An activity at Pine Island Camp, a boys summer camp in Maine.

Clothing and Equipment

"His step has never been lighter and more sure-footed. He's never been more present and centered. Never happier."
Pine Island Parent

Leaving for a hikeAll boys attending Pine Island Camp must bring certain required items of clothing and equipment. Years of experience have taught us that these items are essential for participation in our hiking and canoeing trips, as well as for daily island living.

We have included our equipment list below as a general reference – feel free to print out a copy. Please keep in mind that every family sending a son to Pine Island will be sent an official packing list by mail, as well as contact information for reliable mail-order suppliers.

You may also download a copy of the equipment list by clicking here.

Notes on the Equipment List

Properly fitting gear is critical to your son's experience on the trail. Our supplier Summer Camp Supply is in tune with the kind of equipment that works best in Pine Island's rustic setting and on the trail, and its President Chris Riley has a vast store of knowledge and experience in camping and the equipment it requires and is more than happy to share it with you. In addition, any outdoor gear shop such as REI, EMS or LL Bean will carry everything your son needs for camp, and has experts who are happy to ensure a proper fit. When it comes to hiking boots and packs, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of trying on the equipment before purchasing.

1. Pack a trunk (footlocker) and a duffel bag.  You can find both on the Summer Camp Supply website.  The duffel bag should be sturdy and should have a zipper the whole length. Get a good big one.

2. A hip-length pad assures a good night's sleep on the trail. Pads come in a range of types and prices and are available in stores and through Summer Camp Supply. For keeping you warm, a sleeping pad is almost as important as a sleeping bag; a foam pad provides plenty of insulation.

3. Each boy must bring a backpack. It can be an external or internal frame pack, but must be more than simply a school backpack. Backpacks should be at least 35 liters to accommodate gear for a 3-day expedition. To be comfortable, backpacks must be carefully fitted to your son's body. We strongly recommend that he try on the pack before you buy one. Most boys need to have a "kid's" backpack, as hip straps on an adult pack are too big. Here is an example of a good hiking pack:

4. Bring plenty of socks. Especially recommended are the heavy athletic socks a boy would normally wear when participating in school sports. Four pairs of wool socks are required for hiking trips. We recommend Darn Tough, SmartWool or other merino wool styles.

5. Each boy must have a sturdy, comfortable, and well-fitting pair of hiking boots in good condition. While the new nylon hiking boots do not take the breaking in that the old leather ones did, they still need some. It seems leather boots are making a comeback. A proper fit is of utmost importance, so try any boots on before buying and ask for advice where you buy them. Here is an example of a pair of good hiking boots:

6. Each boy must bring a sleeping bag to camp. Good sleeping bags are available in many stores and catalogues. Camping sleeping bags are different from sleepover bags. They should be rated 20-30 degrees and be lightweight and compressible, as they will be taken on hiking trips and every ounce counts. A good sleeping bag is a good investment and will last a boy a long time. Here is a good example of a compressible warm bag:

7. Remember to send towels, sheets, blankets, pillow, pillowcases and a mattress cover. The camp does not supply these items unless a boy is coming from abroad.

8. Send only Ivory soap or Dr. Bronner's liquid soap - and no shampoo! Neither Ivory, Dr. Bronner's, nor the other liquid soaps Summer Camp Supply offers contain phosphorus, and both the Ivory bar and the liquid bottles float (in the lake).

9. Be sure to include a set of long underwear, a fleecy jacket, a wool or fleece hat, and some light gloves (cotton is not allowed on trips). Boys may not go out on camping trips without these essential items, and we will require anyone who does not bring them to buy them from the camp store. It gets a lot colder than you might think out there, especially in bad weather. Summer Camp Supply offers good options for all these items.

10. Do not forget to include two laundry bags, preferrably light-colored so the camper's name is easy to read on the outside. It is a real inconvenience for the boy who arrives without them.

11. For rainy days on the trail, our trip leaders recommend lightweight, flexible rain pants and jacket instead of ponchos. However, your son may find a poncho easier to manage on rainy days in camp.

12. A tent is optional, as Pine Island provides tent shelter on all trips. However, a boy is welcome to bring his own tent if he has one.

13. Pine Island is committed to giving your boys an electronics-free summer. Boys MAY NOT bring cell phones. Boys MAY bring e-readers and devices that play music, but they MAY NOT bring any device that will do anything OTHER than play music or display e-books. We are eager for boys to listen to music and to share it with each other at Pine Island, but we feel that for the sake of keeping video games, access to the internet, etc. off Pine Island, it is necessary to add these new restrictions. Boys should also know that they may only listen to music while in their tent. Any devices that do anything but play music or display e-books will be impounded until the end of the summer.

14. Pine Island's KNIFE POLICY: boys may bring ONE knife to Camp. We recommend a Swiss Army-type jackknife or Leatherman-type knife. You can see examples of knives we will allow at the Summer Camp Supply on-line catalogue. Boys may a bring a single-bladed folding knife. HOWEVER, knives MAY NOT have a blade longer than 3 inches, have a serrated blade, or be spring loaded so that they open by themselves. Our firm belief is that knives boys bring to Pine Island should be practical tools. As has been the case for many years, boys may not use their knives unsupervised until they have passed the first rank in Woodcraft. Any knives not in compliance (or that are not used in a safe manner) will be impounded until the end of the summer.

15. Mark everything! This includes electronics and gear as well as clothes. Our experience unfortunately has been that the more valuable an item is, the less likely it is to be marked! You will probably wish to use a combination of name tags, thermal print labels, and a marking pen. Labels and fabric stampers are available on Summer Camp Supply's website. If you order by May 1, they will affix name tags to your son's PIC shirts if you desire that service. Remember, anything that comes to camp without a name on it runs the great risk of disappearing forever....

16. Some numbers on the list may seem awfully high, but remember that laundry goes out once a week and is gone for a week.

Required Equipment & Clothing List for Camp

  • 3 PIC t-shirts (see the Summer Camp Supply website)
  • 8 other t-shirts (including at least 2-3 short-sleeved, lightweight, quick-drying synthetic—not cotton—shirts for hiking trips)
  • 3 flannel shirts or other warm long-sleeved shirts (including at least 1 long-sleeved, lightweight, quick-drying synthetic shirt)
  • 2 sweatshirts
  • 1 fleecy "Patagonia" type pullover or zip-up jacket
  • 2-3 pairs blue jeans or other tough pants
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 6 pairs shorts
  • 10 pairs of underwear
  • 1 set polypropylene long underwear (two pairs of long underwear bottoms for boys who intend to go out on a lot of trips)
  • 10 pairs athletic socks
  • 3-4 pairs hiking socks (Darn Tough, SmartWool socks or socks made of mostly merino wool are highly recommended)
  • 2 pairs sneakers
  • 1 pair hiking boots
  • 1 pair Aquasox, Keens, or other lightweight shoes that are made to get wet
  • 1 hat or cap (for sun)
  • 1 lightweight wool or polypro hat
  • 1 pair lightweight gloves for hiking trips
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 1 pair rain pants
  • 1 backpack (internal or external frame)
  • 1 sleeping bag with stuff sack (should be warm down to +20 degrees)
  • 4 towels
  • 4 sheets (2 sets of sheets)
  • 1 mattress cover
  • 2 pillow cases
  • 1 pillow
  • 3 blankets or their equivalent in warmth
  • 2 laundry bags, preferably light-colored and conspicuously marked on the outside with camper's name
  • 2 toothbrushes
  • 1 tube toothpaste
  • 2 bars Ivory soap
  • 1 soap dish
  • 2 water bottles (27-32 oz.)
  • 1 flashlight
  • insect repellent (non-aerosol)

Optional Clothing and Equipment

  • jackknife
  • tent
  • PIC cap
  • PIC sweatshirt
  • wool sweater
  • sleeping pad (for trips)
  • tennis racquet (if you plan to take tennis classes)
  • trunk lock
  • fishing tackle (No lead sinkers, please; half of loon deaths in New England are due to lead poisoning.)

Available in the Camp Store

  • insect repellent & sunscreen
  • water bottles
  • wool socks
  • Ivory & liquid soap
  • toothpaste & toothbrushes
  • polypro shirts and bottoms
  • soap dishes
  • flashlights
  • PIC caps & t-shirts
  • pens and pencils
  • batteries
  • stationery
  • mosquito netting
  • envelopes
  • laundry bags
  • post cards
  • playing cards
  • stamps