Recommended Packing List for Pack Trips
For mountain pack trips at Ranquilco, having the right clothing and equipment is essential for comfort, enjoyment, and safety. Elevations range from ~3600 feet at the lodge to ~7000 feet at the highest point on the pack trips. The weather can change quickly from hot and dry, to cold, windy and wet. Temperatures during the day can range from 50 - 90 degrees Fahrenheit (10 - 32 degrees Celsius), and evenings are often chilly, with occasional temperatures below freezing. Based on our years of experience at the ranch, we have compiled this list of recommended clothing and equipment to assist you with the packing process.
In order to be prepared for a variety of conditions, it is strongly recommended that you bring multiple layers: a base layer (long underwear), mid layer (sweater), warmth layer (jacket), and outer layer (wind and rainproof shell). We are big fans of wool for base and mid layers, as wool is breathable, stays warm even when wet, and doesn't require as frequent washing. Cotton is good for cool layers, like t-shirts and light pants, but does not provide much insulation and will keep you cold if it gets wet. For the jacket, down is very warm and compressible, but will lose its loft and therefore its warmth when wet, so care must be taken to keep it dry at all times. Synthetic insulation, like Primaloft, is slightly more bulky, but will still work when wet. A good shell that will keep the wind and rain out is essential for keeping the other layers dry. Plan as well for intense sun, and bring a hat with a good brim and light shirts for warm weather and sun protection.
- Socks (wool recommended)
- Bathing suit
- Base layer shirt and pants (wool or polypropylene)
- Mid layer sweater or jacket (wool or fleece)
- Warm layer jacket (down or primaloft)
- Wind/rain jacket and pants
- Comfortable riding pants
- 2 light or mid-weight long-sleeve shirts for sun protection
- Brimmed hat with a chinstrap for the wind
- Warm beanie
For riding, proper footwear is essential to your safety while in the saddle. It is important to wear shoes that will slip easily from the stirrups without getting stuck. Big hiking boots with lug soles are dangerous on a horse because they can get caught. The best choice is a pair of smooth soled leather riding boots with heels. Another option is a pair of light walking or running shoes, with half chaps. These can also double as good walking shoes around camp. We can provide half chaps if needed.
- Riding boots
- Camp shoes
- Small sunscreen
- Extra batteries
- Water bottle
You will want a good quality sleeping bag for chilly nights. Temperature ratings on bags are very unreliable. A lot of companies are making their bags lighter and lighter and still claiming low temp ratings. There is no industry standard, so they can say whatever they want. Even though nights most likely won't get below 25°F, we recommend a bag with at least a 0°F rating, or even better, -10°F. Down is best, but expensive. Synthetic bags are fine too, and less susceptible to getting wet. Sleeping bag liners can be a good way to add some extra warmth, and are also easier to clean.We use our saddle pads and sheepskins for pads, so no need to bring a sleeping pad.
If you don't want to travel with a sleeping bag, we can provide a rental bag for $40 for the length of your stay.
- Biodegradable body soap
- Camp towel or sarong
- Book, journal
Since all of your gear will be loaded on mules, it is very helpful to pack in a way that can easily fit into our pack panniers. The best way to do this is to carry one medium duffle bag, or two small duffle bags of roughly equal size and capacity. You will be provided saddlebags for small items such as sunscreen, water bottle, snacks, etc., and jackets will be tied on behind the saddle for easy access. Any extra “town” clothes can be left securely at the lodge when we head off into the mountains.