Foraging Packing List

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

Foraging Specific

  • Personal-use Free Mushroom Permit from the US Forest Service:
  • Whistle
  • Pocket Knife or Multi-tool
  • Gathering Basket or flat-bottomed bag. Extra bags or buckets to keep in the car.
  • Soft-bristled brush: old toothbrush or vegetable brush
  • Safety Vest or bright-colored attire
  • Small Tarp or Trash Bag: to spread out your mushrooms for identification during the program
  • Mushroom Foraging ID book: (optional) We recommend "All That the Rain Promises and More" by David Arora, but there are many excellent guide books
  • Hand Lens or Magnifying Glass (optional)


Wear synthetic (polyester, polypropylene, nylon, or acrylic) clothing. Cotton clothing is not recommended for hiking at 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.

  • Hiking boots or shoes
  • Socks: Polyester or wool hiking socks. Optional liner socks help with insulation, as well as reduce the risk of blisters.
  • Gaiters: Helps keep rain or dirt 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


(Approx. 20 liter backpack)

  • 2 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 to keep in the car
  • Adjustable trekking poles (optional)
  • Camera (optional)