The Essential Hawaii Packing List by Avery Barakett (Hawaii Summer Program 2021)
Whether you’re the type of person to start packing a month in advance or the night before your trip, here are the items you don’t want to forget. This list has been compiled by previous Pacific Discovery students (who wish you an amazing time in Hawaii)!
- Hawaii has 10 of the world’s 14 climate zones. Drifting in and out of sleep during an hour-long car ride feels like teleportation; every ten minutes the scenery looks completely different. This means looots of weather and temperature changes throughout the day. Only a few people in our group packed sweatshirts and sweatpants, so these were our first purchases when we got to town (after a couple of cold nights).
2. TWO Water Bottles
- It’s hydrate or diedrate out here, and if you’re coming to Hawaii I’m sure you have a bunch more living to do. Having two water bottles means you don’t have to refill as often, which is perfect for long hikes. Pro Tip: Drink 8 sips of water every 10 minutes for optimal hydration. If you chug too much water in one sitting, most of it will come out in your urine and won’t end up hydrating your body.
3. Disposable Camera
- Yes, they’re a little bit basic, but you can’t say they aren’t a vibe. Instead of worrying about posing for the perfect Instagram photo on the beach, take a disposable of your friends jumping off of a waterfall! Nothing says nostalgia like looking back at photographs from your magical time in Hawaii.
4. Head Lamp
- In Hawaii, we spend a lot of time in the dark. Picture this: you wake up at 2am and need to leave your tent to pee, but it’s pitch black, which means you can’t find your shoes or the zipper to your tent. In fact, you might not even be able to tell if you’re in view of other students. All of these problems could be solved with a head lamp. Bring a head lamp.
5. Mess Kits
- You can’t eat cereal with your hands. Trust me, after living without a kitchen for a week I’ve tried — and I’m not proud to admit it. Make sure to bring a plate, bowl (or one of those plate / bowl hybrids), cup or mug, and utensils. If you want to get fancy you could even get a spork with a knife on the other end. A sporife, maybe?
6. Water Shoes
- Undeterred by my instructors’ warnings about sea urchins, I decided to climb into the water at our first snorkeling spot without water shoes. Within seconds of dunking my head under the water, I caught sight of a dozen basketball-sized sea urchins. Nightmare material. Luckily I escaped unscathed, but stepping around them on my way out of the water felt like tiptoeing through a field of landmines.
7. Camp Pillows
- It’s the simple things in life. Rolling one of your t-shirts into a ball and using that as your pillow feels a little bit sad. Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a total camping noob, I’m sure you’ll appreciate a little luxury in the backcountry. Inflatable pillows and travel pillows are great if you’re looking to save space in your pack.
8. Cute Clothes
- After a couple of days spent camping, it feels incredible to take a proper shower and change into some cute clothes. Not just street clothes. Cute clothes. Comfy shorts, a skirt, or a flowy dress will fit in perfectly with the Hawaiian vibes, and maybe you can even take some cute photos!
- Don’t tell me you’re not a hat person — there are plenty of different options to try! There are baseball caps, bucket hats, sunhats, or even cowboy hats if you’re into that. Protect yourself from not-so-cute peeling and not-so-great feeling sunburn with a hat. As a bonus, it will help keep your hair out of your eyes.
- Yes, I’m sure someone will remember to bring a speaker, but how cool would it be if that someone was you? Make a super cool vibey playlist to listen to at the beach, on the farm, while camping, and during that part of the hike where you feel like your legs are about to fall off.
Bonus *Nothing White
- This isn’t quite an item (in fact, it’s the opposite of one). Unless you like combining your whites and colors when you do your laundry, I don’t recommend bringing white clothing. The mixture of sweat and dirt tends to turn all white clothes into a shade of beige-yellow-brown. RIP to the t-shirts and skirts that I ruined here.
I guess this means you’re all set to go! Now all you need to do is finish packing and count down the days until your adventures in Hawaii begin.