Equipment – personal items to bring

You are responsible for bringing the items listed below for the six-day camping trip.  You may be able rent items from Sawbill Outfitters instead of purchasing them (contact Sawbill ahead of time to reserve your items).  You will also need to bring clothes for the other two travel days.  We will rent canoes, PFDs, and paddles from the outfitter.  NWU will furnish tents, packs, tarps, water filters, first aid kits, stoves, cookware, food, food packs, and transportation (two 12-passenger vans and one trailer).

Cotton is not a desirable clothing material when in and around water.  Quick drying nylon clothing is much preferred (also avoid wool, if possible).  Plan your camping wardrobe (you basically wear one set of clothes and carry a clean, dry spare set) to layer clothing rather than bringing heavy or bulky articles.  The temperatures in August range from upper 40s to high 80s.  Mosquitoes can be a problem this time of year and it will likely rain as August is one of the wettest months of the year.

___ Sleeping bag with stuff sack (warm to 32 °F). This MUST pack small as space is a premium!
___ Ultralight sleeping pad (the Thermarest pad is one of the best)
___ Camp/backpacking pillow
___ Two non-cotton T-shirts
___ One long sleeved shirt
___ Three pairs of socks (hiking socks such as SmartWool – not cotton)
___ Two pairs long pants such as nylon convertible pants (no bluejeans or sweatpants)
___ Several changes of underwear (quick dry, athletic slider shorts)
___ One medium-weight fleece sweater or jacket
___ One pair lightweight two-piece long johns (polypropylene, wool, or polyester)
___ One pair comfortable running shoes or sandals for camp use
___ One pair sturdy boots or shoes for portaging (broken in) – these will remain wet and muddy for the entire trip.  Most students use an old pair of tennis/running shoes which work quite well for our short trip.  If you'd like a more comfortable option check out the paddling footwear section at for ideas; also has a good essay on how to select paddling footwear.
___ Two-piece rain suit (ponchos are not effective)
___ Safety whistle (Fox 40 is a great one)
___ Brimmed hat for sun
___ Stocking cap for chilly days/nights
___ Light pair of gloves for cold days/nights (optional)
___ Swim suit and or light nylon shorts
___ Toiletries: toothbrush, comb/brush, small towel, toilet paper in ziplock, etc.
___ Feminine hygiene products (women should be prepared to have their cycle change unexpectedly in the wilderness)
___ Sunscreen, lip-balm
___ Headlamp
___ Insect repellent (DEET is very good)
___ Hand sanitizer (optional)
___ 1 liter quality water bottle
___ Eating utensils (bowl, fork, spoon, and small cup for morning beverages)
___ Extra eyeglasses, if needed
___ Sunglasses with security strap
___ Pocket knife or “Leatherman” (optional)
___ Carabiner or two (optional but always nice)
___ Earplugs for snoring tentmates (optional but wonderful to have!)
___ Camera in waterproof bag (extra battery or data card is suggested)
___ Compact binoculars (optional)
___ Optional: fishing is possible, but this is not a fishing trip so keep fishing gear compact (Minnesota fishing license is required)
___ Money for food on travel days (6 to 7 meals: August 7, August 14 & 15 = ca. $100)
___ Money for swag at Sawbill Outfitters (they have a great little store; and take credit/debit cards = ca. $50-100)
___ Pencils/pens to write in journal, which is provided
___ Day bag/care package with an extra change of clothes, shower items, and snacks to be left in the van at Sawbill  you will want clean items after you return soiled & smelly from the wilderness!

Girl questions – you can visit with Dr. Sandra Mathews (a past trip leader) for the best answers to any question you might have about camping in the wilderness.  Email her at either or smathews(at)nebrwesleyan(dot)edu or telephone her in her office at 402-465-2445.