How Should I Pack for My First Surf Camp? - A Medium-Short List of Things to Bring

What you bring and don't bring on your surf camp trip south of the border (we're assuming you're not going on a surf trip to Canada, although you could do so) can literally make or break your vacation.
Wrong sunscreen? Uh-oh. I'm lobster red and can't go outside anymore.

No extra bathing suits? That can be an irritating, chafing affair.

This medium short list is one I've put together for surf trips to Costa Rica so that you'll be more prepared and enjoy your trip more while you're there. Read it. Pack it. Enjoy!

  • Money in USD (There are no ATM's in Pavones. No one accepts credit cards or traveler's checks)
  • Airline Tickets;)
  • Valid passport with at least 3 months remaining before expiring
  • Crocks, Gators, Tevas, reef walkers or similar water shoes. MAKE SURE THEY'RE COMFY! You may be tromping up the river to inner tube back down.
  • Closed-toed hiking/tennis shoes that can get wet (or we provide rubber boots)
  • Athletic socks (soccer socks for shin guards or old school knee high tube socks) if you wish to wear our rubber boots
  • Small flashlight
  • Light rain jacket (May-Dec)
  • Umbrella (May-Dec)
  • Beach towels (at least one)
  • Yoga clothes (shorts are better than pants here)
  • 2 Bathing suits (at least, 3 if possible) so you always have a dry one to put on...People here live in their suits because it's HOT. If you have more suits, bring them.
  • Sunscreen (+5% zinc or titanium dioxide, over 30SPF, "waterproof") For the body we recommend HIC 2X sunblock, Alligator, Hawaiian Blend Sport with Zinc, or La Roche-Posay Helioblock S Athelios 40 (not 60 SPF). For additional face block (for swimming/surfing) we recommend Vertra, Shiseido Sun Protection Skin Foundation SPF 35, HIC 2X sunblock, Zinka Nosecoat, Headhunter Surf Screen, and UV Natural Sport. Old sunscreens can separate and burn your skin. We do not recommend Coppertone, Bullfrog, or most Banana Boat products. While buying sunscreens remember that SPF 70 can be the same as SPF 30 and is really a marketing scam.
  • Repellent (Up to 20 or 30 % DEET should be fine--no need for the military, extra strength melt-off-your-skin stuff.) In our opinion, the best DEET-free, natural insect repellant is All Terrain Herbal Armor.
  • Sun Hat
  • Sun glasses
  • Sarong / pareo
  • Beach wear (tanks, shorts, and short skirts) Local Ticas (Costa Rican women) wear very skimpy clothes near the beaches - don't worry about offending anyone by showing your shoulders and knees.
  • Watch and/or alarm clock
  • Camera (keep this out on the San Jose to Golfito flight as it is as scenic as they come)
  • Any extra batteries, chargers and memory cards for the camera (no need for converters)
  • Any medications necessary for known medical conditions

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