What to Bring With You To San Salvador

You must be prepared for snorkeling and hiking. We expect you to appear neatly dressed for the flights down and back. Your checked bag limit is 50 pounds and 62 inches (length + width + depth). Use this checklist to be sure you bring everything with you...San Salvador has no Walmart or even a local equivalent. These warnings should be taken very seriously!

▢ Passport (Don't leave home without it!)
▢ Photocopy of your passport - in case you lose it
▢ 1-2 pairs of thin socks to fit inside:
▢ Water shoes (Aqua-socks), dive booties, or old sneakers - to protect feet while wading and that fit inside:
▢ Fins that fit the socks, shoes, as well as your feet and have a strong strap that fits around the heel
▢ Mask and Snorkel - must fit well and must seal (all in mesh bag with handles?)
▢ Waterproof Dive Light—200 lumens such as Ikelite PCm 2 LED and AA batteries
▢ 3 Swimsuits - wear one while the others dry or Rash-Guard suit (recommended by students) or swim pants
▢ 3 Towels - at least one for beach, one for bath - thin μfiber ones dry fastest!
▢ Wristwatch - so you are ON TIME for EVERYTHING!
▢ Backpack - with waterproofing treatment? for carrying material in field including...
▢ Field notebook - maybe a waterproof one? Students suggest a clipboard with compact clamp
▢ Field guides and selected Course Handouts - to assist field identifications and evening studies!
▢ Pencils - mechanical preferred
▢ Water Bottle - individual snacks sealed in foil wrap to avoid insects in room
▢ Ziplok bags - useful for many things including bringing wet laundry home!
▢ Toilet Paper Partial Roll-flattened and in Ziplok bag-good for remote field sites! Kleenex?
▢ Camera and Binoculars - optional but recommended-Underwater camera in underwater case?
▢ Memory Cards - bring more than you expect to use--hard to find and expensive on-island!
▢ Batteries or Charger - whatever you need--hard to find and expensive on-island! Bring spares!
▢ 4 pairs of shorts that don't chafe...all clothes that you don't mind getting stained, worn, etc.
▢ 10 short-sleeve shirts (a tight T-shirt for swim sun protection) - not sleeveless!
▢ 2 pairs long pants - maybe a light-weight pair to swim in?
▢ 2 long-sleeve shirts - sun block and mosquito barrier in evening one for swimming?
▢ undies - as you wish/need...often will be the drier swimsuit
▢ at least 6 pairs socks-will get dirty...maybe long ones for inside your aqua-socks to avoid blisters?
▢ Sneakers/Hiking Boots - walking on rugged karst terrain, get wet/dirty--NOT sandals!
▢ Buff/Hat/Neckerchief/Do-rag - sun protection - for wearing mask
▢ Sunscreen - 20-32 oz (not spray) needed of 15+ SPF 8-hr waterprooof. SPF Chapstick. Not generic - Date
      All liquids and creams must be packed in the checked bag!
▢ Aloe gel, Solarcaine, or other sunburn treatment (Prednisone from MD) for those who are forgetful!
▢ Polarized Sunglasses - and spare pair if prescription glasses - spare contacts?
▢ Dramamine or equivalent - for motion sickness on boat trips as needed
▢ Insect repellent with 25-35% DEET--will use daily at evening/night--Ultrathon and Off! Wipes recommended. No-pest strip for room? No-see-em mesh bed cover?
▢ Fresh tube of Benedryl and/or Cortisone 10 for insect bites - fresh epinephrine pen if allergic to bees/wasps
▢ Light raincoat/water-repellent jacket/poncho - some rain is expected
▢ Soap/Shampoo, toothbrush/toothpaste, deodorant, shaver, wet-wipes, hair detangler, etc.
▢ Zinc Oxide ointment (Balmex, Desitin, et.) or maybe powder for chafing (esp. males!)
▢ Sanitary Products--females often experience altered timing on field trips, so be prepared
▢ FirstAid Kit - band-aids? - vinegar in a tight bottle? - superglue? - triple antibiotic? Nail clippers? Nuskin? Moleskin?
▢ Swimmer's ear treatment (Drops? Q-tips? alcohol? vinegar? peroxide? Earplugs that seal well?)
▢ Prescription medicine in original pharmacy containers only!
▢ Flip-flops for shower or around station only? Gloves or Wet-Wipes for cave?
▢ Sheets and Pillowcase; a flat sheet sewn partway down the side and across the bottom. Travel pillow? Permethrin treated?
▢ Travel alarm clock or noisy watch alarm
▢ Money - for personal expenses (beer $3/bottle, soda $1.25/can, $4.50 ice cream, $1.50 laundry--quarters!)
▢ Do not plan on using washing machine (stains/ruins clothing!)
▢ Wallet - previous students suggest $250-300...small bills ($1, $5, $10) are desirable...plastic is probably not useful
▢ Any quadrat sampling frame, or university divelight, or other equipment assigned for you to bring.
▢ If SCUBA diving, bring certification card, dive-log, and DAN coverage or $30 per day Club Med coverage plus $100 per dive

Do NOT bring: recreational drugs of any kind including alcohol, heavy electrical hair dryer, etc.


This page © Ross E. Koning 1994.

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Send comments and bug reports to Ross Koning at koningre∂gmail⋅com.