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OA Day Trip Equipment List

Here is the information on what items you’ll need for your OA Trip. You don't need any special outdoor equipment, and many of the items on the list are things that you may already have and would want on campus anyway. You won’t need every item every day. For example long-sleeve shirts would only be necessary on days with forecasted cooler temperatures. If you have ALL the items on the list, you’ll be comfortable in nearly any situation you’ll encounter on OA. You’ll only need your own personal items as listed below; OA will provide all group and specialty equipment (e.g. canoes, bikes).  

Think & Borrow Before You Buy! You might be surprised about how many items you already own or can borrow from a friend or relative. For example, you likely already own the synthetic or 50/50 synthetic/cotton blend clothing that is best for outdoor activities. Borrowing gear not only saves you money, but also contributes to Outdoor Action’s effort to be environmentally friendly in all our activities. After all, hundreds of incoming first-year students buying hundreds of petroleum-based products for one-time use on Frosh Trip would leave a pretty serious impact on the environment! Use what you have and borrow first, then consider buying used gear if you can so that polluting/nonrenewable resources are not being consumed to manufacture your new gear. Items that are most appropriate to buy new are those that require precise fitting (like boots) or those that you will use a lot around campus after Orientation (like a rain jacket). 

Food: All of the meals will be provided by University Dining Services. Breakfast and dinner will be in the dining halls and you’ll get a box lunch each day for being out on the trail. OA will provide some snacks, and you also have the option to bring your personal snacks. All food should be easily carried and consumed (e.g. granola bars).  

Fabrics: For hiking you want clothing that is warm, breathable, and quick-drying. Synthetic fabrics (e.g. polyester, nylon, fleece) are best because they dry quickly, are relatively windproof, and don’t absorb water. Many people already have synthetic clothing at home (like running gear or athletic warm-ups), so we recommend checking your closet or borrow from a friend before going to the store. Lightweight synthetic/cotton (50/50 blend) shirts, underwear, and pants are fine. You should avoid bringing all-cotton clothing since it absorbs water easily and won’t keep you warm if it gets wet. Cotton also retains water so that it takes a very long time to dry. Do not wear all-cotton clothes such as sweatshirts, sweatpants, or jeans on your trips. 

Dressing for the Weather: Weather in late August is unpredictable. During the day, temperatures at the end of summer typically range from the 70s F to the 90s F. You’ll need to have clothing for various temperatures, as well as something in case of rain.   

Layering: Dressing in layers is the most efficient way to stay comfortable in the outdoors. By preparing several different layers, you can add or remove clothing to match your activity level and the weather conditions. 

  • The Base/Wicking Layer keeps the skin comfortable and dry, which is essential for controlling your temperature. Lightweight synthetics or synthetic/cotton blends provide good ventilation for the skin to keep you dry and cool. During the day you’ll probably be hiking in a T-shirt and shorts. 

  • The Middle Layer is made up of a long sleeve shirt and long pants, which provide insulation and some protection from the elements. You may want to wear these while hiking in cooler temperatures or for protection from the sun. 

  • The Shell Layer protects you from wind and rain. A waterproof rain jacket is vital in case of rain. A coated nylon rain jacket is lightweight, inexpensive, and works well.  Raingear is not only important for Frosh Trip, but also will get plenty of use on campus.  

  • For the final layer, your Head, bring a wide-brimmed hat for sun and rain protection. 

Boot or Athletic Shoes:  

Any type of athletic shoes are fine (running shoes, basketball shoes, etc.). Make sure you don't mind them getting dirty. If you already have lightweight hiking boots, those are fine too.  

Day Hiking & Outdoor Adventure: Personal Equipment List 

Please check off each item as you assemble your equipment to make sure that you have everything. 


_______     1 pair of running/athletic shoes or lightweight hiking boots: Ensure that these have a proper fit to minimize strains and blistering. 

_______     4 pairs of athletic or hiking socks: having a good, clean pair for each of the day will help ensure comfort and proper fit for footwear. Make sure your socks are a good fit for whatever shoes you are wearing. 


_______     1 brimmed cap (wide-brimmed, baseball, etc) for sun and rain protection (optional) 

Upper Body: 

_______     3-4 T-shirts: synthetic OR synthetic/cotton (must be at least 50% synthetic) 

_______     1 long-sleeve shirt: synthetic, athletic warm-up, 50/50 synthetic/cotton blend 

_______     1 light jacket or sweater: synthetic materials (e.g. fleece) or wool. NOT COTTON (optional)  

_______     1 rain jacket or poncho: waterproof nylon or waterproof/breathable fabric like Gore-tex. Test in shower to make sure it’s still waterproof—the waterproof coating on nylon rain jackets degrades over time!  Try to avoid heavy rubberized rain jackets; they weigh a lot. Most windbreakers and track jackets are water resistant, not waterproof. If it rains, you want to know that your jacket will keep you dry. 

Lower Body: 

_______     1-2 pairs non-cotton, loose-fitting, athletic shorts 

_______     1 pair non-cotton long pants, loose-fitting: nylon, synthetic, or 50/50 synthetic/cotton blend. Athletic warm-ups are great. Avoid blue jeans or sweatpants—they take too long to dry! 

_______     1 bathing suit (optional - for trips with canoeing or swimming components) 

Personal Items:

_______     Any medications you will need to take during the trip (inhaler, allergy medications, etc.) 

_______     Glasses or contact lenses: we encourage a spare pair of glasses as back-up. If you wear glasses, an eyeglass strap (e.x. Croakie) is important for being on the water! 


_______      1 bookbag or daypack. This is to carry your lunch, water and clothing (like a rain jacket) during the day (ideal capacity of 15-25 liters). 

_______     3 one-liter/quart reusable water bottles, such as Nalgene. You must have 3 of these water bottles! We recommend plastic bottles (a non-BPA plastic or polyethylene). You may already have a water bottle and you can augment this with 2-3 large bottled waters that can be refilled each day. 


Optional Items:

_______     Camera 

_______     1 small notebook and pencil 

_______     Sunglasses 

_______     1 individual bottle of hand sanitizer (2 oz.) 

_______     Insect repellent. Please do not bring products in aerosols or with >35% DEET. 

_______     1 bandanna or handkerchiefs. Useful for many things outdoors! (optional) 


Sources for Equipment 

You may have a local outdoor equipment shop in your town, or you could go to a chain store or shop online. Some sources: