Whenever we plan a trip, we do our best to provide the client with a packing list, as well as any notification of weight restrictions.  These restrictions can often go well below the 50 lb per bag limit our good friends at American and United have imposed, especially if there is a charter plane involved.

In my former life I worked for a great gentleman that would often call on a Thursday, inviting me on a Friday trip.  At the end of the conversation, he would finish by saying, “pack light” (we were often flying private).  Thanks to that, I became pretty adept at minimizing and practice it on most every trip I take.  Because of that expertise, I thought I would share a few tips:

  1. If possible, begin packing weeks in advance, and take a minute to think not only if you need each item, but how you can make them lighter.  Do you really need a liter of shampoo for a week, when you can squirt some into a 2 oz bottle???
  2. Speaking of shampoo, check ahead of time and see what toiletries and other “comfort” items are provided by the lodge or outfitter.  Why drag any shampoo with you if they already provide it?
  3. Once you have fully packed items, weight them with a luggage scale.  Don’t have one, well hold it in your hands and step on your bathroom scale and subtract your stand-alone weight.
  4. Find out if the camp you are visiting offers laundry service.  Most outfitters offer it for free or for a nominal fee.  This allows you to fish 10 days with only 2-3 sets of clothing.
  5. Find a lightweight bag.  Today’s luggage is getting lighter and lighter with new fabrics and methods for increasing the tensile strength of those fabrics.  If you must bring a hard-sided bag, make sure it doesn’t weigh more than its contents.
  6. Review those packing lists.  Our outfitters know what you need better than anyone, and their list should be the rule on what to take.
  7. Give up the laptop for the week.  Even the lightest laptops weigh in around 4 lbs.  If you must be connected at all times, use your smartphone, or a tablet.
  8. On the subject of technology, do you really need 8 charger cords for all your devices?  Look into a charger cord with multiple adapters.
  9. Check in advance if there is a place to leave heavier items while you are in the field or on the water.  On my next trip, we will stay at a hotel for a night before taking our charter flight into the jungle.  I’ve already made arrangements for the hotel to store my travel clothes and gear while I’m away.
  10. Is there tackle available for sale (at a reasonable price) at the lodge?  The weight of spoons and heavy lures can add up quickly.
  11. Ask questions!!!  Not sure if you need an item on the trip?  Call us to verify it.  That’s why we are here.


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