Introductory Letter & Packing List
Dear Mountain Stewards and Parents,
We are looking forward to your upcoming trip with Experience Learning! As we prepare for this outdoor living and learning adventure keep in mind that the key to a fantastic experience is coming prepared for the variety of weather conditions we often experience here in the Appalachians. Being warm and dry while hiking, climbing, or preparing dinner back at camp is a wonderful feeling!
Although the weather on Spruce Knob is often sunny and warm, some days have their share of windy, cold, or rainy conditions. Therefore, being prepared for all sorts of weather is crucial. The list of recommended clothing is designed to function as a layering system. A single layer may be enough during the day but often adding a few layers is required in the evenings or on cooler days. You can access our onsite weather station for current conditions. When searching for the forecasted weather use Circleville, WV as the location, and keep in mind we are typically about 5 degrees cooler up on the mountain.
Packing the right clothing is pretty straightforward. Choose clothing based on the idea that synthetics and wool will keep one warm even when wet, while cotton tends to hold moisture and dirt. When wet, cotton jeans, sweatshirts, pants and socks are difficult to dry and rapidly draw body heat away rather than provide insulation. While we realize cotton clothing is comfortable, wool, fleece, pile, and other synthetic and Under Armor-like shirts, pants and pullovers are more functional for our multi-day camping and outdoor activities. Anywhere you read wool in the following list, a synthetic alternative is acceptable.
We highly encourage you to utilize things you already own rather than purchasing new equipment. If you find yourself in need, thrift stores are fantastic resources for inexpensive clothing. Larger chain stores also feature many inexpensive synthetic clothing options.
Participants will need to carry their equipment to their campsite in large expedition-size backpacks, therefore consider the best of what you have that is lightweight and multi-purpose with regards to clothing and equipment such as flashlights, shoes, jackets, etc.
We will provide expedition-size backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents, food, tools, and other necessary items. If you have any questions about the packing list, please ask for clarification. Others in your community may have attended our camps in the past and are excellent resources. Cellular telephones do not work in our area, and all electronics will be left in storage during the wilderness trip.
Remember, encouraging each other to take on the challenge of new experiences with an open mind and a positive attitude is the best way to prepare for this exciting adventure.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns as they arise.
We look forward to seeing you soon,
Mountain Stewards Packing List
Check the weather before arrival, and use your best judgment regarding some of the cold weather items on the list. Keep in mind mountain nights are often cooler than you’d expect.
- Small school-sized backpack (1). To carry rain gear, extra layers, journal, and lunch during day trips.
- 32-oz water bottles (2). Reused Gatorade or water bottles works well. Please fill with water.
- Cup, bowl, spoon and fork (1 ea.). Plates and knives are not necessary.
- Heavy-duty garbage bags. (3). These keep belongings dry and separate dirty/ wet clothing,
- Flashlight/headlamp (1).
- Extra batteries (1).
- Journal or sketch pad (1).
- Pen and/or pencil. (1).