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Gear and Clothing

An integral part of our risk management strategy is the thoughtful curation of high-quality gear. We understand that exceptional gear not only promotes safety but also significantly enhances the overall comfort and enjoyment of our students. Whether exploring the captivating landscapes of winter or embracing the warmth and beauty of summer, we equip our students with purpose-designed gear tailored to meet the specific elements of each season. By equipping students with quality gear and clothing, Open Sky creates an environment where students can thrive in any season, allowing them to focus on their therapeutic journey.

Function, Quality, and Comfort

Upon arrival at Open Sky, each student visits our operations ranch in Mancos, Colorado, where their personal belongings are inventoried, recorded, and securely stored until their graduation. Students are then outfitted with brand new Open Sky gear, setting them up for success in the field and providing them with the necessary equipment and clothing to fully engage in our program.

Late Fall / Winter Gear and Clothing
To support student success in the field during the late fall and winter, each Open Sky student receives the following gear package:

- Insulated winter hiking boots
- Sturdy over boots
- Winter socks
- Thick long underwear
- Fleece jackets
- Deep winter sleeping bags
- Warm puffy jackets
- Insulated gloves
- Knit hats
- Neck gaiters
- Waterproof outer layers

The provided sleeping bags are rated to negative 20 °F, and students also receive two insulated sleeping pads to ensure warmth and comfort during sleep. Field staff additionally teach students how to make a "warm buddy"—a Nalgene water bottle filled with hot water and wrapped in a sock—to add extra coziness to their sleeping bags.

Students are equipped with two sets of each base layer (thick and thin), ensuring they always have clean and dry clothing. Open Sky's operations team takes care of weekly laundry for students in the winter months, providing them with a fresh set of clothes and at least three pairs of clean, dry socks at all times. Camp shoes are also provided, allowing insulated hiking boots and NEOs (over-boot covers) to be dried overnight.

Spring / Summer Gear and Clothing
For the spring and summer seasons, Open Sky provides gear suitable for warmer weather conditions. Our spring/summer gear package includes:

- Lightweight long-sleeve sun shirts
- Breathable camp shoes
- Nalgene water bottles
- Top-of-the-line sleeping bags rated to 0°F
- Two tarps (one for shelter, one for ground cover)
- A full set of rain gear

Gear Sourcing

At Open Sky, we maintain strong partnerships with reputable vendors who understand our unique requirements. Working closely with these vendors, we source high-quality gear that meets our standards for durability, performance, comfort, and suitability to the region. Through our extensive evaluation process, we ensure that the gear and clothing we provide enhances the experience for our students and delivers optimal results.