I’ve been to different parts of the country which involves a lot of island hopping, Hundred islands, Zambales, Palawan, Guimaras, and Davao to name a few. I’ve also suffered several frustrations during island hopping from being unprepared to bring important things when doing such activity.
From there, I needed to figure out how to avoid frustrations in the future. Let me share you some important things to bring when island hopping.
Now what are the things that you really need to bring when island hopping?
1. Cameras and/or underwater camera. Get the most out of trip with underwater cam. You might encounter unusual corals, fish, and other sea creatures and having an underwater to capture them will be awesome. Good model are Canon cameras. They have D10 and D20 which is waterproof up to 33 feet and can capture clear images underwater.
2. Waterproof or Ziploc bags. You can buy Ziploc in different sizes. From small to medium sizes, you can already store your gadgets and money for island hopping. It important to choose a good quality and test it before buying. Make sure that there is no leak so and in case your boat sinks, your things will still be intact.
3. Snorkeling gears. This includes, snorkeling mask and fins. Without these things, you cannot completely experience the view underneath. When wearing fins, it important to consider fresh corals not to damage them. Most especially when the water is shallow and there are corals, do not use them to avoid further damage. Corals grow 0.5 to 1 inch each year, please do care. You can either buy snorkeling gears or rent them.
4. Food and water. Some island hopping already includes lunch or meal; however, due to active activities done during island hopping, you will still feel hungry. Simple crackers or cookies are enough to fill your stomach in to avoid hypoglycemia or sudden drop in blood sugar causing loss of consciousness – which should be avoided when in the middle of the ocean.
Candies are must bring as well. For water, it I recommended that you bring at least 500mL to 1L of water during the island hopping. Don’t forget to bring small cup to share it with your family, friends, or even boatmen.
5. Slippers or protective footwear. Some examples are Speedo’s Hydro footwear. These are very helpful to avoid getting pricked by sharp sea creatures like sea urchins. I was pricked by sea urchin before when we island hopped to a nearby island in Morong, Bataan. It sucks that I didn’t wear my slippers that time as I thought it was safe underneath. It didn’t bleed though, thankful that I have thick sole.
6. Eco-friendly sun block lotion. Since you will be swimming a lot with corals with sea creatures, there are lotions that could damage them or poison them. When buying lotions, make sure that the labels says Eco-friendly, it doesn’t contain harmful effects to the corals and sea creatures. In Whale Shark encounter in Oslob, Cebu putting lotion is strictly prohibited as it could poison the whale shark.
7. Money. You might an encounter an island with small stalls which sells fresh fruit shake, coconut juice, or foods. Time to relax in this island and buy anything that you want.
8. Trash bags. When you have food and cigarettes, there’s trash. Avoid trashing in the ocean. Be environment conscious enough. If you see trash on your way too, pick them up. Remember, leave nothing but footprints.
9. Other sun protection accessories. Sarong or shawl, hat, sunglasses, and umbrella are helpful too if you don’t want to get too dark when walking by the island.
10. Contact lenses. If you have poor eyesight and only use eye glasses, better yet use contact lenses as you cannot wear it at the same time with snorkel mask. I have a poor eye sight and it was my first time to use contact lenses when island hopping to El Nido, it is safe.
I even accidentally swam without snorkel mask and surprised that my contact lenses were still intact, but do not that a lot of course. It is indeed safe to wear contact lenses when island hopping, just make sure you have goggles or snorkel mask on.
This list is actually based from my own experience. If you have anything in addition, feel free to let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also share this by Tweeting or Facebook.