Preparing yourself
and packing

Congratulations! You got the call and you’re hired. Here’s what you need to know before you head to site.

You must arrive to the camp fit for duty and ready to work — that means clean and sober, even if you don’t start work on your first day.


Read more below about WHAT and HOW to pack.

Don't get Sent home before you even start.

You can not have illegal drugs, marijuana, drug paraphernalia or alcohol on you or in your luggage. You and your stuff will be in range of a drug dog at some point. (Everyone is).

There is a chance you will take a drug and alcohol test at site, a breathalyser and saliva and urine samples, so it is best to stop all drug use (except your own prescription drugs). Drugs stay in your system for days. How long they stay in your system, or show up on a drug test, is different for every person.

You will be sent home if:

  1. You are under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you arrive at the gate.
  2. You have drugs or drug paraphernalia on you or in your luggage.
  3. You are asked to take a drug test and site results indicate you are not fit for duty.
How to pack:
  1. Make sure all your bags are clean and drug-free before you pack. Even trace drug odor will be picked up by the drug dogs.

    If the drug dogs hit on trace drug odor on your luggage or clothing, this will lead to a search.If drug paraphernalia like pipes, lighters, scissors or anything used to prepare, use, or hold drugs is found and tests show traces of drugs, you will be sent for a D&A (Drug & Alcohol) test. You may be evicted for up to one year.

    If you are driving your own vehicle to camp, clean it completely before packing it up.

  2. All prescriptions must be clearly labeled with your name, your doctor’s name and the expiry date. Bring at least enough medication for 28 days, in case of weather or shift changes.

    Remember, prescriptions need to be in your name — not your wife’s or your friend. If you are found in possession of prescription medication that is not in your name, is not valid, or is expired, you will need to go for Drug & Alcohol testing. You will also be asked to produce a valid prescription.

  3. Pack all electronics, prescription medication and liquids to be easily accessible. Before your bags are scanned, you will be asked to take out any of these items. Consider putting all your liquids together in one or two bags within your luggage.
What is Here:

Keeyask provides a large variety of healthy food and drinks for free, that are available anytime. You can buy chips, pop, chocolate bars and other snack foods at the commissary (store).

Your room has a bed, a desk and chair, a sink, a private washroom with a shower, a TV, an alarm clock and a desk lamp. Sheets, blankets and pillows are also provided.

Housekeeping cleans the bathroom, changes bedding and cleans flat surfaces every three days.

You need to bring:
  1. You need $5.00 cash when you arrive to get your room key.
  2. Towels and facecloths — bring enough for a week. There is a laundry room you can use. Laundry soap is provided.
  3. Personal grooming items — shampoo, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc. If you forget something, you can buy it at the commissary.
  4. At least two pairs of footwear — outdoor shoes or boots are not allowed in camp, bring indoor shoes and outdoor footwear or work boots.
  5. If you like to use the gym or the sauna, join a game of basketball, a fitness class, etc. bring runners, gym clothes and a swim suit.
  6. There are options for those with food allergies but if you have favourite alternatives, bring them (nut free, dairy free, etc).
  7. Your employer will provide you with a list of work gear.

Your room is your own for your full 21-day shift. A lot of people find it important to bring things to make their stay more comfortable and help them sleep well. Things like:

  1. Your own pillow (Keeyask pillows are not for everyone).
  2. Ear plugs (in case you are a light sleeper or your neighbour has their TV turned up loud).
  3. Hangers (these are not provided).
  4. Photos, books, or hobbies.
  5. Phone, tablet, computer and chargers (land line phones are available throughout the camp).
  6. Personal water bottle or travel mug (lidded cups aren’t allowed in some areas).
  7. A combination or key padlock.
  8. Cash and a credit card or a debit card for purchases at the commissary. They only take debit or credit in the lounge. There are no bank machines at site. If you are a smoker, you might want to bring cigarettes or vape, both are also for sale in the commissary.
Tips to handle three week shifts:
  1. Once you leave your home, it’s easier to just accept that you have your shift to complete. If you spend all your time wishing you were home, the 21 days will seem longer.
  2. Bring things that help you pass the time like games, books or hobbies.
  3. Get to know people at Keeyask.
  4. Use the amenities, like the games room, the gym, or the lounge.
  5. Take advantage of Employee Retention and Support Services, they have life skills programs, drop-in events, traditional ceremonies, and counseling services to help with work, home or personal challenges.
  6. Try new things. Being away from home is a chance to do some things you’ve always wanted to do (on-line learning, get in shape, plan a trip, etc).
  7. Stay in touch with family and friends. Phones and computers are available throughout Keeyask and the wi-fi is good.

I was at a party a few days before coming back to work. Some guys at the party were smoking marijuana and we were all drinking and partying pretty hard.

Tip: It’s best to avoid drugs while on leave from Keeyask. If drugs are found to be in your system, you will face suspension for up to a year.

The first time I came to camp, I didn’t bring much other than some clothes and my toothbrush. I didn’t even bring extra shoes and ended up walking around for 3 weeks in my socks.

Tip: Bring some comforts from home like a pillow and a good book to pass the time. Indoor shoes are pretty essential and ear plugs don’t hurt either 🙂