Winter Adventures Packing List

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


  • Snowshoes: Personal or rented. May be rented through MSHI upon registration for $20 or at a variety of outdoor stores in Portland or Seattle. 
  • Adjustable trekking poles:  Personal or rented. Included with snowshoe rental from MSHI or rented at a variety of outdoor stores in Portland or Seattle.

Gear for Photography Adventures:

  • Camera: (any type). Do not forget batteries and memory cards!
  • Tripod: Not necessary, but is a valuable tool for sharp photos


Wear synthetic (polyester, polypropylene, nylon, or acrylic) clothing. NO COTTON! Cotton clothing is not appropriate for activities 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.

  • 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 winter adventures at Mount St. Helens. 
  • Socks: Polyester or wool hiking socks. Optional liner socks help with insulation, as well as reduce the risk of blisters.
  • Gaiters (optional): Helps keep 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 or snow gloves/mittens
  • Warm Hat
  • Scarf or Buff: To protect your neck from the cold
  • Sun Hat: e.g. baseball hat
  • Sunglasses: Close fitting to protect against sun snow reflection
  • Change of dry clothes for the car (optional)


(Approx. 20-30 liter backpack)

  • 2 L 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, or soup thermos
  • 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
  • Instant Hand Warmers (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Thermos of hot drink for the car (optional)