Birder's Guide

AUG 2013

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 59 of 67

Packing 411 for Birders social media portal, all wrapped into one portable package. Many feld guides and several bird-fnding guides are available as apps or e-books, allowing further streamlining of the amount of "stuff" you need to pack. Just don't forget that power cable to charge your device! Electrical outlets in many foreign countries require, minimally, a plug adapter (varies by country) and run at 240V. Unless your electronic device has a voltage converter included in its power cord (labeled "110–240V"—many modern power cords for laptops and mobile phones have one)—you will need a converter as well, or risk severely damaging your device. There are several options that include both the adapter and converter, and these are widely available at retailers such as Wal-Mart. Other gadgets to consider packing include (1) car chargers, several of which also have FM tuners that allow you to listen to your MP3 player while in a vehicle; (2) external battery packs and chargers (including the PowerGen Mobile Juice Pack External Battery Pack) that run on batteries such as AA or solar power, which free you from reliance on an electrical outlet for charging portable electronics; (3) multiport USB chargers (the Scosche brand 58 is a good one) for charging multiple USBpowered devices, such as iDevices, e-readers, and cell phones; and (4) an LED fashlight (such as Surefre's or Led Lenser's) that is very bright and very compact. Your Checked Luggage If you decide to check a piece of luggage, it should include most of your clothing, toiletries, an extra pair of shoes or hiking shoes, some of your travel materials and books, and tripod. Consider waterproofing your luggage! A waterfall on the Manu Road in Peru caused most of my clothes to get wet as our van drove through it—all of our luggage was on the roof, and a few of our bags were not completely covered by a tarp. You can purchase waterproof or water-resistant luggage, treat a suitcase or duffe with waterproof agents, or pack clean clothes in plastic bags within your suitcase or backpack. Many people travel with a large backpack or duffe bag. Although these are great options for the young and spry, they are not often good choices for people unwilling or unable to lug 40–50 pounds on their backs. Wheeled luggage, of which there are many choices, offer the best option for most travelers, but be prepared for instances when navigating with wheeled luggage could be problematic, for example, in sandy, gravelly, or muddy conditions. Pack everything into the smallest piece of luggage you can because nearly all airlines have a weight restriction even on your frst piece of checked luggage and charge steep fees for overweight pieces. If you have any connections to a foreign Birder's Guide to Travel | August 2013 or regional carrier, there are often even more severe restrictions on both size and weight of your checked luggage which can cause much stress at your foreign connecting airport. Again, always be sure to check all airlines' baggage restrictions. Most airlines still allow one free checked bag on international fights, but most Canadian and U.S. airlines charge for even the frst piece of checked baggage on domestic fights. If you want to lock your checked bag, make sure you use a lock that is approved and can be opened by airport security offcers. Look for the symbols on the locks as shown on the TSA website and see further information for Canada at . Travel Clothing Birders should consider clothing specially made either for travel or for outdoor enthusiasts. Look for lightweight, moisturewicking, fast-drying, wrinkle-resistant clothing that provides UV protection, and if possible, contains insect repellent. This type of clothing has many benefts. It is often odor-resistant, so you can wear an article for several days in a row or on alternate days. It is easy to wash by hand, allowing you to pack fewer of each item (for example, one or two pair of undergarments are often all you need if you wash and dry them in your room). Travel clothing often works equally well in extreme climates: Less moisture against your skin means less chaffng and rashes in warm weather and less chill in cold temperatures. And it packs really small. One big tip is to not fold your clothing. Roll it up, and you'll be surprised both by how much less space it takes up and how much less wrinkled it ends up at your fnal

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