Before College Camp
Here’s just about everything you need to know about College Camp. If it’s not answered here, ask your Trip Captain.
You’re carpooling with your group to a place near Sunman, Indiana. Get details from your Trip Captain.
Communications and Emergencies
We’re basically off the grid during College Camp—and because we want you to experience freedom, it’s a no cell phone weekend. Our leadership team will have an emergency phone system in place.
- If there’s an emergency at home: Before College Camp, your Captain will give you a phone number for your family to call in the event of an emergency.
- If there’s an emergency at College Camp: We’ll have a medical response team onsite, and a way to get you from the campsite to a hospital.
What to Pack
Everything you pack needs to fit into one duffel bag and one backpack. You’ll be hiking all your gear, so pack lightly.
CLOTHES. Two main ideas: keep yourself dry, and dress in layers. Extra socks, a jacket for night, a rain layer, etc. You’ll also want work boots, or something rugged enough to handle hiking in the woods all day.
TOILETRIES. You pretty much just need Wet Wipes (for pooping) and a towel (like a shammy, just in case). A toothbrush and toothpaste is sort of optional. Don’t bother with a razor. You probably don’t need deodorant, unless it’s that prescription deodorant.
FOOD. We’ll supply lunch on Friday, as well as beer/soda/water. Beyond that, you’ll need to bring your own—food for dinner Friday and Saturday breakfast. Bring food that can be stored without refrigeration, and that doesn’t need a whole lot of prep time (unless you’re a campfire gourmet). Clif-Bars, jerky, cheese and crackers are all great options.
INDIVIDUAL CAMPING GEAR. Make sure you get ahold of all of this stuff:
- A headlamp (a cheap one from Home Depot is fine)
- Driver’s license or ID with date of birth for check in
- A plain black t-shirt
- A folding camp chair for the campfire (a crappy tailgate chair is fine; fit it on top of your duffel bag, slipped between the handles)
- A sleeping bag (a basic one will work; it’s only one night)
- A pad to go under your sleeping bag (if you don’t have one, Google “camp thermal break DIY” to find cheap ways to do this)
- A plate (for lunch)
- A cup for coffee/soda/water
- A spork or other utensil
- Earplugs (optional)
GROUP CAMPING GEAR. Make sure you’re covered with all these between everybody in your unit:
- Lighter or waterproof matches
- Trash bags (the big contractor sized bags)
- A tarp (or two), along with bungees and/or rope, for building a lean-to for your unit in case it rains
OPTIONAL CAMPING GEAR. Bring this if you have it, and if you have room.
- Pain reliever
- Allergy meds
- Instant coffee
- Dehydrated food
- Jetboil or similar cooking system
WHAT NOT TO BRING.
- Don’t bring a firearm. It’s completely unnecessary for this event.
- Drugs or alcohol. This isn’t a kegger. Leave it behind, seriously. You won’t need it for a day and a half.
How to make the most of your camping experience.
- Moisture is the enemy of comfort. Keep that in mind as you make choices. There are no dryers. What gets wet, stays wet. What is wet is cold and miserable.
- Wear good water resistant or waterproof shoes.
- Do not place your tents super close to the fire. Sparks can reach them but heat cannot. Sparks can ruin a tent quickly.
- Always stake the tent down (even if it isn’t windy).
- Always put on the rain fly securely (even if it doesn’t look like rain).
- Always keep the doors zipped shut unless you are actively accessing the tent. You don’t want to sleep with all sorts of critters and bugs.
- Always place your tent on the most level ground you can find. The ground will not be level so place the “head” of your bedroll at the highest point.
- Locate your headlamp and have it with you before dark.
- Make sure that anything you bring (clothes, gear, etc) is as versatile and multi-functional as possible. It is much better to bring 5 things than to bring 25 things.
- Put all trash into a trash bag immediately. Things will blow around and get scattered very quickly.
- If you go to bed first, put in your earplugs. Tents do not block sound. The rest of your group should not be expected to get super quiet since you chose to call it a night.
Cold Weather Camping Tips
You might find a few things repeated in here. That’s how important they are.
Recurring Question: How cold is too cold? While this event is not weather dependent, we don’t want anyone injured. Here comes the science: The American College of Sports Medicine says until we hit -18 degrees (that’s right, negative 18) actual temp, we are good to go! Leave it to OSHA to be totally unhelpful and vague, saying that basically sitting in your house is a risk. You can get Hypothermia or Trench Foot at temps above 60 degrees (what the heck is trench foot?).
The bottom line is, weather in the Midwest is unpredictable and it could be cold. We aren’t going on Shackleton’s expedition; we’re spending one day in the woods.
- Hydrate ahead of time. Helps you stay warm. Drink a ton of water the week before. Seriously. DO THIS.
- Wear the right stuff. Layers, layers, layers. No cotton.
- Protect your feet and hands. Bring your own hand-warmers and feet warmers if you typically have trouble with that.
- Dry is more important than warm. And warm is very important.
- Mylar blankets can be found multiple places (like Amazon) and are great to wrap around the outside of your sleeping bag to make it warmer on the inside of the bag.
- Wood will be available but it may be snow covered. We recommend bringing fire starters.
- High protein and high-fat foods are recommended. Examples could be hot chocolate with butter or peanut butter as the protein. Fat food creates energy. Energy means heat.
- Folks with diabetes or on beta blockers are more susceptible to hypothermia. Plan accordingly.
- Some other helpful tips. Note – He recommends bundling up inside your sleeping bag. Your call on which advice to follow.