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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destination. Clothing impregnated with permethrin is a great alternative to slathering insect repellent on your skin. A hat with a brim, a long-sleeve shirt, a pair of long pants, and socks all treated with permethrin will keep you well covered and free of bites without using much insect repellant on exposed skin. Most permethrin-enhanced clothing has insect-repellent properties for the life of the clothing, or for 70 or more washings. Plan to dress in layers, and to bring more under-layers and fewer outer-layers. You'll need at least one warm layer. Even in the tropics, evenings, nights, higher elevations, and rainy days can be cool or downright cold. A lightweight feece is a good option and can double as a pillow on your fight. A warm pair of gloves and a knit hat are also important. Both are small, and you'll be glad you have them if it snows on you in Africa! Don't forget a waterproof outer layer. Coats work better than ponchos because they provide protection in wind and double as a good outer layer in cool weather. Although the idea of an umbrella may seem strange, birding in a downpour under an umbrella is often a drier and more pleasant way to spend a warm rainy afternoon than the alternatives. Take one pair of waterproof shoes, suitable for hiking or long walks on uneven terrain. And packing a pair of sandals or lightweight athletic shoes to change into in the evening is a good idea. Packing well will make your birding trips more enjoyable and less stressful. I have learned a lot about what not to forget, how to pack lighter and smarter, and which gadgets work well and which don't, but I am always interested in hearing about other people's travel experiences, strategies, and must-haves. Share them on the ABA Blog via . Packing List (essentials are marked with (E)) –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Checked Bag q long pants: 1–2 per week q undergarments: 1 per every 2 days, including long underwear if needed q socks: 1 pair per every 2 days q T-shirts: 1 per every 2 days q sweater or feece q long-sleeved shirts: 2–3 q hiking boots q snacks q mosquito net q hostel sheet and pillow q feld guides and other reading materials and T-shirt (E) q tripod q copies of travel documents q one medium-weight to heavyweight and itinerary q empty plastic bags q roll of toilet paper (for emergencies) q heavy coat, if needed –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Toiletry Kit Essentials (E) will vary due to personal differences. If in carry-on luggage, liquids must not exceed 3.4 oz., and all containers with liquids must fit in a single one-quart zip-lock bag q shampoo and conditioner q razor q deodorant q shaving cream/gel q toothbrush q toothpaste q sunscreen (E) q insect repellent (E) q soap q clothing detergent q comb/brush q other hygiene products q binoculars (E) q feld scope q feld guide (E) q site guide/notes (E) q head lamp/fashlight (E) q sunglasses (E) q notebook, pen, checklists (E) q lens-cleaners (E) q travel/fight itinerary (E) clothing layer (feece is good option) (E) q rain cover for backpack –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Basic First Aid Kit q Band-Aids (various sizes) q gauze q cotton swabs q tweezers q folding scissors q Neosporin (or similar antiseptic cream/gel) q bismuth subsalicylate or Pepto-Bismol (anti-nausea, anti-diarrheal) q Imodium (anti-diarrheal) q oral antibiotics (such as Cipro –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Carry-on q MP3 player, charger, and speaker (E) q cellphone and charger (E) q credit/debit cards (E) q driver's license (E) q passport (for international travel) (E) q gloves (E) q house/apartment key (E) q re-usable water bottle (E) q rain shell/coat and/or umbrella (E) q sturdy walking shoes (E) q GPS device and/or compass (E) q batteries (E) q medications and frst aid supplies (E) q travel towel (E) q hats: one knit, one with brim (E) q one change of socks, undergarments, for intestinal infections/ traveler's diarrhea) q acetaminophen (pain and fever reducer) q ibuprofen (anti-infammatory for pain, swelling, and fever) q diphenhydramine or Benadryl (antihistamine for allergic reactions) q pseudoephedrine or Sudafed (decongestant for stuffy nose, also useful for air travel to keep sinuses dry) q Diamox (for high-altitude trips) q adrenaline kit (for severe allergic reactions) q motion-sickness preventatives q constriction wrap (for sprains or snake bites in remote areas) August 2013 | Birder's Guide to Travel 59

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