Don’t let the headline fool you. We’re not quite packing for Indo just yet. As we slowly start opening up, however, Indonesia is starting to look enticing again. Nias has been pumping, G-Land has been firing, Lakey Peak has had an epic season, and Ulus has been going off. The froth has started, and everyone is raring to go. At some stage international travel is going to reopen, and providing there are still a few airlines open, it’ll be time to hit Indo with force.
Talking about airlines, it’s probably good advice not to fly Pakistan Airlines now, with most of their pilots suspended for having false pilot’s licences – https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/06/pakistan-airline-suspends-150-pilots-alleged-licence-fraud-200625110028780.html
When the time comes, and you want to get ready for some warm water and some nice-sturdy barrels, however, don’t forget that First Aid Kit.
There is so much to think about when packing for a trip to Indonesia. More so for an extended trip. Surfers might not carry as much stuff as a kiteboarder. Still, a surfer planning on a more extended surf trip is going to need to pack carefully. There is a golden rule when packing for a surf trip or any trip whatsoever – ‘half the clothing and twice the money.’
You’re going into boardshorts territory, so that cuts out a whole list of clothing you’re not going to need. There is no need for jeans, no jackets, no tracksuits and no socks. No ties and no pointy shoes. No chinos. It makes a big difference if you eliminate all of those except for maybe a pair of thin secret socks for flying. Also, pack one or two long shirts or lightweight jackets for late evenings on the beach.
For most of your trip, you’ll be living in boardshorts and tee shirts, so you do need a couple of pairs of boardies and a pile of tees, remembering that they can be worn inside out as well, keeping them going twice as long. Billabong sells some great reversible boardies and shorts. A couple of wife-beaters will also work in a hot climate, as well as long cotton shirts for mosquito protection. You’ll be wearing flip flops for most of the time or other sandals, but make sure you pack a few spare pairs because they break pretty easily.
As mentioned, a thin jacket or cotton shirt for drinks on the beach, and don’t forget a range of hats and headgear to keep the sun off and the melanomas at bay. No need for fashion-forward shirts and headgear, function over fashion etc.
Three boards maximum
Unless you’re a full-time professional surfer, you don’t need more than three surfboards on any trip in the world, including Hawaii. If you try to get more than three through most of the Indonesian airports, they’ll hit you with a tax anyway.
Your standard shooter, your basic go-to board, is the first board you need to pack. On any surf trip, there will be small days and average days, and that’s where your go-to boards come in.
A step-up, your second board, is always a good idea to have along. If the waves get a bit chunky, or there is a long-haul paddle, or even if the rip is rushing down the point off the cliffs, then a step-up can make your life a lot easier.
A gun, while not always a necessity, is excellent to have. Should a swell arrive and there are real waves out front, you don’t want to be under-gunned. It is way better to be over-gunned than under-gunned. The problem with a gun is that if the waves do get monstrous and you have a big board, then you’re obliged to paddle out. If you get a sore knee whenever it gets over six-foot and you’re not prepared to paddle out, then leave the big board at home and pack 2 x step-ups. it’ll save us all some embarrassment.
There are so many accessories needed, all just as important as the next. Here is a brief list of what you need for a trip to Indonesia. You’re going to need a couple of pairs of sunglasses. If you lose a pair or break a pair, you’re going to need some backups. Along with this is some sun cream, and some zinc for your face. Rash vests and surfing hats are also essential to stave off the rays of the sun.
Make sure that you have your fins and fin keys packed, as well as some wax. A few leashes and a few more leashes. These types of accessories are also suitable for trading and leaving as gifts.
No need for a razor or shaver, because you can grow a nice little ‘jungle tuft’ on your chin, signifying that you have been to the jungle, and you deserve some respect when you get home. If your hair prefers to grow on the side of your face, then, unfortunately, you’ll just look like Mungo Jerry when you come out of the jungle.
You need your phone, a strong case and a couple of charge cables, possibly a spare battery and some headphones. If you need a laptop, make sure you have all the necessary plugs and wires. Download some books before you go and update your music.
First Aid Kit
An excellent Medical Aid kit is essential for all Indo travel. You also need knowledge of how to use most of the stuff therein. To get the best, we would recommend a surfer’s first aid kit. The best one out there is the Calm As… First Aid Kit for Surfers. Specially designed for surfers to be able to throw into their board bag and forget about until needed. Inside you’ll find the items packed into six resealable plastic bags, each labelled with the condition the bag’s intended to treat and it’s contents. Includes hospital-grade medical equipment from Australian suppliers:
· Ten alco wipes
· Ten packs of gauze
· Ten non-sterile emergency nitrile gloves
· Five x betadine wipes
· Five x 30mL packs of sterile saline for wound irrigation
· Sterile scissors
· Sterile tissue forceps
· Two sterile packs of small wound closure strips (“steristrips”)
· Two sterile packs of extra-large wound closure strips
· Two sterile 10mL syringes
· Two sterile 18G blunt needles
· Sterile cotton applicators (“Q-tips”)
· Triangular bandage (“Shoulder sling”)
· 1.5m of flat-packed 3.75cm strapping tape
· 50cm x10cm sheet of breathable fabric wound dressing (“fixomul”)
· Two x medium waterproof transparent wound dressings (6x7cm)
· Two x large waterproof transparent wound dressings (10x12cm)
· Two x medium combines with waterproof backing (10x20cm)
· Two x large combines with waterproof backing (20x20cm)
· Two x tongue depressors (“finger splints”)
· Five x fabric bandaids
· Tube of Burnaid gel
· Aeroform Snakebite bandage (doubles as a “tensor bandage”)
For more information and further products available go to