Getting away for an overnight field trip can break up the monotony of the classroom or the work week. When preparing for a trip, it's best to make a list of essential items to avoid scurrying around at the last minute and forgetting something crucial. It's also a good idea to relax and consider that if this trip is only one night, packing the entire wardrobe is probably not necessary.
Talk with the group leader or teacher about what sort of activities are planned. If this an outdoor trip, bring layers of clothing that you will be comfortable in outside, such as a sweater, hoodie or light jacket and comfortable pants, shorts or sweats for your legs. Bring rain gear if even a chance of rain is present. Packing extra socks and a pair of lightweight hiking boots or running shoes may be appropriate, and having a pair of sandals or slippers for the evening will be more comfortable. Remember to pack a wool cap or sun hat, depending on the weather, and don't forget the sleepwear and underwear.
Again, find out if you are required to bring your own bedding or if that is provided. Bringing your own bedding means a light to medium weight sleeping bag (unless the temperature is expected to drop to freezing levels), a sleeping pad or small air mattress, pillow and blanket, if you need it. Some people like to wrap a sheet over their sleeping pad for extra comfort and to prevent the sleeping bag from slipping around on it at night. Check your sleeping pad before you leave to see if it holds air, or if leaks need to be repaired.
Toiletries and Medicines
Pack a small bag of essential toiletries like your toothpaste, toothbrush and floss. Also bring sunscreen and lip balm. Some people bring hotel-sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash, as well. If you wear contact lenses or a mouth guard at night, pack these along with the appropriate rinsing solution and case. Bring your own personal towel and washcloth, but you can probably leave the hairdryer and styling gel at home for this one night.
Always remember to bring an ample supply of any current medications you are taking. If you have a serious medical condition, severe allergies to bee stings or any other affliction that could prove fatal, bring any pertinent medical information with you give a copy to the team leader.
Bring along a camera, writing materials and a little cash. You may also consider bringing something you can share with the group like trail mix, a favorite board game or a deck of cards. Stay away from bringing too many personal items like iPods or game devices that keep you from interacting with the group. Field trips are designed to provide a learning experience, but are also an excellent way to strengthen relationships and build team spirit.