As a scuba diver, I love myself a good adventure. Over the years, I’ve been on various dive trips, from liveaboards to longer expeditions. With some of the best diving destinations in the world, I often find myself veering back to locations in and around South East Asia, where the clear blue waters adjacent to tiny-uninhabited islands are a diver’s paradise. Since some of the best diving is found in remote locations, I’ve found it’s important to prepare and pack appropriately and efficiently. Here, I’ve shared some of my advice on how to effectively prepare for an adventure – while this advice stemmed primarily from years of diving trips, I know it stands true for any adventure hobby, especially those that involve traveling off-the-beaten path.
Depending on the type of adventure you’ve embarked upon, you will need to pack appropriate clothing. First timers often make the mistake of packing generically, only to find that they are lacking actually useful clothing. This leads to unnecessary spending at your destination, so it’s better to be prepared in advance. In general, clothing choices should be made according to activity, weather and length of trip. Don’t forget to carry one pair of usable footwear. Even if you have to sacrifice your sense of fashion, your feet will thank you for the hardy, comfortable everyday walking shoes you choose.
If you’re going on the adventure of a lifetime, you’ll definitely want memories to look back upon. Obviously, it isn’t always practical to carry your fancy recording gear on activity packed holidays. A good option is a GoPro – compact and easy to use. GoPro’s come with so many accessories these days that they are virtually customizable to any high impact activity you might engage in, from surfing to snowboarding. Their small size allows you to capture videos in high definition from your own perspective, with the use of gear like head and wrist mounts. If you don’t want to take my word for it, then check out this epic surfing footage shot solely using GoPros. As you can see, the end product is showcase worthy, and will definitely make your friends jealous!
I’ve found that even though it is a bit of extra weight, I much prefer using my own diving gear on trips as opposed to rental equipment. Having the gear your are familiar with and have used multiple times before makes for a more comfortable experience rather than having to orient yourself with new gear. This is not unique to scuba diving. Carrying your own equipment is also safer in the event of a problem, as you’re more likely to know how to troubleshoot your own gear than newly rented stuff. Ultimately, I would not compromise on carrying my own gear unless absolutely necessary due to major weight or safety restrictions in terms or transit.
Your safety is paramount when it comes to any adventure activity. Being safe consists of many things, and often, advance preparation is needed to make sure you are always in the safest possible situation. Start by making sure you have all your documents in order. These include your passport, airline tickets, reservations, photo ID’s, and more. Consider carrying extra copies of crucial documents, packing them in separate places in case one of your bags gets stolen or lost. You’ll have to calculate the amount of cash you can and should carry on your person (too much cash is an unnecessary risk) and make sure your credit and debit cards are activated to work internationally.
Preparing a travel budget is always a good idea. This way, you will make the right spending choices, stay within limits, and not find yourself in a situation that you can’t afford. I make soft and hard copies of my budget, and keep a religious track of expenditures as my trip progresses. I also always make it a point to have all important phone numbers (local authorities, embassies, emergency contacts etc.) written down as well as stored on my phone. That way, if my phone gets misplaced, I always have the written copies in case I need help. In regards to adventure sports, having copies of special insurance is of utmost importance. You will have to check your travel insurance policy to see if it covers adventure activities, and if not, either add additional coverage or check out some providers that specially cater to the activity of your passion. This is something you will have to plan beforehand – trust me, you don’t want to be stacking up healthcare bills in a foreign country!
In my opinion, these are the four most important preparation tips for any sort of journey. Having these four aspects covered is a surefire way to avoid any unpleasant surprises during your trip and make sure you have the adventure of a lifetime.
Akshata Mehta has a passion for traveling and exploring the world, especially its oceans. She loves to write, and is interested in entrepreneurship and sustainability. She sometimes jots down random musings and tales from her scuba diving adventures on www.withlovefromakshata.wordpress.com