The Ultimate Retreat Packing List (2023 Updated)

Posted on July 24, 2023 by Carl Lefever in Retreat Planning

Though retreat destinations certainly have plenty of amenities, they may not have absolutely everything you personally need or want during your stay. When in doubt, pack more rather than less. You never know what sort of situation will arise. Having a few extra supplies just might prove to be helpful. Let’s take a look at the best advice for retreat packing.

Retreat Packing Starts with the Basics

Retreat essentials include Bible, devotional, clothes, deodorant, a hat to block out the sun’s rays, sunglasses, swim trunks, a pillow, sneakers and toiletries. Be sure to bring extra garments just in case it rains or if you get sweaty and want to change your attire. This way, you won’t have to spend time doing laundry when you could be focusing on your retreat activities.

Dress For Comfort and the Season

Dressing comfortably is essential for a relaxed and enjoyable retreat experience. When choosing your clothing, consider your retreat destination’s season and weather conditions. Opt for breathable and lightweight fabrics during hot summers, such as cotton or linen, and layer up with cozy sweaters or jackets for cooler temperatures. Remember to include comfortable loungewear or pajamas for downtime and relaxation. By prioritizing comfort and adaptability in your wardrobe choices, you’ll feel at ease throughout your retreat, allowing you to fully embrace the peaceful ambiance and focus on the transformative journey ahead.

Pack Something Fun

Be sure to pack a book and/or some music to listen to. Though there will be plenty to do during your retreat, there will be some downtime. You will feel the need to unwind. A good book or your favorite songs will certainly help.


Mind Your Footwear

A single pair of sneakers probably won’t suffice for your retreat. Pack a pair of sandals or flip-flops to wear when you are by the water. It will also help to have a pair of hiking sneakers/boots so you can take on challenging terrain during hikes and other outdoor adventures.

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Retreat Packing: Bring Pen and Paper

Bring along a notebook and something to write with. This way, you can document all the details of your retreat. You can also use the pen and paper to keep a diary, draw some pictures to recap the day’s activities, create reminder notes and so on.


Select Electronics with Care When Retreat Packing

Though just about everyone will undoubtedly pack their smartphone for a retreat, other electronics might not prove helpful. Items like laptops, tablets and handheld gaming systems will inevitably prove to be unnecessary distractions. Leave these electronic toys at home so you can square your focus on experiencing the beauty of God’s magnificent creation and your fellow retreat-goers rather than perusing social media and the internet’s other distractions. Be sure to bring along your smartphone’s charger so it stays functional throughout the entirety of your retreat.


Sweat the Small Stuff When Retreat Packing

Oftentimes, the seemingly minor things make a big difference in the quality of the retreat. Take a moment to think of all the small stuff you use on a daily basis that will help your retreat go that much smoother. Be sure to pack the following:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Underwear & Socks
  • Pajamas
  • Sanitary napkins/tampons
  • Hairbrush
  • Hand mirror
  • Hair dryer
  • Hair supplies
  • Make-up
  • Lotion
  • Smartphone Charger
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • First Aid Kit

If you take vitamins or prescription medications, bring them with you. Don’t forget to head to the bank or ATM to get some cash for emergencies. Bring along a small bag within your backpack or suitcase so you can pack a couple sundries when embarking on outdoor expeditions during your retreat.


Prepare for the Outdoors

You will likely spend a considerable portion of your retreat outdoors. This means you will need sunblock, sunglasses, a hat, a rain jacket, a water bottle, chapstick and insect repellent. If you plan on camping at any point during the retreat, be sure to bring along a tent, a flashlight and a sleeping bag. Also, a trash bag might come in handy when cleaning up trash or taking dirty clothing home.


Comfort Gear

Though your retreat lodging will be quite comfortable, it will help to bring along something comforting. You will be away from home for a few days so you might feel slightly unsettled. Something as simple as your slippers, favorite blanket or even a coffee mug will make you feel that much more at ease.

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When preparing for a retreat, it's important to pack strategically to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Start with the basics like clothes, toiletries, and footwear suitable for different activities. Remember items for outdoor adventures, such as sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellent. Include personal safety items like a first aid kit and any necessary medications. Consider bringing entertainment, snacks, and personal comfort items for relaxation. Lastly, organize your belongings with extra bags and packing cubes. Customize this packing checklist based on your specific retreat and preferences for a seamless and fulfilling experience.

Our retreat specialists have planned hundreds of events and are here to help you make your group retreat one you will remember for years to come. Request a Retreat Information Packet to learn more about our retreat options or submit an inquiry now to get started with planning your group retreat.

Want more tips on how to plan a retreat?

Check out our Complete Guide to Retreat Planning.

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