Welcome to Expeditions MSU! We’re excited for you to join us this summer. Please take the time to read through the following information before purchasing or borrowing equipment for your expedition.

MSU provides all technical gear, shelters, navigation tools, first aid equipment, water treatment, and cooking gear. We ask you to provide, if possible, the clothing and personal items listed below.  Getting your hands on all of this gear might feel overwhelming, and we’re here to help.  We have the ability to rent many of the items on this list. Items available for rent are marked with an asterisk *

Clothing: Please do not bring cotton or cotton-blend items into the backcountry. This includes jeans and cotton hoodies, which are bulky and especially heavy when wet. In Bozeman, Goodwill and Second Wind Sports are great places to find high quality affordable poly-pro/synthetic or technical wool clothing.

Top Layers:

  • Base Layer (T-shirt/Long sleeve) x1-2: Poly-pro/synthetic or technical wool
  • Mid Layer (Sweater, wool, fleece, etc) x1*: Poly-pro/synthetic or technical wool
  • Puffy Layer (or additional warm mid layer) x1: Down or synthetic, hood recommended
  • Rain Layer x1*: 100% waterproof, Gore-Tex or similar fabric recommended

Bottom Layers:

  • Underwear x2: cotton or synthetic, depending on personal preference
  • Base Layer (long underwear) x1: Poly-pro/synthetic, technical wool, or silk
  • Active Layer (Hiking pants or shorts) x2: synthetic, sturdy, and quick-drying
  • Rain Layer (Rain pants) x1*: 100% waterproof, should fit over your other layers.


  • Hiking Boots*: We recommend a pair of sturdy, waterproof, above the ankle boots.
  • Closed-toed camp shoes: Something cheap and comfortable. Crocs without holes (kitchen or hospital style), or old running shoes are great options. Camp shoes must be closed toe for safety purposes while cooking.
  • Wool socks x2 (1 pair for hiking, 1 pair for sleeping)

Head and Hands:

  • Sun Hat
  • Warm Hat: wool or synthetic
  • Thin Gloves: wool or synthetic
  • Sunglasses: With retainer strap such as Croakies so you don’t lose them. Good quality, with 100% UV protection recommended.


  • Watch (highly recommended)
  • Sleeping Bag*: Down or synthetic, ~15 °F recommended.
  • Sleeping Pad*: Closed cell foam or inflatable
  • Backpack (approx. 75L capacity)*
  • Water Bottles or water bladder (Camelbak style): 2L minimum carry capacity. If bringing a bladder-style device, you must also bring one rigid bottle as a backup. We provide one 1L rigid bottle (Nalgene).
  • Headlamp plus extra batteries*

Personal Hygiene and Toiletries:

  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Bandana
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Medications you may be taking
  • Menstrual products: And a bag to dispose of them in—a Ziploc bag with duct tape around the outside is a discreet and option convenient 
  • Glasses/contacts case and travel size solution: If you wear contact lenses, plan to bring a backup pair of glasses and plenty of lens solution. If you wear glasses, consider bringing a neck strap for them and/or an extra pair.

***We provide all materials needed for Leave No Trace bathroom hygiene. For participants who wipe when they pee, we provide a bandana to use as a “pee bandana.” For more information, check out the following resources:



Optional Items:

  • Trekking poles (highly recommended)*
  • Long sleeve sun shirt
  • Camera
  • Buff or bandana
  • Liner socks (thin dress socks work great for this)
  • Mug for tea/coffee
  • Book
  • Small notebook and pen/pencil (we recommend rite in the rain waterproof notebooks)
  • Packable camp chair (Crazy creek or equivalent)*