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What to bring to Mt. Rainier National Park
Like the hackneyed saying, Mt. Rainier makes its own weather. Temperatures may get as low as
freezing at night to almost 80 during the day. Although September is considered the end of the dry season, we will be
hiking through a rain forest. Foul weather gear is a must. It may rain several days in a row, or it may
be sunny and dry. It will probably be some of each. Prepare for cool and wet weather with
possible snow at high elevations.
Expect some insects such as mosquitoes, big spiders and no-see-ums (biting midges).
Page Last Updated 1/10/2008
Bring very small containers of personal items like toothpaste and hand sanitizer.
- Sunscreen (SPF 15 or greater)
- Fork & Spoon or Spork
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Hand Sanitizer or Bio-soap (Use soap over 100' away from water sources)
- Toilet Paper (1 roll per week is plenty) or Baby Wipes (must be packed out)
- Contact lenses / Mirror / Hair Clips / Ponytail Bands etc.
- Headlamp - LED lamps will run all week on 1 set of batteries.
- Some cash, a credit card, and ID (leave wallet home)
- Pocket Knife
- Quick Dry Pack Towel
- Whistle / Small Mirror (for signalling if lost)
- Insect Repellent (April - October)
- Vaseline / Talcum powder
- Duct tape
We will provide most items with 3 asterisks, but if you have any of these items,
consider bringing them, because we don't have say, 12 sleeping bags to offer.
- Backpack (at least 4000 cu in)
- Hiking Poles (or ski poles)
- Lighter / Waterproof matches
- Trash Bags (bring a few)
- Straps and/or Caribiners
- Sleeping Bag (rated to 20F). A few spares are available, but many prefer unused bags.***
- Sleeping Pad***
These items can add to your comfort greatly, but will also add to pack weight.
- An interesting but lightweight book or magazine
- Swimsuit and/or briefs/panties (not cotton)
- Glove liners (September - April)
- Insect Headnet (April - October)
- Deodorant/Anti-Perspirant (to prevent feet from sweating)
- Pen and Lightweight Journal
- Inflatable Pillow or soft Stuff Sack (for sleeping)
- First Aid Kit*** (guides will be carrying these)
One of the MOST IMPORTANT things while hiking and trying to lose weight
is to stay hydrated and drink continuously. Bring:
- Water container(s) that together can hold up to 1 gallon (2 gallons for desert trips like Arizona or Big Bend). Nalgene, Camelbacks, Platypus, or Plastic Soda bottles.
- Water purification tablets / Aqua Mira***
- Wide Brim Hat
- Sturdy Hiking Boots (broken in). Lightweight hikers are OK with sufficient ankle support.
- Sandals (e.g. Tevas, Chacos, Crocs) for in-camp
- Socks, between 2-4 pair. Some people like Smartwool, Dahlgren or other 1 layer systems.
Others prefer polypro liner socks and a wool outer sock. No cotton.
- Quick Dry Long Hiking Pants (No jeans which stay wet and heavy!).
- Quick Dry Short Pants (your long pants can have zip-off legs)
- Quick Dry Long Sleeve Shirt
- Quick Dry Short Sleeve Shirt
- Sweater or Fleece
- Waterproof Breatheable Rain Shell such as Gore-Tex (Also good for repelling wind)
- Rain Pants or Gaiters
- Wool or Synthetic cold-weather hat (you lose most of your heat through your head).
- Long sleeve Silk, Polypro or Bergalene underwear top (can get cold at night)
- Long Silk, Polypro or Bergalene underwear bottom (can get cold at night)
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