Packing List

General Clothing

  • Professional clothes, slacks, button-up shirts, including blouses and skirts for women (business casual)
  • Casual clothes for informal and after-work occasions
  • Pictures of clothes you might want to have made (clothing patterns or photos from catalogs or magazines)
  • Good-quality cotton shirts in dark colors (the dust in the air during the dry season and the sediment in the water year-round quickly discolor light-colored clothing )
  • One dressy outfit for ceremonial occasions
  • Plenty of good-quality underwear, boxers, socks, and bras
  • Sweater
  • Rain jacket
  • Two more formal outfits (female teachers, especially, should bring several nice-looking dresses they can wear in the classroom until they can have some clothes made in-country)
  • Durable jacket (i.e., jean jacket or fleece)
  • Shorts
  • Bathing suit or swimming trunks
  • Hats or baseball caps 


  • One pair of comfortable dress shoes
  • One pair of sandals for general use (e.g., Tevas or Chacos) and another pair for work
  • One pair of running/athletic shoes
  • One good-quality pair of work or hiking boots (especially Agriculture Volunteers)
  • Waterproofing lotion for leather boots (if you bring boots)

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

  • Antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizers (useful when traveling)
  • Any vitamin supplements or herbal remedies other than multivitamins
  • Items that smell good, like lotions, incense, soaps, and sachets
  • A three-month supply of all prescription drugs you are currently taking
  • Two pairs of prescription eyeglasses (if you wear them) and repair kit. Contacts are not recommended due to elevated rates of eye infections and contact solution is hard to find.
  • Sunglasses
  • Hair clips and ties
  • Initial supply of toiletries (if you have favorite brands, bring enough to last two years)
  • Sanitary pads (the Peace Corps usually supplies tampons, but they may not always be the size you want)
  • Hair-cutting scissors
  • Cosmetics


  • IPod or other MP3 player (with speakers)
  • External hard drive with music, recent TV shows, or movies
  • Digital reader such as a Kindle or Nook
  • Rechargeable batteries and battery charger
  • Reliable watch (durable, water-resistant, inexpensive)
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Compact flashlight (e.g., Maglite or Fenix)


  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Plastic storage containers and zip-top-style bags of assorted sizes (large containers are good for organizing items such as medicine and clothing)
  • Good kitchen knife and knife sharpener (if you’re attached to a certain kind or quality)
  • Favorite recipe book
  • Packaged mixes (sauces, salad dressings, soups, drink mixes such as Crystal Light or Gatorade)
  • Favorite spices
  • A variety of open-pollinated (recyclable) vegetable seeds, if you like to garden


  • 12 passport-size photos (make sure to have them in hand when you arrive; Peace Corps/Cameroon will need them the day after you arrive for in-country documents)
  • Anything that will make you happy and feel at home (personal touches)
  • Map of Africa and/or Cameroon (those available here are expensive)
  • Travel-size games, such as Yahtzee, Scrabble, and Uno, as well as playing cards
  • Art supplies (paints, brushes, paper, colored pens, and crayons)
  • Books (each Peace Corps satellite office has a library, but classics are hard to come by)
  • A favorite writing utensil, with replacements or refills
  • Stationery and an assortment of greeting cards
  • U.S. stamps (returning Volunteers can take mail home for you)
  • Addresses of people you may want to write
  • Weekend-sized backpack
  • Bandannas
  • Extra absorbent micro-fiber towel (small and great for traveling)
  • Sleeping bag (good for overnight stays at other Volunteers’ homes)
  • Bicycle shorts and gloves (a helmet, repair tools, and an under-seat bag are provided by the Peace Corps)
  • Heavy-duty duct tape (good for everything)Concealable money pouch or belt
  • Water bottle (e.g. Nalgene or Sigg)
  • Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool (very important to many Volunteers)
  • Combination padlocks
  • Good-quality portable umbrella
  • High-school grammar books and literary anthologies (for English teachers)
  • If you plan to travel to other countries for vacation, you may want to bring extra money to suit your travel plans; credit cards or traveler's checks are preferable to cash. There are ATMs in larger cities, and most towns so you may want to bring an ATM card to access a bank account in the U.S.

  • Small gifts for host family and friends (not required); knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; photos to give away