POLE JOURNEY: POLE CAMP PACKING
As the Summer months get closer, my news feed is starting to fill with posts about the summer pole camps coming up, and after taking part in two years of Alex pole camp with the lovely Alex Shchukin & Katia Shchukina, I have found that I come to the same dilemma of needing to pack everything for a normal holiday PLUS all the pole stuff into one tiny bag!
I always try to start my packing with creating a list but anyone who’s ever travelled with me will know that my packing list would start with “Pack ALL the things!”
And if you’re anything like me travelling light is not one of my biggest skills! I know what I should pack but then I always have the “maybe I’ll bring this just in case” moment and before you know it I have a pile of clothes across the bed, a tiny suitcase and no idea how the two will merge!
So I thought it would be useful to pull together some packing ideas for what to bring with you to pole camps or in fact any summer travelling destination that could involve pole.
First thing to talk about is packing cubes, a revolutionary way of packing that I’ve only recently come across, but is GENIUS! These little fabric cubes will help you to stay organised, minimalise wrinkles in your clothes, keep your belongings compact and are small enough to fit several into a carry-on bag, suitcase or backpack. You can also buy them in varying sizes to fit your existing suitcase and some also offer extra compression zippers and even two sides (useful in keeping clean clothes separate from dirty ones!)
Travel neck pillow
Don’t know about you but I love to sleep! And usually I can sleep anywhere, but this usually means I wake up with awful cramp in my neck or back from sleeping at awkward angles whilst travelling. I’ve recently come across this awesome luxury travel neck pillow which has a unique memory foam design that moulds and supports the contours of your head and neck. There is also a side pouch allowing for easy listening to media devices while you rest.
Music & headphones
Before your trip, prepare your travel playlist and use this time to listen to new music that could be a new choreo piece!
For headphones I would recommend a set of Bluetooth ones as they are comfortable for travelling and less likely to get caught on anything while carrying everything you need.
These Jay Bird headphones provide 8 hours of wireless music and calls complete with remove control to answer while you’re upside down! You also have a choice of memory foam or silicone tips in varying sizes to fit your ear and they also come with patented secure fit sport ear fins which sit on the cartilage part of your ear – they’re so light and comfy you don’t even notice they’re on.
The site claims premium sound and warm bass that outperforms most wired headphones and I would totally agree with that (listening through my Bluetooth headphones while typing!).
Compatible with all devices and available in a variety of colours, these headphones are definitely worth the investment for listening to music while on the move as well as practice sessions and training.
Work your pole outfits
I’m really bad at this because usually I want to bring everything! But last year I made a point of working out what polewear I was going to wear for each workshop across the days and because I mixed and matched instead of having individual sets, it saved on packing space!
Personally I would recommend purchasing the Bad Kitty bitsy bottoms as they come in lots of different colours, are small enough to sunbathe in after your workout and cheap enough that you can buy more than one pair at once!
Normal clothes for when you’re not poling
The best tip I was given for what normal clothes to pack was to think about what I’d actually be doing before and after the workout and also to think about how quickly you may need to put clothes back on or take them off.
Simple beach shorts and a t-shirt works perfectly for those 'on the beach' morning workouts
And for the times where you want to eat straight after you’ve trained in the studio, pack a few simple jersey dresses that you can throw on over the top of your polewear. Lightweight, crease-free and can be dressed up or down dependant on if you go to the evening parties!
Thanks to the rise of Athleisure, we can get away with wearing leggings and be hailed a fashionista! Statement leggings work from day to night and are easy to pack!
I love Blackmilk leggings as they always come in stand out colours, never loose their quality and feel so comfy!
Obviously if you’re booked onto a pole camp with a heels instructor then packing your pleasers is a must! I found that packing Chromes were a much more lightweight option than others and the foot straps work perfectly for packing your polewear inside them!
Besides shoes for poling, if space is tight there are only three essential pieces of footwear that you should need:
-Lightweight trainers/converse for walking to the beach / sight seeing:
- Flip flops for sea/sand/walking to pole
-A pair of glam gladiator sandals that you can wear during the day and a night in place of heels
A hat: is anti aging, hides bad hair, projects the sun and protects other people from your hangover face! Ha!
A big bag that can fold into your carry on that can be used for travelling to pole classes and the beach!
Sunglasses: As much as I love my Ray Bans, when it comes to travelling in pole camps I tend to wear my cheapy Primark sunnies as they still look stylish, but they only cost £2 so if they break or get lost on the beach, I am less heartbroken!
Hair & Skin
Blow drying and straightening your hair every day can get too much when on holiday, especially if you have a Monica from Friends moment where your hair gets frizzy in the heat! A simple messy bun or ponytail can still look good and is also practical for keeping hair away from your face during your workout. My favourite hair bands to use are Invisi bobble – they keep your hair secure, are kink free, less breakages and I have found they reduce headaches!
The biggest dilemmas for us polers – when to moisturise…especially when on holiday, its even more important to moisturise your body but if you are pole training every day, when do you moisturise?!
The best products I have found so far are The Body Shop’s body sorbet, they come in a range of different fragrances and the best thing is that I have found I can use this for grip as well as for moisturiser!
Looking after your skin the sun is really important….none of us want to be looking like old leather in our 40s after all!
For the face I would recommend a moisturiser the already has a factor in it, Sun Sense do a range of moisturisers which are small enough to pack and will also last long after your trip. They also have Factor 50 for the face to avoid those red noses!
For your body, it is better to find a sun gel instead of a cream or oil as it won’t leave access oils on your skin so that you can still pole before or after catching some rays, Sun sense also do a Sport Gel which is clear and dry.
Even if you wear less makeup when abroad, it is essential to clean away the oils of the day with a good makeup remover. There are many brands now introducing Micellar cleansing water which acts as a face and eye makeup remover, cleanses deeply and is free of parabens, colours and perfume. I've recommended a few on my Pole Journey blog here
We’ve all been there, wandering around desperately trying to find a coffee shop with a charging point, or you're on the beach with 2% battery left and you really want to film your new acro pose! Heres where a portable charger can be your saviour!
Essential part of any summer suitcase. H&M do some great mix & match and reversible bikini tops and bottoms. Ideal for minimalist packing because you can buy 2 sets and have 4 styles! Also a lot of their tops come in cup sizes which helps when your ass to bust ratio is not all one size!
Hope these tips help you with your packing this summer, if you have any top tips feel free to comment!
For more of an insight into my pole journey so far, check out my blog page www.polejourney.wordpress.com or follow me on Instagram @dominiquestagg