WEATHER AND ALTITUDE
Weather in the high altitude desert can show campers all four seasons in one day. We wear sweats and a fuzzy hat in the morning and evening, and maybe shorts and a tank mid day. Thunderstorms are not uncommon in the late afternoon, and wind will blow in the evening.
Humidity is very low, and it is easy to get dehydrated. Fresh, cold water is always available in camp to refill your bottle. The UV index is very high, too, so sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves are essential. Campers must self-monitor headaches and dizziness carefully.
Also, some folks start to feel altitude sickness over 7,500 ft elevation. Even the fittest campers feel burdened moving for the first two days as their bodies adapt to the air pressure. Others find that asthma or breathing conditions worsen, or discover that they have mild ear infections when they arrive at higher altitudes, but most campers adapt so that activity gets easier through the week. (And then feel super-fit for a magic week when they get home to sea level.)
Please consult your doctor about your medical condition and how your health may be impacted by a week of living outdoors at high altitude before you travel.
WHAT TO BRING
Campers bring their personal gear including the following:
- BASICS: Water bottles, coffee mug, plate, cereal/soup/salad bowl, small first aid kit, day pack, folding chair, sleeping bag, pillow, ground pad for sleeping, tent, headlamp, flashlight and extra batteries, wrist watch, phone or laptop chargers, bath towels.
- ACTIVITIES: Road and trails maps, field guides, binoculars, fishing poles and tackle, inflatable float for the lake, pool noodles, snorkel & mask, crayfish trap, hiking poles or walking sticks, whistle, compass, GPS, cameras and extra digital memory cards, books, musical instruments, board games, bicycles, sports equipment.
- CLOTHING: Boots and socks, flip flops, underwear, thermals, jeans, T-shirts and tank tops, long sleeve shirts, shorts, fleece, parka with hood, hats for sun and cold, bandanas, gloves, bathing suit, water shoes, sarong for hot springs or lake. (The decomposed granite sand in camp is abrasive on the feet, so plan to wear socks with your sandals if you are tender-footed.)
- PERSONAL COMFORTS: Toothbrush, deodorant, baby wipes, soap, hand sanitizer, chap stick, sunscreen, bug repellent, spare glasses or contact solutions, daily and allergy medicines, insulated lunch sack, thermos, laundry soap and quarters for the showers and laundry equipment, earplugs, sunglasses, hammock.
NOTE: June Lake is a relatively remote resort location. This means goods for purchase are expensive and hard to find. Bishop, the “big town” on Highway 395, is 40 miles south of camp, and has a variety of shops in case of emergency. Experience says pack thoughtfully to save money, hassle and time.