Exits at the Baltic Boogie 2015
Image by Konwent Photography
There are a number of ways to kneecap a boogie, and they often have something to do with your gear bag: a forgotten helmet that lands you in a beat-up student ProTec all week; a forgotten suit that leaves you slippery and gripless; the dreaded out-of-date repack card.
When you’re gathering up everything you need for a week of rapid-fire skyjumpin’ in a far-off location, it’s easy to forget a (key) detail here and there. Maybe this--my personal packing checklist--might help.*
Suit(s) (wingsuit/tracking suit/belly suit/tunnel suit/freefly suit/sit suit/dinosaur onesie/all of the above)
Your preferred skydiving kicks
Your credit card (and a healthy sense of realism about how thoroughly it’s about to be abused)
PaperworkIn-date parachute association license
In-date reserve repack card
AAD air travel card (like the one, from Cypres, or this one, from Vigil) so you aren’t caught off guard at any check-in you may pass through during your skydiving career
Rig ProtectionPacking mat/drag mat: preferably, with a sun cover, riser holders and at least one pocket (If your mat doesn't have a sun cover, bring an old towel to cover your gear during any short moments you need to leave it in the sun.) Bonus points if you sew your own. Extra bonus points if you sew me one.
A sturdy, high-quality suit hanger with molded shoulders (to hang up your suit(s) well away from the dirty hangar floor)
ToolsSeveral pull-up cords (or your trusty power tool)
Leatherman, Swiss Army knife or other sturdy multi-tool
Line routing card
Hemostat or tweezers (for those moments when your fingers are just too big for the job)
Replacement MaterialsExtra closing loops
Rubber bands, both large and small (or Tube Stoes, if that’s your jam)
Any special batteries you might need for your doodads
Logging and Note-Taking MaterialsLogbook. (If you don't keep a digital version, keep the paper book in a Ziploc bag because--let’s be real--you always spill either coffee or beer on that thing.)
Notepad (for sharing information with other skydivers, such as phone numbers and scrawled threats)
Labeling tape (to mark everything with your identifying information)
* Note: Obviously, serious, like, aerial cinematographers have a much more nuanced kit than this. This is a starting point. Label everything.Camera. Or, y’know, cameras...but try not to cover the entire surface area of your body with ‘em.
Non-waterproof case (for dry situations where you prefer better sound over better equipment security)
Microfiber lens cleaning cloth and solution
Extra SD cards, labeled clearly with identifying numbers (those little SD card wallets are nice)
Non-perishable "emergency" snacks
A water bottle (or rollable Platypus bottle) with flavor packets, teabags or whatever else entices you into actually sucking on the thing at regular intervals
Clean sweat rag
Rehydration packets (because that beer truck may well sneak up on your blind side)
Label everything. Lots of skydivers on the DZ will have exactly the same items that you do in their packing kit for skydiving, from closing tools to helmets. If unlabeled items go missing from your kit, it’s likely not an issue of dishonesty -- just mistaken identity. Labeling often solves the problem before it arises.
Keep it clean and organized. Keep like with like in separate bags within the larger gear bag, and keep everything protected from dust, dampness, dirt and sun. Make it easy to find every individual item, and you’ll save hours of time in the long run.
Get an idea for what your access to the facilities is going to look like at the boogie.
We’re talking cooking; laundry; showers. If you’ll need to carry in coins for showers and laundry--or if you’ll have to pre-buy something like laundry soap before you drive out into the hinterlands, or something along those lines--you’ll be glad you knew about it and planned accordingly.
Ask around about the experience you can expect at the boogie you’re planning to attend. Skydivers who have been there before will be glad to run down the highlights and challenges for you. Even better: you might end up convincing them to join you for a reprise.
*If you have additions to this list, by all means PM me!