What to Pack for a BJJ Camp

There are few things more frustrating than going on a vacation and realizing you’ve forgotten something crucial once you make it to your destination. It starts as a sense of dread as you are looking through your luggage, that morphs into resignation and disappointment.

But, with a little bit of extra preparation and a decent list, you can avoid the inconvenience of forgotten essentials! Keep reading to get an idea of what you’ll want to pack, and use our list to make sure you don’t show up at camp unprepared!

Essentials to Pack for a BJJ Camp

What Items to Pack for a BJJ Camp

The reality is that unless you’re traveling far from the beaten path, you’ll be able to find just about everything you need to enjoy a regular vacation. Toothbrushes, contact lens solution, sunglasses, and bathing suits are plentiful around the world, so if you forget these you’ll be able to buy replacements (albeit usually at a premium).

However, if you forget your mouthguard or finger tape, you’ll have to get very lucky to find a replacement. While harder to forget, any BJJ specific gear like Gis, belts, or rash guards are going to be just about impossible to replace on short notice.

How Many Gis Should I Pack?

This is always the toughest question for camps. The more Gis you bring, the less time you have to spend doing laundry. However, Gis are heavy and bulky and will rapidly fill suitcases.

If you’re planning on training in the gi more than once per day, then you should bring at least 2 gis. Don’t be that guy who wears the same gi at the 10 am class and at the 5 pm class. No one wants to roll with that guy. Even if you’ve showered after the first class (which you definitely should!), your gi will still pack an olfactory punch.

Bringing more than 2 Gis basically ensures that you’ll be limited by your body’s capabilities rather than your washing machine’s. However, unless you’ve got 3 lightweight travel Gis, you may need to allocate a whole suitcase just for Gis.

Speaking of lightweight Gis, camps are not the time to bring your favorite double-weave Judo Gi! You will be best served by lightweight, thin Gis. If you have Gis that can be put in the dryer without risk of shrinkage, these are perfect candidates for travel, as they will save you valuable time.

What about Belts?

If you’ve got two belts, bring them both! However, if you only have 1 you’ll be able to get away with just washing your belt daily.

Keep in mind that belts take a while to dry. The good news is, training with a slightly damp belt isn’t nearly as unpleasant as training in a damp gi!

How Much No-Gi Stuff Should I Bring?

While it may be hard to decide how many Gis to bring, No-Gi gear is a bit simpler. I tend to over pack No-Gi gear, bringing 4 or 5 rash guards. Could I get away with 2? Of course, I could, but then I wouldn’t get to show off my technicolor wardrobe! Also, they barely take up any room and I absolutely loathe putting on a funky rash guard.

Spats and No-Gi shorts are a matter of personal preference. I usually bring one pair of spats and shorts and supplement my No-Gi attire with my Gi pants.

Oh, and a word on training shirtless… Even if it is fine at your home gym, do your training partners a favor and wear a rash guard at camps. As an added bonus you’ll give your skin a layer of protection against chafing and mat burn which will help you during marathon training sessions!

What Other BJJ Gear Should I Pack?

A mouthguard, water bottle, finger tape, flip-flops or sandals, a microfiber towel, and body wipes are great additions to your BJJ suitcase.

If you find you’ve got an extra room, you might consider bringing some of your favorite post-training snacks, supplements, and prehab/rehab equipment. Just be sure to keep an eye on your rehab toys, a therapy cane or foam roller will get lots of attention after a long open mat session!

What Should I Pack for off the Mats?

What you’ll bring for the time you’re off the mats will vary considerably depending on the camp’s location. Camps with beaches, like Mallorca BJJ and Yoga Fest or BJJ Summer Week, will necessitate beachwear and ski-towns will require snow gear.

Since you’ll have access to washing machines, you may need to pack less than you are generally accustomed to. Just leave yourself enough clothing to ensure that your mat time isn’t laundromat time.

While most of your wardrobe requirements will be fairly regular, you’ll go through undergarments at an accelerated rate, so be sure to bring extra.

Almost all BJJ camps are casual affairs, so feel free to forego dressy attire unless you have a particular use in mind.

Your camp host will be able to offer advice on particulars such as sunscreen, bug spray, and local weather conditions.

What Should I Leave Behind?

Not everything is essential, and some stuff is apt to just waste valuable luggage space that could be given over to another Gi or rash guard.

Don’t bring laundry detergent. It is widely available everywhere and if it leaks in your bag you’re in for a slippery mess.

If you are yoga inclined, consider omitting the yoga mat or yoga strap. BJJ mats are usually great for yoga, and a belt is a great substitute for a yoga strap.

BJJ Camp Packing List

What to Pack for a BJJ Camp

Essentials:

  • Gis (2+)
  • Rash Guards (2+ / Feel Free to Go Crazy Here)
  • Belt (1+)
  • Spats / No-Gi Shorts (1+)
  • Mouth Guard
  • Finger Tape (2+ Rolls)
  • Water Bottle
  • Flip-flops/Sandals
  • Microfiber Towel
  • Body Wipes
  • More Underwear than You’d Normally Pack

Nice to Have:

  • Training Snacks
  • Supplements
  • Prehab/Rehab Tools (Foam Roller, Lacrosse Ball, Tiger-Tail, Therapy Cane, etc.)

Summary

Packing for a BJJ camp is a balancing act. Bring too much gear, and you’ll be weighing yourself down and possibly incurring expensive baggage fees. Bring too little, and you risk spending more time than you’d like doing laundry or sitting out an open mat while your Gi dries.

Generally 2 Gis will be sufficient, although if you can sneak a third in, you probably won’t regret the decision! No-Gi gear is compact and lightweight, so don’t be afraid to bring more than you think you’ll need.

Remember that you’ll be training more than normal, so be sure to bring along whatever tools and supplements you use for self-care.

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