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Living in Labor Camps: A Guide

By Rob Chernish
Published: September 12, 2014 | Last updated: September 23, 2014 02:30:41
Key Takeaways

Learn what may make or break your experience in camp. What to pack and what to expect.

Source: Flickr/sylvar
No matter where you are in the world, you have probably heard some horror stories about "life in camp," but many of these stories are just that, stories! Sure, camp life can be a tough and boring time, but so can life at home when you are working around the clock. To ensure that your transition from life at home to life on the road is a smooth one, be sure to consider some of the following items before venturing into your new shift.

Pack For Camp
Now this may be easier said than done, but a large part of the life at camp and its challenges can be addressed by the things you pack. Before you start, ask yourself a couple questions: Is this your first time to camp? What are some of the things that the camp has to make your stay more enjoyable? What do you do at home to pass time that you can’t do in camp? Once you have asked yourself these questions, consider your answers and start packing!

TV, Gaming Consoles
If you are like some workers, then your packing list includes a TV and Xbox or Playstation so you can pass the time from the comforts of your own room. Many camps have gyms and common TV rooms, but if you bring your own equipment, then you can have more control over your privacy.

Books and Magazines
While you might not be a big reader at home, it is wise to bring some books or magazines with you in case you get the urge to read that book your wife bought you for Christmas. Long shifts in camp can create restlessness and boredom. Also, it can be a good idea to bring along a couple of pictures of the family to keep yourself motivated. This can easily be done by bringing a laptop or computer, since most work camps have internet access. One of the best things to do when using your laptop or deciding on what books or magazines you should bring is to find a topic that you are interested in, but have never had the time to really learn about. This could be anything from welding to geology to how to build planes to finance, or perhaps a bush survival guide — anything that will keep you occupied while you're away working. Whether you know it or not, your brain enjoys learning and the creativity that comes from it, so when choosing a topic, be open-minded and enjoy all the time you have to learn without the distraction of friends, family, and other things at home.

Maintain Your Privacy
While it is good to go and make friends while you are at camp, it is also good to keep some aspects of your life private since you are in an area where many things that you are traditionally used to having for yourself are now shared with others. This goes from the dishes you eat with to the sheets on your bed. Everything is shared, so keeping some things to yourself can be a great advantage for the psyche by helping you keep your privacy and sanity intact. Remember to always consider what you are working towards, and set goals for yourself, your life, and your family by ensuring that your work goals are aligned with your personal goals.


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Written by Rob Chernish

A writer from Canada with firsthand experience in Oil, Gas, Mining, and environmental safety.

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