JAPAN NAKASENDO FIELD STUDY

 

Follow the ancient roads of samauri through a handful of the sixty nine post towns along the old Nakasendo Way from Kyoto to Tokyo. Stay in local Japanese inns, eat authentic cuisine, and visit historic temples. Embrace a new culture and step back into history as you challenge yourself to walk miles along history-rich cobblestones. Give back to the beautiful communities by serving in a rural town.

 

WHAT TO PACK

We travel light at Backyard Basecamp.

Luggage

  • Internal Frame Backpack 
    65-85 liters or 4,000-5,100 cubic inches. Before purchasing a backpack, find your backpack size by measuring your torso length and your hips (instructions are available here). We recommend getting fitted at a store and trying on multiple packs.

Clothing

  • Backyard Basecamp T-Shirt (1)
    We will send every student an Basecamp T-shirt prior to the trip. Please wear this T-shirt to trip start.

  • Synthetic T-Shirt (3)

  • Synthetic Shorts (1)

  • Fleece Pants (1)
    Please do not bring cotton sweatpants (they are heavy and bulky and will not keep you warm if wet).

  • Synthetic Hiking Pants (1)
    Lightweight and quick dry material. Non-cotton warmup style pants are acceptable.

  • Synthetic Long Underwear Top & Bottom (1)

  • Synthetic or Wool Top (1)
     Medium to heavyweight. For layering with long underwear and jackets.

  • Underwear (5)

  • Wool and/or Synthetic Socks (4)

  • Winter Gloves or Mittens (1)
    Insulated, warm and waterproof. Avoid knit and porous materials.

  • Winter Hat (1)

  • Hat with Visor (1)

  • Swimsuit (1)

Outer Layers

  • Fleece Jacket or Pullover (1)

  • Midweight Synthetic or Down Jacket (1)

  • Insulated Fleece or Down Vest (1)

  • Raincoat (1)
    Waterproof material (e.g., Gore-Tex, or similar) is required. Your jacket should be large enough to allow layers underneath. Ponchos are not acceptable.

General Gear

  • Waterproof Pack Cover
    If your backpack does not come with a cover, we recommend buying a cover one size larger than your pack.

  • Day Pack 
    Basic two-shoulder backpack large enough to hold your lunch, two water bottles, snacks, extra layers and rain jacket. Use your day pack as a carry-on for your flight and for daily activities or hikes. A standard school backpack is usually fine (no satchels or shoulder bags).

  • Synthetic Sleeping Bag 
    A lightweight, compact synthetic sleeping bag rated to 15 degrees Fahrenheit or less. A synthetic sleeping bag is required for this trip; down is not appropriate as it does not insulate if wet. Your sleeping bag should compress into a stuff sack no larger than 20" in length.

  • Sleeping Pad 
    ¾-length or full-length closed cell foam (thin and firm) or self-inflating.

  • Bowl, Mug & Utensils
    6" to 8" plastic dish or bowl with top, insulated plastic mug, spoon, fork and knife. These don't need to be special camping utensils (a Tupperware dish and regular utensils are fine).

  • Headlamp 
    Please bring an extra battery/batteries.

  • Water Bottle 
    One 1-liter bottle. A Camelbak or similar water carrier is acceptable.

  • Adjustable Trekking Poles
    To add stability, reduce strain on the knees and improve balance while crossing unstable surfaces.

Footwear

  • Waterproof Hiking Boots 
    Choose comfortable boots designed for hiking with a pack (i.e., mid to high cut for ankle support).  Boots should be waterproof. Break them in before the start of your trip.

  • Camp Shoes 
    Closed-toe shoes to wear around camp. Lightweight sneakers are acceptable.

  • Water Shoes 
    Closed-toed sport sandals, water shoes or old sneakers to wear on the water. Sandals must have a heel strap for activities such as kayaking, rafting or canoeing (flip flops and Crocs are not acceptable).

Miscellaneous

  • Synthetic Camping Towel
    A medium-size synthetic camping towel (synthetic camping towels dry much faster than regular towels).

  • Travel Size Toiletries

  • Sunglasses

  • Sunscreen (SPF 15+) & Chapstick (with SPF protection)

  • Insect Repellent

  • Gallon Sized Ziploc Bags (10)
    To organize and waterproof your gear and small items.

  • Large Trash Bags (4)
    To waterproof your gear.

  • Package of Moleskin or Molefoam
    To protect your feet from blisters.

  • Camera, Charger & Extra Batteries (optional)
    A digital or disposable camera.

  • Personal Journal or Book (optional)

Important Documents

  • Health Insurance Card
    Please bring an original or copy of your health insurance card.

  • Passport
    Please bring a passport that is valid until at least six months after your trip end date.

  • Passport Photocopies
    Make at least four photocopies of your passport and visa (if applicable). Leave one copy with your family and put photocopies in both your checked luggage and carry-on luggage for the flight, separate from your original documents.

  • Original Copy of Permission to Travel to and from Japan. More info upon application.

Spending Money

  • Spending Money & Miscellaneous Expenses 
    Each student should bring a debit card, an ATM card or a prepaid Visa card to cover spending money and miscellaneous expenses. Spending Money: While all meals and activities are included in the trip fee, we recommend $25/week for spending money (for example: for souvenirs or an occasional drink or snack beyond what is provided to the group as a whole). Miscellaneous Expenses: Most Basecamp students will incur some expenses while traveling (for example: an equipment repair or baggage fees at trip end). Please add $100 to the debit/ATM/Visa card (in addition to spending money), to cover these expenses.

Things to know

  • We travel light at Basecamp; please only bring the items on this list.

  • Your group will have access to laundry periodically.

  • Please do not bring your smart phone (or any other electronics).
    Please visit the FAQ tab for more information on our cell phone and electronics policy.

  • Do not bring any type of knife or multi-tool (such as a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool).

  • If you are flying to your trip, wear your hiking boots and carry your sleeping bag and sleeping pad on the plane in case your checked luggage fails to arrive on time.

  • Pack everything in your backpack or day pack. Do not bring additional luggage.

  • There are no reimbursements for lost, damaged or stolen items.
    Please schedule expensive items—phones, cameras, bicycles, etc.—on your homeowners insurance policy.

JAPAN NAKASENDO FIELD STUDY

12 Days

Start/ End Location

Osaka, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

2019 Dates

Contact for Dates

Grade

  • Completing grade 8-11 in 2019

  • Groups limited to 12 Basecampers

Challenge Level

4 (1-10, 1 is easiest)

Included In Trip Fee

  • Meals

  • Group Gear

  • Accommodations

  • Activities

Not Included In Trip Fee

  • Personal Gear & Clothing (see what to pack)

  • Airfare/ Transportation to and from trip start & end

  • Trip Insurance (recommended)


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