Summer Camp News--Trips Gear!

May 20, 2023

Summer Camp News

From AWC’s Trip Director


My name is Henry, and I am AWC’s Trip Director. A little bit about me…I am an Old Forge native and went to school in Saranac Lake and have a degree in Wilderness Recreation Leadership. I was a long time Woodcraft camper and counselor. It is now my pleasure to be Trip Director!

With all of this experience, I have seen and used a variety of trip gear. Everybody has varying budgets for what they would like to spend on trip gear for their camper(s).  This is why I have decided to share my good, better and best options for each category of trip gear.  My goal is to give a guide on where to start searching for gear.  

Within each section, I describe what is important to look for when buying that item and my good, better and best options. Items can be purchased online, though it is best to choose gear in person to get a better feel for fit, size, weight, and more.

Happy Trails,



Good Better Best of Trip Gear 


Your camper’s backpacking pack is one of the most important pieces of gear.  As  campers get older, the size of the pack needed increases. Please note that if you find a backpack that is slightly larger than described in the packing list, this does not mean their pack will be filled all the way.  Outpost and Hadarondahs will get their bigger packs filled with marshmallows, bagels, and other light supplies. It is essential for backpacks to include hip straps. It is preferred to have packs without zipper closure.  You should have your campers try packs on in person to ensure a good fit.  A well fitting backpack means a more comfortable trek!  Youth vs adult packs affect the sizing of straps. I recommend going to your local outdoor store or places like REI, EMS, Campmor, etc.  Additionally, even with adjustable backpacks, kids can outgrow backpacks within a year or two. Used gear is a great option for kids who still have a lot of growing to do and can mean that your camper will get a nicer option for a lower price.  Look at the details below on used gear options.

OP/Hads 25-35L

Good:Quechua Mountain Hiking Backpack 40L

Better:Deuter Fox 30L 

Best:Osprey Ace 38L

IV/Wen 40-50L

Good:Quechua Mountain Hiking Backpack 40L

Better:Deuter Fox 40L

Best:Osprey Ace 50L

RP/Aur/TCC 55-60L

Good:Mountain Warehouse Peru 55L

Better:Osprey Rook 65L (mens and womens available)

Best:Deuter Aircontact Core 60+10 SL


Sleeping Bags

The key points to look for in sleeping bags are the packability, weight and degree rating.  Your campers’ sleeping bag must fit in their pack and leave room for clothing and other gear.  This is most important for OP/HADS/IV/WEN who may have smaller packs. If they have a smaller pack, they must have a small sleeping bag that packs down small enough to leave room for other gear.  Buying a stuff sack that cinches down is another way to help with larger sleeping bags.  A lighter sleeping bag = less weight to carry.  Temperatures in the Adirondacks can get quite cold at night. My recommendation for a degree rating is around 30-40 degrees. Sleeping bags often list a scale of degree rating.  The highest temperature being a comfortable warmth.  The lowest being a risk level temperature.

Stuff Sack Example

Small Kids <5ft

Good:Mistral Sleeping Bag: 30F Synthetic - Kids' (9x15) 2# 9oz)

Better:  Coleman Blue Bandit Sleeping Bag 30 (8.7 x 9.5) 2# 10oz)

Best: (Marmot Kids Trestles Elite Eco 30 (16 x 7.5) 1# 14oz)

Big Kids

Good:Kelty Cosmic Sleeping Bag 40F (15x 8.5) 2# 6oz) $89

Better:Marmot Nano Wave 35F (8x12.5)  2# 3oz) $98

Best:  Thermarest Saros Sleeping Bag 32F (8.5x9.5) 2# 2oz) $189


Water Bottles

1L Nalgenes are the gold standard. Each camper must have two 1L bottles.

Insulated water bottles = heavier and less ideal (though they are okay for in camp purposes)

Woodcraft Nalgenes are available for purchase.


Used Gear

Get used gear from other Woodcrafters!

Facebook Marketplace

REI Used Gear - Used Gear - Packs | REI Co-op

Patagonia Packs & Gear Worn Wear | Worn Wear

Gear Trade New & Used Weekend Packs (3000-4500 cu in) | Shop & Save On Used Backpacks & Hiking Gear

Discounted Gear

Sierra Trading Post

EMS OutletClearance Camping Gear | EMS - Eastern Mountain Sports


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