Packing for a Surf & Yoga Retreat

We send out extensive packing lists before all our trips, but here’s one that highlights a few key items we recommend you bring on your next yoga and surf retreat. Use it as a year-round reminder for whenever! May you surf more, surf often, and practice yoga every day.

Items to pack for your YOGA retreat…

Manduka Eko Yoga MatNot a travel mat, but a real yoga mat. A travel mat is ok as a mat-liner if you know the studio you’ll be at has their own mats and you’d like not to put your feet, hands and face on a rental mat. But honestly, you signed up for a yoga retreat. It should be all about the yoga, and there will be a lot of yoga. Bring a really good mat and give your practice best chance possible to be amazing, and comfortable.

We love Manduka’s line of Eko yoga mats, and we also like the Jade Harmony yoga mats. Both will take up space in your bag, but are worth the extra weight for the serious practitioner.

Teeki Yoga PantsYou want comfortable clothes to practice in, and your yoga pants can even double as sun protection in the surf if they’re the right material. Rule number one is they should be tight, rule number two is they shouldn’t be cotton. We love surfing in yoga pants from Teeki, and we love practicing in them too. Bonus, they’re made from recycled plastics! The more we can support commercial uses of recycled plastics, the more we continue to encourage recycling, which is sadly, losing steam in some locales.

triple tree sports bottleA re-fillable water bottle please! We hope all our surfers and yogis are already super conscious about their contributions to the single use plastic waste of the world, do we really have to say this? I’m sure you have your favorite water bottle already, make sure you bring it! Need one? We suggest choosing stainless steel, or silicon wrapped glass. These sports bottles from Triple Tree are simple, inexpensive, can clip to your bag, and do the job just fine.

Items to pack for your SURF retreat…

You’re going to be in the ocean. There will be waves. You will also be falling a lot. Please pack a stay put or one piece bathing suit. Learning to surf is hard enough as it is, you don’t want to be worrying about accidental nudity on top of all that! Brands that understand surf wear for women include Seea, Billabong and Patagonia.

billabong surf more bodysuitSometimes you’ll need a wetsuit, but not on our January retreats! The water and the weather is simply gorgeous in Baja Sur that time of year. We do recommend a rash guard for sun protection. If you’re serious about surfing, you’ll be in the water and out in the sun a long time. We LOVE these long-sleeved bodysuits that many of the above mentioned brands are now offering. Of course, if you’re that person who’s always cold no matter what, you might want to add some neoprene for warmth, or upgrade to a shorty wetsuit. Remember, if you run cold, you’ll run colder in a wet environment.

Sun Bum reef safe sunscreen


Sunscreen! This is an absolute must. Your sunscreen should be waterproof and also ocean safe and reef safe, please! Apply liberally and bring way more than you think you’ll need. Don’t be that person that always needs to borrow sunscreen. You might want to purchase a special one for your face, and another for your body. We can’t be too conservative here. Nothing ruins a good yoga and surf retreat like getting sunburned on day one. Remember your lips! You can put your sunscreen there, or purchase lip balm with SPF protection. We love any of the products made by SunBum.

Things to pack for your ADVENTURE retreat…

Solomon women's XR Mission Trail runnerOn a Baja Surf Yoga adventure retreat, you’ll go hiking! Please wear suitable closed-toed shoes for hiking. In the desert everything might try to bite you, sting you or puncture you. Unless specified well in advance (you would know already) you won’t need actual hiking shoes, but some people love them anyway for the added support. Think traction and stability. Trail running shoes like Solomon’s XR Mission trail runner are great.

camelbak hydration systemBring that same reusable water bottle on your hike along with a small bag or waist pack to carry it handsfree. Alternatively,  a camel back can double as a water bottle and a great beach going and walking around town bag! It might even double as your carry-on if you empty it of water before your flight.

You’ll of course need sun protection for the hike, and even for just walking around town. Depending on where you’re coming from, once your January retreat rolls around, it could’ve been a long time since your skin has seen the sun. Remember to protect not just your face, but find some breezy long sleeved shirts, lightweight long pants or a light scarf for the back of your neck.

That’s all folks, now for the disclaimer! This blog post was written by a woman, sorry dudes. All the product suggestions are for chicks, but you can still come on our retreats, and you can still click the links to Amazon and find a men’s version. Second part of the disclaimer is that this post is just for fun ya dummies! You don’t need any of these items to come on our retreats, we don’t guarantee any of these items, and we’re not the ones responsible for giving you your money back if you don’t like them. 

Does this packing list sound like it’s built for a trip you’d love to go on? You can! We host surf and yoga adventure retreats in Baja Sur every year. To see what’s ahead on the schedule, visit our retreats page. We just may have a spot for you.

Sara-Mai Conway is a surf and yoga instructor with Baja Surf Yoga and she would totally wear or use every single item in this post, which is why she chose them for you.  

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