Why this list? It’s a simple, last-minute checklist to make sure that you have the “essentials.” Some items are luxuries.


  1. Alarm clock (+battery) for travel + wristwatch
  2. Rolling duffel bags are ideal , but you’ll need several locks (see www.campmor.com )
  3. Backpack and/or nylon or other valise and possibly a fanny pack
  4. Breath spray or drops (dental gum?); “Odor-eater” spray for shoes
  5. Camera with extra batteries and1 gig media card, plus a recharger for rechargeable batteries,(for which you’ll need a plug adaptor). Make sure your recharger is good for 240 volts (same for hair dryer, a laptop, etc.). If you’ll need electric power, consider buying a surge protection/plug adapter: Go to www.walkabouttravelgear.com/for the “All in One Surge Protector” (about $20). Walmart may have one as well. Have a media reader if you carry a laptop, and CD-writeables to which to download photos.
  6. Cash for country visa, debit or credit card (you can pay with VISA at many places—good especially for shopping for gifts in duty-free shops. Note: for larger denominations, use large bills newer than 2004, without any imperfections.
  7. Clothing for 2 weeks: bathrobe, 5 dress shirts and 4 pants (zip-off pant legs are good), 4-6 sets of underwear, cap, rain jacket, sandals, shoes well-waterproofed, socks, PJs; Bring 2.5-gallonzipped plastic storage bags for shoes and to contain spills
  8. Driver’s license in case you need to rent a car.Have a copy of your passport photo page with you. Make sure your Team leader has a clear copy.
  9. Ear plugs and mask to block light (improves chances of sleep on jets and in noisy rooms). If you're a frequent flyer, consider noise-cancelling headphones.
  10. Email addresses that will be needed, in page-protector, or PDA; You can open a Yahoo.com email account and enter your address book online, for access globally.
  11. Flashlights: 2 bright LED flashlights
  12. Granola or protein bars— e.g. PowerBar Protein Plus (they have sugar-free bars); dry-roasted nuts, decaf or caffeinated tea bags & sweetener as needed
  13. Insect spray for bed (against bed bugs and atomic earwigs)
  14. Knife, spoon, fork set (sharp knife for cutting nylon cord and fruit—not in carry-on luggage)
  15. Laundry bags—2 nylon mesh (@ clean and dirty clothes)— soap powder inside 2 zip-locked bags for doing personal laundry, retractable laundry line and miniature clothes pins (craft-style).
  16. Locks, TSA-approved for all compartments with valuables
  17. Meds: anti-itch gel, aspirin/ ibuprofen, Band-Aids, chewable vitamin C, vitamins,Doxycycline (for use as an anti-malarial prophylactic, if you prefer), Ex-lax, Immodium,anti-malarial ( if don’t use doxycycline), triple antibiotic ointment with topical pain reliever (generic); multi-vitamins, sleeping pills—generic, or melatonin (carry prescription drugs in carry-on in case baggage is lost) GaterAid mix for dehydration (try potato chips to get salt)
  18. Money/passport pouch –concealed (mine goes around the neck); Bring some smaller-denomination bills—1’s, 5’s, 10’s for tips, etc.
  19. Mosquito net (use genuine Army surplus—without poles, see Amazon.com) & 25’ of lightweight cord; If you can, throw the net over your head to check for holes (seriously). You MAY want to treat the net with Permethrin before you leave, if you’re not allergic to it. Consider leaving the net in host country. DEET for mosquitoes (100% spray bottles can leak, melting various plastics, etc.).
  20. Passport & yellow immunization card. Ask someone to ask if you have your passport as you leave for the airport.
  21. Pillow—air horseshoe-style or compressible (camper) pillow, etc.
  22. Knife--sharp pocket knife/ scissors—put into checked baggage only.
  23. Suit jacket (wrinkle-free is good) and tie for preaching for men. Skirts for women (shorts are fine for traveling).
  24. Sunglasses, reading glasses as needed
  25. Sweatshirt or sweater for airplane/airports and chilly mornings and evenings
  26. Tablet for writing, pens, highlighter, page protectors in poly notebook covers—consider a small LED reading light that attaches to the book; compact Bible and compact concordance
  27. Toiletries: shampoo in small container (Walmart sells empty plastic bottles—unscrew top and put a scrap of plastic bag on, then reseal to help stop leakage), bar soap in container, antiperspirant for flights, safety razors, small-size shaving cream for men, washcloth, towel, shower thongs, smaller toothpaste, toothbrush in holder, travel mirror, nail trimmers (checked baggage), toilet paper roll; Wash N' Dry™--80 self-containedpackets and 2 packs of disposable washcloths; sunscreen. You may want a small travel hair dryer, with dual voltage.
  28. Water Bottle--Nalgeen™-style with wide 2" mouth for easy use with filtration systems
  29. Waterless hand sanitizer (1 small bottle with skin nutrients such as aloe)

To carry on your person or in carry-on for the flight:

Pen, small tablet or large lined sticky notes, prescription drugs, ear plugs, eye shades, travel-size deodorant, breath freshener/travel toothbrush & paste, reading glasses, travel pillow, copy of photo page of passport, address and phone number of destination. In concealed travel pouch should be your tickets, passport, debit/credit cards, and currency. Of course, if you bring a camera, a laptop computer, or a video projector, they should be carried with you, not as checked baggage.

For more difficult village living conditions (such as Sudan):

The MRS AutoFlow Gravity Filter is an excellent and easy filtration system (Campmor.com), Lipton “cup of soup”; salted nuts; beef jerky; Gatorade; trail mix; protein bars; fly strips (sticky) for flies. A “solar shower" is useful, but our Team does not need one.

A laptop?

Pros: you can dump pictures from digital cameras onto the hard drive and burn CDs to share pictures before the team disperses. A universal USB media card reader is useful. You may need an extra laptop battery. It's useful for projector presentations and to record expenses on a spreadsheet. You can teach and preach from it without the need of a printer.

Cons: it is a target of thieves, so you always need to protect it. You may be in situations where you cannot recharge it, unless you have access to a generator or solar charger. If weight is very critical, either don’t bring it, or distribute extra weight to other Team members, if possible.