Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190

Things to Bring Along on a Pack Trip

The following is a list of equipment you will need for your Yellowstone pack trip. We have written a short description of what to get and why. We have also tried to include where to buy items. All of your gear should fit into a medium-sized duffel bag weighing no more than 20 lbs. total. (This does not include your sleeping bag and thermarest.) You do not need to bring a duffle bag, but a medium-sized bag will give you an idea of the space allotment. You will be provided with saddle bags and a dry bag to pack your things in.

Required Items

Water bottle with built-in filter

Be sure to fill it before you arrive at the trailhead! Here are a few samples:


Sleeping Bag

Recommended Brands – Mountain Hardwear, The North Face, Marmot. You can get by with a cheaper bag in July and August, but September requires quality gear. More about September below. Purchase a twenty degree bag--nights are cold in the mountains! The temperature rating really means you it will keep you alive at that temperature--it does not mean you will be warm. Thus you should get a bag rated lower than the actual temperature. Synthetic is great, down is not necessary. Jett and Carrie both have the Mountain Hardwear Lamina 0

Thermarest or lightweight sleeping pad
Provides sleeping comfort and insulates from the ground. Check out the trek and travel series at

Rain Gear
Good, quality jacket and pants. Don’t buy a poncho. With all their flapping, they don’t keep you dry enough and they spook horses.

You’ll want to protect your head and face from the sun, wind, and rain.

Sturdy shoes that are comfortable for walking and riding. Cowboy boots are not always the best since they don’t keep your feet dry and are not made for walking. A comfortable, non-bulky hiking boot is best. No sandals please.

Medium Coat
Nights can be chilly in the mountains. Wool is always a great option (insulates even when it’s wet). Fleece or sweaters are good too.

2 Changes of Clothing
Be sure to bring a long-sleeved shirt (great protection from bugs, sun, wind, and dirt). Long pants are most comfortable (jeans or khakis). Baggy pants and shorts may cause chaffing!

Thermal Underwear
A light pair of silk long underwear helps prevent chaffing, and may serve well as pajamas. Some people bring bycycling pants to wear under jeans to prevent chaffing.

Additional Underwear and Sock Changes to Your Liking.
No cotton socks! A six day pack trip is much more enjoyable when you have dry feet. Cotton socks get wet and stay wet. Smart Wool and Wigwam are a couple good brands of wool blend socks. Get a lighter weight for hot summer days and some warmer pairs for September. Most important feature is that they dry fast!     

Keeps your hands free. A small flashlight will also work. Don’t forget extra batteries.

Be sure to bring extra film, memory cards, and batteries.

Personal toiletries
Toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes (great for cleaning up on the trail!), hand sanitizer. Handkerchiefs are nice on the trail and double as wash clothes.

Winter stocking cap
Great for cool nights and brisk mornings.



Favorite Snacks
Whiskey or wine only. Must be packaged in a plastic bottle or a Nalgene. No glass!

Gear for September

Zero degree sleeping bag
A warmer bag is required for September trips.

Insulated gloves
May and September get quite chilly.

Thermal underwear
Polypro is always great. Silk works well too in warmer weather or to prevent chaffing. Cotton is a very bad option (gets wet and stays wet).

Heavy, winter coat
It can snow any month of the year in Yellowstone!

Items Not Allowed

Bear Spray

You can bring bear spray for fly fishing trips, but you may not carry it on the horse. On a general pack trip, it is of no use. (It effects horses the same way it does bears.)

Fanny Packs and Back Packs

You will have a saddle bag for you personal items, and wearing one of these packs inhibits your balancer and serves to aggravate a fall should you become dismounted.


Beer shakes and explodes; it also weighs a lot.


Per Wyoming law, it is our right to refuse service to anyone carrying a firearm in our place of business. Under no circumstances may you bring a firearm on our pack trips; this includes individuals with concealed weapons permits. Should we discover that you have brought a firearm at any point on the trip, the trip will be terminated immediately. There is absolutely no reason that you would need a firearm, and it is a felony to discharge one within the Park.

About the Weather

The weather is seldom as bad as our list makes it seem, but you MUST be prepared in the mountains. Consult our Yellowstone Weather Guide for general descriptions of Yellowstone's weather.


Be sure to check out these websites for great deals on name brand gear! Purchasing online also allows you to buy gear that may be out of season in a store; be sure to ask them if they have previous years’ models for discounts. These are just our suggestions; we have no affiliation with these companies; there are many places to buy these items.

Yellowstone for Violin and Orchestra

Be sure to check out the number one selling CD in the Park by your outfitter and guide, Jett Hitt. You can download samples of this full scale violin concerto that was inspired by the Park and recorded by the Slovak Radio Symphony. It is the perfect sound track to your Yellowstone vacation.

Yellowstone CD

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