Hidden Valley Adventures Equipment List



  • Raingear (this includes rain coat and pants, and should be durable and comfortably fit over other clothes) MUST HAVE!
  • Warm Mid-Layer 
  • Light or mid-weight thermal base layers (synthetic or wool, Under Armor like sports base layers for cold weather work well, or mid-weight synthetic base layers from REI or LL Bean)
  • Hat with brim that blocks both sun and rain
  • Warm hat (wool or fleece)
  • Mittens (lightweight/ synthetic or wool)
  • Hiking boots (waterproof & broken in pre-summer!)
  • Sneakers for between hiking & water
  • Close-toed water shoes or another pair of sneakers to get wet (Keens or Salomon are best, can wear Chacos or Tevas Sandals, but keep in mind toes are not protected against rocks in these. 
  • 8 pairs of socks (4 wool, light or mid-weight socks that fit snug for hiking in and 1 fluffier pair of socks to sleep in on colder nights, synthetic crew length socks also work but wool or wool-blend socks are preferred)
  • 6 t-shirts (3 synthetic, quick-drying, moisture wicking, and preferably odor blocking t-shirts) 
  • 3 long sleeved shirts (1 can be a sun shirt or sun hoodie, look for UPF 50 rating to wear for water sports)
  • 3 pairs of pants, one of which must be non-jean (i.e. nylon pants that zip up to shorts)
  • 3 pairs of shorts (1 pair quick-drying nylon running/ workout shorts)
  • 8 pairs of underwear 
  • 1 Bathing suit and swim shorts of some kind


  • 3 large towels - 1 must be "quick-dry"
  • Packable Sleeping bag (20 or 30 degree comfort rating, lightweight synthetic options are best, water resistant down bags will also work.) 
  • 15-20 L dry compression back to pack sleeping bag in (make sure your sleeping bag fits in this, it will help to save space packing and ensure the sleeping bag is dry at the end of the day)
  • Light roll-up foam, or inflatable sleeping pad (to be used on all trips and key to a good night's sleep)
  • Waterproof "dry bag" backpack (about 4,000 cubic inches or 65 liters)
  • Large backpack, internal frame is preferred, with a hip belt (No duffle bags; they are difficult to carry over long distances.)
  • Daypack (small, around 20 Liters, lightweight, packable, with shoulder straps, link to recommended pack at HVC Web site)
  • Thick plastic trash bag to line hiking backpack with OR rain cover that fits over the bag (trash compactor bags work well for this and often perform better than store bought rain covers)
  • Basic toiletries in small containers
  • Feminine products for girls
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray 
  • Headlamp (good quality) and batteries
  • Sunglasses
  • 2 water bottles (total capacity 2 quarts/ liters)
  • Insect/head net
  • Mess kit (plate/bowl/cutlery)
  • Travel cup
  • A small dry bag for day trips 


  • Camera
  • Reading and writing material
  • Jackknife
  • 2 bandanas
  • Fieldglasses
  • Small musical instruments
  • Cards/games/CD's to share (no iPods!)


CRITICAL INFORMATION - Please read carefully

There are many options for gear, we have put recommendations down for your guidance, but by no means do you have to buy what we recommend, they are there for guidance.

Luggage: Adventures participants will bring all of their gear and clothing to camp, and will repack for their first adventure on the first night of camp. Dry bags will be used primarily. The campers will pack their dry bags for the first adventure with only the things that they need for that trip, the rest of their belongings will be kept at camp, and carried up to the log cabin for storage, and use on later trips. Packing light will make the trek to the log cabin much easier. 

Large Dry Bag is required: There are lots of water activities that the adventurers participate in and it is critical that we be able to keep their clothing and gear dry during these activities (who would want to paddle all day and then sleep in a wet sleeping bag?!). The dry bag should be between 3500 cubic inches (cu. in.) and 4500 cu in. or 55-75 Liters. The most convenient are the kind with backpack straps. This is the main bag that Adventurers will take out on trips with them.

Some Options:

  • Seal Line Black Canyon Pack 
  • NRS Bill’s Bag 65-110 L Dry Bag 

Other Dry Bags: Other waterproof measures are recommended, like a trash bag liner for backpacks and a small dry bag for items you might want to keep dry for day trips. Ditty Sacks are helpful for organizing gear in the pack, but not required. 

Some Options:

  • Nyoflume Pack Liner Bag
  • Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Bag 5-10 Liters
  • REI Ditty Sack- set of 3

Backpack: As a secondary means to transport and store clothes we recommend that Adventurers bring a backpacking pack with them. A backpacking pack with a hip belt is ideal as that will be easy to carry up Tipi hill to the log cabin. The pack should again hold approximately 3500-4500 Cu. In. (55-75 Liters) You may also consider borrowing a back pack from cousin Bob. Just be sure you try it out (with weight in it) well before you come to camp.

In the event that getting a backpack isn't a possibility a small duffle can be substituted, but please remember that this will be carried to the top of Tipi hill at the same time as the dry bag, and duffels are more cumbersome than packs. The L.L.Bean "Adventure Duffle" medium size is a good option.

If you are wondering how a backpack should fit, check out this REI guide: 


Some Options: 

  • LL Bean White Mountain Pack
  • REI Trailbreak 60 Pack 

Day Pack is also a required item. This will be used in a variety of ways, the most important will be as a means to carry water, extra clothing and food on day hikes. The pack should be comfortable, lightweight, and should be able to hold 2 liters of water, snacks for a day of hiking and an extra fleece and rain jacket. 

Some Options: 

  • REI Flash 22 Pack
  • LL Bean Stowaway Pack 

Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-rest is a high-end ($50+/-) ensolite sleeping pad that fills with air (when it's new and hasn't run into anything sharp yet!). A foam pad or a ridge rest is less expensive and more durable but not quite as comfortable. 

Some Options:

  • Therm-a-rest Trail Scout Sleeping Pad
  • NEMO Switchback Pad
  • Ozark Trail Camp Sleeping Pad

Sleeping Bag: We recommend a bag with a 20-30 degrees F rating. with synthetic insulation.  A water-resistant down bag will also work well and pack down smaller but they tend to be more expensive. A good size bag can be stuffed into a 20 Liter compression sack or smaller and is under 4 pounds. (Sleeping bags often have temperature, compressed volume and weight listed in their specifications.) The compression sack ensures the sleeping bag stays dry and it also helps pack down the bag small for traveling and backpacking. (Some sleeping bags come with a compression sack.) If you already have a 40 degree bag, you might purchase a bag liner that helps make the bag a little warmer. Women’s fit bags tend to have more room in the hips and insulation in the toes. If your camper tends toward being colder when they sleep, choose a 20 degree bag so they are cozy. 

Some Options: 

  • Marmot Trestles Elite 20 or 30
  • Kelty Cosmic Synthetic 20 
  • Kelty Cosmic Down 20 
  • REI Trailbreak 20 or 30 (heavier than other options)
  • Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Sleeping Bag Liner
  • REI Lightweight Compression Stuff Sack 

Rain Jacket and Pants: It's well worth it to invest in a good rain jacket (Gortex jackets or rain jackets with armpit zips will be more breathable) and Rain Pants (again Gortex,  elastic or Velcro ankle closures, it’s nice if there is a zipper at the bottom so they can easily fit over boots) It’s important the rain jacket and pants fit comfortable over warm layers underneath. 

Some Options: 

  • REI Rainier Rain Jacket
  • REI Essential Rain Pants 
  • Columbia brand rain jackets and pants 

Dressing in Layers is key to being comfortable outside. In cooler temps, you start with a next-to-skin base layer. These are light or mid-weight long johns. They come in a variety of materials—get something that wicks moisture from your skin and breathes (Polypro, Capilene, Polartec Power dry, Wool,  are all good options.)  The next important layer is your "keep me warm" layer. This is most often a really great wool sweater or a thicker fleece. Lightweight synthetic puffy jackets work really well for this layer but will be more expensive. We recommend quick-drying synthetic and wool options because if they get wet they still keep you warm. Cotton is not recommended because it does not insulate when wet and tends to take a long time to dry. Your outer layer protects you from wind and rain. That’s why its essential it comfortably fits over your other layers. 

If you want more information about dressing in layers, check out this REI guide: 


Head and Feet: "If your hands and feet are cold, put a hat on." Don't leave your wool (or wool blend) socks and gloves at home, but be absolutely sure you have a good ski cap (wool or one of the good synthetic blends.) Bring a baseball cap (something with a brim) as well. Your wool socks are also going to help keep you warm even if they get wet. 

Important reminders!

Does your child take medication? If so, make sure it is given to a counselor immediately. All medication - even vitamins - must be stored in the camp's health lodge where it is available before and after meals and at bed-time.

Does your child wear eye-glasses? If this is the case, please pack a second pair just in case.

Does your child wear an orthodontic retainer? Please talk to him/her now about caring for it as part of the camp routine and not losing it.


Can you carry it?

Remember, when we are in residence at HVC, you will have to carry everything that you pack up the mountain to the log cabin. It is quite a hike if you're not used to it, so please don't bring a trunk, or any bag that you can't carry yourself.


Essential: Safety & Comfort

*You may be thinking, "I don't get cold, I won't need long underwear." Remember, you'll be in Maine! And trust our experience in this regard… When you get out of your tent in the morning and you're on fire crew, you'll be glad you took this message seriously! Also, keep in mind if you get to camp and you don't have an item of the required equipment, we'll purchase it for you and bill your family.