• the photos

  • Josh Hunter's Facebook profile
  • Advertisements

To Pack

  • This is the page where I’ll share what we’re learning with regard to packing for our life in the PC. Suggestions abound on the internet for what to bring and what not to…and these can be found easily by anyone familiar with Google. Here are the most helpful slices of info I’ve found.
  • Chaco sandals are 50% off for pre-PCVs and current volunteers! This was merely rumor until I called their customer service line yesterday and heard for myself. Once you have the official invitation letter, you can call for the fax#/mailing address and send them a copy. Once they receive it, they will give you a special purchase code. When you order on the website, use the purchase code in the ‘coupon/gift certificate spot’ and it’ll take half off. Of every item. Yowza. For those who are new to Chaco, it is the PC brand of choice and one of the most versatile, durable shoes you will ever experience. I got my 1st pair while at school in Knoxville. Everyone had them. The deal is good for 2 pairs per season (year).
  • Royal Robbins is a great company for travel apparel in general. I’ve tried on a couple shirts and skirts and they’re my favorite for warm weather, (hypothetical) business-casual. Does 50% off retail sound good? Call/email their customer service and ask for their Prodeal form. They’ll email it and you’ll fax it back.
  • Ex-Officio will give 50% off any of their superior merchandise if you call their customer service line (on website) and ask for their special purchase order. We are especially interested in their Give-N-Go line, made for hot and humid conditions.
  • Thin, quick-drying towels are unanimously suggested. They are pricey, but not too bad if you’re just getting a couple. We’re going to look around at REI, CT, BRMS this weekend–will let you know what we decide.
    • After visiting all 3 area stores, we bought the MSR PackTowl Superlite(L) to try it out. It does dry quickly and does get soft(er). Josh is happy with it, although we should’ve opted for the XL (he’s 6’2″). Having seen it in action, I think I’m going to try one that is a little more luxurious…maybe the DryLite Towel. This seems a good compromise of convenience and comfort. DryLite’s Tek towel is too heavy for us. The REI brand towels are a good idea too…and sit between the PackTowl & DryLite towels in weight and softness. Eagle Creek has similar products, but we haven’t seen them in person.
    • We’ve decided on the MSR Packtowl Personal (XL). REI had them on-sale for 30% off. We were there, and they were the perfect size, so we did that. However, I know MSR offers a ProDeal for PC volunteers as well. Always email/phone their customer service. They sell all kinds of camping/roughing it stuff.
  • Therm-a-Rest makes bed rolls and this is a good idea to bring for when you are visiting friends (or to have around when friends visit you). Also, who knows what you’re sleeping situation will be? Email them and they’ll share their discount process with you.
  • Teva is another great shoe brand which offer about 50% their products. I LOVE their sandals. You will email pro@teva.com and they will email back a special code for when you order online. This is good for up to 4 pairs.
  • Chacos tend to hurt my feet, as I have platypus-like peds. My arching is lacking…Thus, when searching for an alternative shoe I can hike and splash around in, I found Keens. Apparently, they’re a big deal. ;) They are the most comfortable hikers ever. For 45% off, go to THIS page and fill out the form.
  • Merrell offers a benefit too! You may apply at www.merrellprodeal.com. Once you are on the home page click on “New Users Sign Up” Read the rules and guidelines and at the bottom click on “Accept” this will take you to the application for you to fill out and submit via email for approval. Please be aware that due to the volume of applications it may take up to 2 weeks to be approved.

  • Vasque and Columbia I’ve contacted and I’m waiting to hear back. Columbia’s request form is pretty long and strange. You find it on their FAQ page, #51 or so. Never quite figured these out…sorry.
  • The North Face‘s dealer services can be reached at 866-715-3223. They will direct you to their pros page. This form is short and sweet. Although TNF seems to be wildly popular with teens and younger college-age folks sort of “just because,” they really do make good stuff–We both brought FireRoad sneakers to Jamaica and they’re awesome! Also, their clothes work great for hot and humid places!
  • Patagonia has separate applications for each type of arrangement they offer. I filled out an application at their page, but not sure if I’ll be approved or not. The page said that they aren’t authorizing anything for Governmental right now…hmm.
  • REI does NOT offer any discount or prodeal associated with the Peace Corps. Of course, corporate members receive 10% off, after you’ve applied and sent in a business card. At least their brand and lots of their stuff is either on-sale or lower priced than most brands.
  • I’ve found that Mountain Hardwear has quite a few pieces that will work great for business casual. I left a message at their customer service line (800-953-8375) and also emailed from their website.
  • The most widely-used tote in Jamaica is messenger bag style, so Josh decided on a Timbuk2 bag. Not only will it blend in better than a backpack.  It will also double as a laptop carrrier/protector and possibly carry some camera stuff on a daily basis for Josh.  And guess what? They offer a 50% off prodeal. Gotta love it.  Yet another “investment,” Timbuk2s are a little pricey.  However, they are durable and safe. boom.

4 Responses

  1. Just wanted to add another discount to you for PCVs. (this is for the ladies – tampons and pads very expensive in Jamaica and also bad for the non-city sewer systems.) Also another brand is Diva Cup but don’t know if they have a discount or not.


    On the website you will see a password & referral code area on the left side menu bar.

    The password for the discount of $27.00 per cup is 102. The referral code is: peace corp.

    Shipping is free … anywhere.

  2. thanks so much… you guys have been a great help in preparing!

  3. Glad to help!

    I want to let you future PCJ-ers know that you really can get everything you NEED here in Jamaica (at least during training and at intervals via the capital or large towns like MoBay and Ochi). Also, if there’s something you want from home or you find that you’ve packed “all wrong,” it’ll work out – most clothing here is either imported and super spendy or made here and not durable AT ALL. Other things like pots and pans, laundry line, bug spray…you can get here. Specialty things like outdoor apparel, hammocks, anything electronic- you SHOULD bring from home. Otherwise, just make your best guess when you pack and then ride the adventure wave that IS peace corps.

    Just remember–you’re here for 2 years and people are constantly coming and going (having friends visit, making trips home, getting mail sent, etc). Anything you want, you can get (eventually) and anything you NEED is available in country.


  4. All of this information is fantastic. The Peace Corps Jamaica guide book stresses business attire, including closed toe flats and suits. How does that stack up with reality?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: