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Stuff for Road Warriors to Pack for their Eclipse Adventures

22 replies to this topic

#1 kfiscus

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Posted 11 April 2023 - 10:51 AM

I thought it might be helpful for us to share items that people might need to have with them for eclipse travel, especially those driving.  I'll start with a partial list.  Please add other items that you think of.

 

Toilet paper

Hand sanitizer

Drinking water

Folding chair(s)

Shade

Cell phone charger, especially from cigarette lighter

Sunscreen

Snacks

Food

Trash bags

Eclipse glasses

Old-school road maps as back up for phone maps

Map of totality path


Edited by kfiscus, 11 April 2023 - 10:52 AM.

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#2 MEE

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Posted 11 April 2023 - 01:08 PM

Mosquito repellant

#3 mikepier

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Posted 11 April 2023 - 01:38 PM

- Basic tool bag just in case of a breakdown ( wrench, hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, etc)

- Jumper cables

- Spare car key or Fob ( never know if you might lose the original). Have someone else in your traveling party carry it, do not leave in the car.


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#4 kasprowy

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Posted 11 April 2023 - 01:45 PM

Sun Hat 


Edited by kasprowy, 11 April 2023 - 01:45 PM.

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#5 kfiscus

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Posted 11 April 2023 - 06:44 PM

Beverages (I don't drink but if I drank @ an eclipse or afterwards, it would be Corona.)


Edited by kfiscus, 11 April 2023 - 06:45 PM.

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#6 Rich_W

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Posted 11 April 2023 - 07:54 PM

For those who need them, spare eyeglasses or reading glasses.

 

A folding multitool is always handy. 


Edited by Rich_W, 11 April 2023 - 07:54 PM.

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#7 havasman

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Posted 11 April 2023 - 08:18 PM

Every tale I read or heard from travelers to/from the last US eclipse indicates substituting an extra superlarge Costco sized case of patience for the warrior part will make the whole experience better.

 

My sister asked me about the eclipse at lunch yesterday. Where I plan to watch from, what to expect, etc. I assured her that with any luck at all I'll be watching it from my driveway while munching on blueberries or a muffin with a glass of water nearby. Maybe with some neighbors and/or our local police patrol. Perhaps a couple of visitors. But from home. 

 

Afterwards maybe grill something for lunch and open a bottle.


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#8 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 12 April 2023 - 05:36 AM

Hi guys, yes it is to have a list!   I've done all the work for you because I wrote up a comprehensive list (for my book, attached) that I reformatted and made into a downloadable PDF document.  The PDF document has blank lines for you to write in your custom needs/ideas. On the first page, it has a place to write in the local circumstances for your primary observing spot; on the last page, it has a place to write in the circumstances for two backup observing positions.  You are welcome to download the PDF document, use it and share it.

https://www.solarecl...aychecklist.pdf

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#9 Sebastian_Sajaroff

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Posted 12 April 2023 - 04:01 PM

One of the first tasks for any eclipse observer is to decide how to observe it :

 

Visually or photographically ? Usually, you can't do both. Totality lasts a few minutes.

If visually -> naked eye, binoculars or telescope ? (with corresponding filters)

 

Don't underestimate naked eye observation, it's magnificent !

I can't express in words the beauty and awe of the last minutes before darkness.


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#10 Bob W4

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Posted 15 April 2023 - 03:59 PM

A ton of money.  $800 or more for 1 night in a motel?  Give me a break!!!



#11 Diana N

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Posted 17 April 2023 - 10:15 AM

A ton of money.  $800 or more for 1 night in a motel?  Give me a break!!!

Some people will pay it.

 

That's when a campervan comes in handy (since they look like regular minivans, you can park them anywhere without raising eyebrows).


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#12 kfiscus

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Posted 17 April 2023 - 05:28 PM

Beds are over-rated.  I can't sleep very well the night before a total eclipse.  I toss and turn stressing about the weather.  I'm 3-for-3 on seeing totals but each one had cloud drama attached.


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#13 Alan D. Whitman

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Posted 17 April 2023 - 11:14 PM

Beds are over-rated.  I can't sleep very well the night before a total eclipse.  I toss and turn stressing about the weather.  I'm 3-for-3 on seeing totals but each one had cloud drama attached.

Yes, the adrenalin keeps me awake too. And if you want weather stress, try being responsible for eclipse-weather consultation for a big tour. Every other person just had to prepare their talk for an audience, and be available to answer a few questions from newbies. At 76, I would not be willing to have that responsibility anymore.


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#14 kfiscus

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Posted 18 April 2023 - 12:12 AM

Yes, the adrenalin keeps me awake too. And if you want weather stress, try being responsible for eclipse-weather consultation for a big tour. Every other person just had to prepare their talk for an audience, and be available to answer a few questions from newbies. At 76, I would not be willing to have that responsibility anymore.

I was responsible for approx 400 peoples' experiences at the 2017 eclipse.  I'm not doing that again, though I was asked to lead a tour for 2024.


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#15 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 18 April 2023 - 05:48 AM

I led a group of friends and family, 30 people in 2017.  It was stressful and luckily, we were successful with clear skies in Tennessee. I told myself after that eclipse not to do that again in 2024.  But I wanted to help most of the people from this 2017 group enjoy another eclipse, plus some new people that we met at the eclipse in 2019, so I am working out the logistics for about 26 people this time.  Eclipse chasing switches to international journeys for a long time after 2024, so I felt obligated to help out again, one more time, in 2024.


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#16 Bob W4

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Posted 21 April 2023 - 01:13 PM

Some people will pay it.

 

That's when a campervan comes in handy (since they look like regular minivans, you can park them anywhere without raising eyebrows).

Don't get me wrong.  If I could afford the high dollar digs and the comfort that they provide, I would certainly be all in.  But financial reality has the final say!!!


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#17 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 04 October 2023 - 07:18 PM

I thought it might be helpful for us to share items that people might need to have with them for eclipse travel, especially those driving.  I'll start with a partial list.  Please add other items that you think of.

 

Toilet paper

Hand sanitizer

Drinking water

Folding chair(s)

Shade

Cell phone charger, especially from cigarette lighter

Sunscreen

Snacks

Food

Trash bags

Eclipse glasses

Old-school road maps as back up for phone maps

Map of totality path

Not just drinking water but water for cleaning as well.

 

Both the CDC and FEMA recommend having at least 1 gallon of water per day per person.  I am planning to bring 15 gallons of water to New Mexico for the Annular Solar Eclipse on October 14 in case I get stuck in desert or anything like that.

 

You also need blankets to stay warm in case you have to sleep in the car!

 

I also ordered custom blackout window shades and new floor mats for the car.

 

Make sure you have printed paper copies of everything!  Not just maps and directions but hotel reservations and eclipse ephemerides.  These are the road atlases I ordered:

 

"Rand McNally 2024 Large Scale Road Atlas - 100th Anniversary Collector's Edition"

 

https://www.thriftbo...atlas/38343878/

 

"Road Atlas for the Annular Solar Eclipse of 2023 - Color Edition"

 

https://www.amazon.c...uct/1941983170/

 

I also upgraded to the Garmin DriveSmart 66.  This is a really nice device.  It's fully voice-controlled for hands-free use and will give real-time weather and traffic updates.  It connects to the car's Bluetooth so it can switch back and forth between music playback and driving directions.


Edited by Nicole Sharp, 04 October 2023 - 07:19 PM.


#18 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 04 October 2023 - 07:29 PM

Hi guys, yes it is to have a list!   I've done all the work for you because I wrote up a comprehensive list (for my book, attached) that I reformatted and made into a downloadable PDF document.  The PDF document has blank lines for you to write in your custom needs/ideas. On the first page, it has a place to write in the local circumstances for your primary observing spot; on the last page, it has a place to write in the circumstances for two backup observing positions.  You are welcome to download the PDF document, use it and share it.

https://www.solarecl...aychecklist.pdf

Thanks for making this!

 

I am planning to go to Walmart this weekend to stock up on supplies to get from Maryland to New Mexico next week for the Annular Solar Eclipse on October 14.  Let me know if you have any additional suggestions on things to get.

 

I was trying to figure out the water situation.  I wanted to get 5-gallon jugs to fill with free tapwater from home but they won't arrive in time and I think it will be easier to just get the 40-packs of half-liter bottles.  A single 40-pack is about 5 gallons and I figure I need at least 10 gallons of water for 8 days so that is only two 40-packs of bottled water.  That can be supplemented with juice and sports drinks for electrolytes when out in the desert.  I read that coconut water is supposed to be good for electrolytes too.  A big danger in the desert is actually drinking too much water since your salt levels get imbalanced so you need drinks with electrolytes.

 

I am trying to find ways to cut out restaurants from the budget to save money.  I figure I can just eat canned food in the car.  I looked into getting a camp stove to cook at rest stops but carrying around a tank of propane in a hot car doesn't seem safe.


Edited by Nicole Sharp, 04 October 2023 - 07:29 PM.


#19 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 04 October 2023 - 07:35 PM

One of the first tasks for any eclipse observer is to decide how to observe it :

 

Visually or photographically ? Usually, you can't do both. Totality lasts a few minutes.

If visually -> naked eye, binoculars or telescope ? (with corresponding filters)

 

Don't underestimate naked eye observation, it's magnificent !

I can't express in words the beauty and awe of the last minutes before darkness.

I am planning to do both!

 

I have one Solar telescope on the Sky-Watcher SolarQuest.  The SolarQuest has a Solar autoguider so it automatically tracks the Sun all day.  Then the intervalometer just snaps photos every set interval.  The whole thing runs autonomously without any human intervention or monitoring needed other than to occassionally check the focus.  This is for the Annular Solar Eclipse on October 14 though.  It will be different for Solar totality in April since I will have to do HDR photography then instead of simple interval photography.

 

The second Solar telescope is on the GOTO mount.  The GOTO alignment is not as accurate as the Solar autoguider so the Sun has to be recentered every 30 minutes or so.  But I can watch the eclipse visually on the second Solar telescope while the first Solar telescope on the SolarQuest does its thing.  I also have Solar binoculars and eclipse glasses so I can try watching with two eyes instead of just one.

 

https://www.flickr.c...77720310445334/

 

https://www.flickr.c...77720310445334/

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_20221205_094335636_HDR-256.png

Edited by Nicole Sharp, 04 October 2023 - 07:54 PM.

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#20 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 04 October 2023 - 07:54 PM

Some people will pay it.

 

That's when a campervan comes in handy (since they look like regular minivans, you can park them anywhere without raising eyebrows).

I looked into renting a motorhome but it costs even more than a hotel.



#21 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 08 October 2023 - 07:51 PM

Been nonstop shopping for three days straight now to get everything for the Annular Solar Eclipse on October 14. Here are some suggested items:

auto satnav with live traffic and weather updates
new sneakers (and also bring the old sneakers)
auto fire extinguisher
tire traction pads (for New Mexico roads)
auto window blackout covers
laptop upgrade (4TB SSD)
1TB MicroSDXC cards for phone and laptop
camera rental (second camera with clean sensor)
4mm APS-C camera lens (just for fun)
camping tent
camping air mattress
camping sleeping bag
camping lantern
battery-powered fan
flashlights
lots of batteries
window marker for highway Solar eclipse slogan
chemical heating pads for toes, body, and hands
rain poncho
reflective emergency vest
auto window squeegee
auto window cleaning spray
lithium auto battery jump starter
mini shovel (for dispersed camping)
personal-defense pepper spray
personal-defense emergency siren
white-noise generator for noisy hotel
earplugs for very noisy hotel or nap at rest stop
blankets and pillows
audiobooks on CD for novels that take place in New Mexico (free from library --- something about Diablo Canyon and strange happenings in Roswell)
travel guides to the American Southwest (free from library)
state road maps (free from AAA)
road atlas and eclipse atlas

Edited by Nicole Sharp, 08 October 2023 - 08:22 PM.


#22 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 08 October 2023 - 08:25 PM

Don't forget a battery-powered atomic clock so you can count down the seconds until Solar annularity on October 14!! You do not want to be checking your phone to see the time.

#23 kfiscus

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Posted Today, 04:23 PM

Bump.  Someone just started a new thread that this thread covers.





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