Hand baggage policies in Brazil

Hand baggage policies update

I have completed a couple trips to the Pantanal on this new 2019 season and thought it would be nice to post an update on the “new” hand baggage policies, posted earlier on this blog.

Contrary to what was said in the media, on none of these trips no one checked the weight or the measurements of my bags, although they were under the new limits, so I wasn’t nervous about that. I didn’t see any other people having their bags weighted either. It feels to me that they will notice much more a bag well over the size and obviously extremelly heavy, otherwise you should be fine, even if you are slightly above the weight limit.

Here’s what I was carrying as hand baggage on these flights:

Hand baggage policies in Brazil

One Lowepro Flipside 400AW II backpack with the following contents, weighting in right under the 10 kg limit:

  • One DSLR camera body and a 300mm f/2.8
  • 24-70mm lens
  • Teleconverter
  • SB-910 speedlight
  • 10×42 binocular
  • 14″ notebook
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Two Pocket Wizard remote controls
  • Miscellaneous items like spare batteries, small flashlight, memory cards, etc.

Hand baggage policies in Brazil

I was also carrying a second smaller side bag, pictured above, with a small pocket camera, chargers, backup portable hard drive, cables, two handset radios, etc. This side bag could also be used to carry, for example, a second camera body and/or another lens. This bag was weighting approximately 3 kg.

On my main bag I was carrying my clothes, personal items, a tripod, tripod ball head, other chargers, etc. My main bag weighted around 15 kg.

I hope this clarifies the situation and helps you when choosing what to bring and how. As always, contact me if you have doubts and want my opinion.

 

_DSC2198

Pantanal clothing checklist

_DSC2198

One of the main doubts of my first-time clients for a trip to the Pantanal is which clothes and equipment to bring. Most bring a whole lot more than what is needed, and a lot of things just go completely unused during the trip. So I will make 2 blog posts with a checklist of what I recommend. Travelling light is always more comfortable and important for our chartered flights. So here are my recommendations based on my longest itinerary, the Complete Pantanal Tour with the optional extension to the Atlantic Rainforest:

  • SHIRTS

Today I have a clear preference for the thin quick dry t-shirts used originally for sports but becoming more and more popular for outdoor use. They are very light and breathable, sometimes it feels like you are not wearing a shirt at all, and you can pack quite a bunch without adding any considerable weight or space to your bag. Plus they dry very fast so it’s quick to wash them. Get the long-sleeved ones and avoid very bright colors.  Since they are so light you can pack around 7 or 8 of them.

t-shirt

It’s also good to bring 2 quick dry shirts of the kind pictured below, and carry this in your camera bag somewhere during our field trips. Here’s the explanation: although the t-shirts recommended above are great they have one drawback – because they are so thin and tend to have a tight fit mosquitoes sometimes can bite through them. During our Pantanal trips in the dry season mosquitoes tend to be a problem only in late afternoon, at other times they are largely absent. When they become a nuisance just pull over this thicker layer and you will be fine. For constant day-to-day use I find this kind of shirt much warmer though.

shirt

  • JACKET AND FLEECE

Although the Pantanal is generally regarded as a warm place, it can get quite cold during cold fronts, with temperatures even dropping to around 10ºC some mornings! This is specially true for early season trips, so early morning boat rides can get really chilly! Pack 1 fleece and 1 good insulated jacket or warm windbreaker. For later season trips (mid-September and onwards) you might prefer a lighter windbreaker plus a fleece, if not coming to the Atlantic Rainforest as well.

fleece jacket

  • RAIN JACKET

Early dry season, from June to early September, rains are usually completely absent from the Pantanal. In any case, you might want to bring 1 light rain jacket in any time of the year. This is specially recommended for the Atlantic Rainforest, where we will find a much more wet weather. If your warm jacket mentioned above is water resistant than you should be fine with just that.

rain jacket

  • PANTS

Any good quality light weight pants will do. Bring 2 or 3.

pants

  • SHORTS

During the heat of the day and/or in our hotels you might want to wear a shorts. Bring 1 or 2.

shorts

  • SHOES

We won’t be doing any difficult trails during the trip, so most people will do perfectly fine with a normal mid hiking boots. Prefer water resistant ones. If possible travel wearing it, so it won’t weight on your bag. Also bring 1 lighter shoe to use in the hotel or even during our boat rides or even a sandal or flip, which is great to wear at lunch break. You can also wear a sandal in the boat, but then we reccommend to bring a pair of socks along for when mosquitoes show up.

boot   shoe  sandal

  • HATS

A regular light weight cap is the most common. Bring 2 in case you loose one. Some people prefer a booney, which offers more sun protection.

cap  booney

  • GAITER AND BEANIE

A light neck gaiter is a must have, as it offers great protection from the sun, covering most of the face and neck, bring 2. Also bring 1 wool or fleece beanie, for the chilly early morning boat rides.

gaiter  beanie

  • SUN GLOVES

Bring 1 pair of sun gloves, specially for lighter skin.

gloves

 

And this is what I recommend for field use during my Pantanal trips. On the next post we will talk about photo equipment, stay tuned!