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To Pack or Not to Pack

Some Notes on Packing!

Please look at pages 36-39 on packing in your Course Preparation Manual.

First off, don’t stress too much about packing.  It’s definitely a skill that comes with time and practice, and it’s not an unfixable problem if bring something you end up not needing or forget something.  Please take these considerations into account:

  • Pack light!  The most common feedback we hear from students is that they wished they had brought less.  So consider each item you bring.  What do you really need?  If you forget anything, then Myanmar has most things.  Ask yourself “Do people have this need where I am going?”  If so, a solution is probably available there.  Remember, you’re going to Asia, not to the moon.
  • Bring plenty of urban wear.  While we will be doing some trekking and rural stays, we will also be spending plenty of time in the front country.
  • Temperatures:  Myanmar will be hot.  There will be some rain, but mostly it’ll be hot.  It might cool off at altitude at night, so bring some warm things.  Shorts and skirts are fine in many places in Myanmar as long as they aren’t too short, but also be sure to have formal clothes too.
  • Laundry: you will have opportunities to do laundry, sometimes by hand, so don’t bring too many clothes.
  • Water bottles: Bring two one-liter water bottles.  There will be times where you might want to put hot tea or coffee in your water bottle so make sure it is durable plastic (like Nalgenes) or stainless steel.  Bottled water is also widely available but we’d like to limit how much plastic we use.
  • Toiletries: Almost all toiletries are readily available for purchase in Myanmar, so you don’t need to bring large quantities of your own from home.
    • For feminine hygiene, we highly recommend a reusable Diva Cup.  These comfortable, durable cups are easy to use, great for travel, and likely to become your go-to standard at home, too.  Imagine never needing to run out in search of products ever again!  If you don’t have a friend or family member who has tried them before, feel free to contact Nikki ([email protected]) for encouragement and answers to your questions.
  • Spending money. Dragons will cover all normal expenses on course, but if you want to buy personal items like souvenirs, post cards, etc. you should bring some of your own money. Bring a debit/ATM card with a VISA or Mastercard logo on it.  Let your bank know you are traveling in Southeast Asia so they don’t freeze the account.
  • Medications: Please be aware that the group will be carrying a fully-stocked med kit with most major drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. Consequently, there is no need for you to bring a huge selection of your own medications. That said, if you take an over-the-counter medicine or a prescription medication regularly, please bring enough.
  • Bags:  I travel with a small 35L bag because I don’t need much.  I also have a small messenger bag and a collapsable day bag.  Your bag may be bigger than that, which is fine. Just make sure you are comfortable carrying it, because you will be carrying it yourself.
  • Footwear: Either bring a pair of shoes that is appropriate for both urban settings and for a multi-day hike, or bring two pairs of shoes so you will be comfortable in both settings.  I like traveling with some flip flops too.  Shoes you can easily slip on and off are helpful for daily life in Myanmar, where we will often take off shoes before entering temples and homes.
  • Sleeping gear: you do NOT need a sleeping bag or a sleeping mat.  If you’d like you can bring a sleeping sheet or liner.
  • Power adapter:  You can buy an adapter if you want.  Here’s the info you need: Myanmar runs on 230 volts with one of the two European standard electrical sockets.  Most electronics made in the US now can accept input at either 120v or 220-240v without damage.  Therefore, you may need only a plug adapter and not a voltage converter.  Check your electronics to see what they can handle.

Let us know if you have any specific questions about packing.

Look forward to seeing you soon!

Parker, Siang and Nikki