Gear to Bring on your Next Adventure

When you’re going on a hike, camping trip, or any other kind of adventure, there are certain items you should bring to make your expereince the best it can be.

I asked three people what they recommend when going on adventures. Ben Parsons, Kiana Streeter, and Taryn Davis all gave their personal opinions of what to bring when you’re going out on a trip.

Places you can get this gear include your local camping supply stores, or if you’re a SLO resident or student of Cal Poly, you can rent equipment from “Frontline,” Cal Poly’s adventure equipment rental center located next to the REC center.

Check out this video for more information about gear as well as how to rent it on the Cal Poly campus!


When you’re headed out on a day hike, it’s important to bring plenty of water to keep you hydrated, especially depending on what kind of weather it is. Check the weather forcasts in advance so that you don’t get stuck in a rainstorm, or at the top of a peak in 41 mile per hour winds (unless you like that kind of thing, sometime’s it’s fun…).


Bring a day pack filled with extra sunblock, some minor first aid supplies, and a sweatshirt in case there is a drastic  change in temperature as you ascend, compared to at the bottom of the trail. It’s always a good idea to bring a healthy snack as mentioned in my previous post, and to wear comfortable shoes so that you don’t get any blisters.

“You need hiking boots for sure, just because they have a very stiff rubber and a stiff construction to them so your ankles don’t get banged up and you don’t get as many blisters.” Said Ben Parsons, an employee of Cal Poly’s outdoor climbing wall, and a hiking and climbing enthusiast. If you don’t have hiking boots, don’t stress, because a good pair of sneakers will also suffice on a hike that isn’t TOO strenuous.

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Essentials of water, a small pack, and sunblock


Depending on how long your trip is and where your destination is located, you’re going to need to pack different items for a camping trip. Essentials include a sleeping bag, a tent, firewood to cook, food, something to cook the food in as well as something to eat the food with, water, sunblock,and again, check the weather to see what else will be necessary wherever you’re going. “We have pretty much everything you need for camping,” says Frontline employee Kiana Streeter. “From stoves to…tents and sleeping bags from whatever you really need you can rent out for a… discounted price for students, too.”

More blankets, a heavy coat, or extra firewood are helpful in cold temperatures. Always make sure it is legal to have a fire going in your campsite beforehand, as there are many places during dry season which prohibit making a fire for safety reasons. You can check the California Department of Parks and recreation’s website, or call your campsite’s ranger station beforehand to double check as well as so check if you will need a fire permit. You can also check out REI’s basic Camping checklist for more camping suggestions.



There are different kinds of backpacking, like lightweight backpacking, and regular backpacking, but for the most part you are going to want to bring the same supplies with you, they’re just going to be packed differently. You’re going to need a backpack which can hold your sleeping bag, a sleeping mat which will insulate you from having the cold of the ground suck up your body heat when you’re sleeping as well as to provide some cushion. It is especially important to bring high calorie and nutritious food when you’re backpacking, because you need the energy. According to, the average person will burn from 4,000-5,000 calories or more each day backpacking, so this is not a situation you’re gonna want to go with the low calorie food option! ”

Sleeping Pads available for rent at Frontline.

You’ll need food, a headlamp if you’re going to be making night treks, first aid supplies, and some kind of a navigation tool like a compass and map. Check out REI’s Backpacking Checklist for even more information on what to bring on a backpacking trip.

Gear to Bring on your Next Adventure

Camping and Adventuring Preview

Check out this video preview for my next big blog coming on March 11th featuring interviews from adventuring experts such as third year climbing wall employee Ben Parsons, on the kind of gear you should bring when you go on a camping, climbing, or backpacking trip. If you have any tips or suggestions for the post, let me know and I will incorperate it into my writing.

We will explore the kinds of clothing, shoes, and other necessary items to bring on a trip as well has how to pack it quickly and for maximum efficiency.

There are many more tips and tricks which will help you create the best possible experience on your adventure in the upcoming video. Check it out!

Camping and Adventuring Preview

Cal Poly’s Adventure Program Poly Escapes Offers Affordable Local Excursions

 “I felt like everyone was really excited to have me on board and have me go on my first trip.” 


Adventure is out there!

There are many places to venture in San Luis Obispo which yield challenging treks and spectacular views, and Poly Escapes is an organization on campus which puts together group excursions for a low fee which not only students, but community members can participate in.

Where It All Began

When I first toured Cal Poly back in April of 2014, I remember being fascinated by the images on the windows of the Poly Escapes room attached to the Rec. Center. There were images of morning yoga hikes, and camping under the stars, and I knew that I wanted to be a participant on these trips as soon as I could. The first week of school in September, I signed up for two weekend trips, and applied to be a “co-leader” or leader in training. I had zero backpacking experience and minimal camping experience, but I love the outdoors and figured I would go for it.

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Sunrise Yoga overlooking Madonna and Bishops in November of 2014

Beginners welcome! 

At first, it was nerve-wracking. It was my first month at college, my first month away from home, and I was flooded with anxious emotion about how I had never backpacked before,  but would soon embark on a weekend long trip. I was moderately unprepared in terms of gear, with people I had never met before in my life. This fear soon disappeared when I realized that the other participants on this trip were similar in personality to me, and shared my love of adventure.

If you have any interest in Poly Escapes, do not feel intimidated by a lack of experience, because there is no experience required to sign up for a trip. Third year Cal Poly student Dina Saba also originally had no prior wilderness knowledge but signed up for a trip, and had a completely positive experience. “I felt like everyone was really excited to have me on board and have me go on my first trip.” Dina said. Dina gives more insight into her Poly Escapes expereince, as well as students Eric Hsieh and Adam Zaccone in my podcast below, highlighting their favorite trips and memories on their adventures with the program.

Courtesy of Eric Hsieh: Me on the trail Maintenance in the Ventana Wilderness October 2014, my first trip with Poly Escapes.

Take the LEap

Poly Escapes is everything I hoped it would be when I signed up. I have met many other students who share my sense of adventure and have been able to go on trips which have broadened my horizons and given me a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment that can only be achieved from hours of trekking, to finally make it to the top of that rock which overlooks a valley on top of the world.

There’s no specific rock in particular, they’re everywhere. This is why it is important to take advantage of the opportunity to go on these, to find yourself and broaden your own horizens adventures It’s easy to sign up for a Poly Escapes trip through the ASI Website and find your overlook.

“It’s not very often you get the chance to be with so many people who love to be in the outdoors and go on adventures as much as this group does.” said Adam Zaccone

My rocky overlook in Idyllwild on the Cosmic Camping trip in November 2014. That little dot up there is me.

education and experience

There are a wide variety of trips to try with Poly Escapes. On the trail maintenance trip for the Ventana Wilderness Alliance,, you can give back to the community through volunteer work, as you hack down bushes and trees to upkeep the trails in the Los Padres National Forest, and appreciate the hard work which goes into keeping up trails.

Another example of a trip I enjoyed was Cosmic Camping, an educational experience under the stars learning from a real Cal Poly professor about the universe and its astronomical make up, by viewing the night sky through high-powered telescopes.

Find your Passion!

There are also stand up paddle boarding trips, sunrise yoga hikes, caving, climbing, and many other ways to get involved for a price within the budget of a “broke college student.”


Poly Escapes

Poly Escapes is an ASI program through Cal Poly which does not operate to make a profit. The trip leaders do their job for the love of the adventure and are often compensated pay depending on how many people sign up, and whether or not they can make a successful food and transportation budget with the money gained on a particular trip without losing money. The participants come back from the trips more educated in the ways of the wild and bonds formed with fellow adventure seekers. 

“It’s not very often you get the chance to be with so many people who love to be in the outdoors and go on adventures as much as this group does.” Said Co-leader Adam Zaccone.

This is why the best time to take advantage of these opportunities is now

Cal Poly’s Adventure Program Poly Escapes Offers Affordable Local Excursions