Inside New Mexico
The following is a recommended list of equipment to bring:
Since we wonít be doing any heavy duty backpacking, a full setup is not necessary. We will only be doing day hikes, so a day pack is all youíll need. However, bringing nice luggage is not recommended since we will be camping, so if you have a full pack, I recommend using that to store your personal items.
The temperature does get pretty low at night, sometimes down into the 20s. So be sure to have a decent sleeping bag. Another nice thing to have is a sleeping pad. Remember, these are the Rocky Mountains.
Bring a tent that is weatherproof. It does rain every afternoon, usually only for 30-45 minutes, but sometimes longer. There is nothing worse than trying to sleep in a wet sleeping bag. Make sure you have a groundcloth that completely covers the bottom of the tent.
The most important item of clothing you will bring will be your footwear. Since we will be hiking around, a good pair of hiking boots is essential. If you donít have hiking boots, then hightops will work also. The key is to have good ankle support. Itís real easy to turn your ankle on these trails, and Iíve done it even with hiking boots. If you are buying new shoes, be sure to break them in before leaving on the trip, otherwise your feet will end up in blisters. In addition to the boots, be sure to have good socks. Usually for hiking Iíll wear a lightweight sock directly on my feet, then cover that with a pair of heavy hiking socks. The combination of the two socks almost eliminates blisters. For around camp, I usually wear a pair of Teva style sandals.
As for the other clothes, be versatile. It is usually cold in the morning and evenings, and warm the remainder of the day. I usually bring a couple of pairs of shorts, a few T-Shirts, and then sweatpants and sweatshirts. I wear them all once I get up in the morning, then once it starts to warm up, I just remove the sweats, then put them back on once it gets cold in the evening.
It is also VERY important to bring some sort of raingear. As I stated before, it will rain every afternoon. If you can swing it, I definitely recommend getting a rain jacket with Gore-Tex. Otherwise, a good heavy duty Poncho will work.
If you are cold blooded, then a ski cap and jacket will probably help for those really cold mornings.
There are all sorts of other things you can bring to make the trip more enjoyable. Some of these items are:
Personal First Aid Kit
A note on medical and personal hygiene supplies:
Remember that we are in bear country, and bears are VERY attracted to scents. This means that perfumes and colognes are not to be worn. Try and get unscented items, such as soap and deodorant. Believe it or not, while I was at Philmont, a bear went into somebodyís tent, and it was traced back to the guy taking a shower with Irish Spring. We will have an area where we can lock up food and other things with a strong aroma to keep the bears away.