I am terrible at packing…Really, I’m awful.  You’d think that by now, with all the traveling I do that I would have it wired, but that is just not the case.  I can’t seem to leave the house without 27 of my favorite articles of clothing for fear that one of them might feel left out.  It’s like a disease.

Anyway, yesterday as I was packing for my upcoming East Coast roadtrip, I noticed that in amongst all of the useless stuff I can’t seem to leave behind, there were a few things that do actually manage to make the cut every time.  And while my aforementioned lack of packing skills hardly qualifies me to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t pack; these things have always come in useful for me, so I thought I would share.

You’re welcome.

stuff I can't seem to leave behind

1.  Del Mar Housing

This is probably irrelevant for most people, so I probably should have just left it out.  However, I can’t seem to go anywhere without mine so I’ll mention it anyway.  The guys at Del Mar Housings made this water housing specifically for the Canon 5D Mark II with the 16-34mm wide angle lens which will shoot both HD video and stills while in the water  (or on land for that matter).

2.  Reusable Water Bottle

We all know that plastic water bottles and disposable coffee cups are bad news.  In case you haven’t heard, here are some statistics for you to read in your spare time.  My friends at Kona Brewing Company were nice enough to send over this reusable bottle that keeps cold things cold and hot things hot depending on what I have decided to put in it.  This takes care of both the morning coffee addiction and the afternoon water bottle problem.  Yay.

3.  The Solus Fins from Futures.

Since you can never be sure where you will find a good wave, and the hope that you will come across one is always there, it is a good idea to bring your favorite surf fins with you wherever you go.  I can never actually decide if I really appreciate the way these fins feel and respond in the water, or if I just like them because they look cool (which I think we can all agree is what is really important)…either way they come with me when I travel.

4.  The Dakine Cyclone Dry Pack

This bag is my most favorite bag.  My friend Curtis gave me a prototype a few years back for a trip to the Galapagos, and I have been in love with it ever since.  And although I have been informed that carrying a dry bag around everywhere you go isn’t exactly the coolest thing to do, I maintain that you never know when you are going to need one (and so far it has been true).

for the record, I am probably much more excited to surf than I look in this photo.  I had just woken up.

for the record, I am probably much more excited to surf than I look in this photo. I had just woken up.

5.  My Patagonia Shortie

It isn’t a secret that I appreciate a good pair of shorty shorts.  Well, this is the wetsuit version.  I have never been a fan of full suits, and this suit seems to be just enough to get me through most situations, both underwater and floating on top of it.

6.  Maui Jims–specifically the Peahis and the Sand Islands.

These sunglasses are so good that it is hard to explain how nice they make everything look to someone who has never tried them.  As a matter of fact, as I sit here typing, my dad is walking around the kitchen wearing his pair because he thinks that life just looks a little better with them on, indoors or out.  Completely normal.


7.  Vertra Suncare

I don’t care what anyone says, Vertra works better than other sunscreen.  It just does.  The Shane Dorian Kona Gold face stick is my favorite, especially if I am going out on some kind of an all day adventure because it just doesn’t come off.  The downside is that I end up with “Verta Face” and inadvertently look like I walked out of the house with a really um, interesting makeup job.  The clear Mick Fanning face stick is awesome though if I am going to be around regular people who don’t understand that using your tinted sunscreen as foundation is actually a completely acceptable thing to do.  Two birds, you know?

8.  Go Pro

There is a fine line between narcissism and self-promotion, and since I first discovered Go Pros, I have found myself teetering along the edge of that line.  A few years ago, we discovered that there is very little that you can’t do with duct tape, a Go Pro and a dream; and roadtrips have been all that much better for that discovery.

My socks look cool.  Even at the beach.

My socks look cool. Even at the beach.

9.  SockPost Socks

If you know me, you are probably saying, maybe even outloud, “Liar.  You don’t wear socks.”  And for the most part, you’d be right.  But on planes and in cold places I do, and these socks are my new favorites.  They are upcycled, sustainable, and they just look cool.  What other socks do you know that can say that?  None.

10.  SoloShot

Finally, the new addition to the lineup…For years, we have been trying to figure out what the best way to film ourselves is when there are no extra people around who are willing or able to hold a camera (like I said, it is a slippery slope to narcissism).  The soloshot is a tripod that responds to a transmitter you wear while you surf or paddle so that the camera follows you wherever you go.  I have yet to try it, and when I do, I promise to let you know how it goes.

So…those are a few of my favorite things.  Later this week, I will be taking this stuff along with almost everything else I own from Rockaway, New York through Rhode Island, Pittsburg, and wherever else seems fun, ultimately ending up in Wisconsin for the Midwest Paddle Festival.

If you are anywhere along that route and think that playing with me in the water might be a fun thing to do, e-mail me at seamonstermedia@yahoo.com and I will try to stop by if I can.

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