Clothing and Equipment List
Students are expected to arrive at school with all the equipment on this list. Freshmen and all new students will spend one night during the first week of classes on an overnight outdoor trip. Two things to remember when buying equipment:
Most trips will be in remote backcountry locations – all gear is not created equal. It will benefit you most in terms of comfort and safety to invest in quality gear/clothing that is guaranteed to perform as expected in the outdoors. Buy from an outfitter that can give you assistance in choosing the appropriate items. Here is a list of some recommended outdoor retailers. You can order from most of them online, but it is best to visit a store to have someone help with fitting and to answer questions. Make sure the store you consult carries backpacking gear, not just “camping” gear. The durability, weight, and performance of backpacking clothing and gear is very different from “camping” gear which is intended for situations when getting in the car and going home is an option. For most of our trips, it will not be! Therefore you must be prepared with the proper equipment beforehand.
Most of the equipment you need to buy is sized. For example the backpack you should own will have two critical sizes
a) the capacity of the pack expressed in cubic inches—yours should hold at least 4000 cubic inches,
b) the size of the pack that will fit you—this is based on the length of your back and width of your shoulders. It is very important to get the right size pack!
Packs: Gregory, Lowe, The North Face, Dana Designs, REI, ArcTeryx, Kelty, or others of similar quality.
Tents: The North Face, Mountain Hardware, Sierra Designs, Eureka, Black Diamond.
Sleeping bags: The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Sierra Designs.
Rain gear: Mountain Hardware, Marmot, The North Face, Patagonia, Mont Bell. Rain gear must be waterproof and designed for backpacking. Rain resistant sportswear is not adequate! Staying dry can mean the difference between a safe, comfortable trip and a potential emergency. Please take care to purchase the correct gear.
Boots: Montrail, Raichle, Vasque, Hi Tec, Asolo, Merrell, and many others. Boots are the most personal equipment. You must find a brand that is both sturdy, protective, waterproof, and that fit your feet without creating blisters or hotspots. For some trips lightweight, low-top boots with a lugged sole may be appropriate. Most of all, try them on. Walk in them. Make sure they are comfortable and fit with heavy will socks.
Eastern Mountain Sports
Backpack: Internal or external frame with a capacity of at least 4000 cubic inches. Backpack must be large enough to carry all your gear plus group gear for a weeklong expedition.
Sleeping bag: Lightweight, synthetic fill (Quallofil, Hollofil, Polarguard), mummy-style bag rated to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider that this bag must be bulky enough to keep you warm but stuff small enough to fit in your backpack.
Sleeping pad: You will need this to keep you insulated from the cold ground. Either the roll-up or folding foam type or inflatable type are acceptable. However, if you choose the inflatable Thermarest style, make sure you buy the lightweight backpacking model, not the heavier camping model.
Tarp or plastic ground sheet
Rain Wear: Jacket and pants, must be made of either polyproplylene or capilene. Cotton is unacceptable. This base layer is essential to your safety.
Fleece or down jacket
Wool socks: 3 pair. You may buy a wool synthetic blend. They are more comfortable. Cotton socks are unacceptable.
Liner socks: 2 pair. These are made of thin smooth synthetic fabric and are designed to reduce friction and blisters by keeping your feet cool and dry.
Fleece or wool hat
Sun hat with brim or visor
Fleece or wool gloves
Small flashlight or headlamp
2 Nalgene water bottles: Must have screw-on tops, no pop-tops or sports bottles *
Bowl, cup, spoon: Should be lightweight, sturdy plastic *
Hiking attire: Depending of the trip, you need either long or short sleeve shirts, long or short pants, or both. So be prepared with lightweight options that will keep you protected from the sun and insects, but that will also pack small and dry quickly. Supplex is an excellent fabric for these qualities, and most outdoor stores carry a variety of clothes mad from it. Nylon sports shorts also work well for hiking.
Bandanas: 2 cotton *
* items available at OVS student store
Tent: OVS will provide shelter on trips where it is necessary. Many times we will sleep under the stars. If you want to purchase and carry your own tent keep this in mind: It’s easier to split the weight of a tent between two or three people so you will probably want to get at least a two-person tent. Make sure that your tent is “three season.” This means it is guaranteed to keep you dry in rainy weather. Buy a name brand tent from a reputable outdoor store that will stand behind its product. Many tents claim to be waterproof, but in a heavy storm they fail. Choose carefully. Buy lightweight.