The Ultimate Checklist for your YWAM DTS

Headed to a YWAM DTS? Here is the ultimate checklist for what you’ll want to be sure to pack before you head out!

The Ultimate Checklist for your YWAM DTS


The Ultimate Checklist for your YWAM DTS



Getting ready to head to a YWAM Discipleship Training School? Look no further for your ultimate packing checklist! Your YWAM DTS will be full of so many adventures, make sure you arrive prepared with what you’ll need….and leave at home what you won’t. 

Why choose Asheville for DTS 

There are many reasons that YWAM Asheville is a perfect place to do a DTS! Some of the key reasons are our location, our ministries, our size, and our culture. The mountains of Western North Carolina provide a stunning atmosphere for growth, learning, and getting closer to God. The thriving city of Asheville is unique to the American South in that it is culturally and spiritually diverse. Art, music, and natural beauty are everywhere! 

As a YWAM base, our ministry is dedicated to 3 main areas: 

-Training missionaries and leaders who are focused on Jesus. We are passionate about seeing young people sent to the nations on behalf of the Gospel. 

-Local Outreach! We extend mercy to those in our community who are underserved or vulnerable. Most often this looks like children at risk and those on the streets of Asheville.

-Assisting women who have been affected by sex trafficking. We are zealous about restoring what the injustice of human trafficking has stolen. 

Because we are a smaller base, our schools are intimate, deeply transformational, and intentional. Each student will have dedicated staff members who are committed and involved in their DTS journey. Our size allows us to function as a family, and that is the hallmark of our culture as a YWAM base. Family. When you arrive at YWAM Asheville you will know that you are loved, you are important, and that you belong. 

12 Things to pack before going to DTS 

So, regardless of where you are going to do a DTS, here is a list of 12 things you’ll want to be sure to pack before you head out! 

  1. Clothing: 
  • 4-5 casual outfits that you can wear to class, during ministry times, or on outings
  • 2-3 hard work outfits that you don’t mind getting dirty (This may look like cleaning a homeless shelter, doing yard work, or going on a hike) 
  • 1-2 slightly formal outfits for church or special events
  • 1-2 sets of modest PJ’s or loungewear 
  • Enough underwear and socks to get you through 8-9 days without a washing machine 
  1. Shoes: 
  • 1 pair of comfy walking shoes…we walk a lot! 
  • 1 of pair of sandals 
  • 1 pair of formal shoes (not too formal…you may need to take them on outreach)
  1. Your Bible, of course! 
  2. Up-to-date Passport with plenty of time (10+ months) before the expiration
  3. A sturdy water bottle that you won’t mind getting a little scratched up 
  4. Any personal medication you will need during your 5-6 months away from home
  5. 1 or 2 lightweight towels that will air dry quickly 
  6. Bedding: It’s important to know what your DTS location provides for the lecture phase, and bring bedding accordingly. You’ll also want to ask your DTS contact what kind of bedding you should bring for outreach. Most often a lightweight sleeping bag will do the trick.
  7. Toiletries:  Only the essentials! You can most likely purchase things like soaps and shampoos once you arrive at DTS, rather than travelling with them.
  8. A day bag, like a small backpack or shoulder bag 
  9. A larger bag for outreach. Most YWAM bases will suggest a gender-appropriate 50-70L backpacking backpack for a DTS outreach. But be sure to double-check with your DTS contact to see if that is the most ideal luggage for your outreach location. 
  10. A sweater or jacket, depending on the weather at your base’s location. Some YWAM DTS locations are in tropical rainforests that see a bunch of rainfall. Some are in desert cities where buildings blast air conditioning year-round. Still, others are in mountain top tundras that are extremely windy. Just be sure to do your research and ask your DTS contact on how to best be prepared for the weather you will encounter. 

Other things to consider bringing to DTS: 

•Does your DTS have electives, tracks, or a focus? You may want to bring some of your own materials or equipment that will be of use. If it’s a Sports & Fitness DTS, make sure you bring plenty of athletic clothing, shoes, any braces you need, and a sweat towel. What about an Arts & Design elective? Yes, you can totally bring your own supplies if you wish. Photography? Bring your camera and SD cards! Whatever the theme is, just stay in contact with your DTS staff about what all you may want to bring for your particular elective, track, or focus. 

•A bathing suit would be a good idea! If you do your DTS in Asheville, you’ll have plenty of free time to explore local waterfalls and lakes. But let’s leave those bikinis and speedos at home. (Ladies, a one-piece, a tankini, or even a tank top and shorts would be fine depending on what base you go to.) 

•If you play a musical instrument that is simple enough to travel with, by all means, bring it! You’ll have ample time to worship and jam together with your classmates. 

•Some sunglasses that are ok to lose or break 

•A sun-blocking hat, if you wish 


  • Keep modesty in mind while packing! We ask that you come to DTS ready to focus your eyes on Jesus, and allow others to do the same 😉
  • Research the weather patterns of the location you’ll be at during that time of year. Bring clothing accordingly. 
  • Check with your DTS contact about any specific items you may need for outreach. Some outreach locations require that women wear long skirts or head coverings, while other locations may require closed-toed shoes. If your outreach location is unknown, be prepared to purchase some items you might need once you find out. It’s a good idea to try to raise some extra funds beyond your tuition for unknown expenses like these.
  • Pack as light as possible. Space is very limited, both on-base and on outreach. 


  • Bring anything that is too valuable to lose or get damaged, like jewellery or family mementoes. Naturally, you may want to bring your laptop, prescription glasses, or camera…just be prepared for the risk associated with travel, particularly overseas. Consider investing in hardshell cases for those items that you do bring to prevent any avoidable damage.
  • Bring a ton of books. You’ll have plenty of provided reading materials related to the course.
  • Bring a bunch of makeup or hair tools. Girl, give your face a break. You’re beautiful! Some makeup basics are fine, of course, but take this opportunity to give your 30-minute routine a vacation. You will be sharing a bathroom with multiple other people, and solo mirror time will be sparse.
  • Pack your big bottles of lotion, shampoo, and conditioner. Either bring smaller sized bottles or purchase those items once you arrive. You could even consider buying those big bottles with your roommates and sharing them so they don’t go to waste.

Final Take Away 

We’ve listed the most important physical items to bring to your YWAM DTS…but honestly, the most important things to bring with you are an open mind, a flexible spirit, and a heart ready for whatever the Lord has in store for you! 

If you’re still looking for the best place to do DTS, YWAM Asheville might be the place for you. Apply in just 3 minutes for free. We can’t wait to meet you!


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