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ORION Gear List - What should I bring?

Having an enjoyable experience on your ORION trip is greatly influenced by the way you prepare yourself. Appalachian Outdoors can help you find many of the listed items. You will be quite comfortable in any situation if you bring all of the gear on the list. You shouldn't need to bring any other items. Click on the links below for suggested items:


The following is a check-off list of all the items you will need - please consider what you wear to the arrival day as part of the list (i.e. if you are wearing shorts do not pack a second pair). Pack lightly - as you will be carrying everything you pack + additional group gear.

Please do not bring electronic items such as mp3 players, games, or cell phones.


ORION will provide all of the necessary group gear for the trip including: Tents/Tarps, First Aid Kits, Maps/Compass, Stoves, Cookware, Journals, Great Food!, Water Purification materials, Backpack, Sleeping Bag & Pad. Before you venture out on our backpacking trips, an instructor will look over your gear to make sure that you are ready. You may bring your own personal gear if you would like. Leaders will determine if your equipment is appropriate for our program on the first day. We do have storage available.


Appalachian Outdoors is a local State College outdoor retailer. As a sponsor for the ORION program, the store is providing a 10% discount to all ORION participants as well as a great web link to help you with gear selection.


Additional Information:


Weather: Generally, we have summer temperatures in the 80's to 90's F. But temperatures can be considerably cooler in the evenings dropping as low as 50 degrees at night. Since you can never be sure what the weather will be like, you need to bring a range of clothing for various conditions. By having a variety of layers of clothing you can adjust your layers to suit your activity level and the weather conditions.


Clothing (Excerpted from Rick Curtis' The Backpacker's Field Manual) The clothing layers should consist of several different types of fabrics. Cotton is comfortable and breathable, but it absorbs and retains water, and therefore it will not keep you warm if it gets wet. Also, it can be difficult to dry. For this reason you should not bring heavy cotton clothes such as sweatshirts, sweatpants or blue jeans. We strongly encourage you to wear nylon, polyester or synthetic clothing. Wool or synthetic fleece fabrics (such as Polartec 100 or Polartec 200) don't absorb water so they keep you warm even if they get wet. Fleece also dries very quickly. A wool sweater or fleece jacket provides warmth on a cold evening. These are essential to your comfort on the trip!


A combination of these types of fabrics creates a layering system. The inner layer keeps the skin dry and comfortable. Synthetic t-shirts and shorts are lightweight and will dry quickly when wet from perspiration or from rain. The middle layer provides some insulation and protection from the elements. Long-sleeve shirts and long pants make up this layer. You may wear these in the evening when your activity level is low and it starts to cool off. The outer layer provides insulation and is usually a wool sweater or fleece jacket. You will wear this around camp at night. The shell layer protects you from wind and rain. A waterproof rain jacket is essential in case of bad weather. A coated nylon rain jacket or poncho is lightweight, inexpensive, and works well. Waterproof-breathable fabrics like Gore-tex also work well but can be expensive. For the head layer, bring a brimmed hat for sun and rain protection. At night, a wool or synthetic fleece hat can be helpful for warmth. The feet layer includes a wool/nylon-blend hiking sock. Since wool or synthetic material doesn't absorb water it passes the moisture from your foot outwards, keeping your foot drier. If your feet get damp, they get wrinkled and are more prone to blisters. Wearing synthetic socks means that your socks will not absorb water and therefore will not be as likely to cause blisters.


Boots (Excerpted from Rick Curtis' The Backpacker's Field Manual) 1 pair of lightweight hiking boots: Boots should provide ankle support and be either leather/fabric or all-leather with lug soles for traction. Boots should fit comfortably with two pairs of socks, a light synthetic liner sock and a synthetic hiking sock. Above all, make sure that your boots are well broken-in before you arrive. Otherwise your feet will pay the price. We cannot emphasize this enough. Non-broken-in boots invariably cause chafing and blisters.