Posted by: oldsalt1942 | June 5, 2009

Ken Hulme’s Must-Have List

Speaking of things to take and things to leave when you’re paring down to ‘go to sea’, here’s my personal packing list.  This is based in part on my experiences moving to Kwajalein, camping and boating expeditions, and personal pleasures like the musical instruments.  With this these things I can pretty much build my boat as well as live aboard her comfortably.
Tool Kit
Adjustable square and level
2 steel tape measures
Brace & Bits (screwdriver bits, twist set, spade set, from 1/16” to 1-1/2”)
Handsaw for ripping
4-side Rasp
Files – large, medium
Large & small Vice Grip
4, 6” C-clamps
Hacksaw handle & blades
Small socket set
Needlenose pliers
Regular Pliers
6” Adjustable wrench
Dulcimer tools – mini-files, mini-screwdrivers, sanding blocks, fretsaw, etc.
Boat Equipment
Hennessy Expedition Hammock
Folding Shovel
Coleman Stove & gas bottles
Kitchen  Equipment
Water Purifier with spare filters
Collapsable Water Bags, including Solar Shower
Cold Steel Kukri Machete, 14”
Firearm?  Crossbow?  Stick bow?
Fishing/Throwing Spear Head
Fishing gear
Snorkel gear
Folding Kayak (weighs 30 lbs; folds to 12” x 30” including paddle)
Paracord – 200 ft.
Multi-band Radio
Laptop Computer
Solar Battery Charger
Personal Gear
4 pairs of Shorts
8 Tee Shirts
2 long Pants
2 long sleeve shirts
2 Hawaiian dress shirts
Spare Glasses
1 year of my BP meds
OTC med kit
RON – shaving and personal care kit
Soap – 12 bars
Deodorant – 12 sticks
Hiking Boots
Survival Knife
Leatherman Multi Tool
Books – both fiction and non fiction
2 Dulcimers
1 Cologne Lyre replica


  1. Excellent, Ken. I think I’d add a whetstone to that list.

    I’m not so sure how many books I’d be willing to lug around with me.

    When I was a little boy my love of books was instilled upon me by my maternal grandfather. My mom and I lived with her mom and dad while my father was in the Navy in the Pacific during WWII. My grandfather would read to me every night after being tucked in bed.

    Again, I am always conscious of weight brought on board, and the weight of books really add up. When I was in the Rio Dulce back in ’92 I met a trimaran owner who was such a fanatic about weight on board his boat that he had very little built-ins other than a minimalist galley and bunks preferring bean-bags. He was so obsessed with weight that he removed the covers of all the books he brought on board and, according to his girlfriend he even cut off half of the handles of his tooth brushes.

    I’m not that bad and there are a couple of books I’m bringing along. One is “The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea.” This is a must-have for anyone who loves all things nautical.

    Also to be included in my limited library will be “The Panama Cruising Guide” by Eric Bauhaus. If you haven’t seen this, you must. Fantastic color aerial and satellite photos of coastal Panama overlaid with chart data. A supplement is “The Panama Guide,” by Nancy Schwalbe Zydler and Tom Zydler. They provide a bit more information on what you will find on shore around the many anchorages, but their charts are hand-drawn and only in black and white making them rather hard to read.

    There are a couple of alternatives to the printed and weighty page. If you’re into the classics the Gutenberg Project is a treasure trove. Thousands of books (in the public domain) can be downloaded for free to your computer.

    I am also a big fan of Again, thousands of titles are available (at a price) and you can listen to them on your iPod or your computer. I listened to Ken Folett’s “Pillars of the Earth,” for instance, while taking my dog for her afternoon walks. A total of 40 hours of enjoyment and the cost was actually less than the price of the hard cover edition.

    Music is a great way to pass the time at anchor, too. I have a flute and recorder, myself, and I may get a keyboard once I’m settled. When I accepted the job as captain of the sailboat in France I brought a keyboard and some instruction books with me. I’d always wanted to learn how to play the piano and I not knowing French (at the time) I figured I wouldn’t understand what was going on on the t.v. so what better way to pass time than teaching myself how to play the piano?

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