Missions Trip Packing List

Packing for a missions trip requires careful planning. With 48+ years of short-term missions experience, the Official Teen Missions International trip packing list is one of the best.

Download and print the Official Teen Missions Packing List:  Missions Trip Packing List
Download and print the  Official Teen Missions Peanut Kids Camp Packing List

Packing List Explanation: In most cases you will need everything we suggest, but don’t forget there is a weight limit (35 pounds—flying teams, 45 pounds—non-flying teams; includes sleeping bag) The tool that you bring to Registration is not included in the weight limit. Dress requirements will be strictly enforced. Unless the weather is expected to be cool/cold, bring lightweight clothing to help keep your luggage weight down. Check the weather section of your Specific Team Fact Sheet, (mailed in the spring), for details on the climate to which you are going. Lightweight clothing dries better at Boot Camp. White or light-colored clothing is difficult to keep clean. Label everything with your name and team number.

All your belongings need to be brought in a sturdy cardboard box or plastic tote that is labeled with your name and team number. A duffel bag will be issued to you. Each person is limited to one duffel bag—total weight limit is 35 pounds (45 pounds for non-flying teams) including bedding (sleeping bag or blankets, sheets and air mattress).  A waist pack is recommended for your camera and personal items.  Teen Missions will also issue a carry-on and NO other hand luggage is permitted. Personal backpacks are helpful at Boot Camp but must be emptied out and placed in your duffel for travel or left behind. Boots, jacket, and the travel clothes you will be wearing are not included in your weight limit.

Clothing Exchange: You are required to bring to Boot Camp everything you are taking on the team. No one will be permitted to exchange clothing at Boot Camp, airports, homes, etc. What you bring is what you take. If visitors bring you additional clothing, you will not be permitted to receive it. Any clothing that you bring with you to Boot Camp that does not fit into your weight limit or that you don’t want can be donated to the Missionary Barrel or left to be picked up at Debrief.

Teen Missions Trip Packing List

Bible—with both Old and New Testaments), which can be written in for Bible marking and study. You may want a Bible cover to protect your Bible.
Dish bag—a hand-made bag of light-weight cotton fabric with a drawstring. A pillow case cut in half with a small hem to hold a drawstring can work. (No mesh please) BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD DISHES/CUTLERY, approximately 24"x16".
Boots—Teen—One pair 6” to 8” all-leather lace up construction boots. You may bring an extra pair for the Obstacle Course, but this is not required. May have gortex on the boot.
Dishes/Cutlery-lightweight but sturdy bowl and tray/plate, and knife, fork, and spoon
Boots—Preteen One pair all-leather lace up boots that cover the ankle.Glasses safety strap—required for those who wear prescription glasses
Teen Travel Jeans—1 pair new dark blue jeans (no frayed hems)Toilet paper —One or more rolls
Preteen Travel Jeans—2 pair new dark blue jeans (no frayed hems)Stuff bags or Zip Lock bags (one or two gallon size) to
organize and pack items in (optional)
Boot polish and/or mink oil or other water repellant itemsFlashlight—lightweight but sturdy; extra batteries
Six to ten pairs socks—tube or heavy-type suggestedSleepwear
One jacket (lightweight or heavy depending on climate at team site)Towels and wash cloths—one or two, lightweight
Camera & case but no large bags or extra lensesBucket—plastic, 5 gallon (for laundry and bathing)
Swimsuit— Swimsuits are for swimming or bathing only. (See Notes Below)Scrub brush; clothespins; 20-25 ft. clothesline; laundry detergent or bar (enough for Boot Camp)
One to two sweatshirts (for cold climates only)Toothpaste, soap and other personal items such as baby wipes, hand sanitizer, medicated powder (extra- large sizes add to weight limit).
Sturdy work gloves — Two pair for work teams and one pair for evangelistic teamsBandaids—One large box
Air mattress (good quality) or waterproof sleeping pad (no air pump available)Mosquito repellent—for Boot Camp and field as necessary
Sleeping bag or sheets and a blanket

Minimum of 3 work outfits—lightweight work pants or jeans, and shirts
1 or 2 dress outfits—slacks (not denim) and collared button down dress shirts for church
1 pair travel jeans—(2 for preteen teams)
* ALL boys must bring a belt *

Minimum of 3 work outfits—lightweight work pants or jeans, and shirts
1 or 2 dress outfits—dress, blouse and skirt, or jumper (not denim) for church (knee-length slip)
1 pair travel jeans—(2 for Preteen teams)

3 casual outfits—cotton pants or jeans and shirts (not worn for work)
2 work outfits—for Boot Camp (lightweight pants or jeans, and shirts)
1 dress outfit—slacks (not denim) and collared button down dress shirt for church
1 pair travel jeans—(2 for preteen teams)

3 casual outfits—cotton pants or jeans (skirt/jumper) and shirt (not worn for work)
2 work outfits—for Boot Camp (lightweight pants or jeans, and shirts)
1 dress outfit—dress, blouse and skirt, or jumper (not denim) for church (knee length slip)
1 pair travel jeans—(2 for preteen teams)

The following items must be readily available upon arrival at Boot Camp.  They are needed for Registration, collection by the team leader, or for immediate use.

Passport—unless already mailed with visa application. (Do not mail passport unless notified to do so)Itinerary for travel home, or explanation of how member is getting home, and transportation card if not already mailed
Balance of your support WITH DONOR COUPONS FILLED OUTUnaccompanied minor fee, if applicable
Shot Record—record of immunizations — childhood and/or international immunizations as applicableTravel home baggage fee
Deposits—(Tent deposit, literature deposit, and air/departure taxes - see Specific Team Fact Sheet)Tool or Gift Card — Listed in Specific Team Fact Sheet. Gift card from home improvement/hardware store can substitute for tool
Visa money, if required. See Specific Team Fact SheetDish bag with silverware in it packed at the top of your luggage. The bowl and plate/tray can be packed in your box
Personal spending money
Copy of list of contributors with addressesWater shoes — For swimming and bathing only, one piece molded rubber and stretch fabric shoes that completely enclose the foot —no flip-flops, canvas/lace-up shoes, or crocs.
Copy of green financial record


Dress outfits—guys: For church or evangelism—dress slacks (no denim),

Collared button-down shirt. Dress jeans and T-shirts may not be worn to church. Ties optional unless otherwise stated in Specific Team Fact Sheet. No suits or banded collar shirts. (polo shirts for church are acceptable)

Dress outfits—girls: For church or evangelism—dresses or skirts (no denim) must be below the knee. A knee-length slip must be worn with thin skirts/dresses. No sleeveless tops or blouses permitted. (No T-shirts for church)

Work outfits—Lightweight work pants (weigh less than jeans and are cooler and easier to wash). Consider the climate of the country where you are going when deciding on the weight of clothing. T-shirts are good to work in.

Casual outfits—Khakis, cargo pants, cotton slacks, jeans and clean shirt—not ever worn for work.

mission trip packout
Teams weigh each duffle on pack-out day at the Lord’s Boot Camp… Work your plan!

Boot Camp clothing—You may want to bring clothing to be worn only at Boot Camp, then donate it to the Missionary Barrel before leaving for your project. This will enable you to keep clothing for the field clean and packed away. It can also help you to accurately determine the weight of your belongings prior to Boot Camp. This is optional. You may also leave clothes behind and pick them up at Debrief.

Clothing Must Be Modest and Neat

Neither males nor females may tie up the bottom of their shirts to expose the midriff, nor can they roll up their sleeves to create a sleeveless shirt. DO NOT BRING TIGHT CLOTHES that give the poured-in look—you will NOT be allowed to wear them.  The following clothing guidelines apply the moment you enter Boot Camp, arrive at the airport or bus station and apply until you reach home.  Please come prepared and do not bring any of the following items, as you will not be permitted to wear them in order that we may uphold our witness both as a ministry and as Christians.


  • You are to wear shirts at all times (with the exception of swimming).
  • Trousers must be at the waist with no undergarments showing.
  • No skimpy swim trunks
  • No skinny or tight jeans or pants


  • Girls must wear bras. The midriff should not show when bending over or raising your arms. When either standing or bending, you must be modest on top.
  • ALL trousers/pants need to touch your ankle
  • A one piece bathing suit or a tankini with a long top over shorts is required. Do not bring two-piece swimsuits (no French-cut high cut legs, thong)—swim shorts may be worn and you will be asked to wear a T-shirt if the top is not modest (swim shorts and a T-shirt are NOT considered a cover-up)

  •  No split skirts that look like shorts or capris
  •  No sleeveless shirts, blouses, dresses or tops— All shirts/tops, dresses must have sleeves  (no cap sleeves)
  •  No sheer or see-through skirts or dresses unless worn with a knee-length slip
  •  No dresses or skirts above the knee—slits cannot go above the knee
  •   No sun dresses
  •  No low-cut (front or back) dresses, blouses/T-shirts including V-necks, scoop necks and any deep front cut in which any cleavage shows
  • No skinny or tight jeans or pants
  • No tight tops or pants

Clothing NOT to Bring

  • Any footwear other than boots and water shoes
  • Tank tops
  • Shorts (unless used as sleep wear or over ladies’ bathing suits)
  • Jogging-type pants or sweat pants
  • Military-like clothing
  • Oversized or baggy jeans or pants—unless elasticized or worn with a belt
  • Clothing or other items that may be offensive to our Christian testimony are not permitted.  This includes screen-printed/decal items like Hard Rock Café, cigarette and beer advertisements, secular rock groups, rude or suggestive phrases, or anything that would be a poor Christian testimony. This also includes those resembling cigarettes, beer or rock groups even if they may be Christian.
  • Skinny or tight jeans or pants
  • Tight clothing (shirts or pants)
  • Pajama pants unless they are dark, striped, plaid or plain. Pajama pants can only be worn at Boot Camp and Debrief—they CANNOT be worn on the field!

Items NOT to Bring

  • Extreme trendy-type reflective sunglasses
  • Valuables, jewelry, expensive clothes, excessive makeup
  •  Electric, butane gas, or battery-operated curling irons, hair dryers, or shavers
  •  Christian or secular books and magazines (this includes any books that you may have been assigned by a school to read over the summer)

There is nothing wrong with owning these things; however, they are not permitted while serving with Teen Missions as they tend to distract teens from the purpose of the team.

The following items will be confiscated upon your arrival at Boot Camp, as you will not be allowed to have them at Boot Camp, on the field or at Debrief.  You will be required to sign a statement in the presence of a witness stating you do not possess these items:

  • Hunting Knives
  • Switchblades
  • Guns
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Lighters
  • Matches
  • Fireworks
  • CD players
  • MP3 players
  • Radios
  • Tape Recorders
  • Video Cameras
  • Cell Phones
  • DVD Players
  • Laptop Computers
  • Tablets
  • Electronic Games
  • Smart Watches


    1. Prayer Warrior, We suggest that you pack in a plastic tote and use that for Boot Camp (great at keeping things dry!). We will issue a backpack and duffel which makes travel and identifying bags much easier.

    1. Prayer Warrior, Yes, you can send your parents all the letters you want. The leaders email reports (and pictures) twice a week which are put on our website. PRAY – the Lord can change their minds. We do not allow the team members to bring cell phones. The leader will have a cell phone and all bases have cell phones.

  1. i want to go on a mission trip next year, but i don’t think my parents will let me go if i can’t bring a phone. could i bring a flip phone that i can only call and text on?

  2. Thanks, Beth! Is there any way to find out what’s been working best for kids/leaders in recent years? What do kids/leaders bring for cameras and camera power? What works best? Are they bringing extra lithium/ion batteries, or using AA/AAAs? Crank-handle camping chargers? Are they using solar charging panels? That seems to bring its own set of problems i.e. can’t leave these things lying around at Boot Camp on on their job sites while something charges, also no guaranteed access to the sun shining at just the right moment!

    1. Jen, Go to Amazon and search for cameras using AA/AAA batteries. Some do bring extra lithium batters if they don’t use disposable. My kids have used the Nikon Cool Pix and have been happy with it. Leaving a camera to use a solar charger concerns me. However, some do bring solar chargers.

  3. Hello! Really need camera advice!! Bought a small digital camera that uses AAA batteries, but in testing here at home, the batteries died every three days, yikes!) I don’t want to have to send that many batteries! I don’t know how long rechargeable batteries last (not AA or AAA), and I assume there will not be regular access to electrical outlets in order to keep regular digital camera batteries charged. Any suggestions?

    1. Jen, That is unusual. One thing that seems to drain the batteries is reviewing the pictures. Maybe try different batteries. Most sites do not have access to electricity.

  4. Are BLACK leather work boots ok? I don’t find any specific requirements in the guides but I think I remember in the past they were considered too close to ‘military look’ and not allowed.

  5. I was wondering if teen missions had a recommended store or website on which to buy the needed boots. We have been unable to find any locally, I live in Texas and I will be going on the missions trip to Thailand this summer.

  6. Hello, I was wondering if I would be allowed to bring a necklace with me to the field? It is a simple, thin gold chain that sits over my collarbone.
    Thank you,

  7. Do Sunday dress shirts and blouses need to have long sleeves? I just noticed them in the video. We bought our kids short sleeves for their Sunday outfit. (We’re from Alberta, they don’t handle heat very well.) Thanks.

  8. For my team going to Ecuador, I am assigned to bring a wrench set. The sheet does not specify how many wrenches should be in the set or what the sizes should be. What would you suggest?


  9. cell phone question….. will the Ethiopia team leaders be bringing the team member’s phones with them to the field since this team will not be returning to boot camp for debrief?

  10. Hello, I was wondering if we are allowed to wear a watch? Also, would a GoPro be allowed, because it is primarily a video camera but it is not very big? My last question is are we allowed to bring a pocket knife?

    1. Sam, Yes, you can wear a watch, but not a “smart watch”. Yes, you can bring a Go-Pro, but unless you are on a motorcycle team, a regular digital camera will work just as well or better. You really don’t need a pocket knife.

  11. Hello, I was wondering about the dress code as I’m a bit confused by it. I am a girl and I’m going to Africa in 2018. Would I be able to wear shorts to bed? I have these pants that are similar style to joggers, sort of baggy but closed off at the ankles and ties up at the waist, they are made of like a jean material, would I be able to wear them? For bathing and swimming, would I be able to wear a bikini if it’s modest? Or could I wear shorts and a bikini top? And if I can’t would I at least be able to wear short shorts and a tank top? Am I aloud to wear capris if they go below my knee? Thank you.

    1. Isa, You may sleep in shorts, but they cannot be worn outside of your tent. I really can’t make a call on the pants without seeing them. Your bathing suit must be one piece. You may wear shorts over the bathing suit, but it cannot be a two-piece bathing suit. You cannot wear capris. What you wear is such a very small part of your summer. Your ministry is why you are going and what will bring you the most joy.

  12. Above it said that what tool/gift card we have to bring will be listed in the Specific Team Fact Sheet, but I’m looking at mine and can’t find it. I’m on the Nicaragua team 17008. What tool/gift card do we have to bring?

  13. I just have one question right now xD I’m trying to find out more info about the Ethiopia trip but I can’t seem to click it at all… is there information on it anywhere or is it not posted yet?

  14. My daughter and I are praying about her going on the 2017 trip to Japan. Would you be able to elaborate on the shot record that is mentioned? We are a family that chooses not to vaccinate, as is allowed here in Minnesota and the US, however, we are open to doing so, should a trip overseas necessitate it.
    I’m wondering, #1, are there any vaccine requirements that TMI has specifically and, #2, do you know what, if any, requirements Japan has. Thanks for any help you could give!

    1. Kimberly, Teen Missions does not require any immunizations; however, we do need to know what you would like to do in the case that she may need a tetanus immunization. I have not check to see if Japan requires any immunizations.

    2. I have traveled to Japan for a missions internship for 7 weeks. Japan does not require any additional vaccines, and the medical care system is similar to America’s, but may require some of the vaccines many states require. For boot camp I would recommend getting your tetanus shot.

  15. Okay, so for the trip that I want to do in 2017 is for Ethiopia… But I can’t click on it so if you could help with that and also if you are taking away my iPod, not out of any disrespect, but wont i get bored on the 36 hour plane ride? Or can i get it back for the ride? Because lets be real, wed all get bored

    1. DoctorGirl, You will not be allowed any electronic devices except for a camera while you are on a team. You will spend the time talking with your teammates, other passengers, sleeping, etc.

  16. Is the carry on the only luggage allowed or will there be checked baggage? And, if so, does this mean I need to buy the smaller, travel size things like deodorant, shampoo and such? Thanks!

    1. Olivia, We will provide a carry-on and a “bag” as your second carry-on. Most of the space will be filled with your clothes. I would take a small tube of toothpaste and deodorant and put your shampoo, deodorant and other toiletries in your checked duffle.

  17. And when it says ’email copy of picture page’ can i send a picture of the picture page of my passport with my camera or does it have to be scanned like with a printer then emailed?

    1. Ryan, As stated in the instructions, it can either be mailed or brought with you. Don’t forget to bring a copy of your birth certificate with both parents’ names listed, two visa pictures and copies of your parents’ driver’s licenses or passports.

  18. What kind of boxes should they pack in? I had planned on having my son use his Olastic footlocker that he used at Scout Camp but it’s an inch too large to check on the airplane. I’m worried that just a tub, the lid would come off. What do most kids do who are travelling by air?

  19. Hi! I just had a question regarding work and evangelistic pants. I’m on a team that is doing both. It is my understanding that khakis, cargo pants, jeans, etc. are okay for evangelism as long as they are ONLY worn for evangelism. Are khakis, cargo pants, jeans, etc. okay for working as long as they are only used for working? As I was researching this, most “lightweight work pants” for women basically are khakis and cargo pants.


    1. Lauren, If you are on both a work and EV team (which are most teams), then use the “work team” list. If they are clean, they can be used for both. However, you cannot work in your travel jeans at any time.

    1. Kari, Some choose to wear pajama pants at Boot Camp and Debrief because they are light weight and dry quickly. However, many don’t. You can wear jeans, regular cotton pants, nylon pants, etc. on the field. Look at the pictures on our website to give you an idea.

      1. I was wondering specifically to sleep in? 🙂 Are they allowed pajama pants to sleep in on the field? Or do they sleep in their clothes? I didn’t see any being packed in the packing video. Thanks!

  20. Hi! I was wondering, since we can’t be certain of how many on our team are bring guitars, if I could bring both my guitar and ukelele to boot camp, and leave one behind when we go to the field. My ukelele is very lightweight, so if I can’t bring my guitar I’d like to try to at least bring that. Would it be possible for me to do that?

    1. Lorena, Yes, you may bring a guitar. Depending on the baggage needed to go over and the number of kids on your team who bring a guitar, it may not be able go with you. You would leave it at Boot Camp and pick it up on return to Debrief.

    1. Crystal, Yes. However, if more than one or two team members bring musical instruments, then some may need to leave them at Boot Camp (in a secure and dry place) until Debrief.

  21. I went on a 2015 mission trip and used this list to pack, but I was just wondering if anything on it will be changed for the upcoming 2016 teen trips…. I’m assuming probably not, yet I wanted to make sure before I used it again. Thanks!

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