Many traveling anglers have the gear thing down. They know what to pack, how to pack it, and how best to ensure everything goes from point A to point B with minimum fuss. Gear basics are gear basics for a reason.
But once you’re at your destination, often you find yourself reaching for some creature comforts. Those little things that make life a little more pleasant during long days on the water. We have a gang of travel-savvy ladies here in the office, and asked them what three pieces of gear they always remember to pack that — at first glance — might not be the most obvious. While these tips are geared toward lady anglers, guys… you might find some good tips here as well. Or, for bonus points, read through and pack some luxury items for your next trip with your girlfriend or spouse.
If you are busting around on the boat the wind will turn your hair into a rat’s nest!
1) Buff: Pop that thing up over your hat to protect your hair from getting wild (and keep the sun off)
2) Packed of Goody Ouchless Minin Crystal Polyband Elastics. If you have long hair that gets ratty, you’ll probably want to style some type of braid to keep your hair out of your face and away from getting knotted. These are great to take a on the road.
3) Wide Tooth Comb: Teeth spaced well apart to detangle wet or dry or the knottiest of hair
4) Small bottle of hair detangler: Well worth the space it takes up, a bottle of this will help take your brush time from 20 minutes to 5!
1) Extra contacts in your boat bag. If you are a blind girl, like moi, nothing (literally nothing) could be worse than having a contact fly out when you are ferrying out to a spot on the flats. Or having it just start irritating you and then not having a spare set of contacts to allow you to see tailing fish again. With that, a small mirror could also be helpful for vanity reasons but also if you can’t put in contacts without one.
2) Baby wipes. Nobody talks about this one, because obviously it has to do with the bad timing of a bowel movement (ha!), but these things can be very useful not just for when nature calls, but also for if you need to wipe your hands clean, wipe that nasty grease product that forms on your skin when you combine sweat, bug spray, salt water and sunscreen. It makes my skin feel SO clean again when I just wipe it all off!
3) Dress and nice clothes to wear in the airport. I personally only like to wear fishing clothes when I’m fishing because — let’s be real — they just aren’t that feminine. I like to have a dress for the last evening of a trip… if that’s all I can pack. But I always try to dress nicely in the airport, because you get better service. That is a proven fact. Plus, you always want to make a good impression on current clients and potential clients.
4) BONUS: extra shirt or hat in your boat bag. If you’re having a great day on the water—and if you care about things like this or are with a photographer who does—you might want to switch things up a bit on the fashion front for a bit more variety in photos. Makes it look like you’ve been there longer, too!
1) Here’s my inner fat girl talking: I always bring extra snacks so I don’t have to buy nasty airport food and can have some extra munchies while on the water. Energy bars, granola bars, power bars, whatever suits your taste buds, all work great when traveling. If you’re going somewhere hot, I don’t recommend bringing chocolate. I’ve tried that and everyone kept giving me weird looks. I couldn’t figure out why until one of the guides said it looked like I was licking up poop.
2) Wet wipes are life savers as per the reasons Bessie mentioned.
3) I might sounds a bit “Bear Grylls” like but I like to have a first aid, survival kit and feminine kit. It never hurts to be prepared for the seemingly impossible. I’m a big proponent of “Better to have and not need than to need and not have.”
4) Dry shampoo for those long overnight float trips where you have no shower and as Kimberly mentioned, detangler. Both are well worth their weight in gold.
1) Chapstick, chapstick & more chapstick! And don’t forget to make sure it has SPF (my lips felt like they were going to fall off I got them so chapped & sunburnt).
2) If you’re like me (and don’t fare so well in the tropics) I highly recommend bringing anything you can to help beat the heat and stay as fresh as possible! Think about an extra shirt (or two), face cleansing wipes to keep from breaking out, and as light and breathable as possible sun protecting clothing.
3) Waterproof mascara — if you’re good with forgoing mascara completely, I applaud you! I, on the other hand, feel naked without it and if you’re hopping in the water to cool off (see #2) you don’t want running black eyes in those fish shots.
1) Sun gloves (which I had to buy because I forgot mine) to keep your hands beautiful and protected from the sun
2) Chewing gum – it’s nice to have around and I was always sure to offer it to the guides and they appreciated it as well.
3) When they say bring bug spray, bring bug spray.
1) A quality first-aid kit! Somehow I always end up delving into the first-aid kit. I’ve customized one with gear I know I like and can use easily in the field, including basic meds, antibiotics, and assorted bandages and other kit. I always travel with a suture kit, and have used it more than once for myself or someone else in a group… rough conditions mean basic or non-existent medical facilities, and often re-used needles. Clean needles mean one less thing to worry about when someone’s getting sewn up.
2) Electrolyte tabs. I like Nuun brand; especially in hot, tropical climates I’ll pop one in a water bottle every evening and make sure I down it and then another bottle of plain water. It’s an easy way to measure water consumption and be sure I’ll be ready and energetic for another round of shooting and fishing the next day.
3) Notebook and pen. The camera gear always comes along — it’s part of the job — but even out on the boat I try to keep a small notebook and a pen (two pens… one always goes missing!) close at hand. Jotting down places, names, quotes… it’s a good thing to have. Write in the Rain makes some awesome small notebooks that are waterproof.
1) Watercolor block and paints
2) Sunblock stick (for the tops of my feet)
3) Kleenex travel packs (great lens cleaners that double as TP if needed)