Work alongside local organizations in their mission to safeguard Hawaii’s biodiversity and preserve and honor the land, history, and culture of Hawaii. In addition to service, get a taste of what makes Hawaii an island paradise. Hike through changing climate zones, relax on black and white sand beaches, learn to surf, and take in millions of stars at Mauna Kea. Learn about the unique and rich history of Kanaka Maoli, Hawaii’s native people. Before heading home, glimpse the powerful forces that created this volcanic Island in Volcanoes National Park.
Students love experiencing the beauty and complexity of Hawaiian culture.
Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Follow these tips to pack like a pro:
Travel light. Pack only the essentials. You’ll need less than you think!
Bring the right clothes. Pack clothes that are culturally appropriate for your destination and acceptable for service projects. This means bringing long shorts (think Bermuda and basketball shorts), t-shirts with sleeves to cover shoulders, and appropriate footwear.
Leave your valuables behind. While traveling, it’s easier for things to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep any prized possessions safe at home.
Check with TSA. Make sure your luggage complies with TSA regulations, especially your carry-on. Useful tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it up after security.
Extra paperwork? If you need additional forms filled out to get credit for your service hours, no problem! Bring these forms with you so they can be completed in-country.
A 25-30 Liter is ideal as this will also be the daypack you use during most daily activities.
- ID or Passport (if applicable)
- Photocopy of ID/passport
- Visa documentation (if applicable)
- Reusable Water bottle – 1+ Liter Bottle Required
- Book and/or journal
- Change of clothes
- Sturdy tennis shoes (wear them on the plane to save space in your suitcase)
- Consent to Travel form
- Rustic Pathways emergency contacts
A 50-75 liter backpack is recommended, large enough to fit all your clothes and gear.
- Socks (6-10) – Merino wool socks are best as they keep your feet the right temperature and take longer to get stinky
- Underwear (15)
- Sweat pants or leggings (1 pair)
- Hiking pants (1 pair) – the kind that are somewhat water resistant are ideal
- Jeans (1 pair)
- Shorts (2-3 pairs, 1 pair should be long shorts, like soccer or basketball shorts)
- Skirt or dress (1-2)
- Shirts (8-10)
- Tank tops (1-2)
- Mid-Layer tops (1)
- Mid-weight jacket (1) – light fleece jacket is best
- Waterproof/rain jacket
- Rash guard (long sleeved)
- Sneakers – sturdy pair that is good for hiking and service work – will get dirty
- Sandals that strap to feet – Chacos or Tevas
- Flip flops for beach (optional)
- Hat with brim/visor
- Gloves – pair of work gloves good for gardening/outdoor work
- Quick dry towel or Sarong for beach
- Lightweight bath towel (packing 2 sarongs or quick dry towels is great)
- Bathing suit
- Bandana (optional)
Toiletries (travel sized in zip lock bags)
- Body wash (biodegradable)
- Face wash (biodegradable)
- Reef-Safe Sunscreen (oxybenzone-free), SPF 30+
- Lip sun protection, SPF 30+
- Bug spray
- Feminine hygiene products
- Contacts and solution (if applicable)
- Wet Wipes
- Sleeping bag (backpacking style (compact) with 15F – 30F or +30F are acceptable ranges) – this article is helpful in selecting the right sleeping bag
- Headlamp with fresh batteries
- You will be carrying your pack throughout the program so bring only what you need and be prepared to wear clothes multiple times throughout the trip.
- Non-cotton layers are vital to ensuring your comfort, as cotton does not insulate or dry quickly if wet — stick to synthetic blends and avoid cotton blends if possible.