It’s been a little while because…

It’s been a little while since I’ve written because: 

1)    I went to Seattle for a friend’s wedding and got my fix of fall trees, rain, and cooler weather (especially appreciated with a cup of hot chocolate in a hot tub overlooking a lake).  I got to catch up with lots of old friends and enjoy a brief visit to colder weather (yes…I know, Seattle isn’t exactly frigid but I had to break out sweaters and coats).  And I got to see seals in the wild (or they might have been sea lions – I can’t tell the difference).

2)    I came back to the Outer Banks via a couple days in Baltimore where I spent a little time visiting my parents and a little time napping on the couch with their cats. 

3)    Then I was in the Outer Banks for a whopping 2 days packing up my apartment, doing a bit of work, and, most importantly, packing for BRAZIL!!!!  We escaped Hatteras before Sandy washed out the road and I’m now in Rio waiting my final connection to Fortaleza!  I’m a bit tired (and probably a bit stinky since I’ve been traveling for over 24 hours), but its warm here and I can’t wait to get on the water!

Packing for a kite trip

I’m off to Brazil at the end of October for a couple weeks with some friends to enjoy some awesome kiting!  I can’t wait – warm, windy, flat water and waves – it should be pretty hard to beat.  But, this means that I start making lists, lots of lists about what to bring.  Kite trips are tricky.  You want to make sure you have everything you might need, but you also are trying to avoid airline luggage overage fees and you don’t want to drag around more than you actually need.  So, here’s what I typically bring on kite trips:

  • Travel bag – Lots of people travel with golf bags to try to fool the airlines.  I try to go as small and light-weight as possible (I really hate paying airline fees).  The Dakine Outlaw bag is my current pick.  It has backpack straps which is nice for carrying it on and off of random boats and the like.  The downside is that it does not have wheels, so you have to be prepared to lug it around.
  • Individual kite bags – I usually don’t bring my actual kite bags (unless I’m planning on selling my gear), but instead bring Dakine stuff sacks.  They are lighter and smaller, but still have one backpack strap so work for carrying individual kites to the beach.
  • Kites – Try to ask around before you leave about what sizes you actually should bring.  For Brazil, I get to go smaller than usual (probably going to bring my 5m, 7m, and 9m kites
  • Bar and lines – I alwaysbring two sets of bars and lines.  I figure I can repair kites or ride a different size, but if a bar breaks, then I’m in trouble.
  • Board – Remember to at least take off your fins before you pack it (but remember to pack them with the screws).  I sometimes bring a couple extra screws with me – easier than trying to match screws at some random tiny island in the Caribbean.  RRD makes awesome pads and straps because the screw is built into the foostrap (no screws to lose).
  • Harness – Don’t think there is much more to say on this one.
  • Pump – I usually bring one with me and ditch it at the end of the trip (somehow my gear always seems to grow so this means it all actually fits into the bag at the end of the trip).
  • Leashes – I bring two (see bar and lines discussion above).
  • Screwdriver – I have a swiss army knife that has a Philips head (as well as a bottle opener, wine opener, knife, etc).
  • Kite repair kit – Usually this includes some sail tape, maybe some stronger leading edge repair stuff, bladder repair patches, zip ties, some duct tape, and anything else I think I might need.
  • Long sleeve rashguard – I usually travel in the winter time when I have reverted to being very, very white.  And I usually travel to warm, tropical places that have very strong sun.  I don’t like to miss sessions because I’m sunburnt, which is why I always bring a long sleeve rashguard (and sometimes even bring leggings as well – I’ve had my legs get pretty sunburnt too).
  • Rubber – Think about whether you need any neoprene.  I almost always travel with my Mystic Metalite shortie (even if I’m going to the Caribbean) – sunset sessions can get a little chilly even in warm locations.
  • Booties – I try not to need these, but if I’m planning on teaching or if the spot is notorious for coral or other bad things, I’ll sometimes add them into my bag.
  • Sunscreen – I bring lots and lots.  Sunscreen is often either not readily available, not available in higher SPF, or super expensive in places outside of the US. 

Hope this helps anyone else who is traveling!  I can’t wait to be in Brazil!