What To Pack


The packing list below is a general overview of appropriate clothing for your backpacking adventures with First Descents. Outfitters will provide all gear and equipment including backpacking packs, tents, trekking poles, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. Never been backpacking? No problem! Our guides will teach you the backpacking basics so you’ll be prepared for every adventure! Be sure to look at your personal page for packing details specific to your program. Please contact First Descents if you have any questions regarding this packing list.

Must Haves:

  • Hydration pack (camelback) or 32 oz water bottle!
  • Closed toe shoes – comfortable tennis shoes work great!

Clothing for Backpacking:

Top Layers

  • Wool or Synthetic (e.g. nylon, polyester, etc.) Base Layer (Dry-fit works!) T-Shirts
  • Wool or Synthetic Mid-Weight Base Layer (fleeces, hoodies, merino wool pullover)
  • Rain Jacket


  • Shorts
  • Pants – i.e. hiking pants, yoga pants – (hiking in pants helps protect your legs from scrapes and sun)
  • Lightweight waterproof wind/rain pant


  • Hiking socks (non-cotton material)

Extras (Sun Protection)

  • Sunglasses (preferred polarized)
  • Billed cap/hat

Why no cotton?

Cotton is a poor choice for outdoor activities due to its high thermal conductivity (rate of energy loss). When it gets wet, cotton allows the moisture to sit on your skin, in turn, cooling you instead of keeping you warm. In other words, you don’t stay very warm or dry with cotton!

Personal clothing not for backpacking:

  • Warm, comfortable clothes (sweatpants, jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, shorts, etc.) nights at the lodge may be chilly. Cotton is acceptable.
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Headlamp/Flashlight

Backpacking Gear:

  • The outfitter will provide all of the backpacking gear you will need during the week. Please feel free to bring your own gear if you have it (backpacking pack, sleeping bag, etc.)

Also to consider:

  • Buff/Bandana (preferred UV protection)
  • Stocking Hat/Beanie
  • Personal hygiene items, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, SPF Lip Balm
  • Camera
  • Spending money (there may be opportunities to purchase souvenirs if you wish)
  • Book/Journal
  • Star Chart
  • Binoculars


  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications will be self-administered. If you anticipate using any over-the-counter meds such as Motrin, Tylenol, or Benadryl, please bring them with you!

Other info:

All food will be provided – breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, drinks, snacks, snacks and more snacks!

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