Wilderness Experience Participant Packet Gear List

Wilderness Experience Participant Packet Gear List
WelcometoFirstAscent,
WesternCarolinaUniversity’sOrientationProgram
August13th-18th2016
Pleasetakethetimetoreviewthefollowingmaterials:
• TheGearAdvice,Preparation,andGearChecklistprovideyouwithagoodideaofwhatyou’llneedto
bringandwhatourprogramwillprovide.Pleasereviewindetail,astherearerequireditems.
• TheEmergencyContactinformationcoversthebasicplanforyourexpedition,whereandwhentomeet
priortothetripandwhereyoucanbepickeduponyourreturn.
TheWildernessExperiencetripisdesignedasanintroductiontowildernesslivingandtravel,sobeginnersshould
feelrightathome.However,itwillbechallengingtoeventheseasonedoutdoorenthusiast.Allbackpacking
routesintheNantahalaNationalForestprovideanadequatechallenge,theperfectmatchtohelpprepareyoufor
yourcollegeadventure.Idorecommendthatyousticktosomeregularexerciseplan;however,yourattitudewill
havethemostimpactonthistripforyou.Thisisagroupexperienceandthegroupwilldefinethekindoftripyou
have.Asyouareanessentialmemberofthisgroup,yourattitude,preparationandparticipationwillplayavital
roleindefiningtheexperience.
Yoursinadventure,
BaseCampCullowheeLeadershipTeam
WildernessExperience
GearAdvice,PreparationandChecklist
GearAdvice
Thisgearchecklistisasummaryofwhatyou’llneedforyourWildernessExperience.We’vebrokenthingsupinto
fourcategories;requiredgearthatwecanprovide,requiredgearthatyou’llneedtoprovide,optionalgear,and
gearnottobringatall.Pleasefeelfreetocontactuswithquestions,comments,orconcerns.
Generally,duringthesummermonthswehavetemperaturesinthe70’s–80’s,withthemercurydippingdown
intothe50’s–60’satnight.However,itisnotuncommontohavenighttimetemperaturesintothe30’sor
daytimehighsinthe90’s.Soyou’llneedtobringalittlebitofeverythingwithyou–emphasisonthe“littlebit.”
Whenthinkingaboutclothing,thinkaboutlayers.Agoodlayeringsystemallowsyoutoeasilyandquicklyadjust
whatyou’rewearingtomatchyoureffortlevelandcurrentweatherconditions.Layersaremadeupofathinshirt
andshortsagainsttheskin,followedbyathicker,insulatinglayerthattrapsairnexttoyou–keepingyouwarm,
followedbyanouterlayerorshellwithyourrainjacket–blockingthewindandrain.
Whenthinkingaboutmaterialsit’sbesttostayawayfromcotton.Cottoniscomfortablewhendry,butiteasily
soaksupsweatandraintobecomesaturated,uncomfortableandevendangerous.Cottonlosesallinsulating
propertieswhenwet–makingyoucolder,sostayawayfromcotton.Syntheticmaterialssuchasnylon,
polyester,orpolypropylene,areagoodalternative.Thesefabricshavebecomequitecomfortableandare
availableeverywhere.Theywillkeepyouwarmanddrywhilekeepingyoucool.Woolisanaturalalternativeto
synthetics,andcanalsobeveryinexpensive.
Bootsorsturdyhikingshoesareagoodinvestmentinyouroutdooractivityfuture.Sinceyouwillbehikingwitha
heavypack,westronglyrecommendahighbootprovidinganklesupport.Itisessentialthatyoubreak-inany
newboots,asblistersarenofun.Wecannotemphasizethisenough–it’sbeenthebiggestcomplaintonour
backpackingtrips.Heedthisadviceandtakecareofyourfeet.Oneotherwaytopreventblistersisbywearinga
socklinerwithathickerhikingsock.Thishelpswickmoistureawayfromthefootandthetwolayersofsockrub
againsteachotherratherthanagainsttheskin.
Whenthinkingabouttheweather,keepinmindthatit’snothowtheweatherdealswithyou;it’showyoudeal
withtheweatherthatwilldefineyourexperience.Rainisafactoflifeandithappensoneverytripatsomepoint.
Therearesmallthingslikegoodbreathableraingear,asmalltowel,extrasocks,thatcanmakeyoumore
comfortable,butthebiggestthingyoucanpackisyourattitude.Beingflexibleandpatientinwetweatherisan
invaluablelifeskill;it’salsoametaphorfordealingwithcollege-life.Sometimesthingsaresunnyandsometimes
theyaren’t,butyouhavecontroloverhowyoureacttothesituation.
GettinginShape!
TheWildernessExperiencetripisdesignedforthenovicebackpacker,butdon’tunderestimatethedifficultyof
theexperience.Werecommendthatyoubeginexercisingnowifyouarenotregularlyactive.Wewillbewalking
insometimeschallengingterrainwithanaverageof30–40poundsofgearonyourback.Ifyouwantsome
assistancewithcreatingaplanforgettinginshape,wearehappytoassistyou.Weencourageyoutoincludethe
followingintoyourexerciseregimetogetreadyforthetrip:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Ifyouaregettingnewhikingboots/shoes,buythemASAPandbreaktheminbywalkingupanddown
hills/localtrails,etc.Doatleastathreehourhikeinthemtoassess“hotspots”–potentialblisterareas.
Noshinynewshoes–wewanttoseedirtonyourshoeswhenyouputthemonforthefirsttimeherein
Cullowhee!Walkingupanddownhillscanalsobepartofyouraerobicexerciseroutine.
2-3hoursofaerobicexerciseeachweek–dosomeofthisworkwithaweightedbackpackonsothatyou
getusedtotheweightandworkonyourbalance.Abagofbirdseedinyourbackpackmakesforsome
easyaddedweight,andthelocalbirdswillappreciateyouwhenyouleaveitbehind.
Getyourabsinshape.Youdon’tbyanymeansneedtobe“cut,”butstrongabsareimportantfor
reducingthepossibilityofabackinjurywhencarryingaheavybackpackformanymilesatatime:strong
stomach=strongback.
Ifyouhaveweakankles,agoodpairofbootswithanklesupportwillhelp,butdoinglegraisesandother
anklestrengtheningexerciseswillhelpyoufromturninganankleoveronuneventerrain.
Stretch.Flexibilityiskey,bothphysicalandmental.
Stayhealthy–getlotsofsleep,eatabalanceddiet,drinkatonofwater,andtrytoavoidthemultiple
virusesgoingaroundthistimeofyear!
Don’thesitatetocontactuswithanycomments,questionsorconcerns.We’relookingforwardtoseeingyouthis
summer!
WildernessExperienceGearChecklist:PleasebringthischecklistwithyouwhenyouarrivetoCullowhee.
RequiredGear:FirstAscentwillprovidethefollowingitemsORyoumayuseyourown
Wewillalsoprovideshelter,cooksets,cookingstoves,cookshelters,fuelbottles,cookingutensilsetc.thatthe
groupwillshare.Ifyouchoosetobringyourowngear,youassumetheriskofdamageorloss.
Check
Item
Description
Backpack
InternalFramePackwith5000cubicinchesorlargerispreferred,butsmaller
participantsmaybemorecomfortablewithasmallercapacitypack.
Sleepingpad
Closedcellfoampad,orself-inflating“Therm-a-Rest”pad.
Sleepingbagwithstuff
sack
Yourbagneedstoberatedtoatleast30degrees;butnotbelow15.Synthetic
materialisrequired,asdownlosesloftwhenwet.
RequiredGear:ProvidedbyYou
Needsomenewgear,butdon’thavealotofmoney?SomelessexpensiveplacestobuygoodqualitygearareCampmorandSierra
TradingPost.Bothofthesecompanieshavewebsiteswhereyoucanorderitemson-line.But,whenitcomestoshoes/boots,it’s
besttotrythemonbecausefitissoimportant!Allclothingitemscanbefoundatdepartmentstores,noneedtodropafortuneata
specialtyOutdoorshop–checkoutthe2ndhandstoreaswell.
Check
Item
Description
Mid-weighttoplayer
Lightwoolsweater,expeditionweightpolypropelene,fleece,etc.Thiscanalso
doubleasapillow.CottonisNOTacceptable.
1pairofsynthetic
pants/tights
Quickdryingnylonpants,expeditionweightorlightweightfleece,linednylon
pants,runningpants,orheavyweighttights.Nocotton!
Longunderwear
Longunderwearneedstobemadefromasyntheticmaterialsuchas“Capilene”,
orpolypropelene–cottonlongunderwearisNOTacceptable.
topandbottom
Raingear
topandbottom
3pairwool/synthetic
socks(optional:sock
liners)
Thebestkindiswaterproofandbreathable.(Goodraingearisprobablythesingle
mostimportantlayerthatyoucanhaveinthewilderness.)Waterproof/breathable
fabricslikeGore-texareoneoptionbuttheycanbeexpensive.Therearenow
manyoptionsinwaterproof/breathableouter-warewithsomecostinglessthan
others,soshoparound.Breathableraingearalsoactsasanoutstandingwind
layertogooveryourfleeceorpilelayer.Plusit’snicetohaveinWNCyear-round.
Socksmustbemadeofwool,woolblend,orotherwool-likesynthetic“hiking
weight”material.Socklinersareathinmoisturewickinglayerthathelpsprevent
blisters,andareareallygoodidea.
1-2pairofshorts
Nocotton!
Underwear,asneeded
Avoidcottonifatallpossible.
2lightweight,short
sleevet-shirts
50/50cotton/polyesteror100%syntheticfibersarepreferable.
Bathingsuit
Thisisforswimmingandotherwateractivities,notsomuchforsunbathing,so
makeitcomfortable.Synthetichikingshortsworkdoubledutyasswimtrunks.
Mid-weighthiking
boots/shoes
All-leatherbootsarenotabsolutelyrequired,buttheyareadvisable.Theycanbea
longterminvestmentforyouandcanalsobewater-proofedquiteeasily.Boots
shouldfitproperlywhenwearinglinersocksincombinationwithawoolor
wool/syntheticsock.Thebootsshouldalsoprovideadequateanklesupportandbe
“broken-in”priortoarrivinginCullowhee.
Watersandals,water
shoes,orextrapairof
tennisshoesthatcan
getwet.
Suchas“Chacos,”“Tevas,”oracheapaquasockfromthedepartmentstore.
Theseshoesmusthaveaheel/anklestrap,orcoverthefootandankle
completely;theymustnotcomeoffinthewater.FlipflopsorBirkenstocksarenot
acceptable.Youwon’tbeallowedtostartthehikewithoutanacceptablepairof
watershoes.
CampShoes/Sandals
Somecomfortablefootweartochangeintoaftertheday’shikingisdone.
Sunglasseswith
retentionstrap
SunglassesshouldblockUVAandUVBrays.
Wide-brimmedhator
baseballcap
Forsunprotectionandhairwrangling!
Woolorfleecehat
Forwarmth.
1insulatedtravelmug
withhandle
Anythingwithawidemouthcanbeusedfordrinkingoreating.
1spoon
Heavydutyplastic,“Permaware”forexample.Metaliscoldandheavy.
1smallbowl
A“Lexan”or“Rubbermaid”bowlworkswell,itisagoodideathatthisbowlbe
“lickable”--asineasilycleanedoutwiththeol’tongue.
2widemouth,32oz.
waterbottles
Internalpackwaterbladdersareverypopular,butyoustillneedtobringatleast
one“Nalgene”bottleincasethebladderspringsaleak.
Headlamp
Headlampshouldbewaterresistant.Bringextrabatteries.
Smalltowel
Fordryingoff.Nocotton!Therearenumerous“camp”towelproductsonthe
market,mostaremadeofasyntheticmaterial.
Toiletries(e.g.,
You’renotgoingoutforverylong,sobringonlytheminimumthatyouneed,
enoughtoothpastefor4nights,andjusttheessentialsforyourhygieneneeds.
toothbrush,toothpaste,
floss,comb/brush,
prescriptiondrugs,
chapstick,insect
repellant,feminine
hygieneneeds,etc.)
WewillbringBiodegradablesoap.Makesureyouincludeallprescriptiondrugs
thatyouwillbringonyourpersonalmedicalinformationform.Thisisa
confidentialformandnooneotherthanthetripleaderswillviewit.Inthecaseof
anemergency,itisvitalthatweknowanymedicationsthatyoumaybetaking.
OptionalGear:ProvidedbyYou!
Ckd.
Item
Description
Camera
We’llbetakingdigitalpicturesandwillsharethemwiththewholegroup,butplease
feelfreetobringyourown.
“PelicanCase”for
GiventhatitcanrainquiteabitintheWNCmountains,youmaywanttobringafully
absolutewaterand
waterproofcaseforyourcamera/film.
crushproofprotectionof
yourcamera.
Journal&pen
Forpersonalreflections.Storeinaplasticbag.
Pocketknifeor
Therearemanyopportunitiestousethistool,butIfinditalsospreadspeanutbutter
verywell.
multi-tool
Deckofcards
Bringthisespeciallyifyouknowsomegoodcardtricks!
Bandana
Theusesofabandanaaretoonumeroustolist…justtrustmeonthis!
Telescopingtrekking
poles
Thesereallyhelpwhenyouwanttokeepgoing,butyourkneesaren’taswilling!
TabooGear:Whatnottobring!
Youshouldn’tneedtobringanythingelsethanwhatwehavespecificallylistedabove.Weaskthatyounotbringanyelectronic
devicessuchasCD&MP3players,cellphones,Gameboys,etc.Donotbringanykindofweapon;large“survival”knife,blowgun,
etc.asthereisnoneedfortheseitems.
FirstAscentisadrug,alcohol,andtobaccofreeactivity.Useofanysubstanceotherthanaprescribedmedicationfromyour
doctorwillresultinImmediateRemovalfromtheprogram.
WildernessExperience
EmergencyContactInformation
EmergencyResponsePlan
BaseCampCullowhee(apartofWCUCampusRecreationandWellness)hasbeensuccessfullyleadingstudentsinadventureactivitiesin
backcountrysettingsformorethan20years.Intheunlikelyeventofanemergency,thisplanwillguideallcommunicationsbetweenthestaff
inthefieldandthestudentparticipant’sfamilyorcontactperson(s).Tripstaffmembersaretrainedinmanagingavarietyofsituationsand
medicalemergenciesthatmayoccurinthebackcountry.Wehavedeterminedthelocationsmostsuitableforevacuationandestablished
emergencyprotocols.Thestaffareawareofvariouslocationsalongtheroutewhereland-linephonescanbefoundwithin5milesofthetrail.
BaseCampwillbecontactedbythetripstaffregardinganyemergenciesthatmayariseinthebackcountry.Followingnotificationofan
emergency,BCCstaffwillinitiatetheBaseCampEmergencyResponseProtocol;parent(s)and/orguardian(s)willbecontactedappropriately.
Oncecontacted,BCCStaffwillconsiderthefollowingoptionsforcontactingthegroup;
1.
2.
3.
4.
Contactthegroupviacellphone
SendanBCCstaffmemberintothefieldtolocatethegroup
ContactEmergencyServicesifneeded(RescueSquadorSherriff’sDepartment)
ContactNantahalaForestDistrictRangerStation
Ifyouwanttocontactyourstudent,pleasecarefullyconsiderthefollowing:
1.Contactingthegroupcouldtakeuptoorexceed24hours
2.Contactingthegroupmaybedisruptivetothegroupexperience
3.BCCstaffmemberswillultimatelydecideifcontactisappropriate
Ifyoufeelthatcontactisnecessary,callWCUstaffmembersintheorderprovidedbelow
(Allareacodesforbelownumbersare828)
Name
JeremiahHaas,AssociateDirector
Office
227-8805
AlSmith,BaseCampClimbingWallManager
Home
Cell
-----------828-713-0845
227-8813-----------724-388-5449
Vacant,AssistantDirectorofBCC
ShaunaSleight,DirectorofCRW
227-8803-----------421-7762
UniversityPolice
227-8911
MotorPool(Raleigh)919-733-4043
On-CampusEmergencies
9-911
Off-CampusEmergencies
911
For all non-emergency contact, feel free to email Jeremiah Haas at jhaas@wcu.edu
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