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Honduras Terrestrial/Marine Research Assistant Kit List

Honduras

General Items

Main bag – You will need a rucksack, 50 litre minimum capacity ideally with a waterproof cover. You need to be able to carry it on your back comfortably when hiking through the forest with several days’ worth of supplies.

Day bag/small rucksack – Needed for your field work for carrying water, paper, pens, binoculars, cameras etc.

Waterproof plastic/zip lock bags – These are very useful to keep the water out of your kit and clothes. You can line your rucksack with a bin/garbage bag and have smaller bags for clothes and items like your camera.

Roll mat or thermarest – Necessary for both warmth and comfort in the forest. Roll mats can be purchased cheaply, whereas Thermarests are more of an investment (be sure to buy a repair kit).

Sleeping bag – A warm, 2-3 season sleeping bag is recommended as it can get down to around 10 degrees at night time.

Water bottle/platypus – A combination of leak-proof plastic bottles (total capacity 2 litres) is imperative. The ‘hydration systems’ on the market (Platypus, camelback, Ortileb) have the advantage of packing flat when not in use.

Strong head torch – Night-time opportunistic walks require the strong headlamps. Please note that the small headlamp models are no good for spotlighting nocturnal wildlife such as snakes and amphibians, etc, but are excellent back-up torches. Don’t forget spare batteries!

Waterproof jacket – Rainfall is unpredictable in this part of the world, so a plastic poncho or lightweight rainjacket is invaluable. Expensive heavyweight Gore-Tex raincoats are not recommended – they are hot and may get snagged and torn

Watch with alarm – It doesn’t have to be anything technical. A travel alarm clock will also do.

Biodegradable soap/shampoo – To minimise impact on the environment we ask all volunteers to bring ‘green’ detergents. Please bring personal soap such as lifestyles or mountain suds as unfortunately, biodegradable soap is not available in Honduras.

Insect repellant – For any projects where you will be handling or in close proximity to animals (in particular amphibians) you will need a non DEET based repellent. However for other times DEET based repellents are fine. Many of our staff use Mosi-guard which can be bought from Amazon.

Sunblock – Factor 30, minimum, is recommended. Please ensure it is a coral friendly sunblock if you intend to use it in the water.

Talcum powder – This can help prevent and combat athletes foot/other fungal infections

Sanitary pads/tampons – Please bring a supply even if you do not expect to use them

Travel towel/sarong – Don’t bring a big thick towel as it won’t dry quickly enough.

Latin American/Spanish phrase book or dictionary –

Binoculars – These are really useful to see much of the wildlife in the forest. 8 X 40 are the best to bring

Camera – You will have lots of opportunities to take pictures but please bring a waterproof carrying case or zip lock bag for the camera

Clothing

For the forest you should bring clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty! Synthetic (wicking) fabric is the best as it is quick drying, but cotton is kinder to the skin. Don’t forget to buy your Opwall t-shirt from here!

Hiking boots/Jungle boots – Should be comfortable, quick drying, and have ankle support.
Wellington/rubber boots – Not essential but useful for walking around camp and on short treks
Flip flops/sandals – 1 pair
Lightweight long baggy trousers – 3 pairs
Shorts – 2 pairs. Most useful during your marine component- one could be board shorts.
T-shirts – 5
Fleece top – 1
Long sleeved shirt – 2
Thermal underwear – 1 pair
Warm Hat – 1
Swim suit/bikini/board shorts – 1
Socks – Enough for 1 week. Hiking socks worn over cotton socks can be better for long treks.
Underwear – Enough for 2 weeks
Sunglasses – A good pair are useful on the marine site and during your transfer to and from the forest and for hikes in more open areas of forest.
Nightwear/Pyjamas – You will be in shared accommodation!

Marine-specific equipment

Laptop – We highly recommend that Research Assistants completing more than 2 weeks on a marine site should also bring a laptop with them. For students spending 1 or 2 weeks on a marine site a laptop may be useful but it is not as important.

Dive Slate and Pencils – This is highly recommended for Research Assistants, particularly if you will be progressing on to data collection after completing the Reef Ecology course. If possible, slates should be A4 and pencils should be lead only.

Dive watch/computer or waterproof watch – A timing device is a requirement under PADI regulations for qualified divers. You can buy a simple Casio W800 watch waterproof to 100m (not that you will be going any deeper than 18 metres – however they are more reliable) for approximately £15 on Amazon.

PADI Crew Pack: If you’re undertaking dive training on your expedition you will see that we have also added Dive Training Materials to your internal travel invoice (if on an RA or Dissertation program) or final balance invoice (if on a school program) – this is the pack needed by anyone learning to SCUBA dive with us. In the past we have asked students to buy these independently, which takes time and effort, and so we are now arranging this on your behalf. You will be emailed with electronic access to your dive training materials closer to your expedition start date.

Proof of dive qualification – If you are already a qualified diver, we will require proof of your dive qualifications on site. We do accept non-PADI qualifications, as long as it is equivalent to or more advanced than PADI Open Water.

Essential Dive equipment 

All the equipment listed below is essential for diving projects. You can bring your own or hire onsite (with the the exception of a wetsuit).For hire costs check the “costs to consider” section of the expedition description.

Buoyancy Control Device
Regulator
Fins
Mask and snorkel
Wetsuit or Rash Vest – Honduran waters are generally very warm and the majority of students do not wear wetsuits during in water activities. However, for those of you that feel the cold, we do recommend bringing a 3mm short-sleeved wetsuit. If you choose not to use a wetsuit, please bring a rash vest (or old t-shirt) with you in order to protect yourself against the sun and equipment rub.

Medical kit

Although every expedition will have its own medical supplies you MUST carry your own personal medical kit.

Antihistamine tablets
Antihistamine/hydrocortisone cream
Paracetamol
Ibuprofen
Rehydration salts
Plasters/band aids
Alcohol wipes
Sea/travel sickness tablets
Prescribed medications

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