Packing List Revisited


Over 14 months ago, I posted a packing list of everything I brought to Malawi. Today, I’d like to revisit that list in order to provide a better idea of what is needed for future PCVs. In general, I think I did a fairly good job of packing (especially in comparison to a friend that brought over 30 pairs of underwear!) I love having touches of home such as my New England calendar, pressed autumn leaves, nice pens, etc. In addition, I would definitely recommend a kindle, laptop and speakers. Check the revisions below for more info.

Clothing & Accessories
1 raincoat
3 long skirts
3 long-sleeve collared shirts (while you’re required to look “professional” in PST, trainees hardly wore collared shirts but you should bring at least one for Staging)
1 under armour hiking shirt (haven’t worn this due to my hot site but might have been useful if I were in a cooler site)
4 3 basic tanks
6 3 basic v-necks
3 sleep/workout tees
2 sleeveless collared shirts
3 blouses
1 blazer (completely ridiculous that I brought this and have never worn this)
5 4 pairs of leggings
1 pair of spanx
2 gaucho pants (should have brought more because they are hard to find here and the most comfortable thing to wear for biking around)
2 long dresses
2 1 “culturally inappropriate” dresses (I don’t really go out here, but others do. Up to you)
1 hoodie
1 fleece
3 sports bras
3 bandeaus
7 pairs of durable sport undies (good idea, bring some strong underwear that will sustain harsh washing)
4 pairs of favorite undies (nice to feel attractive every once and awhile)
8 pairs of socks
1 pair of thick hiking socks
1 one-piece bathing suit (wearing a two-piece while swimming is acceptable)
2 pairs of sunglasses
1 red sox cap and 1 Nantucket cap
5 headbands
1 money belt

1 pair of hiking boots (never used them and they took up so much space)
1 pair of crocs (don’t wear cause my feet get too sweaty in them)
1 pair of flats
1 pair of tevas
1 pair of Nike flip-flops

+ I would recommend packing an extra pair of comfortable, durable flip flops

Hobby stuff
1 harmonica
1 watercolor set w/ paintbrushes
1 set of charcoal pencils
1 set of colored pencils
1 mechanical pencil & lead
8 pens
5 drawing pens
1 game of Boggle
1 game of “Would Your Rather”
2 stationary sets with envelopes
1 guitar w/beginner’s book (great for site integration period and fun to learn something new but it reduced my possible luggage by 1 bag)
1 Snapfish book of college pictures
1 NatGeo magazine (kids love looking at NatGeo!)
1 notebook
1 journal
1 drawing pad
1 pack of crayons
3 sharpies
1 3 fat markers (good markers for writing on flipcharts are hard to find here!)

Household things/random
1 roll of tape
1 poster
2 world maps
1 NH map
1 calendar of New England (very nice to show host family, have reminder of home)
1 painting for wall decor
2 tapestries for wall decor
1 string of pennants for wall decor
1 pack of clothespins, safety pins, push pins
1 pair of scissors
1 pi phi arrow
1 can opener (never used since canned foods are quite expensive here)
10 packs of seeds (tomatoes and onions are everywhere so not necessary)

+ I would also add tacks or more push pins for hanging things at your new house


2 gatorade flavoring squirters (highly recommended, bring a lot!)
1 pack of peanut m&m’s
1lb of trail mix
2lbs of raisins
1 pint of homemade NH syrup!

110 probiotic capsules
1 pack of stool softeners
1 pack of flossers
3 months of feminine products

Rugged stuff
1 survival strap bracelet
1 bandana
1 super absorbent towel
1 utility knife
1 roll of duct tape
1 leatherman
1 whistle and carabiner
1 bungee cord
1 compass
1 Go Girl
2 expandable water bottles
1 tent
1 sleeping bag
$800 cash (haven’t used any of this, but I think it will be helpful for buying visas in other countries)

Electronics & related accessories
2 Luci lights
1 bug light
1 rechargeable headlamp (highly recommended)
3 pairs of cheap earbuds
8 extra earbud covers
1 battery powered alarm clock (good to have so you can turn your phone off at night to save battery)
1 watch
1 electronics cleaning cloth
1 pack screen protectors
1 Droid Maxx & Otterbox case
1 old iphone 4s as a backup
1 little Netbook (nice to have something simple and compact that I wasn’t too worried about)
1 kindle (highly recommended)
1 Canon Rebel t3i with lenses, camera bag, SD cards, accessories
1 Rockout Rechargeable speaker (highly recommended)
1 Goal Zero Guide 10 Solar Kit
1 SanDisk Clip Sport mp3 (highly recommended, cheap and durable)
1 external hard drive (highly recommended, you’ll share tons of media with friends)

1 bottle of my favorite lotion (a nice treat and touch of home)
3 month supply of shampoo & conditioner
1 bottle dry shampoo
1 bottle face wash
1 container of Tums
2 little bottles of hand sanitizer
1 bottle of moisturizer
8 1 months supply of BC (PC supplies this free although they didn’t have my brand)
1 mini mirror
1 pack of hair elastics
1 pair of nail clippers
2 sticks of deodorant
4 disposable razors
1 reusable razor and extra blade
1 stick of lipstick
1 mirror



3 thoughts on “Packing List Revisited

  1. Claire

    What is your tiny little nature self doing with spanx?!

    Also, when your parents come in a couple weeks, are you going to have them bring stuff and then switch out the unnecessary stuff with more of the necessary stuff?

    Still love you so much and I’m still so proud of you!


    1. cbaum27

      Haha I don’t even know if that’s even the correct word. What I mean is spandex that are short. What do you call them? And yes I’m doing exactly that! My mom is preparing a suitcase full of awesome things and im so excited. Thanks for continuing to read my blog 🙂 I miss you so much and will be sending you a letter back with my folks that I already wrote… might be a bit outdated haha


  2. Laurie Bramhall

    Nice list Xtina. Is there anything I can send you via your folks visit?????
    Spring in finally here, but it has been very slow arriving.
    Miss you much and think of you always.
    Aunt LB


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