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Packing for Costa Rica 

Whether you’re a well-seasoned traveller or setting off on your first solo trip, you may be wondering if you’ve packed everything you will need on your Costa Rican adventure. Will you really need a sleeping bag? What about snacks? Can you leave those extra pair of socks behind?

Here is a list of five essentials you might not consider for jungle life, followed by five items you will probably bring, but could leave behind.


1. Long socks!

You will need these with your wellies. Welly rash is not fun, it’s not pretty and it’s a massive pain. You will be wearing wellies on most of the trails here - it’s so easy to wash socks rather than have the bottom of your knees getting sore. Having field trousers/leggings is another alternative – a pair which you don’t mind being made consistently dirty from fun on trails.

2. A dry bag

This can be a lifesaver to keep your electronics safe from the humidity. Equally, this is great if you go kayaking or on a boat tour. You can also buy packing cubes that are similar and really help to organise your rucksack, but many of the volunteers here find themselves wishing they had brought a dry bag with them.

3. Group entertainment

You will be spending a lot of time at Camp Osita. Consider bringing a portable speaker for cooking sessions, different card games like UNO or even a travel Bingo. Your camp mates will love you for it!

4. Blister plasters

These aren’t listed as essential in your medical kit, but it’s almost guaranteed you will need some during your time here. Bring a pack to make sure you don’t miss out on any surveys due to sore feet!

5. An e-reader

If you have an e-reader such as a Kindle, this is a brilliant item to bring, as books can take up a lot of room in your rucksack. We do have a variety of things to read at camp, but if you’re an avid bookworm, an e-reader will satisfy any novel cravings you may have.


1. Plates/cutlery etc!

Unless you are particularly fussy, there are enough plates, cups and cutlery on camp for everyone. Some Tupperware may be a good idea or a travel mug if you like lots of tea/coffee, but avoid bringing anything else. (This doesn’t include your water bottle though! Having one of those is essential!)

2. A sleeping bag

It is hot and humid here; for most individuals, a sheet is sufficient to keep you warm at night. Sleeping bags take up a lot of room in your rucksack and it’s unlikely to be used. You could pack a blanket if you get cold easily.

3. Warm clothes

You will not need jeans or hoodies with Costa Rica’s climate. If you’re travelling from somewhere cold and require a coat, consider wearing a waterproof jacket instead. This is something you’ll use whilst you’re here too, and it means you don’t need to store a coat on camp.

4. Washing detergent

You can wash your clothes on camp with the biodegradable detergent provided. You also only need the smallest amount, so this is definitely something you won’t need to bring.

5. Herbs and spices
These are recommended on the kit list, but unless you have a particular meal you would like to cook, they’re not needed. We have a supply of herbs and spices here that you can use.

Most importantly, of course, are snacks! I really can’t recommend whether to bring snacks or not. Puerto Jimenez has a store selling clothes, food and toiletries, whilst the corner shop down the road has a selection of biscuits, crisps, as well as toiletries and more. I found bringing some energy bars and treats to start me off was a good idea, but I bought larger items like peanut butter at the store.

Obviously these lists are just suggestions from current volunteers! Anything you believe will make your experience in Costa Rica better, bring it along. Regardless of what you bring, you will have a fantastic time here at Camp Osita. See you soon!

By Isabelle Cross - Costa Rica Media & Journalism Intern

Frontier runs conservation, community developmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

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