What’s In My Bag: What I’ve Learned Packing For A Summer Adventure At Dinosaur National Monument (DINO), Utah.

 

I’ve learned many things in my efforts to prepare for a summer at Dinosaur National Monument (DNM). One of the main things is the art of packing. I am a notorious overpacker. A three day outing means 3 weeks of clothes and I quickly discovered that I needed to pack efficiently so this post serves as a way to outline a comprehensive guide on the proper packing essentials for myself and future DINO LHIP interns and DINO visitors!

Clothing

  • T-shirts and tank tops: Utah summers can be hot and dry, so I made sure to pack lightweight, breathable tops to stay comfortable during outdoor excursions
  • Lightweight pants and shorts: Lightweight pants such as hiking pants are always a definite in my bag when it comes to being outdoors for an extended period of time.
  • Sturdy hiking shoes and boots: I feel like footwear is often taken for granted but a good pair of shoes makes a world of difference. 
  • Wool socks: Wool socks are great for keeping your feet dry during hikes.
  • Sandals: for leisure or trekking through water. 
  • Hat and sunglasses: to protect against the sun’s rays with a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Bandana: Besides a wide-brimmed hat for sun protection, a bandana can come in handy for wiping sweat or acting as a dust mask.
  • Swimsuit: for swimming in the Green or Yampa rivers
  • Jacket: seems counterintuitive but nights can get pretty cool compared to the hot humid Houston nights I’m used to.
  • Lightweight rain jacket: for sudden weather changes by packing a waterproof and breathable rain jacket.

Outdoor gear

  • For those days I will be spending outside doing research I made sure to pack:
  • Backpack: to carry the essentials like water, snacks, a camera, and sunscreen.
  • Water bottle: hydration
  • Binoculars: Every biologist seems incomplete without binoculars. How else could you experience observing birds, animals, and natural formations up close?
  • Headlamp: night hikes 🙂
  • Camera and spare batteries: to capture the moments I want to remember.
  • Portable charger: When hiking or in remote areas it’s important you have a powered device in case of emergencies
 

HOUSING ESSENTIALS

Most parks provide camping gear/ general purpose cookware for their interns but be sure to pack

  • Bedsheets/ Pillow
and if you can
  • Specialty cookware such as a kettle
  • Any personal camping gear you prefer to use
Clementine (center) and Yogurt (top) with my packing essentials.

Personal items

  • Sunscreen and lip balm: To protect against the strong sun rays, especially at high altitudes.
  • Medications and first aid kit: I made sure to carry any necessary prescription medications and a basic first aid kit for minor injuries or ailments.
  • Toiletries: Just your basic stuff like toothbrush, toothpaste, and biodegradable soap, deodorant, etc.,
  • Towel: Pack a quick-drying towel for swimming, camping, and other outdoor activities.

I’m so looking forward to starting in a couple of weeks and hopefully, this packing list helps not only me, but other interns and visitors alike make the most of the breathtaking scenery, rich history, and a unique glimpse into the ancient world of dinosaurs that Dinosaur National Monument promises

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