Why You Need an Adventure Packing List
So….tell me the truth…you LIKED the pre-departure list didn’t you???? Made life easier and travel planning more fun right? It’s now oh so much more relaxed PLUS you’ve added in some fun things to do along the way!
So….why not extend the idea to the actual packing? If you do a variety of things like we do then make a few different lists (or if you have summer and winter trips that require lots of different items). We travel for diving (tropical) and climbing (cold as S#@T) and for ten years we guided natural history expeditions around the globe. So we have a few different lists. For example:
Packing List for SCUBA diving and snorkeling includes sections on:
Clothes (broken down into shirts/pants/shoes etc)
Camera and video Gear
Each section has a list of all the things we need for each of these categories. Then you just print it out and pack what you need for any given trip. Over time, you’ll fine tune your list and packing is a snap this way! Just like with the pre-departure lists (PDL), print out your packing list in plenty of time, and add things that you need to purchase to your two week-out pre departure list. This way if you mail order, it will give everything plenty of time to arrive.
Now, this may all sound rather dull with all the lists and the time frames and blah blah blah but believe you me…this puts a rhythm and flow to packing that you’ll love. And, you won’t show up at your destination realizing that you left something important at home.
How Do You Make a Packing List?
It’s really quite simple. I sit down with my list and go through a typical day on my vacation. I visualize the day.
1. Ok, get up in the morning what do I need?
–Toothbrush, paste, shampoo, conditioner, morning meds etc…
2. I have breakfast
–Protein powder and shaker bottle, vitamins (count the days, put them in baggies)
3. I get dressed.
How many days will I get dressed to go diving?
–This means I just need a bathing suit and cover up or t-shirt. Then I throw in ALL my bathing suits, about 15 (hey I’m a girl!!!).
4. I’m heading out for the day to SCUBA dive, snorkel, climb, BASE jump, etc.
–I need my dive gear including wetsuit, mask, fins etc….
You get the picture. I go through the entire day and the entire vacation. If my trip has a dive component AND a land component I go through my days hiking, birding or whatever…
Photography and Videography
Personally, I take all my video and camera gear and keep it (and travel with it) in a roll aboard. Everything is always there. When I get ready to pack, I open the bag, check, assemble, charge and re-pack.
When I’m shooting video, which is most of the time, I walk through the process. I’ll need video equipment (camera, tapes, filters, housing for u/w, light systems lanyards to attach it) then I’m going to download and edit it (laptop, firewire cable) then I’m going to show it (power point projector, all cables, remote control) and then I’m going to do it again the next day (extra batteries, chargers, adaptors for the host country). Then, and this is HUGELY important, I assemble my complete video system and do a practice shot with it. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve seen people show up for their dream vacation and find out they were missing that one critical piece of gear or for some mysterious reason, their camera or video wasn’t working properly. Make sure and check at least TWO WEEKS prior to departure. That way if something needs to be fixed or you need to order another part, you’ll have time.
Don’t forget to charge the batteries and stripe the tapes before you leave home. Put it on the 4 day list (now it’s on there forever!).
Final Important Note
All this may seem time consuming and overkill, especially to all of us not so anal types. But once you do the process, you’ll see how easy and intuitive it is and in the long run, much less time consuming than any other method I’ve used. It works.
When you return from a trip take inventory and re-stock immediately! Here’s what I mean…If you step on a pop top and blow out a flip flop, replace it right when you get home. Then you are ready to go again at a moment’s notice. If you run out of sunscreen get it next time you shop. If you break a fin strap, replace it immediately! You will thank yourself 24 hours before your next trip.