Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Packing for a 27 Month Camping Trip

So what do you need to prepare for a two and some odd years of service in a country that is known for bone chilling and debilitating cold weather? Thankfully the Peace Corps Mongolia office was nice enough to make a list for us. Some of the items were a given, while others I would not have thought of bringing along if it wasn't for the heads up from PC Mongolia.

My Packing List:
  • Sleeping Bag – Peace Corps provides for it.
  • Handy dandy Swiss Army Knife – To cut/gut my prey. I tried it out already, and I must say I am very impressed with all the tools that they packed in there. And the knife itself is sharp as hell. Bonus package of can opener+bottle opener+corkscrew!
  • Duct Tape – The most versatile product ever, you never know when you will need it.
  • Long Underwear (Tops+Bottoms) – To battle the cold. Got two pairs to try em out, and it works wonderfully well in the New England winter. Looking to get these in the near future, I hear wool is a better product to use in Mongolia.
  • Wool Socks & Gloves - Warm feet and warm hands = happy volunteer.
  • Variety of Spices – Can’t eat a goat without seasoning and spices.
  • Mongolian Grammar/Dictionary – For obvious reasons.
  • New Jeans – Its ok to have holes on your jeans in the US, not so in Mongolia.
  • Nalgene - Broke my last one.
  • Plastic Storage Bags - Thats what the PC suggests.
  • Flashlight - You never know when you need it...
  • Playing Cards - There are oh so many possibilities! ahahha

Teaching Supplies - I am taking donations!

  • Children’s Book - What better way to teach the language than introducing them to Dr. Seuss, Where the Wild Things Are, and hits like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • Catalogs - Projects and activities.
  • Erasers - Obvious
  • Index Cards - Apparently they don't have them in Mongolia.
I'm sure I am going to add more to the list... but thats all for now.


Jim said...

Hola Trinh,
I will be in Ulaanbataar this September to begin a year of volunteer teaching (English) at a Buddhist center. Needless to say, they are not as organized as the PC. I'd love to see some of the materials they sent you to prepare for your time in Mongolia. If you want to write directly, my email is posted on my website WanderingTheWorld.com (in a graphic). Otherwise, I'll keep up with your blog. Who knows, we might run into each other in UB.


John said...

You can't forget "Dirty mags" on the lsit =P

Anonymous said...


Don't worry about the Mongolian Grammar and Dictionary.... PC provides ALL the Mongolian Language resources you could ever need or want.

Anonymous Mongolian PCV

Gastronomer said...

Wow and good luck! What do your parents think about this? ;-) Vietnamese parents are funny...

Trinh Thach said...

Anonymous Mongolian PCV - thanks for the heads up!

gastronomer - They are cool with it, but they do want me to make the dough in the future.. hhaaha, and ofcourse get my masters, maybe even phd.

Travis Hellstrom said...

I hear from former PCVs in Mongolia that having a second sleeping bag isn't a bad idea. Apparently they put one inside the other and stay warmer. They take up a lot of room, but I am thinking about bringing mine too. It's hard to decide!