What to Bring
All tents come with sleeping pad, sheet, and pillow. A blanket may also be available.
Things to Bring
- Cash – You’ll need around $300 in cash. There are ATMs in Cruz Bay.
- Passport – You’ll need your passport or a certified copy of your birth certificate to travel home from the US Virgin Islands.
- Snorkeling gear – mask, fins, and snorkel. Be aware that booty-less fins can do a number on your feet! It is crucial that your mask fits properly.
- Skin suit, rash guard, or wetsuit top – doubles as protection against the sun and offers some protection against scraping coral or urchins. Wetsuits and wetsuit tops also offer some thermal benefits for long swims. If you get cold in the water, you should consider either a wetsuit top or shorty wetsuit.
- Diving gloves – we do NOT want the students touching everything they see on the reefs. However, it does help to have gloves at times to stabilize yourself, especially if you plan on taking underwater photos.
- Batteries – they are expensive to purchase on the island. If you have rechargeable items like cameras, phones, etc., remember that there are very few electricity outlets in and around the campground. There may be outlets in the bathroom(s), and there may be a couple of outlets in the restaurant areas. Recharging, therefore, is limited, and you may find yourself spending a lot of time at the restaurant/bathroom waiting for your batteries to charge.
- Sunscreen – Avoid any sunscreen with the Three Toxic O’s (oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene) or avobenzone in the ingredients. These will bleach coral, and are also not good for your skin. Look for reef-safe varieties, which usually contain zinc or titanium oxide. Check out this sunscreen guide: https://newsofstjohn.com/reef-safe-sunscreen-guide/
- Beach towel, two water bottles (we spend many hours on the beach with little shade), sunglasses, book(s), hat, and drybag (a small drybag that can hold your camera, wallet, etc. proves useful, especially for the boat trip), frisbee, etc. A NPS rule forbids travel hammocks in the national park.
- Flashlight (above and underwater) or headlamp
- Summer clothing, light pants (optional), shoes or Chacos/Tevas (something with a back strap) to hike in, bathing suit(s), light sweater or long sleeve shirt in case it gets cool at night, rain jacket
- Food – Bring plenty of snacks to munch on during the day. Most days, we’ll be out in the field. For Cinnamon Bay: Bring camping food to cook for dinner. We will stop at the grocery store on the way to the campground on the first day, and there will be opportunities to purchase food in town.
- Bug spray – Given the increase in cases of chikungunya and zika, we strongly recommend that you bring and apply bug spray. You can also bring one of those bug swatters that looks like a tennis racket, which is especially effective at getting rid of the bugs inside your tent before you go to sleep. Light pants and a long-sleeve shirt also prove effective.
- Remember to print out and bring at least one copy of the Species List. We recommend two copies – one to bring to the beach and get wet, one to leave in your tent that you can turn in
- Class Equipment/Books
In the days before we leave, we will have assigned students flashlights, batteries, and ID books. This is because there is too much gear for the leaders to carry down alone. The items then become YOUR RESPONSIBILITY! You are in charge of ensuring that any class books or lights return in good working condition.
Remember to bring ID books (in a waterproof bag) to the beach with us every day. Once we return, you may return the items back to Brian Naess’ office in Europa 4042. Please remember to remove the batteries from the lights before returning the lights.