Solo Retreat Supplies Checklist

By Leo Gura - May 11, 2017

If you’re planning your own solo retreat, you’ll need to bring way more supplies than you think if you want things to go smoothly.

Here are my essentials:

(An * asterisk denotes a CRITICAL item)

  • Strong LED flashlight*
  • Multi-tool/utility knife*
  • Small but WORKING umbrella*
  • Small first-aid kit*
  • 1 gallon of drinking water per day*
  • At least 2 fleecy blankets*
  • Pillows
  • Paper towels*
  • Toilet paper*
    • Make sure it’s soft, so you can use it as Kleenex for if you catch a cold
  • Trash bags*
  • Small and large ziplock bags*
    • Small bags = 1 quart, large bags = 1 gallon
  • Plastic food containers
  • Sunscreen
  • Hiking water bottle/canteen*
  • Lite backpack*
  • Earplugs*
  • Cooler for food
  • Small & lite folding lawn chair
  • Ground blanket or mat for meditating outdoors
  • Dishwashing soap & foam scrub pad
  • Dish drying rags / small hand towels*
  • Pens, paper & clipboard, or spiral-bound notebook
  • Tennis shoes & flip-flops*
  • Warm indoor slippers*
  • Plenty of socks*
  • At least 2 hats (one warm, one cool)*
  • Warm gloves
  • Clothing for warm & cold*
  • Light rain jacket*
  • Shorts & long pants*
  • Comfortable, loose meditation clothing*
  • Hiking stick
  • Bath towels*
  • Cooking gear: spatula, stir spoon, pots & pans, rice sieve, etc.
  • Blender
  • Plates, bowls, cups
  • At least 1 fork and 1 spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Cooking knives
  • Aluminum foil / plastic wrap
  • 1 baking tray for using oven
  • Can opener (if you’re using any canned food)
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt & spices
  • Raw honey
  • Light herbal tea, or green tea
  • At least 2 alarm clocks & at least 2 meditation timers*
    • Do NOT use your smartphone as a clock, timer, or alarm!!!
  • Spare batteries
  • Post-it notes
  • Glasses/Sunglasses
  • Electric heating pad
  • Any medication you need*
  • Allergy meds
  • Vitamins*
    • Especially ones for if you catch a cold
  • Nail clippers*
  • Chap stick*
  • Dry-eye drops*
  • Toiletry supplies: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, shampoo, spare contact lenses, lens cleaner solution, deodorant, shaving gear, etc.
  • Camera
  • Earphones
  • USB charger
  • Car phone charger or battery charger
  • Meditation cushion
  • Rope / twine
  • Jumper cables in your car*
  • Large plastic tubs/containers to hold and carry all the above

Of course, depending on your cabin/living quarters, you may have some of these things already provided, like a blender, cookware, plates, etc. But you can’t be too sure. Anything you assume they’ve got, might be broken or totally missing. So double-check all your assumptions or assume it won’t be there when you arrive.

And I didn’t even mention the food.

Yes, it’s a lot of stuff, but remember, the goal here is to set up an environment where your mind can focus 100% on meditation. Handle all the mundane matters ahead of time. It’s very distracting when you’re missing something essential like toilet paper.

What not to bring:

  • Makeup, perfume
  • Books, magazines
  • Self help products, unless you’re specifically doing a self-help product retreat
  • iPads/laptops, unless necessary for business emergencies
  • Video games, Netflix
  • Psychedelics, unless you’re specifically doing a psychedelic retreat
  • Coffee, tobacco, alcohol
  • Junk food: candy, potato chips, beef jerky, Ramen noodles, protein bars, frozen pizzas, TV dinners, wheat products like bread or pasta, dairy products, soda, ranch dressing, mayo, fruit juices, baked goods: cookies, bagels, croissants, etc.
  • Red meat, smoked meat, bacon, sausage, salami
  • Pets, children, friends, spouses, girlfriends/boyfriends
  • Unfinished business, lingering work tasks
  • Distractions

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