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February 26, 2015 IntersailClub
2 week packing guide for your sailing adventure

2 week packing guide for your sailing adventure

There is one fundamental difference between the way most guys and girls pack – guys under-pack, girls over-pack.  Guys will throw everything into a suitcase in 5 minutes and be happy that they have clean underwear and a bottle of spray.  Girls take more time to pack and often pack in far more than they need and then promptly forget to pack in something basic.  Here are a few tips to make your life a little easier and your bag a little lighter.

First thing that you need to pack in, is your sense of adventure. You will more likely than not forget something; things will not always go as planned; you may lose your favorite pair of sunglasses or tear your favorite pair of jeans; but you will make friends and memories that will last you a lifetime.

Always remember, almost anything you forget can be bought locally and haggling at the markets is all part of the fun.



2 – 3 Dresses

A plain dress can be worn casually during the day, or accessorized for an evening out.  A printed dress adds some fun, and can be thrown on at a moment’s notice – take one of each.   If you know you are going out partying, take a more flashy dress. The length will depend on you, but have a longer one for countries that are more conservative.

1 or 2 Sarongs

This is the most versatile piece of clothing you will ever have; wear it as a scarf, wrap, dress, skirt or top – you may wear this more than any other piece of clothing

3 – 6 T-shirts

Have a few that you can mix and match with your shorts and pants.  Choose fabrics that are lightweight and do not crease

1 Long T-shirt

A lightweight T-shirt or button up shirt for cooler evenings, to keep the sun off or to avoid mosquitos

1 Jersey / Jacket

Pack a lightweight jersey or jacket for cooler evenings and travelling.

1 Jacket

As a rule, always have a light, wind resistant jacket – the ocean is as unpredictable as it is beautiful

1 or 2 pairs of light weight long pants

Wear them on cooler evenings or out to dinner

1 Pair of Jeans / Cargo Pants

Ideal for travelling, hiking and cooler evenings

2 pairs of Shorts

One or two pairs, choose quick drying pants with a pocket or two that can be worn with all of your tops

Under Garments

Have one or two bras and enough undies to get you through the time you are away. You will mostly wear these at night, but it’s not ideal to have to wash them and add a new flag to your yacht

Swimming costumes

Take at least 2 so that one can dry while you use the other

Sleep wear

Take something light weight and comfortable that won’t make you or your crewmates feel too awkward in the mornings


Scarf or Buff

Very versatile item that can protect you from the sun, cover your shoulders if you are in a mosque or temple, and adds a pop of color to your outfit.


Choose necklaces and bracelets made of beads, wire and thread.  These are fun, are not easily damaged and of little interest to pick pockets or thieves

Sun Glasses

Have 2 pairs in case you lose one.  A brown tinted lens that wraps around is ideal


Have two; one for your pants and a thin one that can be used to convert your sarong into a dress


Pack in a cap or hat to keep the sun off your face


There is nothing better than the feel of warm teak under your feet or cool beach sand between your toes.  Although you will spend a lot of time barefoot, you will need a few pairs of shoes – but keep these to a minimum .

Flip Flops

Ideal for strolling on the beach when the sand gets warm

Dressy sandals

Have a soft pair of sandals that can be worn when strolling around town or on an evening out.  If you must, bring a pair of low heels, but remember to take them off before you board again

Hiking/walking shoes

A pair of sneakers should suffice unless you are a keen hiker



Invest in a Drylite/Microfiber towel – they take up very little space and dry in minutes

Snorkeling equipment

Some boats may have onboard or you may be able to buy locally, depending on your location – find out in advance


If possible, have a good quality camera with a zoom for scenic pictures

For outdoor enthusiasts, invest in a Go Pro Camera or something similar that can handle a few knocks and be used underwater

Invest in a good carry case to prevent any unwanted damage


A soft backpack or similar bag is easy to carry on board and can be stowed away when not in use

Carry a small day bag or light canvas bag to carry your shopping and souvenirs back to your boat

Small dry bags are ideal to keep valuables dry

Zip lock bags are a cheap and effective way to organize things and keep them dry

Basic Toiletries

Lip Balm

Sun Screen

After Sun


Toothbrush and Tooth paste

Shampoo and Conditioner



Wet Wipes

Hand Sanitizer

Sanitary items


Personal medication and vitamins


A book or Kindle

Music and headphones – not everyone likes the same music

A pack of cards or small board game

Notebook for jotting down memories, recipes and contact details for your new friends

Passports and copies of your passport

Emergency numbers

Copy of your travel itinerary and flight details


By Margot Jefferson

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