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Photo by Emily Shahrzad Rahravan, Indonesia Semester.

Updated Packing List

Hello all,

Here is your new and improved packing list!

Also, please note:

– You will NOT need to bring your own mosquito net. We will have them ready for you when you arrive.

– You are more than welcome to bring electronics as needed to stay in touch with family back home. Wifi will actually be pretty limited on this course, but if you want to take notes, write email, etc. then a lightweight laptop or tablet is fine. Keep in mind that we’ll be in rural and rugged environments, and any tech you bring will be a liability.

– PLEASE only bring sunblock that is biodegradable (i.e., made from zinc oxide or titanium dioxide). Anything containing oxybenzone, octinoxate, or methyl paraben is toxic to coral. This is a small but significant thing we can do to help to maintain the ecosystems into which we are being invited.


  • BACKPACK: Between 30-45L. If your stuff doesn’t fit into a 45L pack, you’re packing too much!
  • CAMERA and memory cards ideally in a waterproof case.
  • DAY PACK: Less than 20L. Large enough to carry notebooks, outer layer, water bottles, and camera.
  • WALKING/TRAIL-RUNNING SHOES: The best option is a light, low top, hiker or mountain running shoe that can double as a street shoe. (These must be able to fit inside your pack).
  • SANDALS like Chacos, Tevas, Keens. Note: local flip flops are available in country for a few dollars.
  • QUICK DRY TOWEL: You can also buy traditional sarongs used by most people in SE Asia.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT FLEECE: For chilly nights and airplanes.
  • DRY BAG: Medium, lightweight for camera and other small personal items on boat rides.
  • MASK & SNORKEL: Make sure it is a good fit! These cannot be purchased easily in Indonesia, so please remember to bring this! If you do not already own a mask and snorkel we would recommend buying a moderately priced one.
  • AQUA SOCKS: Used for swimming near coral reefs to protect our feet. Costs less than $10 at Target.
  • RAIN JACKET / PONCHO (highly breathable and lightweight): A large poncho is ideal as it can fit over you AND your pack if you are walking in the rain.
  • RASH GUARD: Provides100% sun protection while snorkeling and exploring coral reefs.
  • HEADLAMP: Small, lightweight, strong beam. crucial for reading and finding the bathroom at night.
  • NOTEBOOK/JOURNAL: Bring your favorite pens.
  • MEDICATIONS: Prescription or over the counter with instructions on use and dosage (by your doctor if prescribed).
  • MONEY BELT: Safe way to keep your passport and ATM cards. Eagle Creek makes good products.
  • ALARM CLOCK: Watch with alarm is preferable. Travel alarm clocks are good alternatives.
  • WATER BOTTLE: 2 Liter Plastic Water Bottle
  • PASSPORT: The most important thing on this list!


  • SHAMPOO and conditioner.
  • TOOTHBRUSH and small tube of toothpaste.
  • SOAP: Small liquid bottles preferable.
  • SUNSCREEN, 30+ preferable. PLEASE only bring sunblock that is biodegradable (i.e., made from zinc oxide or titanium dioxide).
  • GLASSES: If you wear glasses or contacts, please bring an extra pair.
  • CONTACT LENS SOLUTION: Please bring sufficient supplies.


  • 3 T-SHIRTS + DRAGONS T-SHIRT Should be appropriate (No Tank Tops). Try to avoid black or really dark colors, as it is hot in Indonesia!
  • 2 COLLARED SHIRTS: To be worn when meeting with NGO representatives, village chiefs, guest lecturers and government officials. These can be short sleeved as it will be hot. Bring light colors and try to avoid white as it gets dirty easily.
  • DRESS PANTS: Lightweight khakis are ideal. See above.
  • 2 PAIRS OF PANTS: Lightweight and mobile. Quick dry is ideal.
  • BOARD SHORTS or swimming shorts.
  • SLEEPING PANTS: Can also be purchased in-country
  • RAZOR and extra blades. Also consider bringing travel-sized shaving cream.


  • 3 T-SHIRTS + DRAGONS T-SHIRT: Should be modest and appropriate (No Tank Tops). Try to avoid black or really dark colors, as it is hot in Indonesia!
  • 2 BLOUSES: Bring light colors but not too patterned, which is inappropriate in Buddhist temple. These shirts can be used for teaching and NGO visits and meetings.
  • 5-7 PAIRS OF UNDERWEAR: should not be visible under any circumstances.
  • 4 BRAS: Including at least one sports bra.
  • 3-5 PAIRS OF SOCKS: You’ll likely wear sandals most of the time.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT SKIRT: Modest, loose-fitting, extends almost to the ankles. It should not be possible to see underwear through the skirt. To be worn when meeting monks, NGOs, guest lecturers, village leaders, and to formal events like weddings and funerals.
  • 2 PAIRS OF PANTS: Ideally these should be lightweight and quick drying.
  • PAJAMAS: Light, cotton sleeping pants are great. They must at least cover the knee, and we actually recommend to the ankle
  • TAMPONS/PADS: Pads can be found only in Indonesian cities. Consider Diva/Moon Cup.


  • 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. Hefty trashbags (to layer both the inside and outside of your bag) can also work equally well.
  • WATERPROOF STUFF SACK: Convenient for keeping clothes and valuables dry.
  • SLEEPING SHEET or SILK SLEEP SACK: should be lightweight; it may be difficult to find this in Indonesia (most sheets are fitted), but you can bring any old sheet from home and then go on an adventure to find a seamstress in Indonesia to sew a sheet for you. Many participants find they do not in fact use their sleeping sheet.
  • SLEEPING PAD: is entirely optional. The instructors do not usually bring or use them and many participants have found themselves throwing them out during the course. However, if you find that you are EXTREMELY uncomfortable occasionally sleeping on unpadded surfaces, you may consider bringing one, but please assure that is light and packs down easily.
  • SUNGLASSES: Never a bad idea, but widely available in Indonesia.
  • HAT: Wide-brimmed hats are a good way to protect yourself from exposure to the sun.
  • GIFTS: A few simple things to present to home-stay families and to give away to people who help make our course special. Postcards of home, small calendars, buttons/pins, and inflatable globes are great, as well photos of yourself. (Participants can discuss other appropriate gifts with instructors if you have questions)
  • MOSQUITO REPELLENT: Lower Deet and natural options are available in Indonesia.


  • TORN OR REVEALING T-SHIRTS: Clothing should not show cleavage or stomach
  • Low-riding or long pants that drag; not culturally appropriate and a safety concern.
  • LARGE COTTON TOWELS: They tend to be too bulky, difficult to dry and become moldy in wet conditions over long periods of time.
  • MULTIPLE PAIRS OF SHOES OR SANDALS: Please remember that your shoes must fit inside your backpack; they may not be strapped to the outside.
  • TORN SHOES OR SANDALS: The state of your footwear in Indonesia is suggestive of your level politeness and respect for customs.
  • TOO MANY BOOKS: They are heavy, take up a lot of room and paper doesn’t last in the rainy season. Consider dividing an extensive reading list among participants prior to course.
  • JEANS: They are heavy, non-breathable and will not have time to dry in the rainy season
  • LEATHER-MADE GOODS: Chances are they’ll get ruined on course.