Please critique my packing list

Royal27

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My apologies to those who have already posted some or all of the same things before or, perhaps one or two during the time I had typed and was posting this rant but, sometimes it's easier to just type each point than it is to search and re-search each point for redundancy.
Besides: "Help, I'm typing and I can't stop" LOL.

As you would say,

Most excellent post.
 

RolandtheHeadless

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Thanks a lot for the detailed advice, Velo Dog; and I really enjoyed our pizza and beers the other day.

I've never used a range-finder on a game animal--never thought I had time; but then I'm not a long-range shooter. I like to carry the rangefinder to check my own guess of distance. I'll judge a tree or rock at, say, 150 yards, then shoot the tree or rock with the rangefinder. I find this helps improve my own judgment of range, and I expect the country to look different on the Eastern Cape and in Zambia than what I'm used to. But maybe I'll leave it behind if space is tight.

Yes, I was going to wear one pair of boots, just to make it through the airports. I have a bone spur on my right foot that requires me to wear moderately-heavy hiking/backpacking boots. I know they won't be quiet, but without that kind of boot I can't walk far at all.

Neither of the rifles I'll be taking have open sights. And the two scopes aren't interchangeable (one-inch and 30mm). One rifle is a .300 WM, for the eastern Cape, and the other a .416 with which I hope to shoot a buffalo. So the two rifles aren't really interchangeable either. Both rifles wear new scopes, which haven't been used enough to reveal any defects. That's why I include a spare scope and rings.

I had to submit a copy of the SAR outfitter's invitation letter with the SAPS permit application. Do I need to show an additional copy too? The Zambian guy says he'll get the permit and issue an invitation letter. I will carry copies of both with me.

I feel sort of obligated to take the Camelback. Our son gave it to me for Christmas for use on this trip.

Both outfitters mentioned camo clothing (along with dark olive, etc), so I assume it will be okay.

I read in a couple of books you should take a pair of gaiters to keep ticks and seeds out of your boots. I ordered a couple pairs of these: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/112445/boyt-shumba-safari-gaiters-canvas-khaki

You have some great ideas I haven't thought of. Thanks again.
 

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Royal27

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I read in a couple of books you should take a pair of gaiters to keep ticks and seeds out of your boots. I ordered a couple pairs of these: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/112445/boyt-shumba-safari-gaiters-canvas-khaki

These are excellent. Only gaiters I've ever had. I bought two pair as well, but the first have never worn out.

The only thing about them is you do have to take your shoes off to remove them if that matters to you. It really doesn't to me.
 

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I always travel in my Salomon hiking shoes which I use as in-camp shoes and also out hunting if needed. I also travel in a windproof fleece jacket which I also use in the bakkie in the mornings. I also wash my clothes in permetrin and bring insect repellant with 30%deet, sunscreen and only a baseball cap (have not used any widebrimmed hat during safaris).

Additional items I bring are kneepads (which I leave behind).
Leatherman with bits for scope
Small folding knife
Soft cover for rifle
An assortment of new jokes to have fun with the PH
I also always ask the PH/outfitter if they want me to bring in any hard-to-get items like special batteries, slings or footwear for them...
 

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From working in the Customs field for over 20 years

Keep at least 2 copies of your passport separate from the original, as well as the 4457. A copy of your passport will not let you board an aircraft but it will provide a start for the US consul to issue you a temp document to return home.

A 4457 copy in the guncase and your luggage shows diligence and will normally be accepted for returning the item to the US if the original is lost or left with the documents at the destination.
 

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Hi Jim (RolandtheHeadless),

Carry your original Shot Record in the same place that you carry your Passport.

Do confirm my following ideas with your PH, in time to re-pack if I am wrong about any of these listed below.

South Africa Law requires that foreign hunters carry an official written invitation to hunt, from our PH but, I do not remember if Namibia required this when I went there 10 or 12 years ago, likewise I do not know if any other African countries require this or not (hopefully it's only for South Africa).

Probably won't need your range finder nowadays, because all PH's worth their powder and shot carry excellent ones.

Shouldn't need both a cleaning kit and bore snake.
One or the other will do nicely.
I only bring two "pull-through" type gadgets, each contained in it's own film canister (getting very hard to find now).
One is just a Vaseline saturated cloth patch, tied to a nylon line, with a small enough weight to drop through my rifle bore, tied to the opposite end of said line.
The other pull-through is a dry patch one, otherwise of the exact same design.
I figure if I need to bash some obstruction out of my rifle bore, all PHs have cleaning rods for their own rifle/s in camp.
Also, most PH's have a supply of solvents and oils in camp, left by previous hunters.
Solvents and thin oils are risky to put in your luggage, due to potential leaks at altitude, not to mention the baggage gorillas rough-handling your luggage.

I hesitate to say you won't need a spare scope because, the time you leave it at home is the time you'll undoubtedly need it but, after my first hunt to Africa, I never brought a spare again.
However to clarify this butter, I do practice-up with my iron sights so that I can press on with them, in the unlikely event my scope does fail for any reason and proves me wrong.

Regarding the Camel Back; So far I'm ashamed to admit that I have not had to carry my own water in Africa, except when I did some work there for a month so, a Camel Back likely will be unnecessary weight.

Electricity can be off-and-on in some camps so, perhaps the electric shaver might be unnecessary weight, when compared to a small packet of disposable razors and just use the camp issue soap for shaving lather.

For my military style hairdo, again I just use the camp issue bar soap (generally do so at home here as well LOL).
No doubt your wife will want her specific shampoo (mine always does for some reason) but, liquid shampoo can leak into the luggage.
Therefore, as I mentioned over lunch the other day - I squeeze any air out of liquid containers before putting the lid on tight then, then place same into two or three heavy duty zip lock freezer bags, appropriate to the bottle size.


Same for sun screen.
Same for bug repellant if you must bring it but, it is another item that PH's sometimes have left behind by previous clients (I like the USGI cream type, because it's thick enough that it does not easily seep past the threads when the cap is on tight).


Camo pants - very likely the camo thing is long past but, during some of the bush wars and threats of uprisings, one or more African country declared the wearing of camouflage clothing by foreigners to be unlawful, again hopefully those sad days are gone now.

Clothing in general.
Each of you will only need 3 sets of underwear (3 T-Shirts each and 3 pr underpants each, including the ones worn in-flight)
I wear one of my 3 sets and put my 2nd set in my carry-on, then the 3rd set in my checked bag.
Same thing for socks.
I recommend dull color socks, such as drab green military surplus ones, since our lower limbs are almost constantly moving, that way my ankles don't look like two red, white, blue and orange squirrels, trying to one-up each other, as I sneak toward my intended prey.
Each of you will need only two button-up type shirts (I just bring long sleeve and roll them up as needed).
Laundry is done by camp staff pretty much faster than I can get it dirty, and I'm a human pig.

Instead of 2 pr hunting boots, plus slip-on shoes for camp, I wear my one pair of light weight, non-insulated / non-water proof hunting boots on the flight.
In my checked bag, I bring one pr of dull color "tennis shoes" with aggressive pattern sole as my "camp shoes".
That way if my hunting boots unravel (not likely) for some strange reason, nonetheless I could press on with my hunt in my tennis shoes.
For "gaiters", I presume you are referring to "Tick Gaiters", as perhaps recommended by your PH ?
Otherwise, if they are the North American/European "cross country ski" type, make sure they are dead silent when you walk.
Cabela's and their competitors sell quiet ones.

Regarding the two vests - One vest each should do it, and frankly, I have never needed any vest at all in Africa.

Unless the blue nylon jacket is your rain coat and your pile jacket is your warm coat, you should not need two jackets each.
I recommend you bring one each that is both moderately warm and water proof (not an "Alaska warm" coat though, as that is over-kill).
One of my friends brings a thick polar fleece sweater and very thin "back packer's rain coat" that will almost lend itself to cramming into a small shirt pocket, plus a warm hat and "Thinsulate" brand gloves, for pre-dawn activity.
You will want a warm hat early each morning, for riding in the back of the bush cruiser, before the sun rises above the horizon.
I would add that I bring a needle and thread, as well as a small but powerful magnifying glass and tweezers, in with the mole-skin bandages, etc.

Kind regards,
Paul (Velo Dog).

PS:
My apologies to those who have already posted some or all of the same things before or, perhaps one or two during the time I had typed and was posting this rant but, sometimes it's easier to just type each point than it is to search and re-search each point for redundancy.
Besides: "Help, I'm typing and I can't stop" LOL.
Gotta love your short answers on just about all your threads.:ROFLMAO:
 

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@rinehart0050 ,

The voltage adaptor you mentioned, that is a new one on me. Are most computers, phones, cameras ok without having one of these and just the plug adaptor?
 

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Velo has probably covered everything I'm about to say, but I planned to do a point-by-point critique of your list this morning and I hate to change my plans. My comments are based on the assumption that you will be hunting at a farm and ending up at your host's place each evening. I assume laundry service daily. If you are traveling by mule into the back country or something, adjust accordingly. Also, my bias is strongly towards traveling light. My comments are not intended to be the last word, but rather my thoughts on the subject for your reflection.


Hunting

2 Binoculars………………………….Carry-on (for wife and me) : binos are fun and no use fighting over them between you and the Mrs. A bigger pair for use at camp and in a fixed stand and a lighter pair for walking is a nice mix
Range finder………………………….Carry-on bag: Unless you are using a 45-70 or something like that, you should be able to sight your rifle such that you don't need to adjust sight picture out to 200 yards. 200 yards is a long way in much of Africa. Ask your PH about the terrain. The only time I could have used a range finder was in the mountains in Patagonia
Cartridge holder……………………Check-in bag or ammo case : I know most people recommend this. I'd certainly cover my bases if I were going into combat and by extension hunting dangerous game. I've never needed more than the number of rounds in my magazine for plains game, and generally speaking after an animal is down, one returns to the truck and can reload. A few rounds in the pocket isn't a problem if you want it.
Sling……………………………………..Ammo case: I consider a sling a 100% essential piece of equipment- I use a shooting sling and have taken shots slung up. A sling should not be considered just a carry strap.
Rifle case.……………………………..Gun case : don't cheap out on the case.
Gun cleaning kit?…………………..Check-in: you are going to a farm where a professional hunter lives; do you need this? Also, do you routinely clean more frequently than the 20 shots you may actually take?
Silicone cloth…………………………Vest: if you want to wipe down at the end of each day. It isn't much weight, but traveling light means everything counts. Depending on where you are going (if was bone dry in Namibia where I was; rust was not a concern) could you just use a towel or wash cloth or ignore the daily wipe down. I wipe and oil compulsively at home in NC because of the humidity and rust issues, but in Africa, it may be superfluous.
Bore snakes for .308 and .416…Check-in : I've always taken one out of habit and it has always been superfluous
2 Headlamps…………………………..Check-in (for wife and me): I like headlamps and they can be handy for walking around at night or for reading in bed.
Spare scope……………………………Check-in: I put one good one (Z6i) on the rifle and use a good case. Can't argue with anyone who carries one. The value of a good scope cannot be overestimated. You are there for a short time, the low light ability of an excellent scope can easily double the number of ethical shots you can make. You PH may not equip his rifles as such because he can always hunt another day if he needs more kudu steaks.
Scope wrenches, Ruger/Talley…Check-in: can't see that this is a bad idea.
Camel back pack…………………….Check-in: I understand you have to take this because it was a gift. Can it work as your carry on?
Pocket knife…………………………...Check-in: everyone has their thing; mine is nail clippers and nail file. If a pocket knife is your thing bring it.
Ammo case…………………………….Check-in: have to have ammo in something
Taxidermy tags………………………Check-in: not sure what this is- I've always shot the animal, loaded it, and let the skinners deal with it from there.
Cable ties for tags…………………...Check-in: as above
Ear plugs………………………………..Vest: love ear plugs.
Optics cleaning paper……………..vest: careful here: the paper will tempt you to wipe your scope. There is a lot of fine dust in Africa. Better to leave the scope uncleaned (use see-through flip up covers and flip them up on the stalk and you won't have much dust to deal with, feel free to wipe the covers) until you get home than just wipe it: either bring a full kit or don't wipe it.

Personal

Medicications w. prescriptions..Carry-on: need it
Malarone………………………………..Carry-on: depends on area. My wife insisted first year although it was winter in Africa and we were in the desert.
Alarm clock…………………………….Carry on: cell phone does this, and in Africa they have people to wake you up. Cell phone also serves as a portable camera. It can replace the coolpix but not the D7200
Nikon D7200 & telephoto lens…Carry-on: you will enjoy this when you aren't hunting or in a stand. It will stay in the truck if you are spot and stalk hunting.
Nikon Coolpix S7000……………….Vest: use your cell phone
Spare memory cards/batteries…Check-in: as needed . A 64 gig card is a lot of pictures, but I'm not much of a picture person. Make sure you see Africa with your own eyes while you are there. Don't spend too much time behind the lens.
Camera battery chargers………….Check-in: make it one charger for one camera.
Ipod………………………………………..Vest: if you must. There are people to talk to and sounds to appreciate. There are radios and TVs in Africa. American music will still be there when you get home. We travel half way around to world to experience something new.
Ipad………………………………………..Vest: good way to keep in touch with home; internet may be spotty; cell messages are inexpensive and a phone can handle email if you must. iPad is a lot more efficient than carrying a lot of books if you like to read in spare time. Kindle better outside if you want to read outside
Jackery battery charger……………Vest: don't know what this is
Spare AA and AAA batteries……..Check-in: as needed
Nail clippers, finger and toe……...Check-in: I always seem to break a nail
Book………………………………………..Carry-on: I love to read books and reluctantly adopted Kindle for travel. Much better for travel than books
“The Perfect Shot, Africa”…………Vest: I hope you mean the pocket edition. It is a confidence booster but you won't use it on your second trip; great for first trip.
2 pair sunglasses……………………...Vest and Check-in: glasses are important
3 pair reading glasses……………….Vest and Check-in: glasses are important
Ziplock bags…………………………….Check-in: as needed for TSA
Power plug adapters………………..Check-in:as needed
Notebook…………………………………Carry on: if you bringing the iPad anyway is this superfluous?
Africa file…………………………………Carry-on: ?
3 pens……………………………………...Carry-on: it is a nitpick on weight, but 3? They are just going to leak. Bring one. They have pens in Africa if you somehow break it or lose it. Likewise at the airport and on the plane.
Electric shaver…………………………Check-in: if you are on coumadin and have to use electric, this makes sense. Otherwise 2 disposable and call it a day.
Toothbrush, paste……………………Check-in: don't forget floss
Shampoo…………………………………Check-in: make your wife pack this if she insists on her brand. Double bag it and prepare to have it leak. Otherwise, use what is provided, use soap and enjoy the grunge, or buy some on the way to the farm. Driving distances are long in Africa, the trip to the airport is also the weekly supply run to town, so you will have time and opportunity to get some.
Insect repellant……………………….Check-in:as needed
Sun screen………………..…………….Check-in:as needed
Med kit-moleskin, etc…………..….Check-in:as needed
Envelopes for tips……………………Check-in: as needed

Clothing

1 pair long pants………..……………..Check-in: wear khakis that are presentable on the plane, presentable in town and can be use for hunting if luggage gets lost.
Camo pants………………………………Check-in: if you want, but stealth is mostly a matter of bushcraft not the pattern. The people walking with you will likely not be in camp
1 pair shorts…………………………….Check-in:reasonable if you wear shorts routinely at home, otherwise you will be wearing what you are used to, i.e. long pants
2 long-sleeve shirts…………………...Check-in: combine this with the camo shirt and just get a long sleeve tan shirt and you are good. Then again, make sure you have a specific reason for packing these shirts.
1 Camo shirt……………………………..Carry-on
2 short-sleeve shirts………………….Check-in: I just use 2 brown short sleeve golf shirts and what I wore on the plane. I hunt in them, I can go to town in them, all I need for shirts. Multipurpose save weigh and is easier.
Underwear, four sets…………………Check-in:3 total: what you wore on the plane, one in the carry on and one packed. Daily laundry service is the bees knees.
Smartwool long underwear?..........Check-in: really depends on your cold tolerance and where you are going and when you are hunting.
Blue nylon jacket………......................Check-in: nylon is loud. Wool is quiet
5 pairs socks… ...........…………………Check-in: wear a pair, 1 pair in carry on, one in checked.
Pile jacket …………..……………………Check-in: good idea to be able to layer. I like sitting by the fire and don't like to do that in synthetics so I use a $2 army surplus wool shirt for this; it also serves to hunt in on cold mornings so you can eliminate all 3 long sleeve shirts from above. Do bring however many layers you need to be comfortable. I get cold at about 75 degrees if it isn't sunny.
Tilley hat…………………………………..Check-in: sun hat is a good idea.
Thin gloves……………………………….Carry-on: there have been times I wish I had a pair.
1 or 2 pairs boots……………………...Carry-on/Check-in: wear a pair, carry a pair
1 pair slip-on camp shoes…………Carry-on:as needed
Vest…………………………………………Wear/Carry-on: what are you using this for?
2 pair Gaiters……………………………Check-in: that's 2 more pair than I bring, certainly one more pair than you need. I blouse my trousers.
Pile vest……………………………………Check-in: 2 vests? Could the pile jacket serve this purpose?
Belt…………………………………………..Check-in: wear a belt to hold up your pants en route and call it good

Gifts

Hard candy………………………………Check-in:up to you
Socks………………….……………………Check-in:up to you
T-shirts…………………………………….Check-in:up to you
I think American money makes a good gift, is easier to carry and is useful to you as well.


Africa file

Original 4457
SAP application
Copies of passport
Itinerary
Maps
Contracts
Reservation numbers
Contact numbers:

Most of these are good ideas. I'd put a copy of the 4457 in with the gun. And also scan everything and save to your devices. And email scanned copy to yourself: you can access email from Africa in a pinch. You've got me on the maps: are you driving alone to the farm? Are you bringing topographic maps of the farm?
 

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@rinehart0050 ,

The voltage adaptor you mentioned, that is a new one on me. Are most computers, phones, cameras ok without having one of these and just the plug adaptor?

Check all your electronics to see if they can accept 220. The camera or whatever will have that information on the body, or inside the battery door or on the battery. When I went in 2014, all my electronics accepted 220, so all I needed was the South Africa adapter plug. I took 2, but that was sometimes a little light as I need one dedicated to my CPAP machine and sometimes had multiple batteries or iPads charging. Next time I will take a third adapter or maybe a charging station?

I had 3 prong adapters, but there was a place or two that only had only the the small round two prong outlets. Might want to have one handy, just in case.
 

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That is a fairly comprehensive list all right. I think the extras have been identified already. One thing I always bring along is a mini-pocket first aid kit. Any good camp will have a full blown kit but in the field I want my own. With any luck you may not require any of the contents, but someone in the party will! Don't forget the leather men style multi either.
Last thing to remember is a good attitude - you can then overcome any curveball that gets thrown at you.
 

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@reedy0312

I agree with @AB2506 most items these days accept both 110 and 220. A couple exceptions would be my wife's hairdryer and my electric toothbrush. Every electronic item will have it marked on it somewhere. Just check each item you're bringing and you will be good.
 

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Nothing like a collective consciousness to get the ideas rolling.

Awesome work folks.
 

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This makes me keep thinking of things!!!

Camel back pack…………………….Check-in: I understand you have to take this because it was a gift. Can it work as your carry on?

Agree that if it is big enought to be used as the carry on it should be. I have a Camelback day pack that I use for exactly this purpose. In CO the bladder gets filled, but in Africa there has never been water in it, although I've take the bladder and will again, just in case. I also use the bladder area to keep papers that I want with me and as a place they won't get bent or crumpled. The pack then come in the truck with me each day with the normal stuff - bandaids, extra socks, etc... It also holds my binos or bipod if I don't have them on at the time.

Optics cleaning paper……………..vest: careful here: the paper will tempt you to wipe your scope. There is a lot of fine dust in Africa. Better to leave the scope uncleaned (use see-through flip up covers and flip them up on the stalk and you won't have much dust to deal with, feel free to wipe the covers) until you get home than just wipe it: either bring a full kit or don't wipe it.

I have a travel cleaning brush that pops out so I can brush the dust first. It stays in the pack. A spudz micro fiber cloth is attached to binos. I only use a Zeiss "wet wipe" as a last resort and after the dust has come off.
http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...vptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_6q6jwe4ems_b


pairs socks… ...........…………………Check-in: wear a pair, 1 pair in carry on, one in checked.

Wool socks!!!! Not cotton.... Don't care what the weather is or how hot or cold. Wool breaths better, drus better, and I don't think it rubs as bad, especially when wet. I use REI brand ankle height socks for warmer weather and if I'm going to be walking a long way will use a liner, especially until I'm certain they won't rub a blister on that trip.

Lastly, in reading this thread it occured to me that I could actually take more than one three prong adaptor for the outlets.... :S Censored: I apparently though there wasa law against that in the past. Sigh.... I'm going to buy a second one to go along with my Zim converter that has the USB ports....
 

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I was talking to my wife about this thread and packing for our SA trip next fall. She said "don't you guys usually wear the same clothes more than one day when you are hunting anyway"?
I had to stop for a second, and duh, of course she is correct. We go hunting, for multiple days, all the time and wear the same clothes day after day unless something gets especially wet or dirty. And even then it's just dry it out and good to go for another day hunting. A change of clothes (sweats & t-shirt) to wear around the fire at night. And a clean set to wear on departure day. Everything after that is extra. And I am looking forward to daily laundry service:D
 

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don't you guys usually wear the same clothes more than one day when you are hunting anyway"?

DON'T SAY THAT HERE!!!!

If the African outfitters realize this we will lose our daily laundry service and running hot water at camp.... :eek:
 

JimP

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You will love the daily laundry service, I know that I did. I like you usually wear the same clothes until I have to hunt for them to put them back on when hunting but that is only because I am limited usually to how many clothes I can bring on a hunt and want to get the most out of them.

Royal, on my bear hunt in British Colombia a few years ago we rode horsed 23 miles back into the back country. Once there I found that we had a nice shower with hot water. It may of only been a 3 gallon bucket with a shower head attached to it with a on/off valve but after a hard day hunting that shower sure felt nice.
 

Hogpatrol

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Apologize if it's in the thread somewhere but if you're a full time binocular user, take a bino harness. It'll take the load off of your neck and keep them convenient. I travel light also, one carry-on with enough clothes/shoes/equipment to hunt, another carry-on size for the check in only stuff and my gun case packed to the airline weight limit. After three trips, I kept track of what I didn't really need or the PH had and have cut my baggage in half. It also helps when you go with friends and can split up gun cleaning and other things both of you will use.
 
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