About NUHOC

The Northeastern University Huskiers and Outing Club is the outdoors club at Northeastern University. We do outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, skiing/snowboarding, climbing, biking, backpacking, canoeing/kayaking, and more!

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What You Should Bring

So you want to come up to the Loj for the first time, but you’re not sure what to bring for the weekend. How much stuff should I pack? Do I wear the same clothes all weekend, sleep on the bare ground with nothing but leaves and twigs for comfort, and hope I find a freshwater river nearby for sustenance? Or should I bring my king-size air mattress complete with a memory-foam topper and three luxurious down pillows? Hopefully, with this guide, you’ll have a better sense of what you need, what you might want, and what you shouldn’t bring for a typical weekend at the Loj.

Note: When you arrive at the Loj, you will need to walk up a trail with all your belongings for half a mile, so make sure you can carry all of them easily.

NEEDS

  • Backpack
    • You’ll probably be carrying most or all of your gear for the weekend in this pack. It should be large enough to fit pretty much everything you need, but comfortable enough for you to carry it for the 10-minute walk from the parking lot to the Loj itself. Medium duffel bags are a decent alternative to school backpacks, which may be too small. Anything with wheels will likely be too unwieldy.
    • If you don’t have a suitable backpack, don’t worry! With your annual NUHOC membership, you have unlimited access to free rentals from our gear locker. Lucky for you, we have plenty of backpacking packs available that are perfect for a weekend adventure at the Loj. Check out the gear rental page for more info.
    • If you’re planning on going on a longer day hike over the weekend, you may also want to bring a smaller day pack or drawstring bag that can hold a water bottle, lunch, snacks, extra layers, and sunscreen/bug spray for convenience.
  • Sleeping Bag
    • You’ll always want a sleeping bag when you go up to the Loj, even if it’s 90 degrees out! You can still get cold at night in the summer if you don’t have the right clothes or bag, especially if you’re sleeping in a tent instead of the yurt – it typically gets down to the 40s or 50s at night even in the middle of summer. We have sleeping bags available in the gear locker for all seasons, ranging from dense 0° bags for frigid snowy nights to lightweight 45° bags for those warm summer evenings. Make sure to take your sleeping bag in a stuff sack to save space!
  • Sleeping Pad
    • Sleeping pads are about more than just comfort – they provide a valuable barrier of insulation between yourself and the ground. Without a sleeping pad, the cool earth (or yurt floor) will suck your body heat right out of you and you’ll wake up in the middle of the night shivering, asking yourself why you didn’t sleep closer to the wood stove. We have plenty of sleeping pads available at the gear locker.
  • Footwear
    • All-purpose sneakers: Useful for general walking around the Loj property and as a lightweight option for shorter hikes.
    • Hiking shoes/boots: Important to provide ankle/foot support for longer hikes, and provide more insulation when combined with wool socks for the colder months.
      • You may not need both sneakers and hiking boots – make a judgment call based on your plans for the weekend. If you have any questions, feel free to ask anyone who seems like they know what they’re doing for advice.
      • Don’t buy a new pair of boots the day before doing a long hike! You need to wear your boots a few times first to break them in. If you don’t break them in, you may get blisters.
      • Preferably bring boots that are waterproof or water resistant.
    • Sandals/flip flops: Nice to have during the summer for walking around the property and very convenient when participating in any activities involving water (kayaking, rafting, cliff-jumping, etc.)
    • Winter boots: You should definitely bring these in months when there is snow on the ground (usually around late November-early April); they can help with traction on icy surfaces and help keep your feet warm.
    • Microspikes: Very important for the winter months; without them it can be very challenging to get traction on snowy and icy ground, even just walking up the road to the Loj. They are especially important if you plan on hiking when there is snow and ice on the trail. We have microspikes in the gear locker. You should be able to fit them over your hiking boots. If possible, you should check the trail conditions before your hike so that you can plan your footwear accordingly, but you will almost certainly need microspikes from December to March.
  • CLOTHING: The type of clothing you’ll need for any given weekend depends on the time of year you’ll be up at the Loj. For a season-by-season breakdown, please see the Clothing subsection below.
  • Headlamp/Flashlight
    • This is extremely important!!! Phones are not allowed at the Loj – the property is meant as a sanctuary to get away from civilization for a weekend. This includes using your phone flashlight. Bring an alternative source of light to see in the dark. Headlamps are super convenient – if you don’t have one, ask around the club for one to borrow or grab one from REI nearby for as low as $20. Flashlights work in a pinch but it’s much nicer to have both hands free.
  • Water Bottle
    • Hydrate 🚰 or diedrate ☠️… you’ll get thirsty at the Loj and will want to drink out of something. Nalgenes are nice and lightweight, while metal bottles are heavier but will keep your water cold for longer. I’ll take this opportunity to plug our NUHOC-branded Nalgenes available for purchase 🙂 (you can purchase one after a NUHOC meeting for $10)
    • Although we do not have running water, water is supplied by the pump at the Loj.
  • Personal Hygiene Items – an extensive but not exhaustive list
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
    • Sunscreen
    • Bug spray (the bugs are generally the worst from May-August)
    • DEODORANT (thank you in advance!)
    • Glasses/contact supplies
    • Personal first-aid supplies (Epi-Pen, antihistamines, personal prescriptions, etc.)
      • Note: we have a big first aid kit at the Loj, as well as smaller first aid kits that can be brought on day trips.
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Sunglasses
    • Lip balm
    • Feminine hygiene products (we also have most things at the Loj as a backup – ask someone on e-board if you would like more info)

CLOTHES (not cotton!)

  • Year-round
    • Socks (wool or synthetic recommended, especially in winter – not cotton!)
    • Underwear (moisture-wicking recommended – not cotton!)
    • Shirts (not cotton!)
      • Short-sleeve recommended for flexibility – if you’d want a long-sleeve shirt you can just pop a sweatshirt on
    • Pants/shorts
      • Dependent on weather and activities – ask if you have questions
  • Summer only (or if you plan to take a dip in the swimming hole)
    • Sandals (see Footwear, above)
  • During the colder months (i.e. consider bringing these items any time from October-April)
    • Warm outerwear
      • Layering is a super important concept for winter camping/hiking! Here’s a sample of what I might bring to a typical winter weekend where I expect to be outdoors for a long time:
        • Base layer: something lightweight but somewhat warm (not cotton!)
        • Mid-layer: something a little heavier – flannel, sweater, fleece, etc. (not cotton!)
        • Insulated jacket: this will do the heavy lifting on keeping you warm – puffy jacket or winter coat with hood (not cotton!)
        • Long underwear: keeps the heat close to your body and acts as an insulating layer
        • Snow pants: these go over your (not cotton!) base pants/long underwear and keep you warm and dry
    • Gloves/mittens
      • It gets cold! Hands and feet lose body heat extremely quickly when it’s cold! You should cover them with something so they don’t do that! Especially if you’re hitting the slopes ⛷️
    • Warm hat (wool recommended)
    • Winter boots (see Footwear, above)
    • More wool socks than you think you’ll need

WANTS

  • Tent
    • Sometimes having your own private space to sleep can be nice, especially in the warmer months. We have tents in the gear locker if you don’t have your own. You’ll need a tent for NUcomers and other trips with >35 people (i.e. when there are too many people to cram everyone in the yurt). Most tents fit at least two people, so if you don’t have your own, you can also plan to share a tent with a friend who has one.
  • Food/snacks
    • If you indicated on the trip signup form that you want to participate in group food, then we will provide all the food you’ll need for the weekend. Nevertheless, if you have a go-to trail snack that you can’t live without, you may want to bring that. We have two bear boxes at the Loj: one for storing group food and one for storing personal food. Please store your food in the appropriate bear box during the weekend – we have had recent bear activity at the Loj, and we don’t want to encourage them to come back. If you have any questions about food, talk to your trip leaders.
  • Activity-specific Gear
    • Includes things like climbing gear, ski/snowboard equipment, etc. If you’re participating in an activity requiring additional gear, odds are you’ll know what you need to bring. Feel free to reach out to your trip leader if you have more questions.
  • Camera
    • Bring at your own risk. If you have a fancy-schmancy DSLR that costs hundreds of dollars – maybe save it for another time.
  • Swimsuit/Towel
    • We have a swimming hole right on the Loj property that’s great for cooling down on hot summer days (or cold winter ones). Sometimes people might day trip to go swimming or cliff-jumping nearby as well.
  • Rain jacket/Rain pants/Gaiters/Poncho
    • If the forecast is calling for precipitation, you may want dedicated rain gear to stay dry.
  • Hiking Poles
    • These can be useful if you are planning a hike that’s either very long or traverses some sketchy terrain. We have a couple pairs in the gear locker if you want to rent them for the weekend.
  • Camping pillow
    • Please avoid bringing a full-size pillow; it takes up valuable room in your car! If you have a small camping pillow, feel free to bring that.
    • Loj hack: if you put all your spare clothes in your sleeping bag stuff sack and cinch it up tight, it makes a pretty damn comfortable pillow.
  • Hammock
    • Great for chilling around camp on relaxed afternoons, and sometimes fun to sleep in. If you plan to sleep overnight in a hammock, consider bringing a rain fly / bug net / sleeping pad – you will want some protection against the elements.
  • Books/board games/cards
    • Without a phone to provide constant sensory overload, you might find yourself having an excess of free time. Books are great! Losing friends over hyper-competitive games is even better! Don’t worry, we have plenty of games already at the Loj as well.
  • Earplugs/sleep mask
    • If you like going to sleep early and/or have trouble sleeping with moderate noise/light levels. Also, you generally get a lot more exposure to early morning sunlight than you would in Boston, especially if you plan to sleep in a tent, so a sleep mask can be nice to help you sleep a bit later.
  • Hand warmer packs (winter only) – you can put one in your boots or gloves when you’re doing any activities in the cold (skiing, winter hiking, etc.), or even just when you’re trying to fall asleep without freezing. They also can be used to keep your phone from dying if you’re on a hike (reminder: no phones allowed on the Loj property itself).

SHOULDN’TS

  • Shampoo, conditioner, bath soap
    • We do NOT have showers at the Loj. Yes, you will get smelly. Yes, it’s okay – everyone else is too. Deodorant helps prevent the worst of it, and the campfire smoke covers up more. That first shower when you get back to Boston will be the best you’ve had all year.
  • Cooking supplies
    • We already have everything we need to cook and eat wonderful meals up at the Loj. If you have a severe food allergy/intolerance or have any other food-related concerns, talk to a trip leader (ideally the person coordinating food – you should get an email with all the trip leaders’ contact info on the Thursday before your trip). You can also bring up any concerns during your trip call.
  • Air mattress
    • ‘Nuff said.