- Tent – a 2 person size is perfect for 1. A 3 or 4 person tent is good for two. We tend to fill the campsites and don't have room for big tents much of the time.
- Sleeping bag – a 3 season bag with a rating of +10° to +35° will do you well in the long run. The rating is the survival temperature. It does not mean you will be comfortable sleeping. Sheets and a blanket will work as a starter set in the summer. The sleeping bag can be supplemented with a summer sheet or winter blankets as needed.
- Pad – inflatable or foam type ground pad. In winter the pad must be insulated or you will be cold.
- Light – an LED head lamp is cheap and versatile.
- Pillow – along with the pad, a pillow is key for comfort.
- Ear plugs – in case you are next to a snorer or you are sensitive to the sound of coyotes.
- Sleeping clothes – Lightweight clothes for the summer. A head covering is important for warmth in the winter.
- Toothbrush and paste
- Shampoo and soap or an all-in-one body wash
- Personal special items and needs.
- Medicines, allergy treatments and Aleve, Advil or Tylenol.
Seasonally appropriate clothing for where we are camping. See the clothing section in our "What to bring on a hike" section of the About HATs page.
The staples of camping clothing include a swimsuit and a raincoat. Winter camping is usually comfortable, but be prepared for freezing weather, just in case, with a warm coat. Top it off with a blanket for around the campfire, if you'd like. Be prepared for cooler evening temperatures than we have in Houston.
Layers of lighter clothing, starting with a wicking, non-cotton base layer, are the best bet for comfort throughout the day.
Please read the agenda for each trip to decide what is best and coordinate with your carpool driver. You normally need to provide your own food for the trip, cooking at camp or eating out. Most of the time we mix cooking breakfast with going out for dinner.
Keep it simple, because we often get on the trail early. Pre-boiled eggs, oatmeal and yogurt are a great way to start the day with minimal fuss. Add hot cocoa, coffee or tea if you like. If you are new to camping, it is likely someone will have a stove and pot for boiling water.
Usually eaten on the trail as a series of snacks or sandwiches.
We often eat dinner at a restaurant when camping. Or in the more remote campsites we may cook as a group. Some people always prefer to cook at camp. If you are in a carpool, coordinate with the driver. See the event page for the specifics of the trip.
If we eat dinner early, you may want something to eat around the campfire. If we eat late, a snack will help bridge the time between lunch and dinner.
- Most places have potable water but many people prefer bottles from home for better taste.
- Cooking tools & utensils for your planned meals (spoon, cereal bowl, coffee cup, paper plates?)
- A propane stove with pots and pans. (Fire bans may restrict charcoal use.)
- Food for the meal. Think about the amounts so you don’t bring too little or too much. If you miscalculate, don’t worry, you can share your extra or share from other’s extra. There is often a nearby store if you need something.
- A cooler for refrigerated food items. There is usually ice available for purchase near where we camp.
- Paper towels.
- A plastic box or other container to pack things in to keep them from being crushed when storing in a carpool.