What to Bring on a Trek to Yellowstone

Being prepared is of the utmost importance when planning a trip into the backcountry. Please use this as your reference.

What we provide:                          Multi-Day Lama Treks Only

Yellowstone Llamas trek participants will be provided with all the backpacking essentials they will need such as backpacker-style tents and a Thermarest-style inflatable sleeping pad and sleeping bag. We also supply all necessary plates, bowls, cups, glasses and eating utensils, pots, stoves as well as tables and chairs.

Our trips include all meals, snacks, etc., starting with lunch on the first day and ending with snacks or lunch on the last day (depending on mileage last day.)

We will meet you at the trailhead, where you can park your vehicle. We will provide you with a tag to be placed in your vehicle with the permit number for your trek.

What you should bring:

While our gear is hauled to and from our camps by our llamas, we recommend hikers come equipped with a small day pack for carrying objects they wish to easily access during the day. Most of our guests find hiking more enjoyable when they can quickly access their camera, rain gear, bug repellent, sunscreen, trail snack and drinking water, and a small daypack or fanny pack is perfect for this.

Personal gear not carried in daypacks will be loaded into panniers and carried by our llamas. Please limit this equipment to 20lbs per person including sleeping bag.

It is helpful to bring along a small lightweight duffel-type bag or stuff sack for organizing equipment destined for storage in the panniers. Our panniers measure 23” long, 16-19” high, and 8-12” deep so please make sure your choice of storage bag will fit these dimensions. Also, please note that we will hang all food and otherwise “smelly” items on a bear pole overnight. Please consider having small bags handy for your items.

Most trip days are dry and sunny. However, we can get an afternoon shower or even a rare day of constant rain. Participants should bring along lightweight rainwear capable of handling these conditions. For those sunny days, don’t forget sunscreen and hats.

We also suggest hikers bring along bottles or containers with drinking water. The Camelback type hydration systems also seem to work well. On the multi-day treks, we will refill water bottles in camp. We do provide water-filtering equipment and all drinking water will be filtered.

Most of our trips require walking on rocky trails. We feel your choice of footwear should be adequate for these conditions. Remember, you will not be carrying anything heavier than a light daypack so leave the heavy hikers at home in favor of lighter, but still supportive (ankles!) footwear. Whatever your choice, be sure to give yourself ample break-in time if you’re purchasing new boots prior to your trip. Some of our treks with include creek crossings. Please bring sandals (Teva-style) which will double as comfortable camp shoes.

If you bring your own sleeping bags, they should be “backpacker-style” and suitable for temps at or near the freezing point. We don’t often see night temperatures that cool, but remember these are mountain climates and, while it may be quite warm during the day, the nights and early mornings can be chilly. Your bag should compress to a size suitable for backcountry travel. Our guides always bring jackets and warm hats for the cooler times of day and we recommend you do as well. If your trip is in September, you should be prepared for even cooler temperatures. If you are unsure whether you have the right sleeping bag or need clothing advice for our trips, please give us a call.

Traveling in Bear Country

We will be traveling through and sleeping in bear country. Your guides are aware of all precautionary measures that are necessary when moving through bear country. They will carry bear spray. If you feel better carrying your own, it is available in most outdoor stores in the area. You cannot bring it on airplanes. As mentioned, we will hang all food-related and otherwise smelly items overnight. This is a very important practice as a clean camp will not attract bears, who have an exceptional sense of smell. As such, keeping food items in your tent would be a bad idea! Please ask your guide if you need help determining what items to hang overnight and bring bags or small containers for your items.

Going “potty” in the back country

Most of the backcountry camps will have pit toilets but some do not. On those trips, we will  provide our Portable Backcountry Outhouse. Please bring your own toilet paper and ziplock bags for disposal.  We practice “leave no trace” as much as possible and as such will be carrying out everything we carry in, including used sanitary items and toilet paper, especially in areas where we are not allowed to have a campfire. Thank you for your cooperation.

*Yellowstone Llamas is an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service*