Front Country Packing List
1. If you’re not sure about something, always ask. You can also watch gear reviews and tutorials on REI's Outdoor Blog or Outside Magazine Gear Reviews (if you type your gear into the search option, you will find reviews worth reading). Putting in the extra time to learn about your gear options with your child is a great life lesson!
A word of caution: Don't get too caught up in name brand gear. People have been enjoying the natural world for hundreds of years without the latest Patagonia down jacket or Big Agnes puffy sleeping bag. It's important to be prepared and there are definitely some brands that last much longer and are higher quality. But, don't be afraid to follow rule #2 below.
2. Borrow gear or buy it used. If you need something, let us know. We’re happy to help! The following websites carry discount outdoor gear: Sierra Trading Post, Campmor, REI Outlet
3. Less is more. Do not bring extra gear without checking with us first.
4. The weather in Montana is extreme. Packing the right gear is a serious safety precaution. Anyone arriving in Montana with missing items will be charged $50 per item. We are absolutely serious about packing!
LABEL ALL OF YOUR ITEMS! (PARENTS, RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO DO THIS FOR YOUR CHILD; LET YOUR CHILD LABEL HIS/HER ITEMS SO THAT HE/SHE TAKES MORE OWNERSHIP OF THE GEAR AND THE TRIP.)
☐ 1-2 Pair Quick-dry Hiking Pants (not jeans, non-cotton)
☐ 1 Pair Jeans (for horsemanship and ranch work)
☐ 2 Pairs Shorts (board shorts or athletic shorts are great!)
☐ 1 Fleece Top (medium weight for warmth)
☐ 1 Long Underwear Bottoms (polypropylene or wool)
☐ 1 Long Underwear Top (polypropylene or wool)
☐ 2 Long sleeve shirts (1 lightweight, button-down for bug/sun protection; 1 non-cotton base-layer for warmth--smart-wool is great!)
☐ 4-5 T-shirts or tank-tops
☐ Rain Jacket (this is for setting up camp in the rain, as it will offer more range of motion than a poncho)
☐ Poncho (no plastic ponchos; high quality; this is for hiking in the rain, as it will offer more body and pack cover than a rain jacket)
☐ Rain Pants (these are required, as it can get extremely cold very quickly and wet pants are a quick ticket to hypothermia)
☐ 8-10 Pairs Socks (crew cut or mid-calf; 6 pairs must be non-cotton)
☐ 14 Pairs Underwear/Boxers (optional)
☐ Swimming suit/trunks (board shorts can replace)
☐ Belt (if needed)
☐ Hiking Boots (or running shoes with good tread)
☐ Slippers for Around Camp
☐ Winter Beanie
☐ Gloves (fleece gloves are best)
☐ Baseball Cap or Sun Hat
☐ Camp Towel (small quick dry towel, example)
☐ Sleeping Bag (Middle School: 33 degree or below; example 1, example 2)
What to look for: degree rating, weight/packability. Down or synthetic are both fine in terms of material. Be sure to store your sleeping bag by either hanging it or keeping it in a very large bag so it maintains its loft.
☐ Compression Sack (example) Note: a waterproof compression sack is a worthwhile investment and is required for High School trips.
☐ Sleeping Pad (Thermarest or similar, example 1 non-inflatable, example 2 inflatable) Note: A sleeping pad is what keeps your body warm, as the cold ground is most responsible for sucking away your body heat. It is important to get a sleeping pad that can pack very small, but will also be warm. Inflatable sleeping pads tend to be a bit more comfortable, but many people swear by the foam z-rests as well. The thick, blue-foam sleeping pads will not work because they are too bulky.
☐ Camp Pillow (example). Note: this is a space issue, so getting a small, compressible pillow is quite important.
☐ Daypack (example 1, example 2, example 3). What to look for: must have waist belt and water bottle pockets, 35L minimum for Middle School, hydration pouch (optional), consider your child’s size and whether or not his/her gear will fit in the bag you’ve chosen
☐ Headlamp with extra batteries in ziplock bag (example)
☐ Sunglasses (optional)
☐ Whistle (many daypacks come with a built in whistle)
☐ 2 Bandanas (minimum)
☐ Pocket Knife and/or Multi-tool
☐ Wrist watch and compass
☐ 2 Water Bottles (durable, 35-40 oz; Nalgene recommended; you can bring 1 insulated water bottle for hot beverages or you can bring a camp mug and stick to two non-insulated water bottles)
Note: Camel Backs or similar hydration pouches are fine and can replace 1 bottle.
☐ High School Only: Mess Kit & Camp Mug (Chopsticks are great! Small, light collapsible bowl: example.)
☐ Journal and Pen/Pencil (required).
☐ Book to read (optional)
☐ Camera (optional) Note: phones cannot be used as cameras.
☐ Binoculars (optional)
☐ Magnifying glass (optional)
☐ Field guides (optional)
TOILETRIES (TRAVEL SIZE)
☐ Chapstick (very important due to dry climate)
☐ Bug Repellant (optional if you have preferred brand; we provide all-natural repellant)
☐ Toothbrush and Travel Size Toothpaste
☐ Face Wash (optional if you have a preferred brand; we provide biodegradable soap)
☐ Deodorant(natural, preferably unscented in accordance with grizzly bear safety)
☐ Feminine Hygiene Products
DO NOT BRING!
These items will be provided by Wild Kids:
☐ First Aid Kit
Important Note: Personal electronics are not allowed once you arrive to Montana. You are welcome to bring them for the plane ride. We will collect them upon arrival and return them on departure. Cell phones will be kept in a group bag and used only for set parent communication days.