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?” The lighter you pack, the happier you (and the rest of the group) will be! If so, a solution is probably available there. Remember, you’re going to Myanmar, not to the moon. The following list will help you to prepare for packing for this summer course.
- 1 LIGHTWEIGHT FLEECE: For chilly nights in the mountains and air-conditioned buses and airplanes.
- 5 SHIRTS / BLOUSES + DRAGONS T-SHIRT: No tank tops. Try to avoid black or very dark colors.
- 2 COLLARED SHIRTS: Short-sleeved and light-colored are ideal; it gets hot in Myanmar.
- 4 BRAS: Including at least one sports bra.
- 3 PANTS / SKIRTS: Lightweight and sturdy for everyday use.
- 1 FORMAL SLACKS / DRESS: To be worn when attending formal events, weddings and funerals.
- 1 PAJAMAS / LEGGINGS: Something light and cozy for relaxing with family and friends at night.
- 5-7 UNDERWEAR
- 3-5 SOCKS: You’ll wear sandals frequently.
- 2 BOARD SHORTS / SWIMMING SHORTS: Should extend above the knee.
FOOTWEAR (NO HIKING BOOTS!)
- RUGGED SNEAKERS / TRAIL-RUNNING SHOES: Light, low-top, sturdy, can double as a street shoe.
- SANDALS: Chacos, Tevas, Keens. Note: local flip flops are available in country for a few dollars.
- BACKPACK: Between 30-45L. If your stuff doesn’t fit into a 45L pack, you’re packing too much!
- DAY PACK: Less than 20L. Large enough to carry notebooks, outer layer, water bottles, and camera.
- QUICK DRY TOWEL: You can also buy traditional sarongs used by most people in SE Asia.
- RAIN JACKET / PONCHO: Breathable, lightweight. Should be able to fit over you AND your pack when you are walking in the rain. Cheap versions can be purchased in Myanmar for USD $3-4.
- MOSQUITO NET: Light-weight, four-point rectangle style is the most user-friendly and spacious. Many students choose to bring a hammock with a built-in mosquito net.
- HEAD LAMP: Small, lightweight, strong beam. crucial for reading and finding the bathroom at night.
- WATCH: with alarm is preferable.
- 2 WATER BOTTLES: 2 Liter Plastic Water Bottle
TOILETRIES (Available for re-stock in Myanmar unless otherwise noted)
- SHAMPOO / CONDITIONER
- TOOTHBRUSH / TOOTHPASTE
- SOAP: Non-toxic, biodegradable liquid soaps like Dr. Bonner’s are ideal.
- RAZOR / RAZOR BLADES / SHAVING CREAM
- TAMPONS / PADS: Pads can be found only in Burmese cities. Consider Diva/Moon Cup.
- HAND SANITIZER: Optional.
- SUNSCREEN: 30+ preferable.
- LIP BALM W/ SUNSCREEN: Limited in Myanmar.
- MOSQUITO REPELLENT: Lower deet and natural options are available in Myanmar.
- PRESCRIPTION GLASSES + AN EXTRA PAIR
- CONTACT LENSES + LENS SOLUTION: Limited in Myanmar
- PASSPORT: The most important thing on this list!
- 2 PASSPORT PHOTOCOPIES
- NOTEBOOK / JOURNAL: Something sturdy for rugged travel
- MEDICATIONS: Prescription and/or over-the-counter medicines with instructions for use and dosage (by your doctor). Instructor teams carry a med bag, so please bring minimal OTC medication.
- MONEY BELT: To keep your passport, cash and ATM cards safe. Eagle Creek makes good products.
- CAMERA / MEMORY CARDS: Bring large capacity cards, 16GB and higher work great.
- BOOKS: Those sent by Dragons and your own collection. Inexpensive books abound in country!
- BACKPACK COVER: Waterproof, fits over backpack. Convenient during the rainy season.
- SLEEPING SHEET: Cotton and lightweight for an extra layer on chilly night.
- SLEEPING PAD: Bring only if you are EXTREMELY uncomfortable sleeping on unpadded surfaces.
- SUNGLASSES: Never a bad idea, but widely available in Myanmar.
- HAT: Wide-brimmed hats are a good way to protect yourself from exposure to the sun.
- HOMESTAY FAMILY GIFTS: Postcards of home, calendars, inflatable globes, little games and photos are great. Students can discuss appropriate gifts on Yak Board prior to course.
- DRY BAG: Keep items dry during rainstorms and boat rides; smaller sizes can double as a day pack.
DO NOT BRING
- ELECTRONIC ENTERTAINMENT / MP3 PLAYERS / iPADS / SMART PHONES
- TORN / LOW-RIDING / REVEALING CLOTHING: Not culturally appropriate.
- LARGE COTTON TOWELS: Bulky, heavy and tend to mold in humid conditions.
- TOO MANY BOOKS: Consider dividing an extensive reading list among participants prior to course.
- JEANS / LEATHER GOODS: Heavy and non-breathable. Chances are they’ll get ruined on course
Let us know if you have any specific questions about packing.
Look forward to seeing you soon!
Ei Shwe Sin, Micah, and Siang