With Jam­boree next week and many troops and crews head­ed out for tours this week, you’ll love this hack to pack for Jam­boree!

First off, for all my trav­els, this is a unique trip to pack for because you’re com­bin­ing planes, bus­es, hotels and tents all into one trip! To make it more com­pli­cat­ed, you’ve got the heat and humid­i­ty of a West Vir­ginia sum­mer com­bined with the change­able weath­er of the Sum­mit! Who bet­ter than a Boy Scout to prac­tice the prin­ci­ple “Be Pre­pared”! So here are a few things to keep in mind when pack­ing:

  1. I’m sure you already know to bring the two field uni­forms (for­mer­ly known as Class A, includ­ing at least one pair of long pants for Day of Ser­vice!) but remem­ber also to WEAR a Class A on the flight! Full uni­form will help these troops and crews look classy! By the way, Did you know the Scout shop has BSA shorts that can dou­ble as swim trunks?! I just bought mine. Priced at $22 it’s a lot friend­lier to my wal­let than the pants, and I’m pleased to say that they are a light, com­fort­able mate­r­i­al with a plas­tic water­proof bag tied in the pock­et to keep IDs or small papers dry. Too bad I can’t fit my phone inside! But I’m glad to have a pair. They’ll be nice and light in the humid heat. You’ll need five activ­i­ty (Class B shirts) as well. Your Coun­cil like­ly pro­vid­ed you with a few already, but you’ll prob­a­bly need a cou­ple extra.
  2. Break in new shoes BEFORE you get on that plane! A lot of walking/hiking can be hard enough on your feet with­out hav­ing to break in your shoes, so if you bought some new ones for Jam­boree, break ‘em in NOW! And make sure you have some good socks to go with them. For the ‘just in case’ moments, include some mole­skin in your first aid kit. It seri­ous­ly made ALL the dif­fer­ence when I had a cou­ple extra miles with a cou­ple blis­ters dur­ing a back­pack­ing trip.
  3. Of course, you won’t need it handy on the flight, but once you’re there, keep your com­pact rain gear in a handy place so you’re ready to pon­cho-up at the drop of…well, rain­drop. The Sum­mit is all set up with sys­tems and struc­tures to help and keep peo­ple safe if the weath­er gets grumpy, but being able to keep dry can make a big dif­fer­ence.
  4. If you don’t want your Jam­boree sto­ries and mem­o­ries to be hijacked by titles like “the worst sun­burn of my life” or “so many bug bites I played con­nect-the-dots on myself” or “I faint­ed on the hike and missed out on the coolest stuff”, then don’t for­get to take AND USE your sun­screen, bug repel­lent and hat/bandana! I always pack a chap­stick with SPF as well. But heads up, that aerosol stuff won’t fly. No, lit­er­al­ly, it’s on the haz­ard list so it’s not meant for checked or car­ry-on bags. Nation­als has specif­i­cal­ly said not to bring aerosol sun­screen or bug repel­lent, so go for the cream/lotion types or reg­u­lar spray bot­tles, but say no to aerosol! P.s. Zan­fel for poi­son oak can change the title of your sto­ry from “mis­er­able itch­ing” to “too busy hav­ing fun!”
  5. Stay hydrat­ed! Bring two water bot­tles, and you’ll prob­a­bly appre­ci­ate hav­ing a day­pack reser­voir! The Osprey day­pack for Jam­boree doesn’t have the reser­voir includ­ed, but is designed for it, so you’ll prob­a­bly want to pick one up!
  6. Also thanks to that humid heat and gen­er­al prin­ci­ples of hygiene and con­sid­er­a­tion to those around you, you’ll prob­a­bly want back­ups of most your clothes, includ­ing paja­mas. Things don’t always dry as quick in that kind of humid­i­ty, so being able to wear one thing and wash/allow anoth­er to dry can be help­ful. Also, think light. A jacket/sweater is prob­a­bly the only piece of cloth­ing to take one of. Why? Because it stays pret­ty warm with the humid­i­ty; next week the lows are still show­ing the mid 60s and 70s! If you’re like me, a rain jack­et that can be used for rain or warmth as need­ed is pre­ferred. Oh and don’t for­get deodor­ant.
  7. Cook­ing gear is includ­ed at Jam­boree, but your MESS KIT is not! Don’t for­get yours!
  8. And while I’m soooo glad they have cots, you may still want a sleep­ing pad, and you will def­i­nite­ly need at least a light­weight sleep­ing bag, which is great for com­pact pack­ing as well! And don’t for­get a com­press­ible pil­low so you can have a pil­low with­out los­ing all the space!

Again, we’re not expect­ing cold nights, so leave behind the cold morn­ing moun­tain gear!


These are the high­lights, but for a com­plete list, vis­it http://www.summitbsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/jamboreepackinglist.pdf and for a cool demo on how to pack SMART, check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-WKcXCjCxc. Pack smart and you’ll be able to spend more time hav­ing fun instead of wor­ry­ing about hav­ing what you need!

Angela Shelley
Japanese Tour Guide turned Jamboree Joy Ride. Combine a dad full of natural curiosity of the world and a love of learning with a Scouting momma whose passion for children, education and the outdoors and you get a family with many Dutch oven cooking, camp song singing, compass-confounded exploring, squirrel-chasing experiences. Despite that, I never would have guessed I would one day be a National Parks and Monuments tour guide for Japanese people. And I never would have guessed I'd then move on to work for Boy Scouts of America.

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