Getting a job in Yellowstone is an exciting time. Not only did you get hired for a job, but you also committed to leaving your home for a season. This brings with it many unknowns but we are here to help! One of the most asked questions we get is “what should I bring?”
It is important to remember that we operate in a remote location. Depending on where you are working in the park, you could be 100 miles from the nearest big town. While we do offer regular trips out to gateway communities, you should be prepared to have supplies last you for a couple of weeks or more.
Secondly, keep in mind that your living accommodations will likely be small and shared with one or more people. Your storage space will be limited so packing light is a good idea.
Finally, when you’re coming to work in a place as dynamic as Yellowstone, you need to be prepared for all types of weather. Our season runs from April to November. No matter the month, there’s always a chance of rain, snow, wind, and a range of temperatures. Spring & Fall daytime temperatures typically range from 30F to 60F (0 to 20C) with overnight lows in the teens to single digits (-5C to -20C). Daytime summer temperatures are often around 70F (25C) and occasionally 80F (30C) at lower elevations. Nights are usually cool and temperatures may drop below freezing at higher elevations.
Elevations at our locations in the park range from 6,239 ft. / 1,902 meters to 7,980 ft. / 2,432 meters. If you go out exploring, you may be encountering even higher elevations.
We strongly encourage all our employees to be ready for all types of weather –even if you just work here from June to August. The best way to do that is to pack layers. Pack mid-weight insulating clothing like a light synthetic fleece or wool shirt/pullover. When layering, forget anything cotton because it absorbs moisture from your body and then quickly turns cold. Waterproof and windproof outer layers should be lightweight and breathable. Pack insulating underwear that draws moisture away from the body, keeping you cool when you sweat and dry when it rains. If you will be here in the early or late season, a heavyweight insulating layer (wool, down or heavy-weight fleece jacket) is a good idea.
So what are the items to bring with you on your Yellowstone adventure? We’ve broken it out into essential and optional items.
|• Weather appropriate clothing (see below)
• Toiletries (hand/body lotion
• Laundry detergent
• Alarm clock (recommend battery operated)
• Prescription medicine (enough to last three weeks)
• Sandals or other leisure footwear
• Hat (A brimmed one for sun protection and possibly for rain and an insulating one for cool weather)
• Gloves or mittens
|• Shower caddy
• Shower shoes
• Bed linens (single-sized sheets are provided)
• Snacks (3 meals a day are provided for but you are welcome to keep snacks in your dorm room)
|• Black, full coverage, closed-toe, slip-resistant shoes (Check with your department for specifics)|
|• Reusable water bottle
• Insect repellent
• Sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, aloe, and lip balm
• Rain jacket (waterproof and breathable)
• Hiking boots or good athletic shoes (look for stability, all-terrain traction and comfort)
|• Backpack/daypack (to carry your extra clothes, water, lunch, snacks, camera, binoculars, field guides, etc.)
• Binoculars and/or spotting scope and tripod
• Tent, Sleeping bag (your local Recreation office offers Backpacking and Camping Gear Rentals)
• Reading Material
• Camera, memory/film and batteries
• Gaiters: to keep your socks and pants dry
By packing the items listed above, you can come prepared for all adventures and weather. Then you are ready to spend a fun and comfortable summer working in Yellowstone National Park.
Check out this video by a Yellowstone employee for her top 10 items to bring to Yellowstone for working the summer season.