He’s Making a List, He’s checking it twice…

…he’s still going to forget something vitally important that he needs to take the World Scout Jamboree.

Well. It’s a Saturday and I’m writing a Top Tips Post! It’s also exactly a week till Matty and I fly out to America. In fact, as this goes live, in a weeks time we’ll airborne and somewhere over the Atlantic heading for NYC. So, what have I been doing with my last free weekend before I head out on a month-long adventure to the 24th World Scout Jamboree?


I’ve been organising myself to go and packing my stuff. Truthfully, this is probably just a dry-run and I’ll unpack and repack a couple of times before I actually head off (in less than a week…), but this post is here to talk you through some of my methods or madness when it comes to organising stuff.

I’m away for 29 nights or 30 days. My plan is to take 10 days worth of clothes and wash twice whilst I’m out there. With this in mind, I’ve written a list. I’ve divided this into two sections, what’s going in my day bag and what’s going in the big bag. I’ll hasten to add that this is a guide, I’d like to think that after three Jamborees and two Moots, I’d kinda know what I’m doing, but again, use your own judgement…

Just before I share my packing list, I thought I’d give a visual aide. The photo below was taken this morning. I’d laid everything I want to take with me out on my bed so I could see it. I have a thing where I like to touch everything as it’s packed so I know where it is. I mean, I’ll forget by the time I fly, but still… This isn’t quite everything, I’m still washing some socks and a pair of shorts, and waiting on a couple of bits from Amazon and Scout Shops but I’m assured it’ll all be here by Wednesday at the latest.

On the day I fly, I’ll wear my uniform over a t-shirt and shorts. I’ll also wear my walking boots (because they’re much heavier than my trainers), though I need to clean them tomorrow…

My list isn’t exhaustive, and I’ve deliberately missed a few things off that I’m taking, because they’re not strictly relevant to what others might need.

Day sack:
– T-shirt – 2 off
– Boxers – 2 off
– Socks – 2 off
– Socks, walking – 1 off
– Hat, contingent – 1 off
– Shorts – 1 off
– Hoodie – 1 off
– Sunglasses – 1 off
– Gus the #Broocoo
– Documents – 1 off
– Personal Medication
– Mini swaps bag – 1 off
– Travel wash kit (use one from work grab-bag)
– Wet Wipes (Small pack)
– Chargers
– Kindle
– Headphones
– Torch
– Guidebook/Maps (NY Only)

Big Bag:
– Boxers – 10 off
– Socks – 10 off
– Socks, walking – 4 off
– T-shirts – 10 off
– Shorts – 3 off
– Trousers – 1 off (Probably Craghopper type walking trousers rather than denim…)
– Hoodie – 1 off
– Spare Uniform Shirt – 2 off
– Sleeping bag – 1 off
– Thermarest – 1 off
– Sleeping bag liner – 1 off
– Inflatable pillows – 2 off
– Penknife – 1 off
– Work Gloves – 2 off
– Water bottle – 2 off
– Documents – 1 off
– First Aid Kit – 1 off
– Bandanna/Sweat bands – 2 off
– Swaps bag – 1 off
– Spare dry bags – 3 off
– Sun tan lotion – 2 off (in spare dry bag)
– Travel wash – 1 off (in spare dry bag)
– Main toiletries – 1 off shampoo, deoderant, razor, toothpaste, spare toothbrush
– Towels
– Guidebooks/Maps (Washington and New Orleans)
– Spare headphones
– Trainers – 1 off
– Scottish “tat” for swapping/giving away to teammates etc.
– Gaffer Tape
– Cable Ties

All together, I managed to pack it all down…

With everything, bar a pair of shorts and some odds and ends (mostly socks), the big bag weighs in at 15Kgs. This is both 8Kgs under my maximum allowance and 5Kgs below the recommended weight. It’s also significantly lighter than anything I’ve ever packed before which makes me awfully worried I’ve forgotten something…

Okay, so there’s a couple of things on my list I’m going to talk about.

First, documents. I take a paper copy of everything I need. Insurance documents, hotel/hostel/flight/train booking confirmations. Same with the ESTA/ETAs, take a paper copy just in case. For IST or Adults, a copy of your Safe From Harm and any additional training you need to do your job (So for me, mt Forklift Theory Test and ROHVA certificate). I also take a colour photocopy of my passport, just in case the real one disappears. I then put all these into a folder and put a copy in my hand luggage, and one in my hold luggage, just in case one set gets damaged or goes missing.

Computer systems sometimes fail and having a paper copy can solve all sorts of issues.

You’ll also notice, I’m packing two days worth of clothes in my hand luggage. This is just in case my hold luggage ends up somewhere I’m not. Whilst this has never happened to me, it did happen to my dad on a work trip to South Africa, and happened to my sister when she went to Los Angeles a couple of years ago. I did bump into someone in Japan who had had this issue too. Keeping a small wash kit and some spare clothes gives you a couple of days grace before you have to start buying new clothes and/or washing stuff.

You hear horror stories when travelling about bags going missing but I think, and I could be wrong, of the 750 IST and JPT who went to the Japanese Jamboree in 2015, I know of exactly one person whose baggage went missing. When you consider the complexities of the baggage handling systems, it’s a minor miracle really!

Finally, some of you may be curious about Gus, my #Broocoo. The Scottish IST are taking #Broocoos out to the Jamboree as mascots. For me, it’s a way of relating the Jamboree back to the Young People of my Group (particularly the Beavers and Cubs, but the Explorers might also like him…) It’s worthwhile taking out a mascot, they’re great conversation starters and it does help tell people back home the story of the Jamboree, using pictures.

So I’d like you guys to meet Gus. Or Angus on a Sunday. He’s my #Broocoo and we might be seeing more of him as the Jamboree journey progresses!

Till next time!

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