When packing you need to be thinking of the minimum amount you can take whilst remaining comfortable and safe. For Indonesia the internal flights limit can be as little as 20kg of hold luggage (please refer to the main training video for details) and 7kg of hand luggage (although we have never known them to weigh this, so please put heavy things in your hand luggage), therefore you need to aim for light, compact, durable, quick-drying and versatile equipment.
Remember you only have 20kg checked baggage allowance for your internal flights so pack accordingly!
Main bag – You will need a large holdall or rucksack, 50L minimum. At the marine site you shouldn’t need to carry your bag for long periods, however you will need to be able to carry it yourself for a 15-20 minute walk along the beach to your accommodation therefore a comfortable, well fitting bag is recommend. Suitcases are NOT suitable.
Day bag/small rucksack – Useful for carry on luggage, used daily at the marine site.
Sleeping bag/sleeping sheet – The temperature rarely drops below 25 degrees even at night so a light sleeping bag or sleeping sheet will be fine. We recommend a single duvet cover to sleep inside. Pillows and mattress covers are provided.
Water bottle/platypus – A leak proof bottle to carry water (capacity at least 2 litre) is imperative.
Torch/headtorch – A head torch is essential for walking around site at night, but it doesn’t have to be anything expensive.
Spare Batteries – For head torch, camera etc. Batteries not available to buy on site. If you are planning on bringing an external power bank, these cannot be put in your hold luggage.
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.
Travel towel/sarong – Don’t bring a big thick towel as it won’t dry quickly enough. You may wish to bring 2 if you are on site for longer than 2 weeks.
Camera – You will have lots of opportunities to take pictures but please bring a waterproof carrying case or zip lock bag for the camera
Small padlock for safe – Needed to for locking up personal valuables.
Hand sanitiser and hand soap – these are provided in communal areas but not in personal bathrooms.
Notebook and pencils
Plug/socket adaptor – If you need to charge your phone or other electronics. Two pronged European style adaptor.
For the marine site you should bring clothes that you don’t mind getting wet! 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!
Flip flops/sandals – 1 pair
Lightweight long baggy trousers – 2-3 pairs for covering up in the evenings and when leaving the Opwall site. Lightweight and relatively loose fitting. Essential for avoiding insect bites.
Long Shorts – 2-3 pairs, Should be light-weight and comfortable. Must come to just above the knee (no hot pants).
T-shirts/Tops – 3-4 Should be light-weight and relatively loose fitting. Up to you if you prefer to wear T-shirts or long sleeve shirts. These tops should cover your shoulders so they are suitable to wear when leaving the Opwall site.
Vest tops/strappy tops – 3-4 For wearing around the Opwall site ONLY.
Long sleeved shirt – 2, lightweight, for covering up in the evenings. Essential for avoiding insect bites.
Fleece top/Jumper/Cardigan – Not too thick. It can get cool in the evenings and when travelling on boats.
Swim suit/board shorts – 1 or 2 Essential for wearing under your wetsuit.
Rash vest – Shoulders and midriffs must be covered. A rash vest is essential along with your swim suit or swim shorts.
Socks – 1 or 2 pairs as it can get cool in the evenings.
Underwear – Enough for 2 weeks. Sports bras recommended for girls.
Hat with brim – optional but recommended to protect your face from the sun, ideally would be easy to pack up in your bag.
Nightwear/Pyjamas – accommodation is shared so bring something comfortable to sleep in.
Laundry can be done on site if your expedition is longer than 2 weeks.
Dive training materials – You should purchase your Divemaster training crew pack before arrival. These are now entirely online so to make things easier for you we will arrange them on your behalf. We will send you the link to purchase these before your expedition start date. We highly recommend bringing a smartphone or tablet with you so you can then access them on expedition.
If you have independently bought dive training materials please let us know as soon as possible by emailing email@example.com.
Proof of dive qualification – You need to be a PADI qualified rescue diver and have 40 dives logged when you start the course.
PADI Forms – You must complete these online via the Opwall portal (portal.opwall.com) at least 3 months prior to travel. It’s recommended that you bring out a printed copy of the completed form with you on expedition, particularly if you’ve had it signed by a doctor or dive medic.
Wetsuit –A wetsuit is essential. We strongly recommend a 3-5mm full length wetsuit. (5mm is recommended if you feel the cold).
Dive booties – Essential. These are used for walking out to the boats and are essential. A solid sole is required, and booties that cover the ankle are best.
Mask, snorkel and fins- These are available to hire on site, but you may wish to bring your own equipment if you prefer, particularly if you are spending 4 or more weeks at the marine site.
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.
All the equipment listed below is essential for diving projects. You can bring your own (which we recommend) or hire onsite (with the exception of a wetsuit and booties). For hire costs check the “costs to consider” section of the expedition description:
Dive torch – It won’t get much use as we rarely do night dives but you may want to consider bringing one if you have one.
Dive knife – This is a recommended but not essential item.
Biodegradable soaps/shampoo – Please only bring biodegradable soaps to minimise impact on the environment.
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Insect repellent – Malaria and dengue do occur in SE Sulawesi. ‘Mosi-Guard’ and ‘Skin so soft’ by Avon are effective, environmentally friendly insect repellents that do not contain DEET. DEET products are not recommended so we can minimise our impact on the environment. See: www.alternativeinsectrepellent.co.uk/.
Sunblock – Factor 30, minimum, is recommended. Please ensure it is a coral friendly sunblock.
Talcum powder/antifungal powder – A small tube of anti-fungal cream and some talcum powder may help to dry feet at the end of each day and prevent any issues.
Sanitary pads/tampons – Please bring a supply even if you do not expect to use them. Tampons are not available to buy on site.
Hand sanitiser – Just a small bottle. Please use prior to meal times.
Any other toiletries you would normally use – e.g. deodorant/anti-perspirant, moisturisers.
Although every expedition will have its own medical supplies, and medical teams on site, you MUST carry your own personal medical kit:
If you normally carry an epi-pen for any allergies, it is essential that you bring at least 2 or 3 with you on expedition.
If you use an inhaler, it is essential that you bring at least 2 with you in case you misplace one.
Camera – You will have lots of opportunities to take pictures so if you have a GoPro or waterproof camera, consider bringing this with you. Please do not bring a drone, without the correct license from the Indonesian Government you could face a penalty fine.
Indonesian phrase book or dictionary
Protein bars/snack bars – You may wish to bring extra snack bars or protein bars. Snacks and drinks are available to purchase on site.
Tupperware – Small, to keep snacks stored safely so as not to attract any animals.
Vitamin/mineral supplements – The diet can be basic in Indonesia so these can be a good idea.
Sunglasses – A good pair are recommended to protect your eyes from the glare reflected from the water.
Personal reusable straws – for drinking coconuts on site.
Optional suggested donation or gift items to bring for the school in Sampela Village – Examples would be pencils and erasers, colouring pencils, whiteboard markers, kids colouring books, sports equipment like footballs and basket balls, frisbee, volley balls, badminton rackets, nets and shuttlecocks.
Some spending money is needed to purchase meals during the internal travel travel period before and after the expedition. The meals you will need to purchase yourself are outlined in the internal travel package info provided to the teacher leading your group. We recommend budgeting £5-10 per meal. You may also want to bring some spending money for personal on-site optional extras. This may include snacks and souvenirs you wish to purchase from local shops when available and also to pay for any clothes washing you would like done by the local people whilst on expedition. The local Indonesian currency is Rupiah, it is a good idea to have this on site in small dominations if possible as local shops will not accept large notes. Changing money to Rupiah may be possible in your home country, if so this is recommended. If this is not possible, then you can change money at Jakarta or Makassar airport, or withdraw from ATMs whilst in Jakarta, Makassar or Kendari. Once you get to Buton there will be no way to exchange money, and no other currency is accepted other than Indonesian Rupiah. There is an ATM in Wanci, but it is highly recommended that you get cash out in the airport before commencing your onward travel as ATMs in remote locations can be very unreliable.
Once you are on the expedition you will be provided with 3 meals per day. If you would like to have extra snacks outside of this you are welcome to bring snack bars or protein bars (recommended for vegetarians/vegans) with you, and at some sites you will have the opportunity to purchase snacks from small local shops. Every meal will include rice, as this is a staple in Indonesia. The diet is largely carbohydrate based. There is not much meat available, as this is difficult to store in the field camps. However, fish is often served at the marine site, and occasionally other meat such as chicken. For Vegetarians and vegans there are some bean, tofu and tempe dishes available, as well as eggs, but you may wish to bring an additional source of protein with you. There is a vegetable dish with every meal, and fruit is served when possible, but again this is difficult to store in the forest camps. In the forest camps the water is boiled over the fire in order to sterilize it for drinking. This does mean it can have a slightly smoky taste that is not to everyone’s liking, so you may wish to bring something to add some flavor, such as flavor sachets, or concentrates. However, this is optional.