8 days… 14 hours.. 13 minutes.
That’s all the time that remains until my plane departs for the tropical blue waters of Utila, Honduras, and I get to experience all the wonders that lay beneath the waves once again. That’s all the time I have to gather all the things I will need for 3 weeks abroad.
Lucky for me, all my orders have come in, and I have all of the gear in hand that I required for my trip. Concern about rental equipment that is responsible for my life, while in a third world country, was not something I wanted to have to worry about. So I finally took the plunge (no pun intended) and actually purchased my own scuba kit. Just a few conversations with an old friend of mine, and I had my equipment list mapped out, and a few nights of research on pricing and I finally ordered it.. All just 2 weeks before Christmas. And I leave on January 2nd. Yeah, what was I thinking?
Well, the gods must like me, or I have done right by them, because everything arrived, before Christmas, and even the Akona gearbag that wasn’t expected to be in stock until after Christmas, also arrived. Getting the gearbag early makes it easy to take my kit as carry-on, but wouldn’t have been a deal breaker if it was late. I was worried about my regulator and back plate / wing getting here on time though! Lucky for me, the stars aligned, and I have it all in my possession.. Which brings me to my next phase….
For my trip, especially since I am going the backpackers route and staying in hostels, I want to bring the least amount of things with me. Less to worry about, lose or have stolen I guess. But of course, there still will be multiple bags involved. Hopefully I can get everything crammed into 1 carry-on bag, 1 checked bag, and 1 “personal item” sized bag i.e. my laptop messenger bag.
Of course, certain items cannot be lost or delayed, as their loss would be extremely detrimental to my trip. Dive gear and tech items top this list, and clothing is actually on the bottom of the list. It’s much easier (and cheaper) to replace a few t-shirts, or a pair of shorts than it is to replace a regulator, BCD or laptop.
With that being said, almost all my tech items are going into the laptop messenger bag. That includes my GoPro and lenses, dive lights, dive computer and all electronics / chargers, and cables needed. Pretty much the only thing not in the bag will be my phone (although I will have messaging and calls turned off, and it will only be used with wifi and messaging apps.).
My carry on bag will contain my scuba kit (minus the fins), and a few t-shirts and shorts as padding. Regulator setup and back plate / wing, mask and booties.
Checked baggage will contain the remaining clothing, scuba fins, shorty wetsuit, snorkle, toiletries, camera tray and anything I can’t take on my carry-on. A more detailed list will be added here when I finalize everything I am bringing.
Till then… I’m off to figure out just what I am bringing, and how to pack my gear in Tetris like fashion!