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Indonesia Terrestrial Research Assistant Kit List


Recommended Items

Please note that during your forest week you will be allowed to store your marine kit securely in a local village or town.

Main bag – You will need a rucksack, we recommend at least 50 litre 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. The pack needs to have a waterproof liner/bag into which everything is packed inside (a water-proof cover helps keep a bag dry but to be honest they are of limited use). A large garbage bag into which everything is packed and can be sealed is the easiest solution.

Day bag/rucksack – Needed for carrying water, paper, pens, binoculars, cameras etc. We recommend finding one with a waterproof cover or liner. This bag needs to fit inside your larger rucksack for your trek to camp.

Waterproof plastic/zip lock bags – It rains a lot in Indonesia so 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.

Sleeping bag – A light sleeping bag is recommended – the temperature rarely drops below about 20 degrees. You may also want to bring a sleeping bag liner as in warmer conditions these can be more comfortable and they are very light.

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.

Head torch – Night surveys require strong headlamps. It is highly recommended that you bring a head torch that has a rechargeable lithium battery rather than single use batteries.

Spare batteries –  For head torch, camera etc. Batteries not available to buy on site. Rechargeable batteries where possible. 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 poncho or lightweight rain jacket is invaluable. Heavyweight Gore-Tex raincoats are not recommended – they are hot and may get snagged and torn. Some people would rather not worry about trying to keep dry in the forest because it rains so much and it is almost impossible to stay dry. This also is a sensible strategy and should be suggested here.

Watch with alarm – It doesn’t have to be anything technical, a travel alarm clock will also do to wake you up for your early morning surveys!

Travel towel/sarong – A light travel towel, thick towels won’t dry quickly enough

Small padlock for safe – Useful for locking your pack and if you need a valuables locker on Hoga Island

Notebook and pencils – Essential

Plug/socket adaptor – Indonesia runs on 220/240V, you will not be able to use 110V devices in Indonesia. Please ensure you have the correct adaptor for Indonesian socket which is a European Style adaptor (2 large round prongs).


Biodegradable soap/shampoo – Please only bring biodegradable soaps to minimise impact on the environment – most bathing in the forest is done in or beside the river

Insect repellent – 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/antifungal powder – The forest environment is very wet which can lead to rashes and fungal outbreaks on your skin. A small tube of anti-fungal cream and some talcum powder may help to prevent/combat these conditions.

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

Hand sanitiser – Just a small bottle. Please use prior to meal time


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/Wellington Boots – Should be comfortable, quick drying, and have ankle support

Marine booties/Hiking sandals – Essential for walking through rivers at the forest site and for wading into the water at the marine site. Dive boots that cover the ankle are recommended as these will also provide cover from mud and biting insects.

Gaitors – It can be very muddy so if you have hiking boots rather than wellies, gators are recommended. If you prefer to wear shorts in the forest rather than long pants then gaitors are essential. The also provide extra protection for long pants.

Flip flops/sandals – 1 pair

Lightweight long baggy trousers (not cotton) – 2-3 pairs for trekking. Lightweight and relatively loose fitting. Those that zip off at the knee are useful for river surveys.

Shorts – 2-3 pairs, most useful during your marine week, one could be board shorts. Should be light-weight and relatively loose fitting.

T-shirts- 3-5 Should be light-weight and relatively loose fitting. Up to you if you prefer to wear T-shirts or long sleeve shirts that button up.

Fleece top – Not too thick. It can get cool in the evenings and when travelling on boats.

Long sleeved shirt – 2, lightweight, button up

Swim suit/board shorts and rash vest- 1 or 2 Indonesia is a muslim country and so shoulders must be covered including when getting into and out of the water.

Socks – Enough for 1 week. Hiking socks worn over cotton socks can be better for long treks. Socks need to changed each day and may take some time to dry. One pair to keep dry for sleeping in the forest.

Underwear – Enough for 2 weeks. Sports bras recommended for girls.

Hat with brim – Essential to protect your face from the sun, ideally would be easy to pack up in your bag


Medical Kit

Although every expedition will have its own medical supplies, and medical teams on site, you MUST carry your own personal medical kit:
Antihistamine tablets
Antihistamine/hydro-cortisone cream
Rehydration salts
Plasters/band aids and blister plasters
Alcohol wipes
Sea/travel sickness tablets
Swim ear or equivalent
Prescribed medications

Optional Extras

Indonesian 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. Please do not bring a drone, without the correct license from the Indonesian Government you could face a penalty fine

MP3 player/cards/book/travel games

Protein bars/ snack bars – You may wish to bring extra snack bars for treks, or protein bars

Vitamin/mineral supplements – The diet can be basic in Indonesia so these can be a good idea (delete reference to veg/vegan)

Sunglasses – A good pair are important to protect your eyes from the glare reflected from the water

Plug/socket adaptor – If you need to charge any cameras etc. Two pronged European style adaptor

Silica gel packets – Can absorb moisture when kept with electrical items

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