The Great American Eclipse Preparation, Part 3: What to Pack

The Great American Eclipse Preparation, Part 3: What to Pack


  • Water/water thermos
  • Mini cooler to keep your water cold
  • Coffee thermos
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses for sit/wait time
  • Brimmed hat
  • Bug spray
  • Blanket
  • Snacks
  • Roll of toilet paper
  • Cell phone & charger, though cell service will likely be jammed up
  • Plastic champagne flute
  • Solar glasses
  • White towels to reflect sun of equipment during sit/wait time
  • Portable chair with umbrella attachmed
  • Book for sit/wait time
  • Camera, fully charged with a HUGE memory card
  • Back-up memory card
  • Fully charged back-up battery for camera
  • Camera charger
  • Camera cleaning stuff (cloth, suction thing)
  • Solar filter for camera (packed carefully)
  • Wireless shutter release
  • Back up batteries (AAA) for wireless shutter release
  • Tripod and any related hardware
  • Instructions books for all devices just in case & hopefully they stay stowed
  • Spare camera for photos before/after event while your good camera is set-up for eclipse
  • Black electric tape to cover cell phone and spare camera flash
  • Portable external hard drive for easy back-up/freeing up memory afterwards

To do before:

  • Freeze cooler’s freezer packs/water bottles in hotel fridge
  • Check weather, change location if necessary
  • Download Sun Seeker app (9.99 but will aid setting up correctly)
  • Scope out where you’ll situate yourself during eclipse via Google Maps street view (have several back-ups)
  • Then scope out locations in-person, if possible
  • Locate 24/hr places to get coffee, last minute snacks (or ice if needed)
  • Locate easy bathroom area for sit/wait time
  • Fill gas tank
  • Reserve a place to head to after very close by (traffic will be atrocious) and upload and back-up your photos onto your external hard drive
  • Get there early and stake your space
  • Patience, patience

An eclipse! Just kidding. My umbrella got in the way of the camera.

This is the kind of picture you get when your tripod is jiggly.