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What Can I Expect?

Youth Opportunities

Expedition Gear List

The following is a gear list for MCC Expedition members. Some items are available for rent or to borrow from MCC, but in limited numbers. If you have your own, or know someone who would not mind lending you an item, it is the more helpful and safer choice. Another note: We do not expect you to break the bank on this experience. Most of the required items are available to borrow, and the optional or highly suggested items are readily found at thrift stores and perhaps attics.

MCC will provide the following items:

  • One uniform T-shirt (yours to keep)
  • Hard hat
  • Safety glasses
  • Group camping gear (stoves, water filters, tarps, etc)

Please provide the following items for yourself:

Work Gear

Work Pants (2): These should be as tough as you are.  Bring 2 pairs of work pants that are in good condition (without holes, tears, patches), and ready to be abused.  Jeans are acceptable. Be prepared for these pants to get dirty, stained, and worn out from the work.

Leather Work Boots: A pair of sturdy, lace-up, comfortable, work boots that are already broken in. Boots should be above the ankle - tennis shoes are NOT acceptable.  

Work Gloves (2): Bring 2 pairs of leather-palmed gloves.  All-leather gloves are highly recommended.

Rain Gear: Both a rain jacket and rain pants are required.

Day Pack: You will need a backpack that can carry your lunch, rain gear, extra layers, and 3 liters of  water to the work site. You will carry this backpack every day, so it should fit well and be comfortable when fully loaded.  School backpacks can work, but again- be prepared for it to get dirty and worn! 

Backpacking and Camping Gear

Rigid-Frame Backpack: Internal or external packs are fine.  This needs to be large enough to carry all your personal gear.  55 liter is the minimum size pack you should consider bringing. If you are placed on a “front-country” crew, a large duffel bag or suitcase will be sufficient. 

Sleeping Bag: Down or synthetic bags are required.  Cotton will not dry once it’s wet.  Lightweight, compact, and warm bags are best for backpacking.  We recommend a bag rated for 15 - 35 degrees F.

Sleeping Pad: This item will provide comfort and insulation.  Look for something small enough to carry in or on your backpack.  Commonly used varieties include: closed cell foam, or self-inflating.  Inexpensive ‘blue foam’ pads are easily found at Walmart type stores.

Tent: One or two person tent.  Bring one that can easily be carried in your rigid frame backpack.

Water bottles: To be effective and safe you must stay hydrated. You should plan on carrying at least 3 liters of water for a day, more in the heat of the summer. You can carry some of that in a hydration bladder (Camelback/Platypus) but you should bring at least one bottle with you in case the bladder is punctured. Cheap, sturdy bottles are available most stores these days, so please do not bring an aquafina.

Flashlight/Headlamp and Batteries

Eating Utensils (spoon/fork, tupperware, mug):  Please bring your own utensils to eat with as well as a tupperware with a closed-tight lid.  Plastic or metal ‘travel mug’ for hot drinks.


Warm Sweatshirt or Sweater: An extra warm layer (durable wool or fleece is preferable, but warmth is the most important criteria) to wear at work and in camp.  Also serves as a great pillow!

Warm Jacket: Just in case! Summer in the mountains can be full of surprises - even snow!

“Recreation” Clothes & Shoes:  A change of clothes to wear during weekends or at camp after a day of service; shorts and a t-shirt as well as a pair of tennis shoes.  “Teva/Chaco/Keen” type sandals are also good to have.  Sandals must have a back heel-strap.  Flip-flops are NOT allowed.

Long Underwear: A warm top and bottom layer for chilly days/nights. Wool, silk, or synthetic materials like polypropylene are favored for camping gear for their reliability even while wet.

Warm hat, socks, and gloves: Great to have for sleeping on cold nights!  Remember to avoid cotton products in order to stay dry and warm.

Socks (4): At least 4 pairs of quality, comfortable socks to work in. Try on your socks with your hiking boots to make sure they fit well.  Many of our members and leaders prefer wool or synthetic socks because they are durable and stay comfortable even when your feet get wet.  

Underwear (6-7): Bring enough to last one week.

Water Shoes: Old tennis shoes, sandals with a heel strap, or actual “water shoes” are all acceptable.  Crew members may not go into the water barefoot or wearing flip flops.


Toiletries and Stuff Sack:  Any “smelly” items must be kept in a separate sack away from camp.  Essential toiletries include toothbrush, toothpaste, and (if applicable), personal feminine hygiene products.

Other items (not required):Journal, pen, book, camera, handkerchief, personal hand sanitizer, baseball cap, towel, sketch book, drawing supplies, compass, sunscreen, insect repellent, acoustic musical instruments, Frisbee, football,  playing cards, etc.

We have a very limited supply of backpacking gear available for loan (i.e. packs, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents). Please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in borrowing something.

MCC provides each crew with group camping gear like camp stoves, water filtration systems, tarps, kitchen gear, first aid kits, etc.  

We are aware of the cost of quality outdoor equipment.  Be resourceful - you can find a lot of good stuff on sale, second-hand at thrift stores, used gear stores, on the internet, or with a little help from your family and friends.  Call us if you’d like suggestions on where to find gear locally.

Youth Crew Leaders and Expedition Members must wear closed toed shoes in camp kitchen areas.  This reduces the risks associated with boiling water and sharp objects. 

Expedition Members are not permitted to possess or use cell phones, MP3 players, Kindles, and any other electronic media devices during their Expedition session, so please don’t pack them.  Crew Leaders will always have a form of communication with them at all times in case of emergency.  We do encourage members to pack digital or disposable cameras- just not their smart phones. 

MCC will do our best to alleviate the need for Expedition Members to bring excessive amounts of money by covering all food and transportation to worksite costs.  However, you may want to bring a minimal amount of cash for incidentals (souvenirs, replacement of lost gloves, gas station stop items etc.).  $20 is recommended but not necessary.