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Packing List Reminder

Sawasdee krap!

As the days grow longer and the colds of winter depart temporarily, making way for Spring to roll out a flowery carpet across the Northern Hemisphere that will eventually usher in the grand returning of Summer, we all are gearing up for our great adventure to the Land of Smiles. As most of you are surely aware, the climate in Southeast Asia is radically different than other climates around the world. During the time in which we will be traveling through Thailand it will, in addition to the usual heat, also be monsoon season, which means expect daily rains! Thankfully, the monsoon cools down the hot summer days and allows for pleasant evenings under a clear moon.

Due to the climate, we are fortunate to be able to travel light! You won’t see many “warm” clothes, just a few thicker items for special circumstances. As you read through the list, be sure to take the time to review the articles carefully, bring the essentials and reach out to us with any questions you may have.


  • BACKPACK: Around 50-60L. Pack lightly and leave some room for gifts and such.
  • DAY PACK: Around 20L. You’ll use this every day. It should be 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 Thailand 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


  • 1 LIGHTWEIGHT FLEECE: For chilly nights in the mountains and air-conditioned buses and plane flights.
  • 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 Thailand.
  • 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.
  • 3-5 SOCKS: You’ll wear sandals frequently.
  • 2 BOARD SHORTS / SWIMMING SHORTS: Should extend above the knee.


  • 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.

TOILETRIES (Available for re-stock in Thailand unless otherwise noted)

  • SOAP: Non-toxic, biodegradable liquid soaps like Dr. Bonner’s are ideal.
  • TAMPONS / PADS: Pads can be found only in Thailand cities. Consider Diva/Moon Cup.
  • HAND SANITIZER: Optional.
  • SUNSCREEN: 30+ preferable.
  • LIP BALM W/ SUNSCREEN: Limited in Thailand.
  • CONTACT LENSES + LENS SOLUTION: Limited in Thailand


  • PASSPORT: The most important thing on this list!
  • 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 Thailand.
  • 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.


  • ELECTRONIC ENTERTAINMENT / iPADS / SMARTPHONES: Check with your instructors
  • 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.

Please post a Yak with any questions pertaining to the Packing List that may be helpful for other students. If there is something more personal on your mind, you can ask your instructors during your calls with them in these next few weeks.

Happy Packing!

Greg, Ramphai, Somsanid