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General Packing Suggestions:


The most important thing to keep in mind when packing for Kettle Pond is the weather in the Adirondacks, which can be quite erratic in June. Generally, the days are warm and the nights are cool, with frequent, though usually brief, periods of rain, and beautiful sunsets. We recommend that our writers hope for the best, but plan for three seasons of weather. An umbrella or rain jacket and at least one pair of sturdy closed-toed shoes and/or all-weather sandals are highly recommended. A warm jacket, warm sweats or pajamas, and some pieces to layer in case of cold weather, especially in the evenings, have been useful in years past. We hope you won’t need them, but they're best to have on hand just in case.


Kettle Pond aims to provide everything essential that you will need during your week with us, but are the first to admit that the linens and towels included with campus housing are quite basic, and the shared kitchens are not stocked with basic cooking supplies, dishes, or other equipment.


Over the years we have collected a list of packing suggestions, as well as some things to consider as you prepare for your week at Paul Smith's. Many of the items below are nice to have, but are clearly dependent on your mode of transportation and packing space -- i.e. coffee makers, printers, lamps, etc; coffee is available at every meal, printing is free in the campus library, and all housing has overhead lighting. These suggestions represent luxuries those driving to the Residency may enjoy having while at Kettle Pond, but are certainly not necessary for those with less flexible packing situations. Writers sharing apartments will be connected once housing arrangements are finalized and are welcome to collaborate on packing plans if they wish.

We do encourage all of our writers to at least take a look at the list below. Even our longtime staff who compiled these suggestions continue to find it useful each year.


  • at least one warm sweater/sweatshirt/fleece/etc. (temperatures at night can be quite cold)

  • light and/or mid-weight jacket (see above)

  • at least one pair of long pants

  • rain coat (it typically rains at least one day of the week)

  • at least one pair of sturdy, water-resistant shoes

  • comfortable walking shoes

  • shower shoes and/or slippers (apartments have two shared bathrooms for four writers)

  • pajamas/sweats (suitable to both warm and cold weather)

  • robe (see “towel” under bedding & housewares)

  • gym clothes/swimsuit (if you plan to use the campus recreation facilities or kayaks/canoes)

  • yoga mat + clothing (for the 2023 residency we are hoping yoga classes will be offered throughout the week, but cannot guarantee this yet)

  • hat(s) (sun hat, wool hat, or both)

  • sunglasses

Bedding & Housewares:

  • warm blanket/sleeping bag (the college provides thin blankets but, as we mentioned, it can sometimes get cold at night)

  • extra pillow & pillowcase (the college provides one pillow & one biodegradable pillowcase per resident)

  • one fitted sheet/twin xl sheet set (the college provides biodegradable sheets, one fitted, one flat, but we recommend bringing your own if possible)

  • lamp (bedrooms only have overhead lighting)

  • hangers (all rooms have a closet or wardrobe)

  • towel(s) (one bath towel and one wash cloth are provided to each participant, however they are very basic and rather small) — additional towels are available upon request

  • any basic kitchen supplies you might wish to have, e.g. a mug, water bottle, cup, utensils, bottle/can opener, corkscrew, coffee maker, etc. (every apartment has a kitchen that is shared between four writers and includes a refrigerator, stove, and oven, but no cookware or utensils are provided in any campus housing)

  • groceries (the closest market is about four/five miles from campus)


  • printed directions to Paul Smith's (cell service is spotty along the way and if driving you may lose your GPS connection)

  • umbrella (again, rain is likely)

  • toiletries (some very basic staples are available in the campus store during limited weekday hours, the closest pharmacy is in Saranac Lake)

  • allergy medication and/or anti-itch cream (for bug bites) 

  • headlamp, flashlight, or lantern (walkways are lit, but there are beautiful hiking trails around campus where a flashlight might be useful)

  • bug spray (Kettle Pond will provide some bug spray and citronella candles during evening receptions)

  • sunscreen

  • reusable water bottle

  • coffee thermos

  • cash (ATMs are available on campus, evening bar is a cash only)

  • phone & charger (cell service is spotty, though WiFi is free and available on campus and writers without service may find it their best option to make calls)

  • laptop & charger (computers are available in the library during regular hours)

  • headphones

  • backpack, satchel, or tote bag (you may want something waterproof if you plan on hiking or paddling during the week)

  • pens & paper/notebook

  • extension cord/plug strip

  • hand/dish soap

  • a printer, and data cable, if desired (printing is available on campus but library access is limited on weekends -- writers who bring a printer are advised that they will not be able to network it on Paul Smith's WiFi network, staff will often be able to accommodate printing requests)

  • musical instrument (for evenings around the firepit, Friday night's closing celebration, or…)

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