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What to Bring

While everyone loves the glamour of the Hollywood Jungle, but the reality is something altogether different. The reality is that it's camping and not a movie set, hostel or hotel experience. We live in a genuine jungle and it's rough but fun and rewarding! 

It is beautiful and green all year long for a reason...it's wet! All the greenery requires humidity and moisture to grow and thrive, and we have lots of both. Once you start enjoying the beauty that surrounds you, you won't mind the misting or rain so much. It will become a welcome treat during those hot mid morning work shifts!

One of the most important things you can bring is an open mind and a positive attitude about living and working with others. 

Now, I've saved the best for last. Now there are mosquitos, ants, rain (and lots of it), tiny, but LOUD, Coqui frogs chirp, and, oh there's jungle mold that grows on everything. So synthetic materials are your better bet for shoes, gear, etc..

Now it's not all about the wetness and such, it's is also green, lush, and utterly breathtaking on a daily basis! Hawaii's native Ohia trees grace the property, Guava fruit trees are abundant, the air is soft, the weather perfectly mild as the sun warms your face, even in winter, your skin will feel moist, and your hair will grow and behave! Ahhh the perks of Jungle life!

So please prepare yourself for a positive adventure and select the items you may need to ensure an enjoyable time in the jungle!

  • Mosquito Repellant! Hawaii mosquitos are pretty mellow compared to places like rural Wisconsin and Alaska. There are not so many from November to February but they are there! So it's good to be prepared and bring a mosquito repellant with DEET. Avon's Skin So Soft is also a great item to get and has many uses in the Jungle. I've included more information below, not to scare you, but to keep you informed and prepared. Knowledge is power!
  • EXTRA DEET INFORMATION: Mahalo Web Visitor! I love feedback! I love it so much because it starts conversations, clears up misconceptions, keeps us transparent, and opens the door for real information and growth. One such conversation was had about DEET and I had to give it much thought and personally investigate it. Here's what a web visitor asked:

  • "One thing I wonder about on your "what to bring list" on the website for volunteering, you say "Please bring biodegradable eco soaps, eco laundry soap, eco shampoo, conditioner and non fluoridated toothpaste so as not to damage our ecosystem"... But you also encourage people to bring bring a mosquito repellant with DEET... isn't Deet really toxin and bad for you?" http://www.environmentalhealth.ca/spring03hazards.html
  • While I am concerned about our ecosystem, as seen below in our requests to be as eco as possible when visiting, I am more concerned with you taking proper precautions to protect your immediate health. Keep in mind, we're a wet Rainforest ecosystem which breeds mosquitoes in the rainy season, it's different here.  
  • DENGUE FEVER was and still is on the Big Island, and the possible side effects of the fever outweigh the perceived dangers of using DEET (see the preceding link). 
  • Here is a link to Information on DEET by Popular Science Magazine to clear up misconceptions about the repellant. I rarely use it, but during the rainy season and Dengue, I did use it because I have LUPUS and a fever is more dangerous to my mortality than the DEET. As always, everyone has personal choice and free will to use what they choose on their body to protect themselves. I also encourage investigation into matters so you can make the best personal decision for you. 
  • HOW I USE DEET: While I cannot instruct you on how to use any type of over the counter or medicinal product because I'm not a health professional, I can tell you how I use the product with no shoulds attached. I do not put it on my skin, I use Skin So Soft in a water spray solution on my skin (and mmmm I smell so good!), and a DEET product on my clothing, as suggested by The Mayo Clinic, for protection because of my Immune Deficiency. I shower after the work session and wash my clothing and do not save for wash day with the rest of my dirty clothing. I hope the information helps on why we included DEET in the list of possible bring alongs.

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  1. Water resistant sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher
  2. Smartphone Flashlight: Bring a waterproof LED flashlight or headlamp (I prefer the headlamp because it's bright and I like to see!). Or use your smartphone light app. Just bring a solar charger to charge your items, there's no power.
  3. Jackets for crisp Jungle nights: It can sometimes get a little chilly in the night because we are at a higher elevation. This is especially true during the months of November to March. So bring at least a couple of warm outfits. Also socks both for warmth and for mosquito protection and a lightweight tropical waterproof rain-jacket.
  4. Ear plugs for Coquí Frogs! Coqui frogs, a native of Puerto Rico bring a rich jungle sound. Guests often say that the sound really makes them feel that they are in the tropics. However, the frogs can be pretty loud during the night. This hasn't been issue for the majority of our guests, some people even claim it helps them sleep better. Other folks need earplugs at night! Earplugs are also needed when handling power tools for ear protection.
  5. Eco-Friendly Gadgets: We are trying our best to be an ecological low-impact farm. With this in mind, please bring items and gadgets that are solar rechargeable rather than just battery operated. We have no electrical outlets to recharge, so solar chargers are pretty much a must.
  6. Eco-Soaps and Detergents.  We encourage you to bring biodegradable eco soaps, eco laundry soap, eco shampoo, conditioner and non fluoridated toothpaste so as not to damage our ecosystem. Some consider this an excessive request, we do not. Our main focus in caretaking the 'Aina, is to protect it and keep it safe from man made damage as much as possible. You will be either washing personal clothing items by hand, or when we go weekly to the Laundromat in Kee'au.
  7. Earth Friendly Compost Toileting Items: We are living in the woods, so there are no formal bathrooms. We are using an earth friendly compost toileting system described in the Humanure Compost Toilet system Handbook. 
    
    No synthetic wipes can be used , so you will need to supply eco biodegradable toilet paper safe for septic systems. You'll need your own bucket with lid, toilet brush. Wal-Mart has them for less than $10.
  8. Synthetic Pillows. Due to our Rain forest climate, pillows tend to absorb moisture and get damp  and mold rather quickly. Unlike sheets and blankets, pillows are difficult to get the smell out so it's best to find a Mold and Mildew resistant pillow with a microfiber cover. You don't want to lay your head down on a damp pillow all night! If you have an extreme sensitivity or allergy to mold and mildew don't forget to bring your allergy medicines. Check sporting goods stores for one.
  9. Camping Gear & Weather: Our temperatures are mild for the winter, average 62°F, and summer nights average 77°F . So it's usually perfect sleeping all year long, but there are some chilly nights too. 
    • Tent, Sleeping bag/bed roll mat, mattress (Make sure your tent is waterproofed and UV rated)
    • tarps to create dry tent space and cover
  10. Work Shoes ,Clothes & etc: Make sure you bring clothes you don't mind getting dirty or eventually throwing away.
  • Shoes - flip-flops, trashable sneakers, waterproof hiking boots, rubner boots are a must, water shoes
  • Wool or synthetic socks (3)
  • Fleece or hoodie jacket
  • Heavy duty pants, for leg protection while working
  • Shorts, summer wear, tank tops, trashable t-shirts, etc
  • Hats - work, sun, rain and bandana
  • Synthetic underwear, sports bras, t-shirts,etc.
  • Cold weather wear if you want to play in the snow at Mauna Kea, it's COLD up there!
  • Ditty bag for dirty laundry 

About Computers/Laptops. If you choose to bring your cell phone, laptop or electronics, we suggest your laptop cases and sleeves are rated for "moisture, shock and scratch" protection. We cannot be held responsible for any damages that occur to your personal items while on property that you choose to bring.

Charging: We do have a small charging station set up which may not always be available. It depends on the sun. You can purchase a Hawaiian Acres Associate Community Center Addon Membership $10 for the year, which includes one device to connect to WiFi there and charge anytime when they are open.

Other: In other words, if you feel you need it please bring it. We only supply the space for your tent, Propane for cooking, eating utensils, etc.This is a RAW living experience and won't always be comfortable or glamorous, but it is an exciting adventure! Everyone is responsible for their own comfort level and ability to assimilate to thus lifestyle. You are here to learn a different way of living which will be a culture shock at first. If you sincerely wish to live raw, please make the effort for your success.

 

It's suggested to take the first week, read the website, ask questions, work with the Director on projects to get acclimated to how things work here first. Things don't work the same here agriculturally or off grid like on the mainland.

 

Respecting the knowledge here the owner has before suggesting improvements, is the best way to learn something new. Staying open, teachable, and positive always works out for all.