How in the hell do you pack for a last minute trip to the jungle, supporting a team of SOF Medics, in three countries?
Thanks to the MOTUS community funding the Team 5 Foundation x Expedition Overland mission to Guatemala, that was a question I had to answer myself. Other than the jungle phase of Ranger School, I’ve never spent much time in the jungle. Couple the lack of experience with the ever-so-dismal State Department travel warnings, and you might find yourself paralyzed in front of the gear locker.
Have no fear. Most of the gear you own will do the job. Do a little planning, analyze the mission, and account for security, medical, and morale. In the military, they typically tell you the lesson of the “6 P’s”:
Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
Proper planning does not mean, “I am just going to carry everything I own, suffer, and have a campsite resembling a gypsy bizarre.” It means take a look at your daily mission schedule, run through your day, list the kit needed by task, and pack accordingly. When it gets down to it, you’re going to need a lot less than you think. When you find a redundancy, shave the weight and space. If you can find a piece of kit that performs the job of two pieces of kit, make the swap. Pack your gear in reverse order of equipment need to avoid pack vomitus. Keep your “things just got interesting” kit on your person or within arms reach at all times. Seconds matter.
Plan your pack as you plan your day. For this five-day mission, I packed all gear in a 33L day bag and a dry weight of 22 lbs.. Included was all gear to record the mission, work with available WiFi, and have a legitimately Indiana Jones-esque adventure in Central America.
Over the next few posts, I’ll go through the head to toe kit, supplies, and provide photos and videos of gear on the mission. I hope the posts provide you with the confidence to pack your bags, buy a ticket, and go have an adventure!
Be Moved. Stirred. Inspired. Be MOTUS.