Below is a suggested list of what to bring to Yosemite Summit. We will need to pack light and smart in order to have guys and equipment in one vehicle. But here are some of the guidelines to keep in mind, in the spirit of “stepping away from ministry.”
What to bring:
- Thin shorts / thin wind-breaker pull over-pants
- Thin wind-breaker water-proof jacket
- Casual pants, evening pants (sweats, PJs)
- Hiking shoes that cover the ankles
- Some put gel inserts
- Casual shoes for evening/travel
- T-shirts, sweat shirts (maybe with hood)
- Wool Socks (plenty) Cotton NOT recommended!
- Underwear (do I really need to list this?)
- Swim trunks (for swimming pool at hotel)
- Hat suggested
- Sunglasses, perhaps with lanyard
- Personal toiletries (tooth brush!)
- Minor First Aid items
- ANY personal medication
- NOTE: bedding and towels ARE provided, but you are welcome to bring your own towels or pillow if you are sentimentally attached or need the lingering scent of your wife.
- Backpack that has CamelBak or other water system
- A removable water bag is ideal as we tend to freeze the bags half full of water overnight so that we’ll have cold water all day.
- Hiking sticks
- If you are not familar with the use/need of hiking sticks, let me know. Many guys who opted not to bring these have regretted it or ended up buying expensive ones. Though there have been a few who didn’t use them, I highly recommend it. Ultimately it is up to you, but they save your ankles, prevent falls, and shift a lot of pressure and wear and tear from your feet/legs to your arms which greatly reduces soreness on long hikes.
- Flashlight (small is fine, or head lamp)
- Backpack that has CamelBak or other water system
- iPod / MP3 Player (charger)
- Digital Camera
- Again, this is HIGHLY recommended. The few guys who have not brought a camera have regretted it. Also, I would bring the best quality camera you can get your hands on. Yosemite is the most photographed location in America and there is a reason!
- Extra memory cards
- Memory card reader (back up, Karl will have one for standard memory cards, SD and SmartMedia)
- Thumb Drive for sharing pics (Karl can send you home with other guys pics if you bring an empty thumb drive, at least 4GB recommended)
- Extra batteries
- Sun Block
- Poncho (thin, small)
- Knife (not in your carry on!)
- Bug Spray (small bottle fine, not used much)
- EQUIPMENT OPTIONAL
- Video camera (if small, but we will have a group video camera for highlight video)
- Power Strip (for charging items)
- Cell Phone / Charger (cell coverage rare)
- Cell phones are allowed for safety, but no calls are allowed other than contacting your wife, but even to many calls home is discouraged. The purpose of this retreat is to “unplug,” the more this is honored, the better the Summit will be for you.
- Batteries (as needed)
- Small mirror (for signal)
- RETREAT ITEMS
- Bible (small and portable)
- All meals from Sunday dinner through Thursday breakfast are included, but not specialty drinks or snacks, as tastes and interests are too varied.
- Drinks and snacks you will buy on the way to Yosemite on our Wal-Mart stop.
- Lunch bags and zip-lock pages will be provided when we pack our lunches, but you are welcome to bring a lunch bag/case with you to protect your food better in your backpack.
- Water bottles or water bag backpacks are highly recommended. You will need to drink a lot of water.
- SAFETY ITEMS
- As mentioned above, each guy needs to have a compass and whistle. We will each get a map once in Yosemite of all the hiking trails. I will also be bringing additional survival items that will be disbursed throughout the guys for carrying, such as bite/poison meds, first-aid, matches and other similar items.
- CELL PHONES
- There is little to very little cell coverage in Yosemite Valley and where there is, it is sporadic. There is NONE at the lodge. However, a phone is available at the lodge, but will require an 800 Calling Card. Other than emergencies, calls will be restricted to wives/family. Cell phones are allowed on the hikes for emergency use only. We are turning off the outside world; but having phones available for emergencies is simply wise, and calling our wives is simply kind.
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What NOT to bring:
Work – of any kind! Seriously. Leave it behind.
Do NOT bring your Laptop. There WILL BE a computer at the lodge for the SOLE PURPOSE of downloading your digital pictures from the day. Each attendee will get a download of their photography, and of the others willing to share. A highlight video will be made from all the photography of the group. It will be free to attendees and then made available on Kidology.org for others.
Smartphones? Obviously, in today’s day and age, most people have smart phones equipped with Internet, e-mail, etc. While cell coverage and Internet coverage is weak, you will asked to turn off, and even disable if you need to, to avoid the temptation so that you can truly unplug from work. Communication with your spouse can be done with an evening phone call. There is no need for e-mail. Remember, there once was a time when it didn’t exist. Remember?
Work – worth mentioning again – that is the whole point of this retreat, you are not the sum of your work, you are a child of God and this is a retreat for reconnecting the man with God, not the worker.
UPDATE for the iPad/Tablet era. If you bring an iPad/Tablet, it should ONLY be for photo use, as with your phone, you should delete or disable social media, email or other work related apps. You cheat only yourself if you “sneak” work via a tablet. This week is a gift from you to God – don’t insult your Savior by bringing your work with you. Lay it down. Give yourself fully to Him for this week.
Reading material? No ministry or leadership books allowed! It is fine if you want to bring a book that deals with your walk with God but even just a Bible is perfectly fine! You are not coming to improve your ministry or leadership skills, you are coming on this retreat to get closer to God. You honestly won’t have much time for reading, it is recommended just to bring a Bible. Though a small book isn’t “banned” as long as it is a spiritual growth type book. Karl may be giving you a book to read, so if you bring one, it may be for your time on the plane before and after the actual retreat. Again, turn off the feeling that you need to “do” something while on this retreat. The whole point is to STOP doing and just “be.”
NOTE: Once registered, attendees will be given access to a private Yosemite Summit Facebook Group where we will discuss packing in more specific detail as well as other event details as we get to know each other.