Ever think of a feature that your traveling backpack should have and then think of another one and another?  Basically, the folks over at FCS have read your mind and have included all of your must haves into the perfect traveling backpack for a surf trip.  I give you the FCS Mission Back Pack, the only pack you will ever need for all your travels whether they are a few days or weeks on end, this pack will not let you down.

To start, the exterior is a tough 2mm rip stop polyurethane coated nylon armor with a non-slip water resistant base to protect your cargo. The interior houses 34L (2075 cu. in.) of space, enough room for all your gear and then some.  It has 4 outside compartments, 2 on each side, one that zips open to carry a good size water bottle, a compartment to put your cell phone, keys and pens, PE lined wax pocket and a snack stash pocket. The main compartment is frontloading making it easy to pack and access your clothes with 4 internal mesh sidewall pockets (2 on each side). The front compartment is PE lined with drainage holes to put wet items such as board shorts or a wetsuit without getting the rest of your gear wet. Two felt lined mp3/sunglass pockets are at the top of the pack for easy access with headphone port. And if that isn’t enough, there is an outside accessible laptop compartment and a passport/money stash pocket nicely hidden from prying hands.  It also comes with a storable polyester raincoat cover to keep your pack dry while trekking and converts to a change mat/wet bag.

Now that all of your gear is packed away, you may want to know how it carry's on your back, because if it's not comfortable it won't pass the test.  An internal
aluminum frame gives excellent back support along side the extra thick dual density foam shoulder straps and padded hip protectors with compression straps to provide all around comfort during your haul.  You customize the fit by tweaking the compression straps to your liking and the pack does the rest.
I took this pack on its maiden voyage with me to Panama this past July for a 12-day surf trek in Bocas Del Toro and it passed my test for ease of use, versatility and comfort. It is now my go to pack anytime I travel anywhere for any amount of time, it’s that good.

This is a serious pack for the serious traveler, whether you are a surfer or not, it has features that will work for everyone.  This pack simplifies the travel experience and makes getting there that much easier, a feature we should never take for granted.

Shop Global Odyssi for Surfers First Aid Kits!

It’s officially Summer and that means small waves in the Northern Hemisphere and surf trips to the Southern Hemisphere. Warm water waves and tropical conditions awaiting your arrival for the surf trip you’ve been planning for the past few months. The flight and accommodation reservations are made, now you need to pack and start the hard part of deciding what to bring and what to leave at home.

The easy things first, it's a surf trip, so the boards are coming along. Make sure to get a travel surfboard bag, either a coffin or a funboard bag that incorporates high-density cell foam padding, preferably 10mm and up. Packing your boards is an important task and if not done correctly those airline noids will put more dings in your board than a Pipe wipeout. There are many ways to pack boards, one thing that works for me is putting each board in a day bag that has a small amount of high-density cell foam padding, this gives you double the protection when packed in your main travel bag. I don't stop there for protection, I then carefully wrap towels around the tips of the boards just to make sure that the pointed ends of the boards do not standalone, since any pressure on them can cause them to snap. I also do the same on the ends of the boards since they are also vulnerable to banging into other luggage or objects. It also doesn't hurt to add a FRAGILE sticker on your bag as well. You can also view this helpful video that I found that gives you step by step instructions to pack your boards: http://youtu.be/FS4A_JchnVE

Make sure you don't forget the following:

-Base coat
-Wax comb
-Rash guard
-Fin key

The boards are done, now pack some clothes! I won't get into this area too much, just make sure to be minimalistic here, don't over pack, you can always wash your clothes on the trip with some camping laundry detergent or if you have a washing machine, go that route. Forgot something? You can usually pick up that extra shirt, toothbrush, etc. while on your trip, most of the time it will be cheaper than U.S. prices, depending on where you are travelling. I usually take a backpack that is about 2200 cubic inches in size, it's more than enough room to pack all my stuff. The key to maximizing your luggage space is to roll your clothes like a burrito, it's a huge space saver.

Now we get into the added extras that should be considered "must have's" depending on who you talk to. A first aid kit is something we obviously take on all of our surf trips since we do make them. This wasn't always the case and became a thought to bring on our first to trip to Bali. We did the research, wrote the manual and built our own. Your basic first aid kit should contain the following supplies:

- Fabric bandages
- Alcohol wipes
- Gauze dressing pads
- Gauze rolls
- First aid tape (3m transpore works well in wet/humid conditions)
- Butterfly wound closures
- Elastic compression bandage
- Antiseptic cleansing wipes
- Povidone iodine wipes
- Aspirin or non-aspirin
- Antihistamine
- Anti-diarrhea tabs (you really never know how your body will react to the bacteria in the water/food in different countries)
- Tweezers
- Scissors
- Electrolytes of some sort, either in tab form or powdered sports drink
- Cold compress
- Antibiotic ointment (we prefer colloidal silver first aid gel)
- First aid manual - Download ours for free from iTunes: Click Here

That would be a basic first aid kit to bring. The quantity depends on how many people and the duration of your trip. Take it a step further to customize for surfers and extreme situations and add some rash cream for board and boardshort rash, surfers salve for sun burns and bug bites, suture/syringe kit, water purification tabs, oral rehydration salts, ear plugs, you get the idea.

Lastly, I've composed a list of some items to take on your surf trip, some are miscellaneous (customize as you would like):

- Insect Repellant
- Tie-downs
- Sunscreen and spf lip balm
- Insulated water bottle, preferable with built in filter
- Travel guide book
- Wet/Dry Bag (multiple uses such as transporting wet clothes and to keep your gear dry on boat trips)
- The Pickle (look it up, an easy eco savvy way of taking the wax off your board for transport and easily fits in your board bag)
- Leash nylon
- Headphones
- Playing cards
- Copies of Passports
- Visor or Boonie hat
- Notepad to log your sessions
- Multi-tool (like a leatherman)
- Ding Repair kit or a tube of Solarez
- Duct Tape, because you never know.
- Phone charger
- Camera (GoPro, etc.)
- Cash or travellers checks (I've found that travellers checks are increasingly more of a pain in the ass in comparison to cash and they charge you extra fees on top of it for the conversion in most countries. Cash in my opinion is hassle free, just keep it in a safe place.)

Now pack it all up, try to get your boards past the ticketing agent free of charge (here's an updated list of the airlines board bag fees from Wave Tribe) and have fun on your surf trip.

This is the first part of our travel series that we will be doing on a consistent basis, offering tips, helpful information and more on everything travel related. We hope you find it helpful. If you have any tips you would like to share please send them over to surfsafe@globalodyssi.com and we may include them in one of our travel write-ups.

Also be sure to download our FREE Surfers First Aid Manual on iTunes: Click Here


Shop Global Odyssi for Surfers First Aid Kits!

Ever go on an epic surf trip and then try to remember the full details of each surf session? Thinking to yourself what break was the best or most fun, what board you used and what type of board worked well, fast inside section, easy or hard take-off, reef/beach break?

I'm sure we have all logged our surf sessions sporadically on surf trips, but didn't pay attention to the finite details that would let you re-live your surf session in detail and actually come out with some useful info. Now you have that option with the STORMRIDER SURF JOURNAL from Low Pressure. The same guy's who write all the StormRider surf guides that cover all the surfing destinations from Indo to England and everywhere in between.

Just released about a month ago, the Stormrider Surf Journal is an impressive piece of literature. To start it has an Atlas section that showcases 300 of the best surfing zones on the planet, all mapped out and organized by region. The Planner outlines the ideal surfing destination for every day of the year givng a world of choice for any surfer trying to figure out where to go on their next adventure. There's also a section to plan out what to take on your trip along with detailed information on first aid supplies which was provided by Global Odyssi and an instruction area for unlikely circumstances and wound care. Lastly, the back section contains the Log where you can record surf trips, surf sessions and a sketchbook area to allow for endless options to add detail and personalization to your journal. All packed together with color illustrations and pictures in a size perfectly suited for travel.

The Journal is a must have to re-live your famed surf sessions and to record important break information the next time you go so you can tweak your quiver or prepare more for that high performance wave. Right now you can buy the Journal on Low Pressure's site here: StormRider Surf Journal.

Also be sure to download our FREE Surfers First Aid Manual on iTunes: Click Here


Shop Global Odyssi for Surfers First Aid Kits!