So it’s the night before you get on that airplane or bus, what do you need to bring with you. This is my check list and fits into a medium-sized duffel and a 38 liter backpack.
Most vessels you’ll end up on are going to have the ability to wash clothes, so don’t over pack; you want to be traveling light.
-Work Pants (2 pair) I’m a big fan of Duluth Trading Co.’s Firehouse Pants, Carhartts are another industry favorite
-Boxers, Skivvies, Underwear (5 pair)
-T Shirt (5) Long or short sleeve depending on location, I’m a big fan of synthetic anything, vapor wick, quick dry, etc.
-Socks (As many as you can pack, highest quality you can afford)
-Athletic shorts (1 pair) for sleeping in, wearing under foulies if its warm.
-Foul Weather Gear (1 set) Go for the nicest set you can, for working on commercial vessels I recommend Guy Cotton or Grundens. If you can afford to I recommend having two jackets of different types for hot or cold climates. I’ve been wearing my Musto Channel set recently and have been quite impressed.
-Boots (1/2 pair) Generally I think you can get away with one pair of nice, waterproof, steel toe boots. However depending on your job, you might want a second set of rubber sea boots.
Backpack: Fairly large pack, mine is 38 liters, still can be carried on without too much trouble. I consider a padded compartment for a laptop or tablet essential. I generally keep an extra set of clothes in it as well.
Waterproof Duffel: I have a medium size north water one that has been on more than a few trips with me. I use this to carry most of my clothes, foulies, and toiletries.
Handheld VHF: I just prefer using my own, don’t forget the charger!
Laptop/Tablet: Movies, Music, or writing your sea project. I’ve always carried a laptop and for a cadet I would say it’s probably best so you can type your project. However post school I am really sold on the IPad and have one in the budget.
IPod/MP3 player: A must have when you find yourself with a year or two of chart corrections
Headphones: Don’t wake your roommate, if you have one.
Alarm Clock: Battery Powered
Sunglasses: One or two pair, Costa Del Mar are my brand of choice.
Headlamp: Any LED one will do, great for being up on a barge at night, bring extra batteries!
Knife: Can’t beat a Myerchin fixed blade.
Logbook/Notepad: I find it good to keep a personal log, at least just for keeping track of sea days. I just use spiral bound notebooks, cheap and easy. Additionally I have a small moleskin note pad for quick notes, both of these stay in my backpack.
Documents: Keep them with you, in a nice leather binder, in your backpack. NEVER PUT IN CHECKED BAGGAGE!
Deodorant: 2-3 sticks or cans
Toothpaste: 2 tubes
Toothbrush: 2, just in case you happen to drop one, in say the head…….
Personal Trimmer/Shaver: Unless you like being grizzly adams
Body/Hair Wash: I like the old spice shampoo body wash combo, less to carry.
Zip lock Bags: To put all of your toiletries in, nothing worse than cleaning a burst container of toothpaste out of your bag.
While this picture is missing a few things, like the duffle bag, it shows just about everything I would pack for a 60 day hitch. Of course things can change between people, but I am of the opinion that you should travel as light as you can when traveling any distance to the boat. This would suit me quite well as honestly, its not much more than I keep in my car day to day. A couple more changes of clothes, extra toiletries, and another bag.