Hike for miles along one of the most beautiful sections of the Appalachain Trail - New Hampshire’s rugged White Mountains. Trekking from hut to hut, you’re sure to discover breathtaking views, camaraderie, and conquer new challenges. Join two Basecamp guides and a Crew of budding adventures for an epic thru hike experience!



At Backyard Basecamp, we travel light.


  • Internal Frame Backpack 
    50-70 liters or 3,000-4,300 cubic inches (if you plan to do longer backpacking trips in the future, consider purchasing a pack that is towards the higher end of this range). 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.


  • Backyard Basecamp T-Shirt (2)
    We will send every student a T-shirt prior to the trip. Please wear this T-shirt to trip start.

  • Synthetic T-Shirt (3)

  • Synthetic Shorts (3)

  • 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)

  • Underwear (5)

  • Wool and/or Synthetic Socks (5)

  • Gloves or Mittens (1)

  • Winter Hat (1)

  • Hat with Visor (1)

  • Swimsuit (1)

  • Pajamas (optional)
    Students sometimes prefer to sleep in shorts and a T-shirt instead of pajamas.

Outer Layers

  • Fleece Jacket or Pullover (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.

  • Waterproof Rain Pants (1)

  • Insulated Fleece or Down Vest (1)

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 20 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.

  • Camelbak or Water Bladder
    1-2 L. and fit to backpack


  • 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.

  • Sneakers 
    Comfortable shoes with good traction.

  • 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).


  • 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. Waterproof stuff sacks or compression sacks are great alternatives if you’d like to make the investment.

  • 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)

  • Backyard Basecamp Cairn Guide

Important Documents

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

  • Photo Identification
    If you are not flying: Backyard Basecamp does not require photo identification. If you are flying within the U.S.: The TSA website has two relevant pieces of information. (1) “TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States.” This language indicates that TSA staff can insist that an under-18 year old who does not have a companion (we interpret this as a companion who is 18 or over traveling with them—not just checking them in) must have TSA-compliant identification. Our experience is that this requirement is inconsistently enforced but, since it might be enforced, we recommend that all Backyard Basecamp students who are flying to/from their trip have TSA-compliant identification. (2) “Contact the airline for questions regarding specific ID requirements for travelers under 18.” This is always smart to do as airline policies vary widely and change frequently.

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 Basecampers 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; 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.


10 Days

Start/ End Location

Manchester, New Hampshire

2019 Dates

Contact for Dates


  • Completing grade 6-8 in 2019

  • Groups limited to 12 Basecampers

Challenge Level

5 (1-10, 1 is easiest)

Included In Trip Fee

  • Meals

  • Group Gear

  • Accommodations

  • Activities

  • Manchester-Boston Airport (MHT) Shuttle

Not Included In Trip Fee

  • Personal Gear & Clothing (see what to pack)

  • Airfare/ Transportation to and from trip start & end

  • Trip Insurance (recommended)