While researching what to pack for Half Dome Village in Yosemite (used to be called Camp Curry), I found an utter lack of resources of what to bring. Half Dome Village sits in the middle of the Yosemite Valley and is made up of about 400 permanent tents, with a few cabins. It’s charming and a good way to connect to nature, but there isn’t a good list of things to bring and not to bring while specifically staying there for the night. So, in the end, we over packed to prepare and I learned what is helpful to pack and what is not. Here’s my ultimate list of things to pack for Camp Curry/Half Dome Village in Yosemite (learn more about Half Dome Village HERE)
WHAT TO PACK FOR HALF DOME VILLAGE
For the tent
What they provide: two thin blankets, a safety box, trash can, towels, bear locker outside.There is one light overhead and one outlet for the tent.
You should bring…
Extra blankets and pillows: We got a heated tent and I thought for sure during the day that we wouldn’t need the heater. Wrong! Because the camp sits under Glacier Point, from about 3pm onwards, the area falls into shade, so the tents cool off quickly, even in the summer. We woke up in the middle of the first night freezing and turned it on. They give you blankets, but they’re thin, so we brought a couple of extras for a cozy experience.
Sweaters for the cool night. Again, the tents get cold at night, even if the day is hot hot hot.
Flashlights are great for running to the bathroom, navigating the camp at night and for stargazing explorations. There are “street lamps” scattered across the camp to provide light, but it’s not enough to navigate around alone. Bring at least one flashlight! I liked it better than carrying around my phone. Yosemite is all about digital detoxing, right?
Extra water jugs and bottles are great to fill up in the morning and keep in the tent to use for hikes and throughout the day. The walk to the grocery store where the pump is located can be a pain to do over and over again multiples times a day.
Padlock for the bear locker. You have to keep anything scented (food, makeup, etc) in the bear locker. They’re great at keeping wild animals out, but you should bring a padlock to keep other humans out. I’ve hear reports of guests wandering the camp at night and stealing beer and food from other lockers.
We grabbed $2.50 burritos for each of us each morning at the store. There is one microwave to heat them up, which got crowded, but made a hearty yet cheap breakfast. For lunches, we snacked on dried fruits and PBJ sandwiches, treating ourselves to pizza at each night for a hot meal. We found this the most economical and easy to do.
We also brought a portable grill and charcoal in case there was a place to grill/make a fire, but there wasn’t. Unless you are actually staying in a campsite in the valley, don’t plan on cooking any of your food while there. The grocery store is stocked with snacks, fresh fruits, sandwiches, frozen meals and alcohol. They have a bar, pizza deck, a restaurant and a burger joint to stratify any hot meal cravings you have.
What to pack in:
Fresh fruit (apples, bananas, etc)
Instant coffee (cheaper than buying coffee each morning. You can get hot water for free from the coffee machine in the store)
Plastic silverware and plates
Plastic bags to hold snacks during hikes
Bottle opener for beer and wine
I always try to condense and bring just the bare minimums while camping or staying outdoors. Trees don’t care if you have a bold red lip on!
Yuni No-Rinse Body Cleaning Foam: this stuff is a life saver. Half Dome Village does have showers for campers, but they’re small, not the cleanest and are highly competitive to use. There was always a long line to the showers, so we instead opted to rely on Yuni No-Rinse Body Cleansing Foam (aka shower in a bottle). You pump it into your hand and use it like you would use soap and water. This magic stuff helps clean and leave you feeling fresher. If you insist on showering, bring along everything you need and plan on showering during the middle of the day when most people are hiking and the line is shorter.
Dry shampoo: Again, when you aren’t showering each day. it’s a life saver.
Toothbrush + paste
Sunscreen: Try Karyng, which is SPF 50 and doubles as a primer (perfect when you’re on the go!)
Hand lotion if you are sensitive to the soap like I am
Minimal makeup: BB cream, mascara.
Moisturizer: I like to travel with small, but powerful products like Hada Labo Deep Hydration serum.
Contacts and glasses
Bug spray: We were lucky and didn’t have too many bugs by Labor Day, but my sister visited in July and was eaten to death. If it’s the summer, bring a powerful bottle of deet along.
Jeans for the evenings around the camp
Sandals for showers/slipping on and off quickly while handing around the tent
A sweater for the morning and evenings
Hiking outfits (I like to wear athleisure attire)
Swimsuit if you are rafting or wading gin there ever.
Clean undies for each day (there isn’t a laundromat)
Camera + chargers, there’s an outlet in your tent
Verizon GoPro for capturing your amazing hikes
Phones + chargers (they have free wifi at the guest building, but beware that everyone in the valley uses it, so it’s not very fast)
Backpack to use while hiking.
Books to read in the evening
Cards and/or board games: we loved sitting on the porch of the guest building and playing cards for about 5 hours one night. Great view of the sun setting over half dome and great people watching. Plus, the pizza deck and bar is right across the path for easy access.
A keychain to hold tent and bear locker keys.
I hope this helps you pack for your wonderful trip to Half Dome Village in Yosemite! Please leave a comment below if you have questions or anything to add to this list.