Main bag – You will need a rucksack or holdall (suitcases especially wheely ones are not appropriate), 50 litre minimum capacity. You need to be able to carry it over rough ground to access some of the locations.
Day bag/small rucksack – Needed for carrying water, paper, pens, binoculars, cameras etc.
Sleeping bag – A light/medium sleeping bag and liner is recommended. At the terrestrial site the nights can be chilly.
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 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!
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.
Insect repellent – For any projects where you will be handling or in close proximity to animals 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 as the sun can be very strong and you will potentially be outside in sunlight all day.
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.
Portuguese phrase book or dictionary
Binoculars – These are really helpful for the bird surveys. 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.
European adaptor plug – You will get the chance to charge electrical equipment.
Notebook and pencils – Essential for all projects.
For the terrestrial site 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(s) here!
Hiking boots – Should be comfortable and have ankle support.
Dive booties – These are essential for wading into the water from the beach.
Flip flops/sandals – 1 pair
Lightweight long baggy trousers – 2 pairs
Shorts – 2 pairs
T-shirts – 5
Fleece top – 1
Long sleeved shirt – 2
Swim suit/bikini/board shorts – 1
Socks – Enough for 1 week. Hiking socks worn over cotton socks can be better for long treks. Any cotton socks should be above ankle, trainer socks are not suitable.
Underwear – Enough for 2 weeks.
Sunglasses – A good pair are useful to protect your eyes from the glare reflected from the water.
Hat or bandana – 1 – useful to protect you from the sun.
Nightwear/Pyjamas – You will be in shared accommodation!
Dive Training Materials: If you’re learning to SCUBA dive on expedition, you will need dive training materials. These are now entirely online so to make things easier for you we’ve arranged them on your behalf. You’ll receive an email from us in the run up to the expedition with login details and information on how to access them. We highly recommend bringing a smartphone or tablet with you so you can then access them on expedition, although this isn’t strictly necessary. If you have independently bought dive training materials please let us know as soon as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 exception of a wetsuit). Hire costs will be included in your final invoice.
Buoyancy Control Device
Mask and snorkel
Wetsuit – We recommend that you bring a 7mm full length wetsuit (as opposed to a shorty) because the water can be cold even during the summer. The wet suits can be bought from the school in Portugal if informed in advance.
Rash vest – Can also be worn under a wetsuit if you are cold.
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.
Although every expedition will have its own medical supplies you MUST carry your own personal medical kit.
Sea/travel sickness tablets
Prescribed medications – It is vital that you bring any medications that you have been prescribed by your doctor.