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What to actually pack for an outdoor summer at HFF

Before I give you what, in my humble opinion, is the ultimate packing list I wish I had before coming to HFF, let me fill you in on the past couple weeks!

I have completed a number of interviews with past interns which has been a fantastic opportunity to imagine my future after this summer. I also love meeting the people who have preceded me. Hearing their triumphs and woes from a summer in Ashton has made this place even more endearing than I could have anticipated. Each past intern that has completed the survey (over 40!) have all wanted to meet and be interviewed for my project. This just re-enforced my belief in the greatness of this program that they all want to go above and beyond to be involved.

All the interns went to Glacier National Park last week, which has been on my bucket list since I was a young child circling national parks I dreamed of visiting on a map. We camped, swam in glacial lakes, saw waterfalls, 4 grizzlies and I met sooooo many pupper friends. We hiked Grinnell Glacier and built stellar campfires and were an incredible feast for the local mosquito population.

And this past Wednesday-Thursday I went on a float with a fellow intern for her independent project! We floated ~14 miles the first day, camped, feasted, and played cards before floating ~10 miles the next day. And not only did I get quality dog time, which was amazing, but I caught my first little fishy!!! I grew up fly fishing but fell off as I got older, so finally hooking one (even if it was just a little brown and it was nymphing and not a dry fly catch) was incredible. Shout out to Dave for the equipment and knowledge.

Now it’s list time (disclaimer, a lot of this you can buy here but it will be more expensive):

- 65% of your wardrobe should be dry fit/ outdoor clothing and tees, especially if you’re mainly doing field work and even if like me your internship is largely in the office. Here office attire is pretty much river/angler or more general outdoor attire so if you want to look like a standard HFF employee avoid my mistake of mostly packing standard office wear that you will only use on days you’re trying to look nice.

- So, any quick dry clothes (Rei, Orvis, and Patagonia have good options if you anticipate using them in the future and feel comfortable paying more for good quality and long-term wear, or amazon for alternatives)

- TEVAS are the move here even for office wear, especially if you plan on fishing, going camping or doing any field work

- I’d recommend a sleeping bag and sleeping pad if you think you want to camp at all (some staff will loan them but worth having your own if you can!)

- No need for sheets or bedding, they have plenty, but as a pillow person I won’t discourage you from bringing your own if you want more than one

- Cowboy boots/hat- rodeo attire is a plus and if you go to music on main, a rodeo, Jackson, Bozeman, or any bars in the area it’s a fun addition.

- Raincoat

- Bathing suit

- A portable charger for camping

- A flashlight

- As many hats as you have/want to wear

- A water bottle

- Bear spray

- A first aid kit, moleskin for blisters, cortisone for bug bites water filter and other general trail safety stuff

- Your computer

- Books

- Camera

- Fishing gear

- A Notebook for desk/fieldwork

- Hangers

- A day pack/ bag to take camping

- Hiking boots and appropriate socks

- Sunglass

- Laundry detergent

- Toiletries and other personal items like medication


- Outdoor chairs

I will miss the water pups, taking care of the garden, and this beautiful place where I have been so lucky to spend the summer. If you get the chance to spend time here try to be present and not take a second of it for granted because it will fly by all too fast.

~ Emma Frances

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