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Tour Gear for Olympic Peninsula Guided Tours

A birder looks though a spotting scope out at the nearshore on a marine bluff

We bring a spotting scope on All Tours except long and strenuous hikes

When You Drive

We bring one pair of binoculars and trekking poles to share

When We Drive

We bring binoculars and trekking poles for personal use for up to 5 people. Trekking poles are for adult use or children with special needs

We bring loaner raincoats, fleece jackets, fleece hats, ball caps, sun hats, and gloves.

Bring good shoes, wool-blend socks, and sunglasses

Do not wear cotton clothing if there is a chance of rain or snow, generally we have warm sunny weather in July and August

Wear hiking boots or the most supportive shoes you own

Please bring sunglasses, sun hat, and sunscreen

Additionally, please be prepared to carry a minimum of a liter of water.

Two Women taking a moment to smile while hiking next to large rocky outcropping with teh forest, moss, and ferns in the background
Two hikers sit for a moment at an overlook to Lake Angeles close to 4000 feet in elevation

Long hikes and tidepooling tours

Do not wear cotton clothing (especially jeans)

Wear hiking boots with full ankle support

Bring extra wool-blend (non-cotton) socks. 

Wear wool or synthetic (nylon) pants

Parents of young children:  Please bring age-appropriate outdoor gear for your young nature lovers as we might not have appropriate sized equipment, especially for children under the age of six.

Best practices when touring with us

Bring your medication(s), even if you think you don't need them.

Drink plenty of water and snack often, even on cool, wet days.

Take many short rest breaks, not long breaks where your muscles begin to stiffen up.

Moderate your temperature by using appropriate layers of clothing.

Watch out for other tour participants getting fatigued and take appropriate action and care.

Hiking guide Carolyn stands next to the large Douglas Fir tree and looks out at the fall Vine Maple and Elwha River
HIkers on a forested path hiking in between giant conifer trees in Olympic National Park

Dress in layers - tshirt, long sleeve shirt, puffy, and rain jacket

Olympic National Park weather can change rapidly and many people are caught unprepared.  

We encourage you to learn to dress in layers. We wear lined pants or long underwear under light weight pants in the late fall, winter, and early spring. We bring rain pants to put on as an extra layer.

If we are not driving, we do not provide loaner gear use so please make sure you bring extra warm clothing in your vehicle. 

Make clothing choices to avoid fall foraging wasp attention

In general, there are very few nuisance insects that impact how you pack for a trip to Olympic National Park. Please don't bring toxic repellents unless you are camping next to a high lake in the summer.  

However, certain clothing and scented choices can help to minimize the likelihood of contact with wasps, especially during the fall. Bring close-fitting white or tan clothing and avoid loose-fitting bright-colors especially light blue, pink, red, or orange. Also minimize use of scented body products like perfumes.

One tour participant photographs another next to a huge Douglas Fir tree in the Elwha Valley
A tour participant takes a moment to get a closeup photo of a banana slug on the trail with her camera phone

Enjoying the outdoors safely

Experience Olympic maintains a registered Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) allowing for 911 satellite communication.  We are therefore not dependent on cell phone coverage, which can be inconsistent on the Olympic Peninsula.  

The Experience Olympic vehicle (for tours that include transportaiton) comes equipped with a first aid kit and other emergency equipment.  

Your hiking guide carries the PLB in their backpack along with an additional first aid kit and has Wilderness First Responder training.

Binoculars - don't leave home without them!

Our relatively lightweight binoculars are 8 x 42, waterproof, excellent close-focus capability (5 feet), and come equipped with a shoulder harness for enhanced comfort while hiking (lack of neck strain). 

We will share our binoculars if we are not driving but consider bringing your own binoculars. If there is one piece of bonus backpacking gear I would never hike without, it is binoculars 

Personal use of high-power binoculars can be a transformative wildlife viewing experience and an exciting addition to your Experience Olympic tour.  

A Birder looks through binoculars at a wetland complex in the Hoh Rainforest that has breeding Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers
A Black Katy Chiton which is black and white mollusc is shown at low tide nestled inbetween other intertidal animals
A brown Amanita mushrooms is shown with a ring and other characteristics of this group of poisonous mushrooms
A male Columbian Black-tailed Deer with antlers is shown during the summer near the trail eating vegetation at Hurricane Ridge