Don’t Leave Home Without It: Gear Essentials for Your Remote Work Surf-trip
If you are planning to hit the road for a few weeks or months to work remotely in a surfing paradise, here’s a few things you’ll want to bring along.
Unless you’re certain that there is excellent surf gear available at your destination, pack what you’ll need with you, including:
- A board or two that suits the waves in your new location.
- A quality board bag for travelling that fits more than one board. Airlines will only charge you for one board even if you have a bag that fits three. Board bags that have wheels and straps to tie onto a car, make travel easier. And remember to plaster fragile stickers all over it.
- Comfortable water-wear that is appropriate to your destination. If you’re going somewhere hot, make sure you’ve got light coloured rash guards and consider rashie leggings to prevent bad sunburns.
- Wax for the appropriate water temperature. I’ve found that wax can be over-priced or poor quality in many places so I alway bring extra. It’s a much appreciated gift for local surfers if you end up bringing too much.
- An extra set of fins and leash. There’s nothing worse than breaking a fin or a leash and not being able to find replacements.
- A small roll of tuck tape to quickly seal any dings in your board, fin keys, a wax comb and extra leash cord.
- A repair kit. To be honest, I don’t always bring one because some of the chemicals in them aren’t permitted on airplanes — but you can check with the airline you’re taking. If I damage my board well enough, I find a local repair guy to fix it up. I’ve never had trouble finding a ding repair pro in the tiniest of towns.
- Earplugs designed for swimming are becoming a standard feature in my surf-kit as a tool for preventing water-borne infections. I also bring a small bottle with a dropper for hydrogen peroxide to clean out my ears after surfing.
- Straps to tie your boards onto a car. You never know where a good adventure will lead to, be sure your boards come with you.
- Don’t forget to pack the sunscreen!
Think about the equipment you need to work effectively. Perhaps you just need an iPad to work, but if you need 2 screens and a full station, consider how you will get those to your destination. If you decide you would rather buy your equipment at your destination, find out if it is available and the pricing. We bring a large Apple screen, full-size laptop and cords in our hand-luggage but, we usually buy a good chair and desk when we arrive.
Think about bringing:
- Your laptop and all the cables you might need for it, including power adaptors for the region you’re going
- A laptop stand for a more of an ergonomic-friendly set up
- A backup system for all of your work, in case your computer gets stolen
- Good headphones in case you are working in noisy areas or co-working spaces
- Extra batteries for your phone, iPad or computer
- An unlocked phone so you can get a local sim card and a data plan. This way you can tether your computer to your phone if you need an internet backup and make local calls at cheap rates.
Health & Safety Gear
Often travellers pack half their suitcase with the drugs they might need for every possible scenario. If you are going to a town with a pharmacy you can probably get everything you need for an unexpected issue. I usually bring things I might need for my most common ailments and I don’t leave home without:
- Sunscreen. If you are going somewhere that is hot and sunny, you might need a fair bit of this. If you have a favourite brand that works for you that you suspect won’t be available in your new location bring lots of it.
- A general antibiotic. Get your Doctor to prescribe you a course, just in case you end up somewhere remote and aren’t able to find a doctor or pharmacy in a time of need
- A first aid kit stocked with goods for minor surfing injuries like tweezers, band-aids of various sizes, gauze, pain-killers, immodium, muscle-relaxant, stomach-medicine, surgical tape, antiseptic wipes, antibacterial cream, elastic bandages, anti-histamine. Again, you can get most of these things in any town in the world, but I like to have enough on hand to get through an urgent need.
- Reef booties. I’ve made the mistake of only bringing my board and bikini to warm-water places, not thinking about the possibility of sea-urchins or crusty rocks making contact with my feet.
- Small and well-sealed granola bars. I always make sure my summer suits or board shorts have a small pocket so I can stuff a granola bar in and snack on it when I need an energy boost during a long surf-sesh.
Here are a few things to consider that may seem strange, but might make remote-working in a surf-town much more comfortable for you.
- A good bread knife, a sharp knife and a reliable non-stick pan. Even in the best apartments I’ve rented there seems to be a recurring theme of terrible knives and useless pans. You can always buy these things when you get there though.
- A good pair of scissors
- If you’re picky about a good quality pillow then bring one — it also doubles as great nose protection in your board bag
- A set of cotton sheets, because polyester bedding seems to be the norm in most rentals and drives me nuts
- If you’re going to a place where you don’t speak the language, bring an e-reader or a few good books in case book exchange opportunities are thin
- A portable speaker for listening to music
- A guidebook and surf guide for your destination, as well as a phrasebook
Let us know if you have any other tips by commenting on our Facebook page.