What to Bring
- Please review the following packing list carefully to make sure you have everything you need for your NSO trip. Remember that the Southwest and Rocky Mountains are beautiful, but the weather is unpredictable! It is important to bring items to anticipate any kind of weather, especially warm clothing layers and sun protection.
- Please pack lightly as possible due to space limitations - bring only one duffel and a small “day-pack”.
- For Backcountry specific trips where you will be travelling and camping in the Backcountry, it’s very important that your clothing and layers are not cotton. The material should be made out of something synthetic, like polyester, spandex, wool, fleece, etc.
- Download a PDF of the packing list.
General Packing List: (all participants should have these items)
- Extra Eyeglasses and/or contact lenses: Whether you wear contacts or glasses, we recommend that you bring a spare pair. Some people have difficulty with contacts in Colorado’s dry climate.
- Water Bottles (2, at least one liter each): Dehydration/altitude sickness is a reality at altitude. Participants must be able to carry two liters while hiking and working- staying hydrated lessens the chance of altitude sickness.
- Personal Toiletries: Toothpaste/brush, prescription meds, allergy meds, feminine care, etc.
- Swimming Suit and Towel for some sites, swimming is an option
- Small daypack for hiking around or carrying items during the day
- Camera (optional)
- Book, Frisbee, hackey sack, crazy creek chair, harmonica, cards, dice…. Etc.
- Sleeping bag: rated for 0-20 degrees (Can be rented at no cost but have limited supply so bring your own if you have it!)
- Sleeping pad (Can be rented at no cost but have limited supply so bring your own if you have it)
- Mess Kit: plate or bowl/utensils/cup
- Any prescription medications (you won’t have access to a pharmacy)
- Sturdy Work Shoes sturdy and comfortable for walking and working
- Socks (For backcountry trips- wool-synthetic blends are fine. Don’t bring cotton socks)
- Camp Shoes: something comfortable to change into while hanging out at camp
For Your Head
- Warm Hat: a beanie, balaclava, stocking cap, etc.
- Sun Hat: Something with a visor for sun protection, like a baseball cap.
- Sunglasses & Sunscreen: recommended that you bring 100% UV blocking. There is a lot of sun at high elevation, above treeline, and potentially with snow!
- Chapstick: Should have SPF 15 or greater. Dry air combined with intense sun can lead to painfully chapped/sunburned lips.
Lower Body Layers
- Work Pants: Something durable to get dirty and do work in!
Upper Body Layers
- Waterproof Shell: coated nylon or other waterproof jacket in case of rainy afternoons
- Warm Jacket: A thick fleece, wool sweater, or jacket you can hike or work in.
- Long-sleeve top layers
Backcountry Specific Trips Require:
- Sturdy Hiking Boots
- Synthetic Socks wool-synthetic blends are fine. Avoid bringing cotton socks!)
- Backpack: 60-75 liter pack (Can be rented at no cost but have limited supply so bring your own if you have it!)
- Insulating Pants: Wool or synthetic fabric like fleece, something heavier to wear over your thermal bottoms if it’s very cold.
- Shell Pants: These may be light ski pants or equivalent as long as they repel water and are breathable.
- Gaiters (optional): Gaiters are convenient to help keep sand out of your boots while hiking.
- Thermal Underwear Top: Synthetic, wool, or silk that can be worn directly next to your skin
- Thermal Underwear: Something to keep you warm on chilly nights
Where Can I Purchase This Equipment:
If you need to acquire some of this equipment we suggest you check on your local Outdoor Retailer, REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Scheel’s, Sports Authority, Walmart, etc.
We have a large quantity of Sleeping Bags, Sleeping Pads, and Backpacks but we provide those on a first come first serve basis for those who do not have their own. If you already have these items please bring them with you or if you plan to get more involved with the Outdoor Program or do more personal trips these might be great items to invest in.
For questions, please contact the Outdoor Education Office at (719) 389-6803, or Outdoored@coloradocollege.edu
Register for a trip on
Academic Year Hours
Ahlberg Gear House
CLOSED: Block Break
Ritt Kellogg Climbing Gym
Bike and Ski Co-op
CLOSED: Block Break