How to pack for your upcoming Baja Whale Watching Trip
Suggested Packing List along with some tips
This list is provided as a guideline only. Every traveler must decide for his or her self what they will carry along with them. This list should provide enough clothing so that you do not need to do laundry during the 5 day tour. Those on a longer tour might need to do laundry sometime during the trip.
If you find that space is a problem for you when using the "approved" 30" roller duffel, read further below for some tips to reduce the bulk of what you are packing.
15 kilos is the weight limit on the flight from Ensenada to Guerrero Negro. Overweight charges currently are 70 pesos per kilo, but subject to change by the airline at any time.

Alaska Airlines checked baggage size restriction as of June 21, 2013. Note our bag suggested size matches this requirement.

Each checked bag must weigh 50 pounds or less and have a maximum dimension of 62 linear inches (length + height + width) to avoid additional charges.

WARNING: Check your ticket because every airline seems to have different policies. These policies seem to change weekly. Please don't bring a 50 pound bag alongon our trip. Try to limit the bag to 40 pounds or less. We must load these bags on the luggage rack top of the van.

To the left I have provided a couple photos showing my personal packing for a typical 5 to 15 day trip in Baja. This bag when fully packed weighed 32 pounds or roughly 15 kilos.
15 kilos is the standard weight many airlines use as their "normal" weight limit. Of course nowadays almolst every airline has highly restrictive baggage limits.
When you received your email confirmation there was a note in that email that asked you to use ONLY a 30" standard roller duffel bag for your packing on our Baja Whale watching trip. Near the bottom of this page I have listed several styles and brands that meet our criteria.
The 30" X 14" X 16" roller duffel meets the new airline size limit for a standard checked bag. We ask that you limit the weight to 20 kilos or roughly 44 pounds OR LESS.

1. 30” roller bag. Please note this bag should not be 32” or 36” long. The standard size manufactured is 30” long and then either 14” or 16” wide and either 14” or 16” long. The combination of width and height add up to 30”. This meets some of the newer airline bag requirements for bags with a total length, width and height that adds up to 60”.
For our many non USA guests the digital conversion is
14” = 35.6 CM, 16” = 40.6 CM and 30” = 76.2 CM

2. This is a day pack which is also used as an airline carry on bag. Please see the separate sheet I have made that shows what I pack into my carry on bag. We do not recommend small roller bags for use as carry ons for our tours, because those bags are very uncomfortable to carry inside the vehicle with you and really don’t work as a day pack for carrying items such as sunscreen, water and cameras during the day of whale watching or sight seeing. I also purchased this bag at Costco and it has proven excellent for my purposes. There is a padded laptop compartment, plus one larger compartment and several smaller zipper pockets on the outside and a couple security style pockets on the inside of the bag.

3. One heavy polar fleece jacket.

4. One pair polar fleece pants.

5. Four T-shirts, most of my T-shirts are now the sports fabric that is very fast drying. I can wash one of these shirts or underwear in the evening and it will hang out and be dry by the end of the next day of whale watching, perhaps sooner if the temperature is warmer.

6. Toiletry bag I use for carrying first aid stuff, bathroom and personal stuff and things such as alarm clock and headlamp so I can find those objects easily even if I don’t unpack the entire bag. Please see the separate sheet that shows what I pack into this small bag.

7. Gray whales My Twenty Years Of Discovery – the book by Keith E. Jones and available at in print and Ebook versions. Also I carry a small diary style notebook, pen and a bird book (if you are interested in birds). You might want to have a Baja map along, although there is one in each of our vehicles.

8. A pair of sandals I sometimes wear on the boat or when I’m just going out of the room and I’m too lazy to tie my shoe laces.

9. 1 long sleeve heavy cotton T-shirt for night wear and 1 button down collared shirt for wear on the plane.

10. 1 quick dry swim trunks.

11. This blue ball-like object is my very nice Columbia waterproof outer coat with hood. Rolled up in this ball is also a pair of waterproof long pants. These two seem really bulky when unrolled, but when rolled and squashed so the jacket and pants both are pushed into the jacket hood, this is a compact and easy to pack ball.

12. Gloves, neck wrap and a warm knit hat are all rubber banded together for ease of packing.

13. 5 pair of underwear. This underwear is made from quick dry outdoor styled fabric can be washed and will dry overnight.

14. A shade hat with chin strap so I don’t lose it over the side of the boat.

15. 3 pair regular socks

16. 3 pair ankle socks

17. rubber bands I use for rolling stuff as I pack.

18. 1 pair long pants, nylon fast drying outdoor style plus 1 pair long pants that I wear on the plane, cotton and a relaxed chino style.
19. two pair quick dry fabric shorts.

Begin in the top left corner of the photo and working clockwise.
A lightweight sport windbreaker that rolls into a small roll to easily slide into the bottom of the backpack that I use as my carry on bag.

Small tube of roll on waterproof sunscreen spf 50
Tic Tac breath mints
Cell phone
Small Ziploc baggie with toilet paper and napkins folded in it. An empty Ziploc is also folded inside this storage baggie to hold my dirty socks if I change socks on the plane. Also inside the T.P. baggie are a few IBprofen, a couple Imodium AD and a couple tagament in a small plastic bottle.

One extra pair of warm clean dry socks

A Can of Pringles. I prefer choosing my snacks and carrying them on.

Crushable foldable hat. Sunglasses inside a hard shell carry case. When traveling from Asia to USA or back I customarily put the hat and sunglasses in my checked bag.

My laptop is inside a cushioned case that slides into a cushioned pocket in the backpack. Thus providing two layers of padding for my precious laptop. I usually carry the laptop charger and cord in the carry on not in checked luggage.

A fabric money bag that can hang from my neck by a cord, but normally just lays in the bottom of the backpack. Inside this bag I carry small sums money from the countries I’m traveling through, a few extra passport size photos for visas, my frequent flier cards, and my California drivers license. My passport when traveling is in a special easy to access pocket inside the backpack or in my shirt pocket.

Sometimes I carry maps in my carry on bag if I’m going somewhere new and I want to make notes while I’m on the flight.

I almost never carry liquids in my carry on bag. If traveling to an area with mosquitoes I will place a small spray tube of DEET repellent in my bag so I can dose up before leaving the plane. I might carry roll on style sunscreen in tube if I will be going directly into hot bright sunlight when I land. Otherwise I don’t carry sunscreen onto the plane.

I brush my teeth either using the miniature tubes of toothpaste provided by the airline or I brush without toothpaste. I just use the salt packet from my airline meal and sprinkle that onto a wet toothbrush.

In addition to this day pack as my carry on bag I normally also carry my Nikon SLR camera with the zoom lens mounted onto the camera body in a smallish camera bag that becomes my “personal” item as customarily allowed.

This carry on back pack pictured below was purchased at Costco. I looked for months all over the world for a quality bag that had a cushioned laptop pocket, a separate large pouch or pocket and some small pouches and pockets to tuck away various items. This bag is now 3 years old and appears almost new. I carry it every day as I walk so I’m quite pleased with the bag.

I hope this helps you when planning your next adventure.

A small but really terrific Kodak video camera that is waterproof to 15 feet.

The small digital camera I used to take the photos for this article, which is a Canon Power shot A3100.

A thermal drink cup with lid ($1.00 at 7-11 or Starbuck’s)

Inside the cup I carry a Ziploc baggie filled with sweetener and tea bags. You can usually get hot water for free on the plane simply by walking to the galley and asking. Easier and faster than waiting for the food service. With this large cup you can actually drink some tea, not just have a sip or two like you get with those tiny plastic airline cups that they only fill halfway. Sometimes I add a couple Snickers bars to this tea service bag.

A notebook and several pens in different colors with waterproof gel ink so the ink doesn’t run if my notebook gets wet.

My Kindle Ebook reader. I still use the cheap and simple black and white model because I only use this for reading books. This and my laptop are two of the most important items I carry.

A backpackers headlamp for reading. Frequently the lighting on airplanes is misdirected or cannot be adjusted so as to shine where I want the light.

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