Expedition Gear and Clothing

The following is a gear list for MCC Expedition members. Some items are available for rent or to borrow from MCC, but in limited numbers. If you have your own, or know someone who would not mind lending you an item, it is the more helpful and safer choice. Another note: We do not expect you to break the bank on this experience. Most of the required items are available to borrow, and the optional or highly suggested items are readily found at thrift stores and perhaps attics.

MCC will provide the following items:

  • One uniform T-shirt (yours to keep)
  • Hard hat
  • Safety glasses
  • Group camping gear (stoves, water filters, tarps, etc)

Please provide the following items for yourself:

Work Gear

Work Pants (2): These should be as tough as you are.  Bring 2 pairs of work pants that are in good condition (without holes, tears, patches), and ready to be abused.  Jeans are acceptable.

Leather Work Boots: A pair of quality, comfortable, all-leather work boots that are already broken in.  Lightweight hiking boots and tennis shoes are NOT acceptable.  

Work Gloves (2): Bring 2 pairs of leather-palmed gloves.  All-leather gloves are highly recommended.

Rain Gear: Both a rain jacket and rain pants are required.

Day Pack: Your rigid-frame backpack can, in most cases, work as a day pack.  A smaller pack is nice though for carrying your lunch, rain gear, and water to the work site.

Backpacking and Camping Gear

Rigid-Frame Backpack: Internal or external packs are fine.  This needs to be large enough to carry all your personal gear.  55 liter is the minimum size pack you should consider bringing.

Sleeping Bag: Down or synthetic bags are required.  Cotton will not dry once it’s wet.  Lightweight, compact, and warm bags are best for backpacking.  We recommend a bag rated for 15 - 35 degrees F.

Sleeping Pad: Closed-cell foam or inflatable sleeping pads are the only acceptable types.  Inexpensive ‘blue foam’ pads are easily found at Walmart type stores.

Tent: One or two person tent.  Bring one that can easily be carried in your backpack.

Water bottles: To be effective and safe you must stay hydrated. You should plan on carrying at least 3 liters of water for a day, more in the heat of the summer. You can carry some of that in a hydration bladder (Camelback/Platypus) but you should bring at least one bottle with you in case the bladder is punctured. Cheap, sturdy bottles are available most stores these days, so please do not bring an aquafina.

Flashlight/Headlamp and Batteries

Eating Utensils (spoon/fork, tupperware, mug):  Please bring your own utensils to eat with as well as a tupperware with a closed-tight lid.  Plastic or metal ‘travel mug’ for hot drinks.


Work Jacket/Sweater: An extra warm layer (durable wool or fleece) to wear at work and in camp.  Also serves as a great pillow!

“Recreation” Clothes & Shoes:  A change of clothes to wear during weekends or at camp after a day of service; shorts and a t-shirt as well as a pair of tennis shoes.  “Teva/Chaco/Keen” type sandals are also good to have.  Sandals must have a back heel-strap.  Flip-flops are NOT allowed.

Long Underwear: A warm layer for chilly days/nights.  One each of a synthetic top and bottom (like polypropylene).  Wool and silk also work but are more expensive.  Cotton again, will not stay warm once wet or sweaty.

Warm hat, socks, and gloves: Great to have for sleeping on cold nights!  Remember to avoid cotton products in order to stay dry and warm.

Socks (4): At least 4 pairs of thick wool or synthetic hiking socks to work in.  You may consider also bringing thin polyester ‘liner’ socks to wear and reduce blisters.  Cotton socks are unacceptable for work wear (1 pair is okay for recreation time).

Underwear (6-7): Bring enough to last one week.

Water Shoes: Old tennis shoes, sandals with a heel strap, or actual “water shoes” are all acceptable.  Crew members may not go into the water barefoot or wearing flip flops.


Toiletries and Stuff Sack:  Any “smelly” items must be kept in a separate sack away from camp.  Essential toiletries include toothbrush and toothpaste.  Personal feminine products.

Other items (not required): Journal, pen, book, camera, handkerchief, personal hand sanitizer, baseball cap, towel, sketch book, drawing supplies, compass, sunscreen, insect repellent, acoustic musical instruments, Frisbee, football, cards, etc.

  • We have a very limited supply of backpacking gear available for loan (i.e. packs, sleep bags, sleeping pads, tents).  However, we do provide each Expedition Crew with group camping gear, items such as camp stoves, water filtration systems, tarps, kitchen gear, first aid kits, etc.  
  • We are aware of the cost of quality outdoor equipment.  Be resourceful - you can find a lot of good stuff on sale, second-hand at thrift stores, used gear stores, on the internet, or with a little help from your family and friends. Never pay full price for gear!
  • Youth Crew Leaders and Expedition Members must wear closed toed shoes in camp kitchen areas.  This reduces the risks associated with boiling water and sharp objects.
  • Expedition Members are not permitted to possess or use cell phones, MP3 players, Kindles, and any other electronic media devices during their Expedition session.  Crew Leaders will always have a form of communication with them at all times in case of emergency. 
  • MCC will do our best to alleviate the need for Expedition Members to bring excessive amounts of money by covering all food and transportation to worksite costs.  However, you may want to bring a minimal amount of cash for incidentals (souvenirs, replacement of lost gloves, gas station stop items etc.).  $20 is recommended but not necessary.