Forums: Skydiving: General Skydiving Discussions:
Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ?

 


Aventador

Nov 2, 2013, 11:39 AM
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Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? Can't Post

Hi,

I'm a French student planning to spend next summer (4 months) abroad (probably in Canada).
I have 120 jumps, and I only jumped in my small local DZ, which is opened only on week ends...

So I don't really know how does the average DZ work, and I would like to know if it is possible/realistic to survive abroad as an unexperimented packer... I mean, is it possible to have a decent salary which may allow me to eat and have some place to sleep, and maybe have some extra money for a few jumps Blush

And by "unexperimented packer" I mean that i only packed my rigs plus a few student rigs... but i will probably learn how to pack tandems next spring.

Thanks in advance for your answers !

PS : Please excuse my bad english..


Andy9o8  (D License)

Nov 2, 2013, 12:35 PM
Post #2 of 24 (3801 views)
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Re: [Aventador] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll let someone else answer the question about making enough money, but I will give you this advice: before you do it, make sure - in advance - that Canadian law (or the laws of any country you travel to) will allow you to work in exchange for any kind of payment - money, food, a place to stay, jump tickets, etc. - with the type of visa you will have.


(This post was edited by Andy9o8 on Nov 2, 2013, 12:42 PM)


Aventador

Nov 2, 2013, 12:54 PM
Post #3 of 24 (3767 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Andy9o8 wrote:
I'll let someone else answer the question about making enough money, but I will give you this advice: before you do it, make sure - in advance - that Canadian law (or the laws of any country you travel to) will allow you to work in exchange for any kind of payment - money, food, a place to stay, jump tickets, etc. - with the type of visa you will have.

Yes, I am going to ask for a working holiday visa, but registrations records are not yet available.


weaverd  (C License)

Nov 2, 2013, 1:09 PM
Post #4 of 24 (3737 views)
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Re: [Aventador] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Aventador wrote:
Hi,

I'm a French student planning to spend next summer (4 months) abroad (probably in Canada).
I have 120 jumps, and I only jumped in my small local DZ, which is opened only on week ends...

So I don't really know how does the average DZ work, and I would like to know if it is possible/realistic to survive abroad as an unexperimented packer... I mean, is it possible to have a decent salary which may allow me to eat and have some place to sleep, and maybe have some extra money for a few jumps Blush

And by "unexperimented packer" I mean that i only packed my rigs plus a few student rigs... but i will probably learn how to pack tandems next spring.

Thanks in advance for your answers !

PS : Please excuse my bad english..

Honestly, probably not in Canada, it is an expensive place to live


Aventador

Nov 2, 2013, 4:10 PM
Post #5 of 24 (3617 views)
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Re: [weaverd] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

weaverd wrote:
Honestly, probably not in Canada, it is an expensive place to live

Really, even if i don't mind sleeping in a tent and eating pasta for 4 months ? Unsure

Any other opinion ?


GAjumper84  (A License)

Nov 2, 2013, 5:08 PM
Post #6 of 24 (3582 views)
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Re: [Aventador] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not very experienced in this industry, so no expert opinion here, but what I would try to do is work it out in advance. Call different DZs and find a DZO who will commit to let you pack for them. Let that dictate where exactly you go.


chemist  (A License)

Nov 2, 2013, 6:08 PM
Post #7 of 24 (3546 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Andy9o8 wrote:
I'll let someone else answer the question about making enough money, but I will give you this advice: before you do it, make sure - in advance - that Canadian law (or the laws of any country you travel to) will allow you to work in exchange for any kind of payment - money, food, a place to stay, jump tickets, etc. - with the type of visa you will have.

based on the manner packers get paid I don't think this will be an issue. That is cash money right after skydive


hcsvader  (E 2952)

Nov 2, 2013, 8:08 PM
Post #8 of 24 (3463 views)
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Re: [Aventador] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

People here always like to say that this is an unrealistic idea, but it seems that at every dropzone you go to there is some foreigner working on the packing mat, living in a tent, eating pasta and skydiving everyday.


Willi91  (E 369)

Nov 3, 2013, 1:38 AM
Post #9 of 24 (3342 views)
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Re: [Aventador] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I spent my summer this year at Skydive Hibaldstow working as a packer. It is hard work, but it pays well and you can get a shitload of jumps. If you can deal with the sometimes immense amount of hard work, I say try it out.


TheDoctor2608

Nov 3, 2013, 2:41 AM
Post #10 of 24 (3270 views)
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Re: [Aventador] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't know about Canada but i've done that for 6 months in Australia, which is a pretty expensive country aswell. Really good time, although packing for a big dropzone is a really hard job you absolutely shouldn't underestimate. But i made quite some money, had a great time with the people, did quite a few jumps. I was living on the dropzone there eating cheap food, but still worth it. Can highly recommend giving it a try :-)


Southern_Man  (C License)

Nov 3, 2013, 7:00 AM
Post #11 of 24 (3087 views)
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Re: [hcsvader] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

hcsvader wrote:
People here always like to say that this is an unrealistic idea, but it seems that at every dropzone you go to there is some foreigner working on the packing mat, living in a tent, eating pasta and skydiving everyday.

Well it can definitely be done but this guy's problem is he has no experience as a packer. There is at least a month that he is going to spend really getting up to speed if he can find somebody willing to hire him to learn on the job.


gunpaq  (D 11214)

Nov 3, 2013, 7:10 AM
Post #12 of 24 (3072 views)
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Re: [Aventador] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Aventador go for your dreams but you would be well advised to be 110% committed to hard work, being disciplined, professional, and excelling in your skill of packing. A lot of DZ's are looking for 2014 staff at this time so best to contact them now with your resume of experience and skills. Arriving in Canada on a visitor visa without financial means and looking for work on the barter system at a DZ will get you deported for one year. Its very easy to obtain a temporary work permit for what you want to do so do thing the right way and avoid problems. Good luck. :)


Aventador

Nov 3, 2013, 8:23 AM
Post #13 of 24 (3002 views)
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Re: [gunpaq] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am courageous and not afraid by days of hard working.

I am currently sending resumes to some dropzone, and I await the opening of registration for "working holiday visas" in canada ! Smile

It seems that the biggest problem is my lack of experience Unsure


wildcard451  (D License)

Nov 3, 2013, 8:55 AM
Post #14 of 24 (2971 views)
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Re: [Aventador] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Aventador wrote:
It seems that the biggest problem is my lack of experience Unsure


Funny how not having much experience limits you for a job in which you are expected to be very proficient.

Why were you expecting? Unsure


hcsvader  (E 2952)

Nov 4, 2013, 12:00 AM
Post #15 of 24 (2748 views)
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Re: [Aventador] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Aventador wrote:
I am courageous and not afraid by days of hard working.

I am currently sending resumes to some dropzone, and I await the opening of registration for "working holiday visas" in canada ! Smile

It seems that the biggest problem is my lack of experience Unsure

So get some experience, practise practise practise.


bob.dino  (E 2185)

Nov 4, 2013, 12:17 AM
Post #16 of 24 (2721 views)
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Re: [Aventador] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Aventador wrote:
It seems that the biggest problem is my lack of experience Unsure

Call up a big DZ near-ish to you in France, and ask them if you can do some work over winter. Pas de problem!


Joellercoaster  (D 105792)

Nov 4, 2013, 4:39 AM
Post #17 of 24 (2628 views)
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Re: [hcsvader] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

hcsvader wrote:
Aventador wrote:
It seems that the biggest problem is my lack of experience Unsure

So get some experience, practise practise practise.

Yup.

I know this is almost sacrilege to most of us, but skydiving is not the only way to unpack a rig.

Get hold of one if you don't have one already, and pack it and repack it until your fingers bleed. You can get quite fast quite quickly if you focus, and getting used to a little pain will definitely help you in your new job!

I know a few friends got their start in skydiving as packers before they were jumpers, and always because they asked around and found places willing to let them learn on the job. Be persistent, they are out there. Also be willing to do other things on the side... as a relatively inexperienced packer, you are more valuable if you clean, carry, paint... you get the idea.

Good luck!


wmw999  (D 6296)

Nov 4, 2013, 4:44 AM
Post #18 of 24 (2626 views)
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Re: [hcsvader] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
So get some experience, practise practise practise.
This. There's no law saying that someone has to actually jump a parachute after you pack it. If you don't own your own gear, there's no law saying that the parachute you pack has to actually be airworthy.

The tricks that you learn packing repeatedly will help you -- how to close a container without straining it, how to use the bag to help with an unruly canopy -- all of it.

And make a checklist of the things that you want to check on a system when you pack. Then when you're doing it for money, it'll be automatic. Things like brakelines being untwisted, loops, toggle attachment, etc.

Those are all things that you can do yourself to get closer to your goal.

Wendy P.


mx19  (D License)

Nov 6, 2013, 2:47 AM
Post #19 of 24 (2353 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you not think that brakelines being untwisted is the jumpers problem? The packer does not have time to fix that! Same way the rig should be given to them ready to pack, brakes and excess stowed and slider uncollapsed/reattached etc.


wmw999  (D 6296)

Nov 6, 2013, 5:02 AM
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Re: [mx19] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's the jumper's problem, but the packer who notices and lets the jumper know (particularly when things aren't hectic) is the packer that people begin to ask for.

Wendy P.


DJL  (D License)

Nov 6, 2013, 5:32 AM
Post #21 of 24 (2240 views)
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Re: [Aventador] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Aventador wrote:
It seems that the biggest problem is my lack of experience Unsure

Go to your dz and tell several people per day that you're trying to learn proficiency and will pack for free. You'll get a lot of experience with different rigs and jumpers and they'll start throwing money at you soon enough.


mx19  (D License)

Nov 6, 2013, 9:21 AM
Post #22 of 24 (2168 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Fair point


Aventador

Nov 7, 2013, 12:24 PM
Post #23 of 24 (2034 views)
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Re: [mx19] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for all your advices, I stay focused on my goal and I will give my best to reach it !


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Nov 7, 2013, 12:46 PM
Post #24 of 24 (1991 views)
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Re: [Aventador] Summer job as a packer abroad, realistic ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a little late, but here goes:

Pros:

It can be a lucrative job, often the packers make the most money on the DZ.
You get to hang out at the DZ.
You get to meet an amazing cross section of people. Some are world famous.

Cons:

Some DZs are rather tough to get a job at. Since it's one of the most lucrative jobs, it's also one of the most sought after.
Make sure you are legal. Some people ignore the rules and laws about working in a different country. Some get away with it. Some don't. The consequences can be severe.
It is very hard work. Can you spend all day bent over, on your knees, working your hands hard? I can't.
Speed is essential. If you can't pack a rig in less than 10 minutes, you won't do very well. There are threads on here about the ways packers go as fast as they do. Short version is that they have very refined technique. They don't waste a single second or a single motion.

I'm not trying to trample on your dreams, but packing is a tough job. If you aren't willing and able to work very hard, all day long; then it might not be for you. If you don't have much experience packing, then simply going overseas and trying to do it may not work out very well.
Try it at your home DZ. Try packing for a bunch of people, all day long.
At the end of the day, when your hands, back and knees are sore, you can barely grip a can of beer, and your eyes are crossing from trying to thread the pullup cord through the grommets, then decide if you want to try it full time.

If you can do it, great. It can be an awesome opportunity to travel and see places, meet people and jump a little.

Good luck



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