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Alpengirl Summer Camp Packing List & Gear Info

General Information About Packing
  • By packing the multi-functional gear and clothing worn in layers on this packing list, you'll be comfortable in any weather.
  • Items you bring will be used throughout the adventure and they will get dirty; avoid bringing special items you don't want damaged. We will be doing laundry on sessions that are longer than 8 days.
  • Limit cotton. It is comfortable and breathable, but it absorbs and retains water. Therefore, it will not keep you very warm if it gets wet. It is also difficult to dry. Cotton t-shirts and underwear are fine, heavy cotton clothes are not allowed.
  • Always opt for smaller, lighter weight gear and clothing (especially if backpacking occurs at camp.)
  • Essential clothing and gear will be inspected upon arrival as a safety precaution; you are the only person allowed to use the gear you bring.
  • Label all of your gear including sleeping pad, headlamps, socks, etc; you are responsible for keeping track of your personal gear. Alpengirl is not responsible for lost, stolen, damaged gear or personal belongings.
  • When you pack your big backpack for camp, don't waste empty space. First, put your sleeping bag in your compression sack and squeeze it down to a small ball with the compression straps, then shove it in the very bottom of your pack (or outside on the very bottom if your pack is designed that way). Then, make a fist and cram every nook from bottom to top with something, no need to fold. Most of you will need to strap your sleeping pad to the outside of your pack and secure it so it doesn't get disconnected from your bag during travel.
  • No worries, campers don't go backpacking with all of the gear they bring to camp. Campers will carry a limited and select number of items (sleeping bag, pad, essential clothing, and a portion of tent and food) during the backpacking days of the itinerary. All extra gear is left behind in the locked camp vehicle during backpacking.
  • Do not bring more than what is on this list; space in your backpack and in our camp vehicle is limited.
  • If traveling by plane to camp, it’s a good idea to pack your big backpack in a large soft-sided duffel bag to protect your backpack and it’s contents (especially important if gear is attached on outside).
  • NO suitcases or hard sided cases allowed - don’t bring them, we have no room for their storage during camp.
  • If you are unsure about anything on the packing list, please call for clarification. Inadequate gear and clothing upon arrival may require last minute borrowing or renting from Alpengirl or replacement at a local outdoor store using your credit card information via the telephone. The most important gear pieces are hooded rain jacket and worn in and comfortable hiking boots.
  • Campers and staff engaged in horseback riding and rock climbing are required to wear activity specific helmets provided.
  • Gear should not be cost prohibitive. Please call Alpengirl if you need to borrow gear or rent gear. If you are having a difficult time finding gear in your area for a good price, we suggest purchasing gear from second hand stores, borrowing from friends, and if Alpengirl has what you need you may borrow it (first come first served.) Alpengirl rental of an internal frame backpack is $50; rental of a sleeping pad with sleeping bag is $75.

How to Pack

Each camper will arrive to camp with 2 bags:
  1. A small school size backpack packed with small travel essentials (see packing list below)
  2. A big backpacking backpack packed with everything else (see packing list below) NOTE: if you are renting or borrowing a big backpack from Alpengirl or if you are attending Yellowstone Horseback Adventure or Wild & Scenic Salmon Raft Adventure, you may substitute an XL soft-sided duffel bag for the big backpack.

What to Pack in Your BIG Backpack

Select a 50-75 liter internal frame backpack (youth) or backpack (women's) with adjustable shoulder straps, chest strap and padded hip belt that fits snug on hips. A standard bear canister should fit horizontally in the bottom of the main compartment. Stuff the following items inside...

___ Sleeping bag (synthetic preferred, NO Cotton, rated 20-40 degrees F).

___ Compression stuff sack with straps to minimize the size of your sleeping bag.

___ Sleeping pad (closed foam or self-inflating air) for insulation from the ground and comfort. (If backpacking during camp, we recommend a lighter weight/size pad that is under 2 lbs.)

___ Camp pillow (Optional.) A small inflatable or non-inflatable camp pillow purchased from an outdoor store is allowed (not a regular bed pillow.)

___ Water shoes with straps, Teva style is good, No flip flops or Crocs. These are used almost daily during camp and are for getting wet and for all activities except backpacking/hiking/riding.

___ Lightweight hiking boots. Above ankle - no exceptions for trips with backpacking. A heavy-duty backpacking boot may be too much boot for Alpengirl while a trail shoe will be too little boot with not enough support. These should be worn-in before you arrive. [Yellowstone Horseback exception: in addition to the hiking boot above, you may bring a riding boot if you want to.][Wild & Scenic Raft Camp exception: you may bring a hiking boot or a hiking trail shoe - either works.]

___ 4 pairs medium weight wool blend trail-hiking socks. No cotton socks. Add an additional 2 pairs of synthetic, non-cotton liner socks if you like to layer your socks for blister prevention.

___ 7 pair underwear.

___ 1 warm medium weight synthetic fleece pant.

___ 2 loose fitting shorts.

___ 1 non-cotton pant (no jeans). Quick-dry zip-off to shorts style "convertible" pants work great. [Yellowstone Horseback exception: girls may bring 1 pair of jeans or riding specific pants for horse riding.]

___ 1 mid-weight long underwear bottom (base layer, NO cotton.) 

___ 1 swim suit. 

___ 1 long sleeved UV protection sun shirt (ONLY required for Wild & Scenic Raft camp session, to be worn on multi-day raft trip with plenty of sun exposure.)

___ 1 waterproof rain pant [Washington special note: due to the likelihood of rainy weather, this may be one of the most important gear items you’ll want to invest in, it’s very important for keeping warm and dry and happy at camp.]

___ 4 T-shirts (ideally synthetic, but, can be cotton.)

___ 1 mid-weight long underwear top (base layer, NO cotton.)

___ PJ's (Optional.) One set of non-bulky PJ's is allowed, however, we encourage you not to bring PJ's. At the start of camp, Alpengirls will select a "sleeping outfit" from their gear list and learn to keep it clean, we'll show you how, but, if it makes you feel a bit more cozy, you are welcome to bring PJ's.

___ 3-4 sport bras.

___ 1 warm medium weight synthetic fleece jacket.

___ 1 waterproof hooded rain jacket. [Washington special note: due to the likelihood of rainy weather, this may be one of the most important gear items you’ll want to invest in, it’s very important for keeping warm and dry and happy at camp.]

___ 1 brimmed hat for sun protection (baseball caps work fine.)

___ 1 beanie style warm hat for cold nights and mornings (merino wool blend or synthetic fleece, NO cotton.)

___ 1 mosquito headnet (Optional.) (Recommended for Yellowstone Horseback Adventures and Cascades Sea to Summit Adventure but can be brought for any trip if desired.)

___ 1 light or mid-weight hand/glove liners for cold nights and mornings (NO cotton.)

___ 1 medium sized pack towel (synthetic, NO cotton, find at an outdoor store. A 12" x 23" size approx should be fine, go with one size larger if you like, smaller/lighter is better for backpacking trips.)[Wild & Scenic Raft exception: campers attending Wild & Scenic Raft Camp may opt to not to bring this if they have the beach sarong listed below.]

___ 1 beach sarong (ONLY for Wild & Scenic Raft camp session, multi-purpose cover-up to avoid sun exposure, used for multi-day raft trip.)

What to Pack in Your LITTLE Backpack

Select a school-sized day-pack backpack with shoulder straps (used daily during travel and during camp) and pack the following items in it...

___ Mess Kit: a mesh dunk bag that (select a size that your mess kit fits in), 12 oz. insulated travel mug with lid (for backpacking meals and hot drinks), unbreakable medium sized plate and bowl (a Tupperware bowl with fitted lid used as a plate works well), utensil set (made for camping style work best, but any will do.)

_X_ Alpengirl provides Aqua Mira or iodine tablets for backcountry water purification. Aqua Mira is a chlorine dioxide based treatment that is iodine and chlorine free. However, if you have sensitivity to this treatment you may call Alpengirl to discuss alternative water purification options. 

___ 1-2 travel size Purell waterless hand sanitizers (alcohol based is best.)

___ 1-2 travel size antibacterial hand wipes.

___ Personal Toiletry Kit (include only travel size items): toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, sunscreen (minimum SPF 30), chap stick with sunscreen, insect repellent (no spray cans and we suggest 100% DEET products for short term use at camp and if very concerned about mosquitoes, feel free to pack a breezy long sleeved cotton shirt as an alternative to bug spray or in addition to bug spray), tampons and/or pads (bring a few just in case), deodorant, small shampoo/conditioner and small bottle bio-degradable soap. [Wild & Scenic Raft exception: you should bring either 1 large sunscreen or 2 smaller ones for this trip, lots of sun exposue on the multi-day raft trip.]

___ 4 large Ziplock bags used for personal garbage and protecting things in case of rain.

___ 2 unscented 30-40 gallon trash bags used for lining backpacks in case of rain.

___ 1 bandana.

___ 1 small headlamp with extra set batteries.

___ 1 whistle on a string (worn around the neck during camp.)

___ 1 pair sunglasses.

___ 1 32 oz. BPA-free Nalgene wide-mouth loop-top water bottle with screw on lid used daily at camp.

___ 1 all purpose carabiner (ONLY for Wild & Scenic Raft camp session, used for securing water bottle to raft on multi-day raft trip.)

___ Eyeglasses or contacts if needed with solution.

___ 1 small travel sized notebook and pencil (Optional.)

___ 1 reading book (Optional.)

___ 1 small pocket-knife (Optional. Pack in checked bag if traveling to camp by plane.)

___ Music list to share with the group (Alpenguides can make a playlist on their devices.) (Optional.)

___ Camera with protective case, extra batteries, memory cards, or film. (Optional.) Note: Cell phones with camera function may not be used at camp, the camera MUST be separate from a cell phone. 

___ Ziplock #1 (labeled with camper name) includes...

___ Tickets for airline confirmation and travel and ID (optional.)

___ For Olympic Sea to Summit Adventure ONLY:  For travel to Canada with Alpengirl, a valid passport or a copy of your birth certificate + the Alpengirl Canada Travel Release Form (emailed to you in late May with waivers and pre-camp letter) is REQUIRED.

___ Receipts provided to you by your airline when you pay for return baggage fees and return unaccompanied minor tickets ahead of camp. IMPORTANT, a paid in-full receipt (or a parent note if the airline can not provide a receipt) indicating that you have already paid for return baggage fees and return unaccompanied minor tickets in advance will reduce the possibility of being charged again upon camper departure home. If you are unable to for return baggage fees or return unaccompanied minor tickets in advance, you must add a parent note indicating this and supply cash for these fees for your campers return flight home.

___ Cash for airline baggage fee and unaccompanied minor ticket on return flight if you are unable to pay in advance. (Read Alpengirl camp travel information for more details.)

___ Waivers signed by parents. These Alpengirl contracted service provider activity waivers (surfing, rafting, climbing, riding, kayaking) are emailed to you (along with pre-camp letter) in late May. These waivers are REQUIRED for activity participation. [Lil’s Camp exception: there are no additional activity waivers required.]

___ Travel information printed from the Alpengirl website (Optional).

___ Pre-written camp letters that can be distributed during camp (optional and only a few with family photos to share is great fun for all). Due to the wilderness nature of our adventures together, we are unable to receive mail during camp dates. However, parents, friends or relatives may pre-mail letters or packages ahead of camp dates. Mail must arrive to Alpengirl in MT before June 1 to guarantee delivery during any camp session this summer. Additionally, Alpengirl sells camper care packages or birthday gift packages ahead of camp and you can avoid the shopping and mailing if you take this option. Birthdays at camp are a highly celebrated occasion; please call Alpengirl for gift suggestions that are easy for us to manage at camp.

___ $25-$100 Alpengirl Camp Store money (Optional).

___ $25-$100 spending money to be spent on replacing lost, damaged, inadequate or expired personal items or gear such as chap stick, contact solution, etc. Money that campers don't spend on replacement items will be happily spent on treats or souvenir shopping at the end of camp. [Lil’s & WA Coast Backpacker Camp exception: $25 is fine for spending money, there is typically no souvenir shopping at the end of these camp sessions.]

___ A cell phone (with wall charger and vehicle charger) for use during travel to/from camp and also for the scheduled day that campers call home from camp (the day before camp ends.) NOTE: All camper phones will be collected, turned off and stored for non-use during camp. [Lil’s & WA Coast Backpacker Camp exception: if a camper is arriving and departing camp by vehicle with a parent/adult, no phone is necessary because there is NO scheduled day campers call home before camp ends and there is no travel day needs for a cell phone. However, if a camper is flying to or from camp without a parent/adult we recommend that she bring a cell phone with wall charger and vehicle charger for travel.]

___ Ziplock  #2 (labeled with camper initials) includes:

___ Medications. "Medication" is any substance a person takes to maintain and/or improve their health. This includes vitamins and natural remedies. Bring enough medication to last the entire time at camp. Medication brought to camp must be in original pharmacy containers with labels that show the campers name and how the medication should be given. If you are or think you may be severely allergic to bee/wasp stings or foods or plants that would require immediate medication, you are required to bring your own self-injecting Epi-pen. As a safety precaution, all medications (including aspirin) are collected at the start of the trip and administered as required or needed. Note for those bringing inhalers: two inhalers are REQUIRED, one can be kept in the possession the camper with the prescription, the other will be kept in the possession of our camp staff.

Don't Bring:

  • Personal music players (you may use during your travel to and from camp, but they will be held during camp for you)
  • Valuable items that may get lost, stolen or damaged (Alpengirl can not be held liable for loss, theft or damage of any items you bring to camp)
  • Magazines, e-book readers, video cameras, food, drinks, gum, candy, breath mints (you may use during your travel to and from camp, but they will be held during camp for you)
  • Medications or vitamins of any kind that are not listed on your Alpengirl Health Form
  • More than what is on this list