Weigh Your Luggage Before You Travel

Have you noticed how airlines are cracking down on oversized (and in some countries) overweight carry-on bags & backpacks?  In Australia, you can only carry on bags up to 7 kgs.  Birders will usually be pushing these limits with camera gear, lenses, binoculars and guidebooks.  If you don’t want a nasty surprise when you check in and be forced to check your bag – and pay extra for it – you need to know the weight before you go.  This cute gadget also has a measuring tape built in!

You can also hide some extra weight in a Scottevest but they still don’t have a product that holds DSLRs and zoom lenses!

As Seen On Survivor

If you are a Survivor fan, you will be familiar with the Buff.  “Drop your buffs, we’re switching tribes”.  Well you don’t have to be a contestant to have one, you can order your own in a wide variety of colours (but stick to the muted nature shade for birding).  I got one and it comes in handy for keeping my long hair out of the way and keeping bugs off my forehead and neck.

This is how to wear it.


Don’t Lose Your Lens Caps

We’ve all been there.  You have your camera gear at hand and on your way to a birding hotspot when all of a sudden a bird unexpectedly flies overhead.  You scramble for your camera, rip off the lens cap and set it down somewhere and frantically try to get your shot.  Then you get so busy looking through the shots to see if any of them are good you forget to put the lens cap back.

Long after you’ve moved on, you realize the lens cap is gone and you aren’t sure where it went.  How annoying!

These nifty gadgets could solve that problem and at $5.99 for a pack of 5 are not expensive.


Even better, get a pack with spare lens caps – once you click on the link there are more sizes on the page.


My Carry-on Backpack Which Has Withstood The Test Of Time

It’s been about 5 years since I bought my eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible and it has been with me on around 8 overseas birding adventures now and is still going strong!  This bag is really sturdy, hardly weighs anything so you can maximize a 7 kg carry-on limit.  It easily holds a DSLR, 100-400mm lens and several changes of clothing although you should always wear your heaviest shoes on the plane.




WWF Shares Their “Must Pack” List For The Rainforest

World Wildlife Fund has a list of items they feel are essential for traveling in rainforest areas.  See their list then see which items I agree with.

  1.  Hand Fan – I don’t normally use one.  Trying to juggle a camera and binoculars is enough!
  2.  Mosquito Repellant – absolutely!  Especially with Zika, Malaria and other nasties about!
  3.  Long Pants – another yes!  They add extra protection against mosquitoes.
  4.  Long socks – sort of.  I hate shoes and socks but will wear them if I absolutely have to, though I tend to stick to established trails when birding.  I do have leech socks and have worn them in Sri Lanka.
  5.  Poncho – yes, I bring one more for protecting my camera than myself!
  6.  Bandana – sort of.  I have lead bands to keep the sweat off and I recently bought a Buff (as seen in Survivor) for more variety in headgear.
  7.  Pencil – not really.  I probably should take more notes while birding but I really prefer to to my bird list back at the lodge, preferably with help from my guide.
  8.  Trail Mix – OK, not trail mix exactly but I usually bring some kind of snack and definitely lots of water.

And I have to add

9.  Scottevest – love all the pockets to carry stuff in!

Scottevest’s Annual 40% Off Sale Through 8 Feb

It’s that time of year when Scottevest puts some of their most popular items on sale with huge discounts!  I always travel with one and it really helps me get through with carry on only on those airlines that are stingy with weight requirements for carry on bags.  Jackets aren’t weighed!  If you have a city-based trip, there are some more professional looking jackets that allow you to keep your valuables securely pocketed away.


14 styles including men’s & women’s styles and some jackets suited for the working porfessional – all with the trademark Scottevest pocket system.