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How to Ship Astro Gear to Myself

4 replies to this topic

#1 ismosi

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Posted 04 February 2024 - 11:20 AM

Fellow eclipse chasers,

 

I have a place to view the eclipse in Texas. I live in Pennsylvania. For eclipse imaging, I have a lot of (expensive and delicate) astro gear. Is there a good way to ship all that stuff to myself and have reasonable expectation it won't get damaged?

 

For the annular eclipse, I flew and took one telescope with me. I shipped my mount and other things UPS, in separate packages, and it was a stressful experience (the mount tracking was whack and it showed up just in time).

 

For this eclipse I thought I'd drive but it's a ponderous distance. Likely I'll just have to put on my big astronomer pants and drive my gear there, but thought I'd ask for ideas. Is there a way to ship a 'container' with all my stuff rather than multiple smaller boxes?

 

Thanks



#2 banjo1000

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Posted 04 February 2024 - 12:05 PM

My perspective on what a long distance drive meant changed when I left the north east where I grew up. When I moved to Texas, WVa and Md were usually two day drives, but I have done it straight through with power naps in an emergency. I definitely recommend a more leisurely pace. Switching off with other drivers makes the drive more enjoyable.

Telescope mounts are massive, and even in their original shipping boxes, they can be damaged as you experienced. unrecoverable damage just before an eclipse would be wildly frustrating. I have had a variety of heavy shipments damaged by UPS over the years.

I will be driving my gear from Wyoming to Mexico. I finally bowed to necessity and bought a small cargo trailer for my Subaru Outback.

My parents would make a vacation of the long trip itself. They would stop at fancier motels and they had favorite restaurants on route. My style when driving solo is to throw a sleeping bag in back and sleep in the car or in a picnic area.
In the North East one gets spoiled by the proximity of places. I remember when I see to think of NY to Boston, Philadelphia, Washington or Buffalo as a long trip.

No one will take care of your gear like you. My advice is to figure out what will make the trip pleasant for you.

#3 ismosi

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Posted 05 February 2024 - 11:46 AM

Your advice makes sense. Typing my question 'out loud' made me just say no to UPS/FedEx. 

 

I'm taking the family with me and they seem to be okay with long days in the truck, but I have offered them the option to fly. I'll just consider it a family adventure and we'll have fun exploring some new places.


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#4 Diana N

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Posted 05 February 2024 - 03:12 PM

I'm taking the family with me and they seem to be okay with long days in the truck, but I have offered them the option to fly. I'll just consider it a family adventure and we'll have fun exploring some new places.

That's the way to think about it even if you weren't taking any astro gear.  Since clear skies are never guaranteed, you want to be able to see and do things that will make it a great vacation if the weather gods don't cooperate!  And what's more fun than a family road trip?  See the eclipse AND check out the World's Biggest Ball of Twine!



#5 brionl

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Posted 06 February 2024 - 08:05 PM

Your advice makes sense. Typing my question 'out loud' made me just say no to UPS/FedEx. 

 

I'm taking the family with me and they seem to be okay with long days in the truck, but I have offered them the option to fly. I'll just consider it a family adventure and we'll have fun exploring some new places.

 

That's what my wife and I are doing with our trailer.

We'll have to leave the cat with my brother, though. She hates travelling.





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