Day Hike Packing List

This is a suggested equipment list, utilized by MSHI guides, staff, volunteers, and participants. 


Wear synthetic (polyester, polypropylene, nylon, or acrylic) clothing. NO COTTON! Cotton clothing is not appropriate for climbing Mount St. Helens. When cotton becomes wet from precipitation and/or sweat, it will not dry out and will not keep you warm. Wet cotton is not only uncomfortable but also hazardous (Polyester/Cotton blend OK.) Dress in layers in order to be able to control your temperature while hiking as well as resting.

  • Face Covering: See more about CDC-recommended face coverings.
  • Boots: Sturdy waterproof hiking boots with good ankle support (mid-high top) are imperative. Running shoes are not appropriate for climbing Mount St. Helens. 
  • Socks: Polyester or wool hiking socks. Optional liner socks help with insulation, as well as reduce the risk of blisters.
  • Gaiters: Helps keep ash and snow out of your boots
  • Long Sleeve Base Layer: Synthetic or wool
  • Upper Body Mid Layer: Polyester fleece jacket or down jacket
  • Rain Jacket: e.g. Waterproof Gore Tex Jackets
  • Rain Pants: e.g. Waterproof Gore Tex
  • Synthetic Pants: e.g. Polyester zip-off pants, hiking pants
  • Bottom Base Layer: Polyester or wool
  • Gloves: Warm and waterproof, e.g. thin liner gloves and waterproof shell
  • Warm Hat
  • Sun Hat: e.g. baseball hat
  • Sunglasses: Close fitting to keep out windblown ash and snow reflection
  • Face Mask: Medical mask or multiple layers of fabric that comfortably cover your nose and mouth.


(Approx. 20-30 liter backpack)

  • 3-4 liters of water: Filled bottles or hydration bladder. Optional electrolyte drinks
  • Lunch and Snacks: High energy foods, e.g. trail mix, sandwich, trail bars, beef jerky, hard-boiled eggs, summer sausage, cheese
  • Toiletries
    • Sunscreen and spf lip balm (SPF 30 and above)
    • Small First Aid Kit (this includes your own personal prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and blister care. Bring extra prescription meds in case of unexpected delays)
  • Headlamp or flashlight, with extra set of batteries
  • Bandana: Cotton OK
  • Extra Clothing Layers and Socks: Pack them in a dry-bag or garbage bag if weather shows wet conditions
  • Pocket Knife or Multi-tool
  • Adjustable trekking poles (optional)
  • Camera (optional)