Here at Camps, we are a global family with a number of diverse neighbouring communities, spread across 3 continents of the world. From the red soil wildlife reserves of East Africa, to the depths of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador and the remote paradise island of Mantanani in Borneo; there is always something, some little gem to have in your backpack that will really come in handy!
I travelled out to Camp Kenya in 2011 for a 2-month stay along with 12 others. My group was made up of volunteers from The Netherlands, Australia, United States, China and the UK. It was quite interesting to see the difference in the way we all packed for our trip and what was at the top of everyoneÛªs list of essentials! Overall, I think the most invaluable item for our group was the portable iPod dock. Living in our camps is a fantastic social experience for both volunteers and Camp staff alike. Having a cracking playlist (amongst a few dubious numbers admittedly), is essential for your evenings spent chilling out in camp. It also creates the soundtrack to your experience and it never fails to raise a fond smile when I hear one of those tunes today!
After a couple of weeks, you soon get used to Û÷camp lifeÛª. Generators power the camps, and they get switched off at around 10pm each night. This is the time you need to reach for your trusty head torch to avoid wandering into the wrong tent after a late night bathroom visit! A head torch is also essential kit if you fancy taking on one of our trek adventures.
IÛªve been speaking to some other members of the Camps crew and volunteers who have travelled with us. Harry who works at our UK office went out to Camp Tanzania to accompany a teachers training week in 2013. I was keen to catch up with him and find out what he found most useful whilst away.
ÛÏI was so glad that I had my Travel First Kit with me for all those annoying little nooks and cuts that are inevitable when youÛªre getting your hands dirty! I also took a washing line for clothes ÛÒ sounds silly but you can make shift your own if the main washing line is in demand! It also makes a good tie – my bag split half way through my time in Tanzania and it was perfect to be able to quickly bodge job it!Û
I spoke to the lovely Jooles, who also works at our UK office on the School Expeditions team. She accompanied the teachers on their training week to Cambodia last year.
ÛÏMy fold up umbrella and Croc shoes were my must haves! They came in handy pretty much all the time but especially when I was looking round the temples. It poured down on us and you really need footwear that dries quickly or is totally waterproof, otherwise you spend all your time in wet shoes!Û
My fellow Gap-year colleague Keely travelled out to Peru in 2013. She got the bug and came back to work for us in the UK! She loves a bit of backpacking and always seems to go well equipped!
ÛÏSo my number 1 essential on my epic journey to PeruÛ_wait for itÛ_A QUICK DRY TOWEL! I know it seems like a really boring one but honestly when you’re on the move and you just need to get something dry and something to dry you, this is epic and a must for every traveller! It folds up so small and you can also double it up as a blanket on those cold Peruvian bus journeys! Winner! It also rolls up and compacts in to a small draw string bag, this makes it ideal for backpacking because it takes up such little room in my bag.Û
Some of the bus journeys between the different camps are very scenic and stunning rides! Without a good pair of earphones I would have been lost! Another time when earphones come in to their own are during your flight. Not sure how I would get through mine without them!
When you travel with Camps, your experience will be so epic that you need to find a good way to make sure you remember it all! The classic travel journal does this perfectly. Just a quick update once a night will ensure that you have a priceless account of your travels and the people that you met along the way. This will be an incredible thing to reminisce over in years to come and certainly something to show the grandkids!
If you need any help or advice on what to take, please feel free to give us a call in the UK on 01425 485390. Most of the equipment listed in this blog, plus much more can be found at http://www.gapyeartravelstore.com