Getting your gear together as you get ready for your trip can be exciting. Below are some explanations and examples of gear we get the most questions about. There are many different brands, styles, materials and designs out there that will work just fine for our programs.
If you have questions, please let us know.
Backpacking Pack OR Duffel Bag
A 50 liter backpacking pack should be large enough to fit all necessary items. Keep weight of fully packed pack around 30 pounds. Duffel bags should be used for our Hawaii & Kauai trip only.
The sleeping bag you choose will depend on the destination. The Wild Traveler recommends a 25 – 45 degree Fahrenheit rated mummy-style sleeping bag for our Hawaii & Kauai, Malaysia and Costa Rica trip and a 0 to 15 degree bag for our Ecuador trip. Synthetic bags tend to be a little bulkier, whereas goose down bags will pack down small – great when you have a limited amount of space. Both work well.
There are two styles of sleeping pads: inflatable, and – a less expensive option – closed-cell sleeping pads. Both styles work great. The pad should be as long as you are tall.
Example inflatable: https://www.rei.com/product/829820/therm-a-rest-prolite-sleeping-pad
Example closed cell: https://www.rei.com/product/810386/therm-a-rest-ridgerest-solite-sleeping-pad
Pillows are optional but can provide some extra comfort. You can find smaller compact or inflatable pillows. Packing a stuff sack with clothes also makes for a great pillow.
Ground tarps are used for keeping you and your things clean and dry. The ground tarp should be waterproof. The size should be around 5 ft by 7 ft.
Snorkel / SCUBA Mask
The Wild Traveler recommends a soft silicone mask, which will better conform to your face and prevent unwanted leakage.
There are a variety of snorkels available with different ways of keeping water out. Any type of snorkel will work well.
Must be large enough to carry 2 water bottles, sunscreen, mask and snorkel, warm layer, and sack lunch. Daypack must be comfortable to carry on an 8-mile hike. Most school backpacks work well.
Used for wet and muddy trails and stream crossings. Sandals must have heel straps. Many find Chaco, Tevas, or Keens work very well.
Used for hiking and during our service project days. Shoes should be comfortable, sturdy and broken-in. Must be closed-toed.
Rain Jacket (with hood) and Rain Pants
Waterproof / breathable: This type of performance rainwear prevents rain from reaching your skin while also allowing sweat to escape. Ponchos are not acceptable.
A lightweight “pack towel” is great to have for both drying off and wearing around wet swimsuits. For that reason, the towel should be large enough to fit around your waist.
This all-purpose bandana absorbs sweat, cleans off trail grime and offers a multitude of other camp and trail uses.
Stuff Sack or Laundry Bag
Any type of bag to separate dirty laundry. 20-liter stuff sack works great.