Pack List

What to bring with you to Sagehen

  • Linens: bring your own towels and bedding. We provide (mostly) twin-size mattresses. We recommend a fitted twin sheet, pillow, and a sleeping bag. In fall, winter and spring, sleeping rooms are minimally heated; but even summer nights can be chilly–bring a warm sleeping bag or blanket(s)!
  • Tent: you can also camp within the field station if you prefer that to sharing a bunkhouse, but the fee is the same.
  • Supplies: bring your own toiletries, sun cream, school supplies, etc. We provide toilet paper and cleaning supplies like sponges, dishsoap, bleach, laundry soap, towels, mops. Sagehen has a full, communal kitchen for food preparation which includes dishes, glasses, cups, silverware, coffee pots, cook pans, etc. While there are often odds and ends of building materials lying around the station and available for use, visitors will generally need to bring anything required for constructing field research and education apparatus. You should also plan on removing your leftovers when you leave.
  • Tools: we have a variety of general hand tools that may be borrowed by station visitors on request, but any specialized equipment required should be brought with you.
  • Soap: bar soap makes a slimy mess that imposes serious cleaning penalties on all station users. Liquid soaps only, please!
  • Food: there are restaurants and large grocery stores in Truckee, 10 miles away. We have refrigerators and mouse-proof storage boxes for your weekly groceries (no massive storage requests, please!).
  • Water bottle/travel cup: Sagehen’s spring water is excellent and better than any bottled water. You might also want to bring a coffee mug–we have ceramic ones, but no travel cups for carrying around and keeping your java hot.
  • Daypack or totebag: keep all your odds and ends together during the day–notebooks, laptop, water bottle, jacket, pens, pencils, eyeglasses, charger cords, etc. Never set things down anywhere but in your bag! Lost & found doesn’t work well at Sagehen.
  • Phone/credit card: cell phones do not work in the Sagehen basin; they will work at the front gate (1.5 miles). Station visitor phone and an answering machine are available to guests, but allow only incoming calls, 911 calls, and local outgoing calls without a card.
  • Misc.: a flashlight is useful to avoid waking your roommates at night. Ear plugs may be useful for light sleepers. Novels and board games are great for down time. Bring a camera–it’s a beautiful place! Please download the iNaturalist app and capture observations of plants and animals during your stay.
  • Car: We encourage carpooling whenever possible. Parking at Sagehen is limited and in most cases inconvenient. Mouse infestations are a possibility. The Station Manager will assign parking spaces; smaller vehicles are easier to accommodate.
  • Gate Combination: visitors must make arrangements with the Station Manager for the combination to open a locked gate about 200 yards off of Hwy-89. View map.
  • Winter
    The 1.8 mi. station access road from Hwy-89 is unpaved, but snow is removed as far as the field station during the winter. Snowmobiles, snow cats, snowshoes and skis are used to access the snowcat-packed road into the upper basin beyond the station between roughly November to May. View map.
  • Transport: higher clearance vehicles are recommended. Drive in and park at station, taking up as little room as possible. All station visitors should carry tire chains and warm clothing while traveling in the Tahoe area during winter.
  • Clothing: While winter weather is typically quite clear and mild, you should be prepared for cold, wet and snowy episodes. Wool and synthetics will keep you warm even when wet–cotton definitely will not. You will also want a waterproof shell.
  • Shoes: the more you are sitting around, the warmer your boots will need to be. Rubber ditch-boots are great if you are constantly moving (very cold, otherwise). Boots with removable liners–like Sorels or backcountry ski boots–are warm and convenient because the liners can be pulled out and dried overnight. Gaiters will keep snow out if you are travelling off the packed road. You may want bath flops for the shower.
  • Transport: drive-in access over a graded dirt road. Slow, please! The road is dusty, narrow and used regularly in both directions by cars, delivery trucks, bikes, horses, and pedestrians.
  • Clothing: as needed for your project. We recommend a sweater for the evenings. Summer tends to be dry, but you may encounter rain or snow in the spring and fall.
  • Shoes: rubber boots or waders are necessary if you need to access wet meadows or streams. Many visitors bring running shoes for dirt roads and trails leading from the station. You may want bath flops for the shower.