Now that I’ve spent a week living in a house in the Belizean jungle and a week on an island resort snorkeling every day, I’ve decided to post my original packing list and compare it to what I should have brought.

Here is a picture of everything I packed:

Packing List for Belize

Here is my original packing list, followed by comments for each item:

  • 1 long-sleeve nylon fishing shirt: Only used once, but it was too hot. Should NOT have brought.
  • 1 short-sleeve nylon fishing shirt: Should have brought two or three more, these dried very quickly and protected my skin from the sun.
  • 5 cotton shirts: Should have replaced these with more tank tops or non-cotton shirts.
  • 1 pair of denim shorts: Should have brought 3 – 4 pairs of nylon gym shorts, but the denim shorts worked mostly fine, though they were hot).
  • 1 pair of nylon pants: Definitely a keeper, these are hot but they’re great for a hike through the jungle, especially in the sawgrass as it cuts up your ankles if you’re not careful.
  • 1 sports bra & 1 regular bra: Should have brought one more of each.
  • Underwear and socks: Should always bring more! Nylon underwear works great in the heat and humidity.
  • 1 light rain jacket: Did not use, but it’s always good to bring in the case of a rainstorm.
  • 1 set of pajamas: Should have brought another pair, including a pair of pajama shorts.
  • 1 beach towel, 1 bath towel, and 1 camping towel: The camping towel was wonderful, it could have replaced the other towels as well. The camping towel dried quickly and was very absorbent.
  • Flip flops, and water shoes: I should have replaced the water shoes and flip flops with water sandals like Teva’s.
  • Sneakers: Definitely a good idea to bring for the Belizean jungle.
  • 1 tankini bathing suit set: Should have brought more bathing suits for the week spent snorkelling.
  • 2 Land’s End long-sleeve swim shirts: A+++! These shirts were extremely useful to keep from getting sunburn at 16 degrees Latitude!
  • Baseball hat and sun hat: These were both useful for the sun, but I should have brought just a nylon camping hat.
  • Pillow and bedsheet: Both were required as the house I stayed at in Big Falls in PG did not have these.
  • Snorkelling fins, mask, mesh bag, and snorkel: The Cressi fins, mask, and snorkel were wonderful and I didn’t have any problems with them. The deck bag from Academy was great too and helped keep everything together.
  • Swim cap and goggles: Did not use, should not have brought.
  • Square mosquito net and mosquito hat: Both worked great at preventing anything bigger than a no-see-um from getting near my bed or my face while walking.
  • Headlight and flashlight: Both worked well, but the flashlight would have been good to use just by itself.
  • Medications, sunscreen, mosquito repellant, etc.: All very useful, I brought more medications than I used, but it’s better to have more than is needed. I brought BandAids, Neosporin, anti-itch cream, aloe vera, reef-friendly sunscreen, and mosquito repellant.
  • Shampoo: I brought Dr. Bronner’s on my trip as suggested by my professor, but it ended up being a great soap and a horrible shampoo. It made my hair very waxy. I would suggest using a more hair-friendly, eco-friendly shampoo that would not damage the coral reefs along the coast.
  • Rite in the Rain notebook and Walmart journal: These were required for my class, and worked well.
  • Passport and cover: Always a necessity travelling overseas!
  • Day backpack: A+++! I packed this not knowing if it would be needed but ended up using it nearly every day. It zips up into a small pouch for easy packing.
  • Rope: This was useful for stringing up a clothesline, which worked very well.
  • Spare batteries: Did not use, but always good to bring.
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and hairbrush: Always a necessity!
  • Purse: This was somewhat useful, I didn’t end up using it a lot but it was useful when I did.
  • Phone and phone charger: I bought an international texting plan so a phone was great for keeping in touch with family and friends.
  • Camera and case: I should have brought a waterproof camera or a GoPro because I couldn’t use it near the water. The camera I used worked well in dry conditions.
  • LifeStraw water purification bottle: I wasn’t sure if I would be drinking from water that might be contaminated, so it helped with my peace of mind before the trip. I only ended up using water from five-gallon bottles.
  • Water-resistant wristwatch: This proved more valuable than I thought, I wore it the entire time comfortably and it meant I didn’t have to carry around my phone to know the time.

That’s my list! I carried everything in two water-resistant heavy-duty camping bags that could be carried as backpacks. Any stuff I didn’t have I was able to borrow or use from other students. Packing was stressful, but everything worked out well and I had a great time with the stuff I did bring.