Packing 101 for Hot Weather Hostels

By Dylan Book


A well packed 30L backpack can contain everything an individual needs for hostel travel!

In just 8 days, our contingent departs for Malaysia and Singapore.  This international service project will involve traveling to 5 locations in 2 countries, so it is important to pack efficiently. Our contingent has been provided with a simple packing list that contains all of the necessary personal clothing and equipment that a scout needs to bring on an international service project.  You can find our packing list HERE.

Because we will be staying in hostels in hot and humid countries, our packing is a little different.  We need to pack smarter and lighter. In this post, I’ll be explaining what our contingent is packing and in my next post I’ll explain how we are packing it.


Quick drying and light weight synthetic fibers are essential for traveling in hot climates. Shorts, shirts, and delicates can all be found in synthetic fabrics that absorb and wipe away sweat, hide body odors for longer, and is easily laundered. We will be washing our clothes, and we won’t necessarily all have access to a laundry machine; at least not for one that can wash clothes for 29 people. In preparation, each member will bring their own bottle of biodegradable multipurpose soap for classic sink laundry. Don’t forget your ropes! We will also be make-shifting our clotheslines too.


Internationally recognizable!

Internationally recognizable!

We have a special red uniform shirt that is specially made for these kinds of projects. They are also made with a synthetic material that is superlight, breathable, and quickly dries.  Our casual uniform, is a red polo with our rover logo.

Our red Rover Polo's are a sensible activity uniform option.

Our red Rover polos are a sensible activity uniform option.

As prepared Scouts, we will dress in attire that respects the culture of the places we visit. In Malaysia, this entails that our shorts are at least knee length, and our t-shirts cover our shoulders and chest areas.

Lightweight running shoes will be our primary footwear, but we will also bring black leather shoes for uniform events and sandals for more casual activities. I recommend packing non-absorbent sandals with a heel strap. These will serve as back up shoes if your running shoes wear out. Flip flops are not recommended for this reason. Some kind of sandal is necessary for showering, just in case the hostel you are staying in is not as hygienic.


Personal items, such as toiletries, should be packed with discretion. You should only pack as much as you need. For instance, you wouldn’t need to bring a whole bag of toilet paper for a 2 week trip.

Micro-fibers are the best for backpacking trips, because they are lighter and thinner. They will help you save so much more space than a regular cotton towel, and will dry exponentially faster.
Malaysia is also a host for Dengue Fever, so strong mosquito repellent with at least 30% DEET content is recommended to ward off insects! Because we are going in the summer, we will also be bringing individual waterproof sunscreen. Just in case, we also brought after-bite for bug bites and aloe for sunburns.

If you look at our official contingent packing list, you may notice that there is a lot on that list, but we are not planning on bringing very much of each item.

Stay tuned for tips on how to pack all these things more efficiently.

Cheryl Kwan

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