WST – Miscellaneous Packing Recommendations

Miscellaneous Packing Recommendations

While this list is not intended to be all inclusive, the following represents a collection of items that we have either wished we had along, have heard others say they had forgotten, or have helped our participants locate while they were at a workshop location:

  • Prescription Eyewear / Sunglasses
    • Let’s face it, photography is a visual pursuit and it’s pretty hard to be in pursuit when you can’t see what you are pursuing. When it comes to prescription eyewear, replacement prescriptions can be difficult to find on location, so making sure you pack these can be a fairly important consideration. For remote locations a spare pair of glasses can prove to be and has proven to be a valuable asset.
    • As a photographer, your eyes are pretty important to you. Long hours in the sun and staring at potential scenes can take its toll, not to mention wind, sand, rain, etc. Don’t forget that giving your eyes a break from the harsh light can be a good thing and having a pair of sunglasses along can be the best way to do just that.
  • Medications
    • Beyond having the normal aspirin, or whatever your choice of pain reliever is, don’t forget to bring your prescription medications along. Nothing ruins a trip faster than having your day to day health be off kilter. In today’s prescription based world, a little foresight here can go a long ways. Prescriptions can be a tricky thing to get filled while traveling, especially in some of the more remote places we will be photographing. Make sure you have an adequate supply of any drug(s) that you might be taking. A quick side note here; due to liability reasons, we can not dispense any over the counter medications to our workshop participants.
  • Bug Spray / Bug Clothing
    • While nature’s insect species can make for wonderful macro subjects, they can also be pesky when in the great outdoors. We will call out, in the workshop packing checklist, locations that have heightened bug spray requirements. Generally speaking, we try to recommend and use bug sprays that are effective and have a minimal chemical footprint on the ecology.
    • There are some locations, particularly in Northern climates, where summer flies and mosquitos can be extremely irritating, not too mention plentiful. In these cases, we recommend bug clothing be worn. The clothing items (in particular bug shirts and bug pants) have fitted openings that close down to prevent bugs from entering into your clothing and also typically contain fitted, mesh hoods to protect your hairline and face. These bugs aren’t dangerous, or even large, but they exist in such sufficient quantity that they can be quite maddening.
  • Sun Screen
    • Of course sun screen is all the rage these days and why wouldn’t it be, it’s a wonderful front line defense against all sorts of sun related cancers. It doesn’t have to be a bright and sunny day in the desert to warrant sun screen. A number of our workshops are held in the bright reflective light of snow covered landscapes, as well as at altitudes and locations that place us “as photographers” closer to the direct light of the sun. Sun screen, in general, is always a good idea and we highly recommend it any time that we are going to be spending extended periods of time out in the outdoors.
  • First Aid Kit
    • This is the one item that you hope you’ll never need and be beyond thrilled to find it’s in reach when the chips are down. No one plans to go out and get hurt, but lots of people fail to plan to be ready in case they are. Any field photographer, that is worth their salt, will tell you that they have a minimal first aid kit in their camera bag / backpack. A few simple items; some band aids, medical (gaffer) tape, pain relievers, etc., can go a long way towards making complex situations simpler when need be.
  • Emergency Supplies
    • Along the lines of a first aid kit, it is worth pointing out that a few other emergency supplies tucked into your bag or backpack is not a bad idea. Here are just a few ideas for things that can be invaluable items to have with you when the going gets tough:
      • Space blanket
      • Water purification tablets / filtration system
      • Compass
      • Signaling mirror / whistle
      • Matches
      • Knife
      • High energy snacks
      • Extra socks
  • Hydration System
    • Staying hydrated is quite literally the single most important survival skill there is. Long story short, lack of water is an impending worst case scenario. Now we are not trying to paint a doom and gloom picture here, but we do want you to think about drinking (and hey after spending time with us, you probably will be thinking about drinking…no wait that’s another topic all together…) lots of fluids. Oddly enough, while soaring temperatures can be good indicators of potential dehydration risk, it’s not the only kind of weather that can have that affect.