Grand Tetons trip equipment

This page has links to equipment checklists and links to details about the Colter Bay cabins the De Anza College Outdoor Club usually stays at on Grand Teton kayaking trips.

Photo below by Fred Hanselmann

Fred Hanselmann photo Patriarch Tree and Tetons.:

Photo below courtesy of Rick Konrad

Rick Konrad photo Old Patriarch tree: Rick Konrad photo Tetons at sunset in background and Old Patriarch tree in foreground

If they can be transported, the club will provide: kayaks, paddles, drybags, and lifejackets, (which must be worn and strapped securely). If the group can transport the De Anza owned kayaks, the club will pay the kayak permit fees that Grand Teton park charges. Again, all this is if the De Anza-owned kayaks can be transported, if not, we can rent them in the park, but the club won’t have a big enough budget for lots of rental time.

Trip participants are responsible for all other arrangements and costs, including, but not limited to: food, park entrance fees, campsite, cabin or hotel cost, gas and other transportation costs, sleeping and eating gear and other personal gear.


Bring the same stuff you’ll need for the Yosemite February trip – and might want for early mornings on fall, spring or even summer trips – good rain jackets big enough for a sweater, fleece and/or down vest underneath and rain pants to go over pants that have room for fleece pants and (non-cotton) polypro long johns underneath. And bring your swimsuit (and spring wetsuit for possible cold water swimming unless you are intrepid, the club owns a few).

For fall or early morning summer kayaking we wear polypro
longjohns, shorts over those and/or fleece on top, and bring rain gear, or on the 2000 fall trip one guy wore his wetsuit with a knit hat. Expect things to get a little damp or even a little wet, so if at all possible pack a second set of long johns and fleece for hikes and sleeping.

NO COTTON in the longjohns! You can find lists of gear to bring for winter camping that have things that apply to this trip at Snow or rain camp must-haves . If you don’t have gear for or have never been rainy/cold camping we really recommend you read this list.

Your gear list should include food and food preparation equipment, tents, sleeping bag, insulating sleeping pads,
waterproof outer layers in case of rain, (you can get a set of rain pants/jacket at Home Depot then Improve your inexpensive rain gear).

Before you sign up the advisor should see and approve of your rain jacket/pants, tent, sleeping bag, fleece jacket/pants and long johns. If you don’t have a proper rain jacket/pants, fleece jacket/pants and long johns during the trip you will not go kayaking.

Please also consult the Camping equipment checklist even if you intend to stay in a cabin or hotel. The day hike list and kayaking list at that page have lots of details.

Pack in haste, repent at leisure… trying to use a hatchet as a can opener on one of our wilderness overnights at Leigh Lake:

axe as a can opener: a desperate, starving camper (well, maybe not) uses an axe as a can opener at a campsite in the Wyoming wilderness

Backpacking Advice has food ideas for a potential wilderness overnight.

Club members can borrow stoves, lanterns, tents, insulated sleeping pads, dining canopies, backpacks, etc. from the club with a refundable cleaning and/or late fee deposit in the form of a cashier’s check or credit card. Equipment rentals will go much more smoothly if you have read these in advance:

Outdoor Club Equipment

Outdoor Club Sample Rental Agreement

Photo below by David Whitten

David Whitten photo beaver pond teton range:

You really will be happier with a comfortable full-sized backpack that fits all your gear, instead of a tiny daypack, for any long hikes.

You can rent bikes in the park, but bringing your own on a vehicle is cheaper. Bike helmets are required for all ages of riders in the park. Biking in the park can be safe, but due to the large, unpredictable wild animals, there are safety precautions that are different than at home, please read: Grand Tetons biking.

NPS photo cutthroat trout leaping: cutthroat trout leaping out of the water in a fast moving currentYou will need a Wyoming fishing license to fish in Grand Teton National Park, which you can get at various vendors in the park. One-day licenses cost much less than annual, so you might want to get more than one one-day license.

Experienced surfers could bring their surfboard, there are sections of the Snake River (from West Table to Sheep Gulch, especially Taco Hole and Lunch Counter) you can surf in place on a rapid for as long as your legs hold out (or until a raft needs to go through or someone else wants to take a turn). Some really are only for experienced surfers, as the wash out below the rapids can be serious rapids as well. You know without asking this is not a college-sponsored event.

We’ve rarely needed mosquito repellant on fall Tetons trips but for summer/late summer read some advice at: insect repellant.

You will really want your own binoculars.

The club owns a few pairs of waterproof binoculars we can even use while out kayaking, (just be sure to attach the custom-sewn band of pool floats so they won’t sink if you drop them overboard) but not enough for everyone on a big trip.

Info on selecting binoculars is at:

Cellphones don’t function well everywhere.

The Grand Tetons Lodge Company website said in early 2005 (we found no mention of it since then):

“Verizon works at Jackson Lake Lodge. Cell phone service is not as reliable at Colter Bay Village and Jenny Lake Lodge.”

If you intend to camp bring all your cell phone/lap top/camera chargers and charge them in in one of the cabins someone is sure to rent.

People who intend to camp (as well as those in cabins) should bring a laptop, as there is free WiFi available at the Moose Visitor center, Jackson Lake Lodge parlor and the Colter Bay laundromat that anyone can use without a secret code (and a few DVD rentals in Jackson).

Be adaptable. Even if you are certain you will not camp, bring tent, sleeping bag and insulated sleeping pad so you can if the opportunity or need arrives. Most years we get a backcountry permit and paddle/portage in to a remote lake for a night of camping.

If you ride in a carpool driving straight through, pack a small bag with the items you will wish you had for 24 hours so that you don’t need to stop and go through your luggage looking for: your toothbrush, flashlight, rain jacket, pillow, book, journal, camera, headphone CD player. Other people in the vehicle will appreciate it if you wear freshly laundered clothing without perfume or cologne and have recently washed yourself. See: Road trip advice and etiquette.

Where you stay in the Tetons is up to you, but it can be difficult to coordinate timing of activities if we don’t all stay in the same area, so we’ve all stayed at Colter Bay for at least part of the time on previous trips. Colter Bay cabins, Grand Teton National Park.


For details about our next club trip to Grand Teton National Park, go to: Grand Tetons.

Grand Tetons trip pages index has brief descriptions of most of the pages about this trip.

Grand Tetons kayaking

Grand Tetons sightseeing

NO pets on our trips. Pets scare away wildlife or even worse, can engage wildlife, endangering themselves, the people with them and the wildlife. Pets wake sleeping people. In Grand Teton park pets are not allowed more than 50 feet from the roadway (such as on any hiking trail), in boats on the Snake river or any lake except Jackson Lake, or on Ranger-led activities. The few places they are allowed they must be restrained on leash at all times.

There’s easy camping info at: Have more fun camping

If you want to get a better room, or even a suite with fabulous lakefront or mountain view, fireplace, fridge, microwave, or even a complete kitchen, look at: Grand Tetons hotels, cabins, lodging

Grand Tetons trip transportation has flight info, driving distances and guesses at gas cost, previous trip examples, etc.

Grand Tetons trip cost has examples of

The cheap trip,

The not-so cheap trip,

The slightly more costly trip, but less driving time,

also known as the I-can’t-get-much-time-off-work trip,

and The expensive trip.

Maps are at: Colter Bay, Grand Teton National Park

During a thunderstorm, don’t take a shower or use a sink, including washing dishes. Don’t talk on a land line phone. Don’t use your I pod. Don’t get zapped! Please read Thunderstorm and lightning safety

photo below courtesy of Rick Konrad

Rick Konrad Images bull moose reflection: Rick Konrad Images bull moose reflection in river Grand Teton park