Packing list for Cameroon

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Packing List for Cameroon

Packing Lists by Country

These lists has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Cameroon 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!
Flag of Cameroon.svg

See also:
Pre-Departure Checklist
Staging Timeline

For information see Welcomebooks

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Cameroon 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 (if you are willing to wait 3 months for it to arrive). As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you "NEED" in Cameroon, and very few of the things you "WANT." Shirts and dresses, for example, can be custom-made in Cameroon for less than $10, but good luck finding quality socks or duct tape.

Luggage should be flexible and lockable. Frameless backpacks and duffel bags are very practical choices. Remember that you will be hauling your bags in and out of taxis and trains and often lugging them around on foot. The most important qualities are that they be durable, lightweight, and easy to carry. Bring receipts for any expensive equipment (cameras, computer, ipod, shortwave radio, etc.), as these help in case of a robbery, and officials sometimes ask for them at the airport.


[edit] Clothing

Some things to consider when choosing clothes to bring to Cameroon:

1) Wherever you go it’s usually hot, so don’t pack several heavy clothing items. That said, there are a few places where it can get rather cool at night, and you’ll need a jacket if you plan to hike Mt. Cameroon.

2) Wherever you go it’s usually dirty, so stick with earth tones. These colors are easier to get clean and don’t show dirt as quickly. The dust in the air during the dry season and the sediment in the water year-round quickly cause light colored and non-earth tone clothing to become permanently discolored.

3) Your clothes are going to be washed by hand. If you look at an item and think that it won’t hold up to being repeatedly vigorously scrubbed by hand, then don’t bring it or if you do bring it don’t plan on wearing it much. (This includes underwear.) T-shirts, especially white t-shirts, do not last long.

4) It is NOT socially acceptable for professional adults to wear shorts in everyday settings. If you do wear shorts people will not respect you. Save precious suitcase space and pack only the couple pairs of shorts you may want for vacations or to play sports in.

5) Clothes can be made cheaply enough, keep that in mind when deciding the volume of clothes to bring. Instead of spending $40 on a cotton, casual, short-sleave, button-up shirt in the U.S., you could have about 3 or 4 handmade in Cameroon for that same $40.

6) Consider bringing “UnderArmour” or "Coolmax" clothing items because they wick moisture away from your skin. These t-shirts, boxers, underwear, bras, and socks cost more but are well worth it in when living in an extremely hot and humid environment.

7) A clothing company called "5.11 Tatical" makes excellent cargo pants in a variety of colors. The pants are cotton, well made, yet light weight, which makes them great for tropical climates. They are also designed in a manner that makes them dressy enough to pass as business casual.

8) Women: Bring a few good sports bras; they are especially great to have on bush taxi rides.

Here’s the list:

[edit] Shoes

             to save luggage space

[edit] Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

[edit] Kitchen

[edit] Miscellaneous

[edit] Shipping Things to Cameroon

NOTE: Some Volunteers suggest boxing up excess things you can’t bring with you that your family can ship it later. But be aware that it might take a while to get it, or it might not arrive, or it might arrive pilfered. Inform friends and family that sent you things to INSURE EVERYTHING with postal insurance. This dramatically increases the likelihood that you will actually receive what is sent you because when a package is insured Cameroonian customs and postal workers leave it alone because of bilateral postal agreements with the U.S. government. Make sure the packages are insured and tell people to write "INSURED" on outside of the package (similar to who they might write "FRAGILE").

Anecdotal evidence as to why this is important: A PCV in Cameroon (2002-2004) kept a log of packages sent to him. Only 56% of uninsured packages arrived, while 100% of insured packages arrived! Tell your friends and family to pay the extra dollar or two it costs to insure the package, even if they are only sending Velveeta cheese and granola bars, because if they do NOT insure it you have about a 1-in-2 chance of NOT getting it.

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