This is a packing list for the Backpacking Orientation Adventure trip.


  • Printed and signed copies of all required waivers and liability forms.



  • Hiking boots: Remember, poor fitting boots cause blisters. Heavy leather boots need to be broken in before the trip.
  • Sneakers (optional): If you want, you can bring a lightweight pair of closed-toe shoes to wear around camp.


  • 2-3 pairs of wool or synthetic blend socks.


Upper Body Garments

  • At least one of the long-sleeved layers needs to be synthetic (i.e., polypropylene or comparable proprietary brand, fleece, etc.) or wool.

Inner layer

  • 1 long underwear shirt or long sleeve shirt
  • 1 short sleeve shirt or tank top

Outer layer

  • 1 insulating layer (fleece, wool sweater, warm sweatshirt)
  • 1 waterproof layer (poncho or rain jacket)

Lower Body Garments

  • 1 pair of shorts: nylon is best
  • 1 pair of pants: nylon is best, but lightweight cotton is acceptable. Long underwear bottoms are also an acceptable alternative.
  • 2 pairs of underwear
  • Swimsuit


  • Brimmed hat: for sun protection; a baseball cap is fine
  • Hat for warmth: for cooler evenings

Backpacks and Storage Bags

  • Backpack* of at least 3500 cubic inch capacity, preferable around 4000 cubic inches. Remember, you will be carrying some group gear in addition to your personal gear (food, part of a tent and/or cookware)
  • 2 Heavy duty trash bags: to line your backpack with for protection from rain

Sleeping Gear

  • Sleeping bag*: with a rating of 30 degrees or lower
  • Sleeping pad*

Personal Items

  • 1 Plastic or metal bowl (REQUIRED)
  • 1 mug (REQUIRED)
  • 1 fork and/or spoon (REQUIRED)
  • Sunglasses
  • Chapstick
  • Sunscreen: with at least a 15 SPF rating (higher recommended)
  • Water bottles: at least 2 quarts total
  • Headlamp/flashlight: the smaller, the better
  • Toiletries**: toothbrush and toothpaste, etc. Keep it to a minimum. There will not be an opportunity to shower, so do not bring shampoo, etc.
  • Any medications you will require during your trip

Optional Gear

  • Reading material: lightweight paperback
  • Cards
  • Journal (light and compact)
  • Sandals (for camp and for wading, heel strap recommended)
  • Gloves (lightweight – very nice if you get cold easily)
  • Camera (bring a couple ziplocks to protect it if it’s not waterproof)
  • Swimsuit (most trips will pass by lakes – some choose to swim in their hiking clothes or not at all, so swimsuits are optional)
  • Clean clothes to leave in the van/bus and change into at the end of the trip
  • Insect repellent

Do Not Bring

  • Alcohol or illegal drugs
  • A different outfit for each day
  • Personal electronic devices other than a cellular phone (cell phones for photos - there will be no cell signal)
  • An old candy bar in a jacket pocket that Mr. Bear would love to eat
  • Only cotton clothes
  • Other miscellaneous deadweight, e.g. your high school yearbook, etc.
  • Non-essential toiletries (sorry, but this does include shampoo)

Packing Tips

Although you will be backpacking in California, it will be COLD at night. Please keep this in mind. Keep the pack and gear separate from the rest of your luggage so it's not necessary to sort through all your stuff the night before your trip's departure.  If you are renting a pack, bring a separate duffle bag with all your gear so it is easy to transfer to your rental pack.  Slide-lock ziplock bags are a great packing aid.  For maximum storage efficiency, you might also try compression bags. Compartmentalize where possible (e.g., camera + film in a ziplock bag).  Don't worry if you're having trouble figuring out how to pack your pack; your leaders will help you out before your trip departs.

Pack light, everything you bring, plus group gear, will be on your back.

OA leaders will conduct a gear check before your trip departs—you must have all essential items in your possession in order to depart with your group (excepting some items that can be shared, such as sunscreen).

*Packs, sleeping bags, and pads are available free if requested during your trip sign up.

**Hygiene Information: Note that OA follows a stringent “Pack it In, Pack it Out” philosophy. Plastic ziplocks will be provided to pack out toilet paper and feminine hygiene products.

Please contact us if you need to request gear or if you have any questions (phone: 909-607-2531 email: