Snow camp equipment checklist


If any of these sound unfamiliar the reasons are at Snow or rain camp must-haves

__waterproof boots __ waterproof rain jacket with a hood and rain pants

____ warm jacket or parka

At least two changes of clothes:

____ wool or fleece pants ____ gloves or mittens

____ long underwear / base layers (top and bottom)

____ many different warm inner layers like sweaters, a wool workshirt, or a vest

____changes of shirt.

____synthetic or wool socks (as many pairs as you can find; NOT COTTON)

______ even more synthetic or wool socks NOT COTTON

_____ hat ____ personal toiletries kit, towel

_____High-SPF sunscreen ____ dry skin lotion

_____ Chapstick (with sunscreen)

____ not-cheap sunglasses ___ whistle

____ very good sleeping bag

____sheet or blanket to cover your bag

____ insulating sleeping pad, (or two) Maybe an additional air mattress, chaise lounge pad or futon

____ freestanding tent suitable for snow camping

___ your sense of humor ____tire chains

____ one or two large screw-top water bottles that never had anything but water in them

____ personal small first aid kit

____ cash/credit card for your share of the park entrance fee, gas, chain rental

____ real flashlight (electric torch), not one of the types you squeeze to make it work, or a tiny key chain model, (or a headlamp).

____ some food that requires no cooking, for lunch and snacks on a hike, or in case the weather prevents or hampers cooking and a power outage closes the restaurants

___ enough money to eat out,

but in case the restaurants are closed: _____ food that is precooked and only needs to be rewarmed or that is very simple to cook Maybe some fancy food that does require fancy cooking

If you cook out:

____ personal dishes, silverware, pans, cooking utensils

____ dish soap, scrubbie, paper towels, etc.

____ stove, fuel ____ potholder

____ if you use charcoal you need charcoal lighter fluid

____ good wood matches, preferably some waterproof, not paper “book” matches

___ no raw chicken!!!

_____ think through the whole process of whatever you will cook and remember to bring a small container ( the minimum you need) of each ‘ingredient,’ like mustard, mayo, cooking oil, grated cheese, butter, eggs, milk, green onions, pickles, barbecue sauce, pepper, salad dressing, sugar, or……. and can opener, paring knife, foil, sandwich bags, ….


____ high-carbohydrate/high-fat snacks for just before bedtime to help keep you warm while you sleep (cashews or peanuts, for example)

____ marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers

___ polypropylene glove and sock liners __ headband

__knit scarf ___ gaiters

____more towels; they may not dry between showers

___head phone cassette player ____ thermos

_____ pair of shorts in case we get a brief spell of early spring weather

____ red cellophane for over your flashlight on a night hike to protect your night vision

____ mini-alarm clock

____second flashlight or ‘snake light’ or headlamp, extra batteries, bulb

____ homework, laptop

___insulated drinking mug and a second one for the main course

___ more firewood (but we can’t bring any from home, we need to buy it in the park, or use Presto-type “logs” or collect it in the park outside of Yosemite Valley)

___ compact umbrella

______ backpack rather than a tiny daypack for hikes

___ real sled or tube if you want to slide snowbanks

_____chemical hand warmers ____ guitar, music

____ candles, preferably in a candle lantern

_____ set of decent clothes/shoes so you can eat out at one of the restaurants

_____ rollerblades (and pads, helmet)

_____more gloves _____ booties or fleece socks

___ hot water bottle for bedtime

___ favorite pillow ____ extra blanket(s)

_____ folding or pop-up chair ____ snow shovel

____ dining canopy ____ swimsuit and cap

____ long handled cooking utensils and a pot gripper

____ more small pans ____ journal, pen

____ “Wash’n Dri” or other antibacterial towelettes

_____ extra money for postcards, t-shirts, etc.

____ extra empty, clean gallon bleach, milk or juice bottles to bring water to the campsite from the faucets

____ can (maybe a few cans) of spray de-icer for your car windshield and possibly door locks

____a real windshield ice scraper

_____ solvent in your windshield washer reservoir

____ something to kneel on while you put on the tire chains

_____cat litter or sand

____ spare door and/or ignition key

___ an extra tarp to cover the car or at least the windshield

____ something to wrap the stove propane canister in before you store it at night to keep it from freezing

____ extra large leaf size plastic bags

___ small hiking plastic litter bag ____ deck of cards

____ gallon sized bags to wrap around your socks as you put your feet into boots that turned out to not be waterproof

____ quarters and dimes for the dryers at the laundromat

___ lantern / extra fuel / spare propane

____ camera and more film than you thought you could use, lenses, filters, tripod

_____small, deep plastic trash can(s) or other plastic box(es) close to, but no more than, 17 inches tall

____ A credit card

_____ charger for your cell phone/camera

No one going out on a day hike expects really bad things to happen, but any wise traveler should be prepared to be able to even stay overnight on the trail and survive. For a day hike in the winter you need to pack some of the “must have” gear from the preceding list:

rain gear, hat for sun and a warm hat, two or three lunches per person, flashlight or headlamp, water bottle(s), layers of warm clothes, gloves, sunglasses, high SPF sunscreen (put a layer on in the morning so you won’t forget to use it, and bring some extra), chapstick, hand lotion, personal first aid kit, whistle

and add: ___jackknife

___toilet paper, trowel and knowledge of how to use them

____Personal I.D.s such as driver’s license, medical insurance card, credit card, power of attorney for health care card, auto assn. card, spare car keys

____ litter bag.


____ map

____waterproof matches (or matches in a waterproof container)

____ firestarter

____ water purifier pump (plus chemical means should the pump die, but be sure the chemical method you choose will work against cryptosporidium and giardia and note how long (four hours??) the water must be treated for the treatment to be effective)

Nice for a hike, but not always necessary:

____croakies to hold your sunglasses on while you peer over the top of a view point

____ spare socks

____spare prescription glasses or contacts and fluid

____ moleskin (if you know you need it, put it on before the hike)

____Spenco 2nd Skin

____camera, _____more film than you think you’ll need

____lenses ___ tripod

____small notepad and pencil ____minibinoculars

____ duct tape wrapped around one person’s water bottle to repair various things

____a couple of large plastic leaf bags for various emergency uses or just to make a rain poncho for another hiker

___ a chemical handwarmer packet.

(If you bring a cell phone don’t leave your brains behind and take extra risks).

You won’t be able to fit all this in a tiny day pack. A real, ____full-sized backpack would be much wiser

AND then you can fit____ enough water (even 2 or 3 liters each)
for that long hike. Hiking dehydrated is a miserable experience.

Do not bring:

boomboxes, drums, generators, noisy equipment to fill air mattresses, etc. (noise is the first thing other campers complain about to the rangers)

firearms or drones

alcoholic beverages or mind-altering drugs on college sponsored events

clothes that have been rinsed or dried with mosquito-attracting scented softeners (dryer sheets can make a greasy stain on clothes if they get stuck to them, and the softeners can decrease the lofting and wicking of garments)

organic French lavender hand sanitizer spray, since it will attract bears into your car, and attract mosquitoes to you.

salt tablets–but do bring salty soups and snacks and maybe a tiny salt shaker

a snake bite kit with razor blades or a suture kit–take a real first aid class and learn how to handle emergencies properly

No baseball, frisbee, kite flying, soccer, biking or other trampling of meadows! .

Many parks ban volleyball/badminton, etc. in campsites or on beaches, but you might find a place you can play.

Again, if any of these sound unfamiliar the reasons are at Snow or rain camp must-haves. This webpage list is not as comprehensive.

see also: Have more fun camping