EC Be Prepared Checklist

IMPORTANT! Explorers Club (EC) outings take place outdoors in every kind of weather. Being prepared is one of the many life skills we teach. In the outdoors,

Being Prepared = Being Safe

Our view is that there is no “bad” weather. If we make good clothing choices, we’ll be warm, dry, and comfortable in all conditions. We don't spend much time indoors in EC – our clothing is our shelter!

Please use the following list as a guide. The choices you make to be prepared will change depending on the weather, but keep in mind that Northwest weather can shift to cool, wet, and cloudy at any time of year. Check the forecast for the day and be prepared for the weather to change at any time during an outing. It's a good idea to pack your gear the night before an outing and have non- cotton layers set aside for EC days. Fleece and wool are best for outdoors in the northwest.

Explorers! Please read this with your parents! Read over this list and pack everything yourself. This is essential. Learning how to pack one's own pack is an important skill. Every outing tests preparedness, but occasionally nature gives us a Be Prepared Challenge Day where we're outside in some pretty wet and cold conditions for hours at a time. We guarantee you'll have one (or many) of these challenge days during your time with EC. Will you be ready? We hope so!

  • Rested body and mind - ready for exploring and serving
EC outings require plenty of energy. Get plenty of sleep the night before! We don't meet often, so make each one count!
  • Check the weather forecast before each outing
Don't depend on what the weather looks like outside your window before you leave! Practice paying attention to, and predicting, weather.
  • Comfortable backpack (with waist belt)
Carrying enough items to be prepared can mean a full pack. A waist belt helps carry the load and is better for your posture and overall strength. A large, plastic garbage sack can be used as an emergency pack cover, raincoat, or sit-upon.
  • Bandana
There are too many uses for a bandana to name. One EC girl made a list of 72 uses!
  • Big snack or lunch
Explorers should be well fed before an outing. It can be up to 2 hours before we take a break. Please also bring enough food for the outing duration. On cold days, consider packing warm soup/drink.
  • Full water bottle and a thermos for cold/wet days. 
Warm drinks warm the core and lift the spirit.
  • Sunscreen (for sunny days in early fall and late spring)
  • Explorers journal and pen or pencil
  • Any skills project you are working on 
For Explorers who have been through the Art of Carving: Pocket or Carving Knife

Parents: if you are unsure if your Explorer has been through the Art of Carving, please contact us. Also, please check out our suggestions for fixed-blade carving knives and make sure both you and your Explorer watch our Knife Use - Selection, Safety, and Skills video.

Clothing - Use the layer system (Non-cotton please!)

You can take layers off, but you can't put on what you don't have! Earth-toned clothing that blends in with the environment is preferable (but not essential). Cotton is rotten (for the outdoors)! Wool is a good choice. It isn't noisy and insulates when it is wet.
  • Socks (Non-cotton)
Thickness needed depends on temperature. If cold, wear thick socks you’d wear if it were snowing.
  • Base Layer
Long underwear or a t-shirt, depending on temperature. Really cold? Wear a warm base layer + sweater + thick fleece.
  • Thick Fleece Pants / Long Pants
Thickness needed depends on temperature. Pair these with long underwear on cold days. Long pants are essential when exploring brambles, buggy, or rocky places.
  • Zip-off Pants
Only wear these when it's warm outside. These are not cold weather pants! Use fleece or other warm pants when it gets below 55 degrees. Use fleece pants + long underwear when it's much colder.
  • Fleece Jacket
Thickness needed depends on temperature. Thin fleeces are not adequate on cold, wet days. Long sleeves are essential when exploring brambles, buggy, or rocky places.
  • Rain Jacket – waterproof and sturdy
Thin rain jackets can get soaked fast in a downpour, so be sure yours can handle hours of rainfall. If it's really pouring wear or bring two!
  • Rain Pants - waterproof and sturdy
Useful even when it's not raining. We sit on the ground a lot + walk through wet plants!
  • Warm Hat
Don't depend on your raincoat's hood to keep you warm in wet and cold weather.
  • Gloves – Warm and waterproof
Snow gloves preferred. Thin cotton gloves in cold, wet weather just don't keep hands warm. Consider instant hand warmers for cold days. Note: work gloves are only needed on some service days.
  • Neck Covering (buff, neck warmer, turtleneck, etc.)
  • Walking or Hiking Shoes – Warm and waterproof
Tennis shoes aren't warm or waterproof! Non-insulated rain boots are waterproof, but not warm. Leather hikers are best. Insulated snow boots work too. Summer outings: pack water shoes for swimming and wading. 

Small amount of extra clothing depending on the weather. Summer: consider a swimsuit, old towel, and plastic bag for wet items.

Note: There's no need to spend lots of money on any of the above. All items can be found at local thrift stores. EC leaders usually bring extra kid-sized warm layers on particularly cold days to loan.

Anything else your common sense tells you is needed to be prepared for the day!

For loaner gear or questions, please contact us:.

Boys Explorers Club
Girls Explorers Club

In fair weather, prepare for foul. Thomas Fuller
To be prepared is to anticipate risk and to act toward prevention. Wes Fessler
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Benjamin Franklin