securely, and have a substantial sole.
Trippers have the option of bringing a pair of sandals to be worn around campsites only. These sandals must include toe and heel straps and should be in good condition. Sandals allow your feet to breathe and dry out after a long day and can aid in the prevention of blisters. Flip flops may not be worn at anytime on an adventure trip. Hat Cord: Used to connect a hat to a shirt or lifejacket, these have clips on both ends. You can actually make one with string and various clips. We suggest these because Lake George and many of the paddling locations we visit can be quite windy; hats can easily be blown off and lost.
Long Underwear (Synthetic) Tops and Bottoms: You will need midweight or lightweight thermal tops and bottoms that will wick moisture away from your skin and keep you warm in windy, wet conditions. These items will be used as a primary layer under your regular clothing and rain gear or windproof clothing. Thermal underwear comes in a variety of acceptable fabrics such as: polypropylene, Capilene, and Thermax. Cotton thermal underwear is not acceptable, as it does not wick moisture or provide any warmth when wet.
Rain Gear: Rain gear should consist of both a jacket/parka and pants. These items are essential to stay as warm and dry as possible. Look for waterproof capabilities as well as breathability. Ponchos and rubber rain coats are not acceptable. It is not necessary to spend a lot for all the bells and whistles as long as the gear fits you well and will protect you from the elements. Trusted names include Marmot, EMS, REI, Sierra Designs, LLBean, etc.
Sleeping Bag: A lightweight (6lbs or less), 3-season (temperature rating of 30-40OF) sleeping bag is good. Qualofil, Holofil II or Polarguard insulation types are recommended; other corollary materials could be acceptable. Do NOT bring DOWN or COTTON sleeping bags. A water repellent stuff sack is recommended (i.e. Outdoor Research Hydroseal). A thick garbage bag used as a liner inside a non-waterproof stuff sack will also work.
Sleeping Pad: A pad made of ensolite or closed cell foam works well. Full length or 3/4 length will suffice. If you bring a self inflating “Thermarest” style pad, please bring a repair patch kit.
Water Bottles: All trips require at least two (2) 32-oz water bottles which are well-constructed to avoid leaking. We strongly recommend Nalgene brand water bottles; they manufacture general bottles as well as bicycle-style bottles. Hydration, water-bag style systems with a bladder and hose (i.e. Platypus or Camelbak) are appropriate for some biking and hiking trips; however, campers bringing water bag systems must have at least one (1) 32-oz water bottle as well. Camp Chingachgook will have some 32-oz Nalgene water bottles for sale this summer.
Wet Shoes: Needed for water-based trips and trips which swim at non-designated beaches; refer to your packing list. Sport sandals with toe and ankle straps can often be used as wet shoes. Neoprene booties or water shoes with stiff soles are acceptable. Thick rubber soles help protect feet from hidden rocks or elements in the water. Flip flops may not be worn at anytime on adventure trips. Wool or Fleece Sweater/Pants: These items are worn as a second or third layer over long underwear and clothing. The idea here is to keep warm in wet conditions due to environmental factors such as rain, wind, higher elevations and on water-based trips. Wool and fleece continue to keep you warm and insulated even when wet and often repel water.
Specific Trip Gear:(refer to your packing list to see if these items are required or recommended) Backpacks for one-week backpacking/hiking trips and the Adirondack 46er: As this is an investment, choose a good quality pack. Both internal and external frame packs are fine for backpacking trips, although we now recommend purchasing an internal frame pack. Padded waist belts and shoulder straps are mandatory. Fit is very important; trippers should try on weighted packs to feel how the pack distributes the load. Outdoor stores and outfitters can assist you in fitting and adjusting your pack. Medium to large volume packs (3500-6000 cubic inches) are recommended. Only needed for some trips; refer to your packing list. Packs can be rented from Camp free of charge for the trip on a first-come, first-served basis. Quantities are limited, may not be available depending on the session, and will not be available on arrival day so please call ahead by at least two weeks. Climbing Shoes/Harness/Helmet: OPTIONAL For all trips with climbing activities, this gear will be provided. If you have your own, you may bring them along; however, helmets and harnesses must be inspected and approved by the Adventure Coordinator.
For Water-Based Trips:
Dry Bags: These bags are as waterproof as they come. They are a heavy vinyl (pvc) material and feature roll-down closures for a great seal. Look for length and diameter when determining size. Small dry bags for holding personal items in or on top of the boats are a judgment call on size. Large dry bags should be a minimum diameter of about 12” with a cubic storage capacity of 600 cubic inches or so in order to hold sleeping bags and clothing. Sometimes a few medium bags are nice for kayaking trips as everything needs to be packed inside the boat. Camp and outfitters can supply large dry bags as available.
Lifejacket:OPTIONAL You may bring your own lifejacket if you already own one. It must have a Type 3 Coast-Guard Approved rating. Camp and outfitters will supply lifejackets for all water activities.
Paddles:OPTIONAL For kayaking or canoeing trips, you are welcome to bring your own paddle if you already own one. Camp and outfitters will supply paddles for all water activities.
For Biking Trips:
For Bike Tour of Lake Champlain, Martha’s Vineyard Bike Tour, and Rock ‘n Roll trips only.
Bikes: Choose a bike that is correctly sized and sturdy. We recommend hybrid or mountain bike frames with hybrid tires for road trips and mountain or knobby tires for Rock ‘n Roll. Bikes should have a range of gears with a minimum of 10 (the more the better for easier pedaling); mountain bikes should have 21 gears and some suspension if possible.
Rear Rack: We strongly recommend rear racks for bike tour trips. Daypacks are carried to hold lunches, extra clothing layers, water, etc and often get tiresome to have on your back. Rear racks should mount in at least two locations, including the axle area of your back tire, and bring some bungee cords to keep your backpack in place. Avoid racks that only attach under your seat. Required for Martha’s Vineyard.
Panniers:A set of rear panniers is required for Martha’s Vineyard Bike Tour. These are saddle bags that strap or clip onto the rear rack, keeping the weight of your clothes and gear close to your bike and providing space for a backpack to still be strapped on top. Choose a larger size as you will need to fit everything in and have some space for group food. Best bargains can be found online. Panniers can be rented from Camp for $25 per set per trip on a first-come, first-served basis. Quantities are limited and will not be available on arrival day so please call ahead by at least two weeks.