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 Post subject: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:08 pm 
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8 days of paradise.... A hut with a fan, cold shower, and a sink on the waterfront..... Snorkeling, fishing, swimming with turtles, sleeping, lava fields....
That said, I have never been to the pacific islands before. Anyone been to Savaii (larger island in Samoa) before? Any tips/advice/suggestions for packing list?

So far:
2L of 40+ Sunscreen
Wide brim hat (any suggestions here? Looking for something that travels well, shades my neck, can be stuffed in a pack)
Waterproof 10L Daypack
Hydration Backpack (Holds 2L)
Water bottle with filtration for giardia and whatever else 99.99% (turns tap water into bottled water)
Couple Tshirts, long sleeve linen shirts,and I'm bringing my merino wool longsleeve top (will be interesting to see how merino wool does!)
Underwear, sport socks, 2 pairs of shorts
Microfibre Towel
Sunglasses

I will be taking a headlamp, bright torch, Leatherman Micra, #6 Opinel, lighter, tweezers, Celox Quikclot, antibiotic ointment, and strapping tape. Pen, paper, a small lock and a Shemagh, Mask and snorkel, pack of cards.

I'm also bringing my tablet and kindle and chargers + universal adapter.

I'll put liquids and sharps into my wife's checked luggage (I'm only taking 7kg carryon, it's only 8 days), and put everything else into my Rush 24 backpack.

Is there anything else I should bring? I'm not too concerned about Immodium or Gravol, I'll be taking my medicine cabinet and pertaining scripts. Copies of my passport in all bags...


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:25 am 
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Bring something for a sunburn in case you or your wife miss a spot with the lotion, it wears off, or you stay out too long. Whatever you buy, be sure it contains little to no alcohol. I bought some "burn lotion" once and only after I bought it did I notice the second ingredient was alcohol.

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:09 pm 
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I'd pull a two week forecast just before you leave and have ravel insurance as well.

I took the wife to HI one summer, folks couldn't understand why we would travel to HI in the summer - it's so wet in the winter, don't know the rainy season there, worth looking at anyway. Hate to see you pinned down on the island by a storm for two extra weeks w/o travel insurance....


Have fun!

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:21 pm 
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TacAir wrote:
I'd pull a two week forecast just before you leave and have travel insurance as well.


A note on travel insurance. Read your coverage carefully. Of course, the policies have LOTS of limits, and sometimes certain things (such as volcanic eruptions, thinking back to the Icelandic eruption a few years ago) are not covered. So even though volcanoes probably are not an issue where you are going, be sure the main reasons you are getting it (bad weather, tropical storm, labor strike...) are covered.

Also, my wife reminded me to recommend bug spray.

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Best hot weather hat ever:

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:14 pm 
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I will definitely get some travel insurance, thanks for the advice...
Normally we travel without it, but we have some connection flights, and as you said it is a tropical climate.....

Their rainy season begins November, but that just means afternoon showers every so often (or so I've been told).
I have a Tropical Strength stick of bug repellent (30 percent DEET)
Good call on the burn cream,, I hadn't thought of that.

I will definitely pull a two week weather forecast.

I also realised thatI should get a note from my doctor for my scripts, and the metal in my knee (don't know how metal detectors will handle it).

I ended up ordering a Real Deal Brazil canvas hat, hopefully it will arrive before we leave. I also ordered an Ugly hat formy wife from the same company.... I've been eyeing these up for a while now, great to have a reason to order them.

I've got a mosquito net coming in the mail.... I am gonna hang it above our bed after the trip.

I also am not sure if I should throw my ST300 Leatherman into the checked luggage.............. Would be nice to have but not sure I'llneed it.....


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:52 pm 
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As someone who lives on a pacific island, (granted a crowded one), I can say dont forget your slippers. Slippers, sandals, crocs, reefwalkers... something you dont mind getting wet and sandy. Nothing is worse than having only one pair of shoes that are soaked completley thru and caked on with sand. There are gonna be plenty of times you want your feet to breath, but dont want to be compeltly barefoot.

Your opinel, being of high carbon steel can rust very fast if it is not oiled, or already have a patina applied. I like to carry stainless when I'm near the ocean.

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:10 pm 
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My Opinel has a good patina on it already, and i will give it an extra oil before we go. Thanks for the tip!
We are both bringing our neoprene dive booties for walking in the water, as well as a pair of jandals/thong sandals.

I am bringing mostly linen clothing,except for some shorts and a long sleeve performance top. I hope I can pick up a few cheap lavalavas/sarongs and live in them for most of the trip, I hate wearing pants.....


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:35 am 
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72hours wrote:
I also realised thatI should get a note from my doctor for my scripts, and the metal in my knee (don't know how metal detectors will handle it).

Letter from the Doc is a VERY good move, don't forget to have your RX meds in their original packaging too, preferably with the pharmacies sticker on too.

The metal in your knee shouldn't be an issue with a metal detector, titanium and stainless are both non-magnetic, and therefore do not get picked up. None of my body piercings have set off the metal detectors at various airports.

As a note for when you return, make sure you declare everything you think that may be contraband to NZ Customs, especially any food items you have with you. I'd not like to see you get slapped with a hefty fine for an apple or a sammich when they pick it up at biosecurity.

You have been to the Pacific Islands before! You live in NZ. :P

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 Post subject: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:07 am 
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NZ is a pacific island? :shock:
No shit, now it sounds all exotic and beautiful like :P

72' enjoy your holiday, it'll boost the recuperation of your injured leg. Did you ever get a blackthorn walking stick? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:16 am 
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wee drop o' bush wrote:
NZ is a pacific island? :shock:
No shit, now it sounds all exotic and beautiful like :P

Also technically a part of Asia, hence Australasia. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:27 am 
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72hours wrote:
8 days of paradise.... A hut with a fan, cold shower, and a sink on the waterfront..... Snorkeling, fishing, swimming with turtles, sleeping, lava fields....
That said, I have never been to the pacific islands before. Anyone been to Savaii (larger island in Samoa) before? Any tips/advice/suggestions for packing list?

So far:
2L of 40+ Sunscreen
Wide brim hat (any suggestions here? Looking for something that travels well, shades my neck, can be stuffed in a pack)
Waterproof 10L Daypack
Hydration Backpack (Holds 2L)
Water bottle with filtration for giardia and whatever else 99.99% (turns tap water into bottled water)
Couple Tshirts, long sleeve linen shirts,and I'm bringing my merino wool longsleeve top (will be interesting to see how merino wool does!)
Underwear, sport socks, 2 pairs of shorts
Microfibre Towel
Sunglasses

I will be taking a headlamp, bright torch, Leatherman Micra, #6 Opinel, lighter, tweezers, Celox Quikclot, antibiotic ointment, and strapping tape. Pen, paper, a small lock and a Shemagh, Mask and snorkel, pack of cards.

I'm also bringing my tablet and kindle and chargers + universal adapter.

I'll put liquids and sharps into my wife's checked luggage (I'm only taking 7kg carryon, it's only 8 days), and put everything else into my Rush 24 backpack.

Is there anything else I should bring? I'm not too concerned about Immodium or Gravol, I'll be taking my medicine cabinet and pertaining scripts. Copies of my passport in all bags...


If you're in NZ then I'd agree on the Barmah, but I prefer the Canvas Crusher with the full crown rather than the Drover with the mesh crown. Depending how bald or blonde you are a full crown is better sun protection but can be hotter. The Crusher can be folded and it springs back in perfect shape.

If you are going to be on the water a lot, wading, surf fishing or on a boat, you might consider a Tilley Endurable. I have the cotton duck similar to the LTM2 Airflow, but with out the airflow. A very broad brim, second only to my Akubra Territory, cotton duck, so I can wet it for evaporative cooling, and best of all the crown has a foam insert so if floats, if blown off my head and we can bring the boat around.

I'd ditch the t-shirts if they are cotton. Swap them out for nylon perfomance t-shirts (white) that you can wear while swimming or on the beach.

Ditch the underwear unless you are wearing very shear linen trousers, they will just absorb sweat.

Two pairs of sun glasses with leashes like Croakies.

You didn't mention amphibious sandals like Teva's or aquasocks

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Last edited by Evan the Diplomat on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:44 am 
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The game "Dead island" comes to mind :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:57 pm 
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I can't imagine bugs will be much bother by the beach, the constant wind keeps them blown away.

They will jump you when you step into the jungle, though, so be warned....

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:10 pm 
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I declare EVERYTHING. Notgonna get burned at customs andbiosecurity.
Turns out my house insurance covers travel in the pacific islands

wee, I did end up getting one as a gift, but Iwill take alighter one for this trip.

Evan,
As I mentioned I bought us a pair of Real Deal Brazil canvas hat. If I could afford to buy a second hat, it would probably be a hemp tilley hat....

I'm only packing 2 t shirts, but I guess I shouldhave mentioned that theyare made from stretchy performance fabric.

As for ditching the underwear, no way. I can't let things dangle like that unless I was into bruising and chafing. Granted, I won't wear any in my bathing suit which is what I will wear most ofthe time, but hikingI will wear my compression shorts/underwear. None of my underwear is cotton.
I have two pairs ofsunglasses but no croakies (couldn't find them anywhere)
I did mentionthat I am taking my dive booties forwalking inthe water, or even swimming (coral), as well as a pair of jandals and a pair of runners (we'll hike a short distance over lava fields)

The hotel recommends bringing bug repellent, although there are no bugs during the day, they come out at dusk.....


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:28 pm 
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72hours wrote:
I have two pairs ofsunglasses but no croakies (couldn't find them anywhere)
I did mentionthat I am taking my dive booties forwalking inthe water, or even swimming (coral), as well as a pair of jandals and a pair of runners (we'll hike a short distance over lava fields)

The hotel recommends bringing bug repellent, although there are no bugs during the day, they come out at dusk.....


Can't imagine that New Zealand doesn't have a local equivalent sunglass leash. You could always use a shoe string or length of paracord.

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:26 pm 
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I just popped out to Bivouac, got them to replace a faulty P2 LED Lenser. They did have sunglasses leash, but they were 26 bucks. I'm just gonna jury rig something with some paracord. I also went by Kathmandu with a bladder that has been leaking through the bite valve, and they gave me a new upgraded bite valve(although I have to install it myself). I am much happier with that than what I thought they were going to do (give me a new bladder, with the same kind of cheap leaky bite valve).

I am waiting for the RDB hats to arrive, jumping every time I hear a car go by outside, thinking that it's the delivery guy. There was a shipping fault though, and our hats got sent back to RDB two days afterthey shipped, so I'm not even sure if they will arrive in time. I also purchased a Maxped Tactical Travel Tray (I hate not having someplace specific to put things on vacation), and a Runnur for those days we're travelling light, or not going too far.

I am so tired and stressed from putting this vacation together last minute, doing it FOR Mrs72, but still having her feel like she's a part of it and the decision making, packing everything because she doesn't have time as shedoesn't finish exams until the day before we leave. I was up last night twice with panic attacks, and 3 time praying to the porcelain gods (it was a VIOLENT prayer). Time for an afternoon nap.


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:05 am 
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Well, picked up a couple Coolmax buffs for me and Mrs72, a frisbee, a 2nd hydration pack. The Runnur showed up today, and although I haven't had a chance to load it up, it seems well built.Will definitely lighten my pockets, and I can still carry my roll-down water proof 8L bag with our snorkeling gear. Got a pair of polarized sunglasses on the way,should be here tomorrow. Still no sign of our Real Deal Brazil hats, apparently they were returned to sender 3 days after they mailed it, so it is quite likely that they won't arrive in time. RDB was kind enough to give us a small discount though. And there are still 2 more days that mail can arrive, before we leave.......


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:12 am 
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Dont forget to check if your travel insurance covers scooters, you dont want to be another Sean Kenzie. Poor guy.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7369201 ... o-Auckland

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:42 am 
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Man, I grew up in the Cook Islands.
You're going to love it.

From memory, Savaii was like parts of the Cooks, before it got found by tourists. The island has a grand total of ONE main road, and you can get pretty much everywhere on foot.


A couple of tips?

You mentioned hats? The best hat I've ever worn is a "Barmah foldable canvas drovers" hat. Wide brimmed, crushable, ventilated, stores away folded/crushed into a ball, and pretty much bomb proof. Don't know if NZ has them, but here in Oz, there easy enough to find.

- If you're used to colder climates, you're going to chafe. Accept it, and plan for it. Don't wear silk blend materials, or anything that is silky or satin-y to the touch. Take a little tube of paw paw cream with you.
Chafe is bad enough, but throw in some salt water, sand and some nether-sweat, and you'll be walking bow-legged before the week's out.

If you take a watch, don't expect anything or anyone to run on time. Most tourist or hotel-based services are pretty good, but if it's run by Islanders, it runs on Island time.

If you swim with goggles, take them. If you think you might, buy them before you go.

Take some reef shoes. Coral cuts are horrible, and completely avoidable. Also, stonefish. Don't know if they're actually called that, but they're a great way to spend the rest of the holiday inside a third-world hospital. Or dead.

I don't know what Savaii's hospital is like, or if it even exists, but anything past their limited capacity is probably going to be sent to Apia.
Island hospitals are pretty terrible. If you've got any pre-existing conditions, get everything you need to take care of it yourself, and take precautionary meds, like magnesium tablets, mosquito and insect bite after-care and anti-diarrhoeals.

Savaii has taxi's, but they're mainly for tourists and shopping trips. See if you can track down a bike. The island is pretty flat, right the way around.

With a good pair of boots and a bike, there is nowhere you can't get to under your own steam.
Try to do as much yourself. Try to avoid yours, if there are any, or only use them as an initial way to highlight points of interest on the islands.

Just noticed how long this post is getting, so one final point before I cut it short(ish):

The Islanders that live in out-of-the-way or non-tourist islands right the way through the Pacific are usually really, really friendly. If you've got a question, they'll probably try to help, if you want something, they'll probably try to help, if you want to do something or go somewhere, they'll probably try and help some more.

Island life is an inclusive, collective, almost organic thing.
Most people are honest, open, laid back and friendly. Most times, people will help because they can.

Be the same, and you'll find a whole bunch of long lost friends you never knew you had.


Samoans are particularly awesome people, dude.
You'll love it.

Any questions, feel free to PM me.



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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:39 pm 
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Wow, thanks for the extensive response. I was in an accident a few months ago, so I won't be on any scooters or bicycles, still walking with a cane. I have dive booties for walking around in the water. They're neoprene with rubber soles. I've been diving since I was 12, and have seen my share of stonefish, sharks and barracudas. I'm hoping that snorkeling and swimming every day will be good rehab for my leg (if somewhat tiring...)

I'm still hoping that our Real Deal Brazil hats come before we leave, if they don't, I'll pick up some big straw hats.

Thanks for all the great advice so far. I'm not leaving until Thursday, so feel free to leave more tips/advice/stories!


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:43 pm 
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That's right, I almost forgot about your scooter crash! Things are going OK?

I agree, daily swims and snorkeling should make good physical therapy. It's something you want to do, so it'll be much easier to push yourself to do it. My failure was running: Not a fan before the break, so I had a really hard time pushing myself to do it after my ankle was 'healed.' Add on the extra 40lbs of beer belly I found while I was laid-up playing Halo, and my ankle wasn't too fond of the impact, nor were the rest of my joints fond of the jarring it couldn't mitigate.

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:29 pm 
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Accommodation and all our travel and transports arranged and paid for. How much cash do you reckon we'll need? Hotel gives free breakfast. We're very open to street food (3 years in china prepared us to eat anything). We're bringing our own snorkels and masks and booties. The hotel said so far we are the only guests booked in (monsoon season, just means a bit of rain every day, still hot though)


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Islands
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:00 am 
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Well, 4 hours until I get up to make Mrs72hours breakfast in bed, pack the car, eat, and pick up her sister so she can drop us off at the bus station. We'll depart just after 9am, and end up in Auckland around 7pm. Eat dinner, sleep in the airport hotel till 4am, then shuttle over justas they open our counter at 5am.
Thankfully they'll be assisting us tothe aircraft, thanks to my bum knee. In Apia, Samoa by noon Saturday!! Then a small Air Samoa flight and we'll be on Savaii, our tropical paradise for 8 days. I don't think I am going to get much sleep tonight. Still running through packing lists in my mind, dreaming of the missus in a bikini, wetsuit, all those linen skirts she looks so good in....

We are geeks, we packed a bunch of Magic the Gathering cards (some boosters still unopened!) and are gonna make up a couple packs to fight against eachother with.

Oh the excitement!


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