Colorado River GeoJourney Packing List

February 21, 2019

Packing List, v. 1.0

Overview  It is important that each participant is comfortable during our travels along the Colorado River this summer. With that said, the amount of clothing and equipment that each of us can bring needs to be metered by the fact that we are flying to Colorado and need to fit everyone’s bags into one 12-passenger rental van and one large SUV.  Duffel bags, internal frame backpacks, or soft-sided suitcases are best for packing.  If possible, please avoid hard-sided suitcases and trunks.  Each student participant should bring 1 (and only 1) check-in bag (or similar) weighing 50 lbs or less and one carry-on bag (e.g., day pack) and a personal item.  If at all possible, please arrive at NC State with 75 lbs. or less of personal clothing, equipment, etc.

Backpack  Each student should have a hiking-style day pack.  A backpack that you used in school will suffice.

Features that are nice to have, but are not required, include waist and chest compression belts for improving the fit of the pack, external side pockets for water bottles, internal pockets for electronics (smart phone, camera, etc.), and an internal hydration sleeve with an opening that allows the drinking tube to exit near the top of the pack for easy access while hiking.  A small rain cover that fits the pack is also a nice amenity in the event that we are caught out in the rain, but is not necessary.  A large plastic shopping bag, or even a garbage bag will suffice to keep your belongings mostly dry.

We will not be overnight backpacking on this trip – so a larger multi-day backpack is unnecessary.


  • Backpacking-style sleeping bag* (mummy bag) rated to 32° F / 0°C with compression stuff sack
  • Insulating sleeping pad (e.g. self-inflating Therm-a-rest, or foam-style Ridgerest, etc.)*.
    • Please do not bring an inflatable sleeping mattresses that require a pump.
  • Tents will be provided through the NCSU Outdoor program equipment rental department.

* These items are expensive. If you do not already have them, they can be rented from the NCSU Equipment Rental Center on the main campus.


Comfortable hiking boots or light hikers for our time on the trail and at outcrops, running shoes or sneakers for around camp and light walking, and supportive sandals with heel loops for rafting, hiking slot canyon, and crossing streams, such as Keens, Tevas, LL Bean water shoes, etc. (no flip-flops or Crocks). Shoes that will provide at least some toe protection will be much better than ones that do not.

Clothing – to the extent possible, minimize the number of cotton-only clothing items that you bring. Blended or synthetic textiles are superior in the outdoors, especially when wet.


  • Warm fleece or down jacket (x1)
  • Rain / wind jacket (x1)
  • Sweatshirt (x1)
  • Long-sleeve shirt, with or w/o buttons (x2)
  • Long underwear top (x1)
  • T-shirt or running shirt (x4)
  • Bra / sports bra (x3-4)
  • Undershirts (x2-3)
  • Swim suit for rafting day (x1)


  • Light weight rain pants (x1)
  • Hiking pants (x2); convertible pants-to-shorts are nice, but not necessary
  • Sweatpants / Fleece pants / Leggings for Camp (x 1)
  • Long underwear bottoms (x 1)
  • Shorts – mid-thigh to knee length (x 2)
  • Swim suit (x1)
  • Pajama bottom (x1)
  • Underwear (x6)
  • Hiking socks (x 4-6 pair)
  • Cotton camp socks (x 2-3 pair).

Personal Items

  • Wash cloth (x2)
  • Camp Towel (quick drying) x1
  • Bandana (x1-2)
  • Sun hat (x1)
  • Baseball / Trucker hat (x1)
  • Sunglasses (x1)
  • Headlamp with 2 sets of extra batteries


  • Deodorant !!!
  • Tooth brush / paste
  • Hair brush / comb
  • Hair ties
  • 50 spf sunscreen
  • Pain reliever (aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.)
  • Personal medications, lotions, etc.
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Mole skin (for blisters). ***Everyone should have their own supply***
  • Athletic tape
  • Band-Aids
  • Body wipes (e.g. baby wipes, facial wipes, etc.)
  • No hair dryer.  The humidity out west is very low, so hair will dry quickly.



  • Mechanical Pencil (x2) and Pens (x2), eraser (x1)
  • small set of colored pencils (x1)
  • Fine-point sharpie marker (x2)
  • 6 inch or 15cm ruler (x1)
  • Field notebook (x1; will be provided for you)
  • Small pocket knife or multi-tool (x1; make sure it is packed in your checked-in luggage)
  • Sense of Adventure, Excitement to Learn, and a Positive Attitude (all 3)


  • Smart phone + charging cable and AC-adapter
  • Portable battery pack for e-devices
  • USB-enabled solar panel (small) for charging battery pack or e-devices
  • Reading book
  • Personal journal
  • Camera
  • Waterproof box or plastic enclosure for electronic devices
  • Frisbee, hacky sack, etc.
  • Musical instrument (if it is not too big)
  • Deck of playing cards
  • Other small items that are not listed and that you feel you cannot live without; however, no pets, little brothers or sisters, etc.