How to pack for a retreatThose of you who recall George Carlin’s routine on “stuff” remember that we all seem to have a deep concern for our “things”.  When we travel away from home, especially overnight, the concern heightens. Ironically, for many people, the idea of getting away from the mainstream for a retreat causes deep anxiety about not having with us things we “need”. Yet, when watching the folks who succumb to these worries struggle to schlep their bags across the property from the bus to the cabin, I feel so sorry for the time and effort they will spend on things from home rather than surprises at the retreat center. Here is my packing list for those who want to have what they need without being distracted by what they did/did not bring along. These items should all fit in one backpack or carry on (don’t plan on one with wheels in case you have to go across land to get to your cabin). 

  • Good pillow
  • Comfortable closed toed shoes
  • Flip flops
  • Towel that covers your entire body
  • Toothbrush
  • Relaxed fit pants
  • Two layers of tops
  • Rain jacket
  • Underclothes for entire trip plus one extra day
  • Modest pajamas
  • Something to read that is back-lit
  • Small fan if you tend to get warm at night
  • Hair tie
  • Swim suit
  • Smaller bag for carrying things around
  • Small versions of toiletries (no need for anything but the very basics)
  • Pen, small journal

This post was featured in the September Retreat Central e-newsletter

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By Jaynie Schutlz, Co-Founder, Retreat Central
Jaynie Schultz created Garrett Creek Ranch with her mother more than 20 years ago. She served as the founding Director of Sales and Marketing and is involved in many non-profit organizations and leadership development programs.

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Leave a Reply

  1. Alice Carroll

    Thanks for the reminder to pack two layers of tops for retreats as I almost forgot that most retreat centers tend to be situated in cold places. I used to attend a Catholic private high school so many years ago and one of the best things about it is the retreats that we go to every year. I would like to relive those days in order to be able to take a step back, breathe, and reconnect myself with my spirituality. Perhaps I should also contact some former classmates to join me someday.

    1. rcinternal

      You are very welcome Alice! Let us know how your futures adventures go!