Packing list for Bangladesh

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This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Bangladesh and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80pound weight limit on baggage. Because you will acquire a lot of stuff during training (e.g., books, bedding, a mosquito net, and a medical kit), you should leave some space in your luggage for these items or plan to purchase an additional bag after you arrive in Bangladesh. Do not bring anything of great monetary or sentimental value, and consider obtaining insurance for valuable belongings before you leave the United States. Remember that you can get almost everything you need in Bangladesh. Cotton is the most comfortable material for clothing, including underwear, in hot and humid weather, but you may also want to bring some warmer clothes for travel (e.g., fleece). The tailors in Bangladesh will copy clothing for a reasonable price, so you might want to bring a few pictures or patterns with you. If you plan to go trekking in another country, such as Nepal or India, bring some hiking shoes or boots, preferably already broken in. Regular shoes can be purchased locally in sizes up to 9 for women and 10 for men.

General Clothing

For Women

  • Several cotton dresses with sleeves or skirts and tops
  • At least three pairs of lightweight, baggy pants
  • Several loose-fitting T-shirts
  • Enough cotton underwear for two years (i.e., at least eight bras and 12 pairs of underpants)
  • Cotton nightgowns (can easily be made in Bangladesh)
  • Two sweaters or sweatshirts and two pairs of jeans or sweatpants for colder weather
  • One lightweight, waterproof jacket or poncho
  • One warm jacket for the winter season and travel
  • Cotton socks
  • One swimsuit (not available locally)
  • One outfit for formal occasions with suitable shoes

For Men

  • At least three pairs of lightweight cotton pants
  • Several lightweight cotton shirts, both long and short sleeved
  • One pair of jeans or other durable pants
  • One pair of baggy shorts
  • Several cotton T-shirts
  • At least 12 pairs of underpants (boxers are cooler)
  • Two or three cotton undershirts, if you wear them (available locally)
  • Swimming trunks
  • Pajamas (if you wear them)
  • Two sweaters or sweatshirts for colder weather
  • One lightweight, waterproof jacket or poncho
  • One warm jacket for the winter season and travel
  • A jacket and tie for formal occasions with suitable shoes

Shoes

  • Flip-flops and sandals (slip-on sandals are good for easy removal when entering someone’s home; smaller sizes can be purchased cheaply in Bangladesh)
  • Sneakers (available locally in smaller sizes)
  • One pair of dress shoes for formal occasions

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

  • Tea tree oil (helpful for acne, cold sores, heat rash, insect bites, fungus, etc.)
  • Sunscreen—although the Peace Corps medical kit con tains sunscreen, if you have sensitive skin or a favorite brand, you may want to bring some of your own
  • Towel
  • Enough shampoo, toothpaste, etc. for your first few days in-country Kitchen
  • Plastic food storage bags of all sizes (also good for pro tecting papers and other items during the rainy season)
  • Sturdy water bottle (e.g., Nalgene brand, available at outdoor stores)
  • Can opener

Miscellaneous

  • Film (all kinds of film are available in Dhaka, but the selection outside the capital may be limited)
  • Pocket-size flashlight (useful during power cuts and for travel to places without electricity)
  • Tape player or Walkman (also available in Dhaka) and your favorite CDs or cassettes 85
  • Batteries—rechargeable ones with a 220-volt charger are especially useful (Volunteers recommend the Rayovac charger and alkaline batteries)
  • Backpack for travel
  • Lightweight sleeping bag (for travel on trains and buses or in guest houses where bedding is not provided)
  • A small musical instrument (not a valuable one) and music, if you play or sing (note that good-quality guitar strings are not easy to find locally and that instruments can warp in Bangladesh’s climate)
  • Photos of your family and home
  • Portable games like Scrabble, chess, and playing cards
  • Diary or journal
  • Travel guides for Bangladesh and any nearby countries you hope to visit
  • Sunglasses and a sun hat
  • Combination locks for your home and luggage
  • Swiss army knife or Leatherman tool
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Money belt or pouch
  • One or two large plastic containers to protect food and valuable belongings such as cameras from moisture and pests (available locally but the quality varies)