Washington and Lee will provide all of your meals, transportation, and group camping equipment (tarps, stoves, first aid kits, etc.), T-shirt, and trained upperclassmen to lead the trip.
What You'll Need to Bring
You will need to provide your own personal items, like clothing and footwear. Every year students bring too much stuff on the trip. Please limit your items to what is listed below and you will be happier with your pack weight!
The Outing Club has a limited supply of a few of the equipment items to be used, free of charge, on a first-come/first-served basis. Equipment can be reserved on first come first served basis by emailing the Head Sherpa (Student Coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org. The items available to you have an asterisk next to them.
Every participant will need all of the items listed from each of the categories below:
- Sleeping bag and stuff sack*
- Sleeping pad*
- Two one-liter water bottles (Nalgene style)*
- Rain parka
Keep in mind that the weather in Virginia can vary during the trip. While it will likely be quite warm, it can get cold and wet if a moist air mass descends on us! We have had years where the temperature dropped into the 40's at night. You need to be prepared for the latter. Inclement weather should not significantly deter from the trip. Your personal comfort and safety is our primary concern. You will be required to have appropriate warm clothing to participate. In preparing for cool, wet weather be aware that cotton has little value as an insulator since it readily absorbs water. There are many garments available that are made of fabrics that wick moisture away from the body and have the ability of providing insulation even when damp or wet.
We recommend two insulating layers and a wind/rainproof layer. These garments should fit comfortably over each other so they can all be worn at once and be comfortable next to your skin. Some people have an aversion to wearing wool next to their skin. Combinations of the following are acceptable:
- Under layer top & bottom (1)
Any long sleeve lightweight or mid-weight underwear made of wool, polypropylene, Thermax, or Capilene. The purpose of this layer is to insulate the body and wick away moisture from the skin.
- Fleece jacket/pants or wool sweater/pants (1)
This layer is your warmest layer if the weather is cold. It has been cold in years past.
- Rain coat/pants (1)
A waterproof, lightweight, strong, and roomy garment works well for mountain travel. Cagoules and anoraks are acceptable designs. Rain ponchos are recommended if they are of higher quality. Waterproof and breathable garments made of Gore-Tex, Klimate, or Entrant are acceptable.
- Shorts & t-shirt (1)
These are your hiking/climbing/ fishing clothes. Whatever is comfortable for you is best. Nylon shorts are ideal because they don't absorb moisture and a synthetic shirt won't absorb much moisture either. If the weather is hot, a cotton shirt will work best as it will help to keep you cool.
- Wool/fleece hat and gloves (1)
A wool or fleece hat will keep you warm at night as 60 to 70% of your body's heat leaves your body through your head. This will be especially important if the weather is cold at night.
- Stuff sack and plastic bags
Clothes should be kept in a plastic bag (small trash bag or zip lock) and stuff sack so that if it rains it will be dry at the end of the day.
- Socks (4)
You'll need four pairs of socks. Two pairs of heavy rag wool or synthetic wool/polypropylene blend socks and two sock liners. What is most important is that your socks NOT BE COTTON. Cotton socks retain water and will increase your chances of getting a blister. You'll be wearing two pairs when you are hiking (one regular sock over a liner). This is the best method to prevent blisters! The other two pairs of socks will be for if your first two pairs get wet.
- Camp shoes
To help keep the impact around camp to a minimum, you'll need a light- weight comfortable shoe or sandal to wear after a day's hike. Flip Flops, Crocs or Teva's are fine.
- Cup/insulated mug
For hot drinks at night and in the morning.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, tampons (Feminine Hygiene Info), etc. Personal shampoo, deodorant, and soap are not needed.
- Eating spoon and/or fork
Lightweight forks or knives are optional, a spoon is all you'll need.
- Eating bowl
A bowl (12-16 oz.). lightweight plastic.
Headlights are great for walking around at night a small, lightweight flashlight works fine too. One set of extra batteries for your headlight/flashlight.
- Bandana (2)
101 uses. A dark colored bandana will not show dirt like a white one.
Make sure that they have Ultra Violet Protection.
A lightweight camera is preferable. Disposable cameras are fine.
- Notebook and pencil/pen
Keeping a journal of the things you see is always fun. It's a great way to finish the day.
- Trekking poles
There are many walking staffs (trekking poles) on the market. Many will have shock absorbing tips or can act as a monopod for a camera. If you experience knee pain, these walking poles can offer some relief especially when walks down steep trails.
6. Skill Specific
- Internal or external frame pack*
- Pack cover*
- Pack straps* (2 pair)
An optional item but a must for the seasoned hiker. Gaiters will keep water, rocks and dirt, out of your boots and protect your legs from scratchy bushes and poison ivy.
Leather boots or lightweight hiking boots are fine. They should be ankle high, provide good ankle support, and have a good Vibram rubber sole. Tips on purchasing good hiking boots.