Packing List for Tanglewood Leadership Programs

The list below pertains to the clothes and equipment needed for their 2-week (L1) or 3-week (L2 & L3) program. Each group also takes a camping/backpacking/canoeing expedition during their stay at Tanglewood, 4-5 days for L1, 8 days for L2, and 12 days for L3. 

Each group will have their own cabin to live in at camp which will also serve as a base for clothing or equipment not needed whilst on a trip. It is sometimes helpful to pack one bag with all your clothes and then bring a backpack along (if you have one). Our staff will work closely with you to ensure you have what you need to be safe and comfortable on the trip.  Please keep in mind that all participants will help carry group camping gear, food, and other equipment in addition to personal gear. Any items not specifically needed on the trip will be left at camp while you are away.

With this in mind, please consider the size and weight of what you pack. If you have your own backpack, test out both packing and unpacking your bag as well as carrying it to get comfortable with how it feels on you. Do a bit of walking on various terrain in the shoes you plan to hike in, as a way to get to know how well you are supported or if adjustments need to be made. IF you do not have your own backpack, don’t worry, we have ones for you to borrow! 

On the trips, you will be spending all your time outdoors. Although it is summer, the weather can change at any time. It is important that you bring warm clothes and plan to dress in layers. We recommend that cotton outer clothing such as denim pants and cotton sweatshirts be avoided for the trip portion of your program, they are okay while you’re in camp. Clothing made out of wool or synthetic materials will dry much faster than cotton, which means they are better at keeping you cool when it’s warm and warm when it’s cool when you’re camping out.

Please remember to label all clothing and belongings!

Essential Clothing per week:

(please plan accordingly for multi-week programs – three-week programs will have the opportunity to do laundry after their trip)

  • Comfortable and sturdy footwear for hiking (make sure they are broken in, medium to lightweight hiking boots work best, but a sturdy trail running shoe works well, the key here is a good tread on the sole and supportive structure)
  • 5 pairs underwear
  • 2-4 pairs hiking socks (wool or synthetic strongly recommended, may need extra pairs if bringing cotton)
  • 1 set thermal long underwear — top and bottom (synthetic or wool strongly recommended)
  • 2-3 T-shirts
  • 1 long-sleeved lightweight shirt (cotton is okay for this)
  • 2 pairs long pants, plus lightweight, quick-drying pants
  • 1-2 pairs lightweight, quick-drying shorts
  • 2 Towels (one small, lightweight for camping)
  • Swimsuit
  • Hat w/ visor
  • bandana
  • 1 winter hat/beanie (wool or fleece strongly recommended)
  • 1 wool sweater or fleece jacket
  • Waterproof raincoat with hood (no ponchos, these don’t work with backpacks)
  • 1 pair lightweight, waterproof rain pants (optional but strongly recommended, quick-dry pants are a decent substitute)
  • 1 pair of footwear to get wet (Teva style sandals or old sneakers) — no flip-flops, must be able to strap on to your foot
  • 1 pair of sneakers or shoes for running type activities

If your camper takes any medications, pack enough medication to last the entire camp session.  ALL items should be in their original packaging, bottle or container that identifies the prescribing physician (if a prescription drug), the name of the medication, the dosage and the frequency of administration.


Items with an asterisk (*) are available to borrow from us; please call 207.789.5868 to reserve these items or with any other questions.

  • *3000 cubic inch backpack (must have well-padded waist & shoulder straps)
  • *Closed cell sleeping pad
  • *Compactable sleeping bag rated to 20-30 degrees F
  • 2 leak-proof, one-quart water bottles (wide mouth preferred)
  • Insect repellent
  • Waterproof stuff sack or stuff sack and a trash bag to hold your sleeping bag and clothes to keep dry
  • Light day pack
  • 1 each: cup, bowl, spoon
  • Flashlight/headlamp with extra batteries
  • Toiletries: toothbrush/paste, comb or hairbrush, soap, shampoo
  • Sunscreen

Other Optional Items:

  • Pen/pencil and journal
  • Camera
  • Stationery, stamps, envelopes
  • Reading material
  • Playing cards
  • Small folding pocket knife (kept with a counselor)

Please avoid bringing:

  • Anything electrical/electronic (portable gaming devices, cell phones, etc)
  • Money or valuables
  • Food!
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Drugs, alcohol, cigarettes
  • Live animals or pets
  • Sports equipment