What to take to Solstice - Raghubir Kaur

CAMPING

The first year I thought, that all I needed was a very small and light tent to sleep in. NOT! LET ME TELL YOU THAT YOU SHOULD GET A TENT THAT YOU CAN STAND UP IN. It doesn't have to sleep 16, but you should be able to stand up in it. My first year I couldn't stand up and I was changing my clothes in a crow squat. It was light to carry, easy to assemble, and basically disposable. And I did dispose of it because it was useless.

The second year, I bought a larger, more commodious tent with better construction. THERE IS WEATHER THERE, SO MAKE SURE YOUR TENT IS WATERPROOF and sturdy enough to withstand rain and wind. LAST YEAR WE HAD FEROCIOUS WINDS AND A STRONG TENT IS A MUST IF YOU WANT TO HAVE SOMEWHERE TO SLEEP. Some people came back from events on the site only to find their tents collapsed or if there's rain, their belongings sopping wet. This is avoidable...so I say, Invest in a decent tent that is waterproof and large enough to stand up in. (REI, TARGET, COSTCO all have good tents)There are other more expensive tents out there but these stores carry good strong tents at a fair price. You can also check Amazon.com. Last year I brought a gigantic tent that was the size of a one bedroom apartment....it was too big for just me.

3HO Summer Solstice Video by Elena Tchoujtchenko

CLOTHING

Bring clothing that is easy to wash by hand, layer-able, and warm. It can get both very cold and very hot. If you are there for a while, you'll need to wash your clothes....which you'll probably wash by hand and hang up on a line or a tree. Bring lots of t-shirts, comfortable pants, etc. for yoga practice, serving and "playing". Bring something to wash them with. I BRING DR. BRONNERS LIQUID SOAP BECAUSE I USE IT FOR BODY SOAP, SHAMPOO, AND LAUNDERING.

WEATHER

Be prepared for the rain: waterproof tent with rain flap. A portable, fold-able rain coat or poncho is a good thing to have just in case. If you don't like to walk in the rain, bring an umbrella. Be prepared for high winds.  Make sure your tent is secured and tied down and not in an exposed area where it might fall prey to high winds from all directions.  As I said before, a good strong tent is worth the investment.

FIRST AID

There is a first aid building on the property which is well stocked with things for minor pain and discomfort, sunburn, scrapes and abrasions, etc. There are doctors and nurses on staff for anything more serious. SO IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU MIGHT NEED, BRING IT. IT'S GOOD TO HAVE A FIRST AID KIT OF YOUR OWN....don't forget your prescription medication or supplements that you are used to taking. If you have a way to handle muscle pain (Narayan oil, Arnica, Traumeel, Bengay, etc. for example) bring that with you.

There are massage therapists, chiropractors, healers offering their services in the bazaar tent so you can handle most minor injuries or discomfort for a reasonable fee. Just remember to bring what you think you might need based on your past experiences.

EATING AND DRINKING

Bring water bottles, hot bottle for yogi tea, eating utensils, a plate (reg food) and bowl (soup). You can pick these things up at places like Cost-plus, an Army/Navy store or Target. You'll be washing your own plates and utensils at every meal. There are water dispensaries all over the site which includes electrolyte water, too. You don't need to bring dish washing soap...they have it at the dish washing station. If you don;t remember the last time you took a drink of water - TAKE A DRINK OF WATER! Tell your kids as well.

FOOTWEAR

The terrain is rough and dry and while flip flops might be ideal for going to and from the shower area, your feet are going to get beat up. Trust me. If you are the slip-on, slip-off kind of person that I am, I like to use keen-type sandals which are waterproof, easy to get in and out of, offer support, and cover the toes (if you choose). I got mine at REI and it'll be another year I'll be wearing them all the time... if you know what you want, you can go to Zappos and get them for less money. I wear the Venice H2.....and the Daytona...both EXCELLENT CHOICES FOR SOLSTICE! While we're on the subject of feet, there is a foot therapy station at Solstice......and I highly recommend bringing BAND-AIDS, FOOT CREAM, etc. because I can guarantee that your feet will get DRY.  REALLY DRY.

WAKING UP

Bring a battery operated alarm clock (and batteries). Even though every morning at 3 am before sadhana, Guru Singh and his band of merry people walk through the camp sites starting at around 3 am singing "RISE UP"...you still may want a back up plan.

TOILETRIES:

SUNSCREEN, LIP BALM, SKIN LOTIONS, TOOTHBRUSH AND TOOTHPASTE. BRING YOUR OWN TOWELS AND WHATEVER ELSE YOU NEED TO STAY GORGEOUS AND HAPPY ON YOUR TRIP IN THE HIGH DESERT. OH DON'T FORGET THE Q-TIPS. Speaking of tips:  Almond Oil to oil your nostrils before you sleep and during the day.

FOR WHITE TANTRIC YOGA YOU'LL NEED:

White cotton or natural fiber clothing and a white cotton or natural fiber headcovering....ALL of which ARE available at Kundalink - head wraps, clothes at our table in the bazaar tent. If you haven't experienced a Kundawrap or a Kundabini...you're in for a treat.

TIME TO ENJOY COLD WATER.

COLD SHOWERS. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE COLD SHOWERiS. If you are not used to taking cold showers, now is a good time to practice it. By the time you get to solstice, you'll be a pro. A  tip from old timers - if you want to wash your hair or take a prolonged shower wait until later in the morning or midday when the sun heats the water!

SADHANA

Sheepskin, yoga mat, warm blanket, and a hoodie or something warm for morning sadhana. Some people take their entire bedding to the tent! It's pretty cold when you start but you warm up pretty quickly after you start doing yoga at 4 am.

THE SUN IS STRONG

Keep your head covered! Bring a hat to protect your head from the sun unless you wear a headcovering. it is not a fashion statement - it is for your safety. If you have children strongly explain to them how important it is. And Don't forget the sunscreen... Some folks bring sun umbrellas.

NIGHTTIME

Bring the following for a comfortable nights sleep: SLEEPING BAG, WARM BEDDING, YOUR PILLOW, SLEEPING PAD OR AIR MATRESS OR COT. IF YOU BRING AN AIR MATRESS, TRY TO GET ONE THAT HAS A BATTERY OPERATED BUILT IN AIR PUMP. (otherwise you'll be dragging it around all the time to electrical sources to refill it)

EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITY

Bring a bathing suit just in case. There is a pool especially for the children on site which you might take a dip now and then. Some people go down the hill to the hot springs and you might, too. (Oho Caliente) TIP: Staying on the mountain is the best possible choice.

EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE

Bring a bag to carry around your stuff. Of course you can buy a tote bag at the Kundalink - Totes, Headwraps, clothing table in the Bazaar (which is perfect for taking your personals to the showers)  if you don't get one on line NOW....You will be given a uniform size bag when you register for the tantric shelter, TIP: They make great grocery bags!

Bring a flashlight OR one of those head lamps. If I have to recommend ONE THING that I couldn't do without, I would say it was one of theseI USE THE HEADLAMP BECAUSE WHEN I WALK TO THE BATHROOM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND I AM CARRYING THINGS TO THE BATHROOM, I NEED MY HANDS and you might, too! Highly recommended. No not recommended....NECESSARY. Campers Micro LED Head Lamp with Hat Clip (High/Low Beam).

PARTY TIME

On the 3HO website, they suggested bringing one or two dressy outfits for social events, but I have to say, this is not really necessary. It's pretty casual, but there are times when you may feel it is more comfortable. TIP: Don't bring the irreplaceable favorite item of clothing - it will get dirty and possibly damaged.

EXTRA PROTECTION

Bring a hooded windbreaker or hoodie... layers of clothing is the best way to go. I rarely wore socks although they can be helpful in the early morning chill.

AND if you need to charge your ipod or iphone or cellular, there's a charging station and you can plug in from time to time. I can tell you that you won't be using your phone very much, or at least much less that usual. The reception has been intermittent in the past.

KEEP IT CLEAN

A "DOORMAT". SOME HEAVY TOWEL OR SHOWER MAT SO THAT YOU CAN WIPE YOUR FEET OFF BEFORE YOU ENTER YOUR TENT. JUST A THOUGHT....

The best advice I can give you is to travel light. You should be able to fit everything in a duffle bag and a medium suitcase. Try to keep your things to a minimum....and make sure you have enough clothes to layer and keep in rotation, comfortable shoes, comfortable bedding, and a tent that you can stand up in. You won't believe how helpful, generous and friendly everyone is and if you need something, if someone there doesn't have it, you can always go down the hill into "civilization" and buy it.

SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Bring some money because you can get some fantastic products at the bazaar.... many vendors take credit cards and checks, but cash is always nice!!! see you there! Kundalink.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST...

EK ONG KAR'S (ELENA'S) SOLSTICE MOVIES CAN PROVIDE A SENSE OF WHAT BEING AT SOLSTICE IS ALL ABOUT.