Off the Map: Mongolia

Off the Map: Mongolia

Join an epic journey from the lush Mongolian steppes of the Tuul River Valley to the snow-capped mountains of Tavan Bogd. Explore untamed lands and trek through the remote countryside. Leave your modern contraptions at home and discover what life is like without electricity, running water, or paved roads as you travel from ger to ger. Join our host families as they milk the yaks in the morning, bring in the horses at dusk, and collect prairie chips for the fire at night. This is a rugged trip, so an adventurous spirit, a positive attitude, and physical fitness are necessities.

Students love our programs in Mongolia!
Departure Dates

No-Stress Travel Guarantee!

With our No-Stress Travel Guarantee, you may cancel for any reason up until the day of travel, and escrow 100% of the program fees for up to two years from the cancellation date.
Program Profile

No-Stress Travel Guarantee!

With our No-Stress Travel Guarantee, you may cancel for any reason up until the day of travel, and escrow 100% of the program fees for up to two years from the cancellation date.
Program Profile

Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Follow these tips to pack like a pro:

Travel light. Pack only the essentials. You’ll need less than you think!
Bring the right clothes. Pack clothes that are culturally appropriate for your destination and acceptable for service projects. This means not packing shorts, which are not appropriate for Mongolia, bringing weather appropriate clothes, and appropriate footwear.
Leave your valuables behind. While traveling, it’s easier for things to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep any prized possessions safe at home.
Check with TSA. Make sure your luggage complies with TSA regulations, especially your carry-on. Useful tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it up after security.
Extra paperwork? If you need additional forms filled out to get credit for your service hours, no problem! Bring these forms with you so they can be completed in-country.

Rustic Gear. Want to get all your shopping done for your program in one place? We’ve got you covered. Check out Rustic Gear and get all the essentials sent right to your door.

A school backpack or similar sized bag is ideal.

  • Passport
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Wallet/money
  • Book and/or journal
  • Pen
  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Ear buds
  • Change of clothes
  • Water bottle
  • Medication
  • Additional community service forms
  • Outlet power converter
  • Consent to Travel form
  • Rustic Pathways emergency contacts
  • Copy of flight information
Checked Luggage

A 50-70 Liter duffel bag or backpack is ideal.


  • Non-cotton socks (4-6)
  • Underwear (10-12)
  • Bras (3-4) (athletic-style recommended)
  • Non-cotton base layers/long underwear
  • Pants/capris (2-4) – zip-off pants are recommended
  • Jeans (1)
  • Long service shorts
  • T-shirts (3-5)
  • Long sleeved shirt (1-2)
  • Fleece sweater
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit (one-piece recommended)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Rain jacket
  • Waterproof pants (should fit over other pants)
  • Heavy fleece jacket
  • Micro puff down jacket (rated for cold temperatures)
  • Soft shell jacket
  • Strappy sandals (like Tevas or Chacos)
  • Sneakers
  • Hiking boots
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat (one for sun and one for warmth)
  • Gloves


(Travel size bottles in Ziploc bags)

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Oxybenzone-free sunscreen (reef-safe)
  • Lip balm
  • Bug spray (with DEET)
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Contacts and solution
  • Foam ear plugs
  • Personal med kit
  • Deodorant
  • Bathing wipes (50-100 count)
  • Razor/shaving cream
  • Tissue packs


  • Sleeping bag (0-20 degrees)
  • Sleeping pad
  • Headlamp and extra batteries
  • Watch with alarm clock
  • Large Ziploc bags (4)
  • Heavy Duty Garbage Bags (2)
  • Rain cover for pack


  • Gifts for host family
  • Portable games (Bananagrams, cards, etc)


Important Reminders
  • Students traveling on a U.S. passport will receive a free visa on arrival. Students traveling on any other passports may need to apply for a visa prior to travel. Remember to keep your letter of invitation and your international flight itineraries in your carry-on baggage.
  • Mongolia is quite a conservative country in dress. Students will be expected to keep their shoulders and knees covered during the entire trip.
  • Gifts for your host families – something simple like a T-shirt or small souvenir from home, a few pieces of candy for the family’s children, a coloring book/crayons, etc.
  • Note on footwear: Deep-tread footwear, like hiking boots, are not advisable for horseback riding. Be sure to bring a pair of sneakers with a shallower tread, which make it easier to insert and remove your feet from stirrups. Riding boots are not necessary.
  • Electricity is scarce for a large part of this program. You might consider bringing a personal solar charger for camera batteries.