LED headlamp. Surefires and such are nice flashlights but you want something that would last for hours also.
Obviously don't forget a power adapter.
YES, CR123's are expensive here. Probably there too. So here's what you do. Visit lighthound.com and order a bunch of AW black label rechargeable CR123a's and an Ultrafire charger. WELL worth the money. CR123a's are the best because they shove out a lot of light, but its definitely better to go with rechargeables. That's how I roll.
Dont forget to get the charger that has the European pins on the plug. We dont use the flat pins here.
As far as flashlights go, I can highly recommend the Jetbeam RRT-0 Raptor with AA adapter. This will run on RCR123a cells as well as RCRAA's. I run it on 123a's because you get so much more light out of it. It has a quick adjust ring that allows you to ramp the intensity up or down. Also a strobe function. Look for the light on e-bay, or True North Knives stocks them. A headlamp is a definite plus though.
I meant to mention clothing: I highly recommend Columbia's Titanium line of gear. Anything that is quick-dry nylon/polyester that doesnt require ironing. Although it is dry there, you will still appreciate clothes that can dry quickly in this climate, if you get wet. Also dont leave your cold weather gear behind. It can get damn cold in the desert at night!!
I wouldn't worry about snakes too much, definitely worth checking your boots every morning for scorpions and spiders though. I figured it would be a Black Rhino, they are truly the grumpiest bastards in the animal kingdom, next to hippos.
On that note, a ranger in St Lucia Wetlands Park, near my neck of the woods, lost a leg just yesterday after being attacked by a hippo. Its just stumbled into his garden in the middle of the night and attacked him after he went out to see what his dog was barking at. See why you need a good flashlight?
Great opportunity, this sounds like fun.
I have no experience with Africa, but I can give you a couple of tips regarding people from four seasons weather (US, Canada & Europe) trying to acclimate to tropical weather.
Very common to underestimate how much water you will need to drink daily. Keep an eye on all the symptoms of dehydration.
Very common to underestimate the scorching hot sun, get a good light hat (both weight and color), dress with the very very light and well ventilated clothing, use sunscreen regularly, carry sun glasses. Not sure about the cool neck bandanas, have never tried it but that might be because here is too humid to do it anyway.
Great point on the checking your boots for scorpions, it seems like they do the same around here. I have been stung twice for failing on doing a good check on my shoes, not fun.
Be careful with the water, get a good water filter as it is the most common thing that I have seen is my friend getting sick after drinking the local water. Very few places in the world have good drinking water from the tap.
Be safe, relax and enjoy.
Instead of just a water FILTER get a good water purifier such as the UV type .They will kill little things that pass through a filter.
I would only take battery operated stuff that operates on easily found batteries such as AA .
Get a book on bad snakes and insects so you can identify them.
It's been a very bad year for rangers and PHs ,sad to say .Be careful. As Steven suggests get to a knife show if you can .There is actually some knife maker talent there ! LOL
A 12 Guage shotgun, with shot, both bird shot and OO buckshot, and Brenneke loads could come in handy.
For a flashlight, I am partial to Peaks in AA in brass stainless steel or aluminum. They don't deliver them quickly, so you might want to go for something else. You could call them to find out about availability and deliver time - do a search, and they are easy to find.
A Fenix AA will get to you sooner.
- Solar charger for batteries
- Be sure you walking stick has a small Y or V at the bottom (Like a slingshot) its very necessary for clamping snakes down and I prefer the stick to be higher than eye level that way if you fall on it you don't get shanked.
- Hammock with bug net if you will be sleeping outside for any reason
Did anyone mention a good hat? My list would include Multi Tool X 2, one as a backup, Headlamp X 2, a powerful search light, a good hat, a good fixed blade, maybe a set of snake chaps, not sure the correct term for them and a great pair of boots, and safety glasses, incase a snake spits in your eyes, and good leather gloves.
WOW, what an opportunity! Lifetime experience.
I second and third the recommendations regarding flashlights. I'd recommend that you not use rechargable Lithiums until you educate your self about them. They can be great, but are fraught with risks if you don't know what you are doing. Especially during charging and in multi-cell flashlights. If you are going to use them, I'd recommend something like a single 18650 rather than two 123s. Rechargable Low Self Discharge AA Nicads, such as Sanyo eneloops are really nice and safer than lithiums. I would recommend a good, floody headlight like a Zebralight H51Fw or H502c for use around camp and for hands free close up work. Plus a flashlight, I us a Zebralight SC600w which uses a Lithium 18650 and is VERY bright, and has a nice user interface for varying brightness. It's little brother, the SC51w is a AA version that is well respected in the flashlight community. You also, may want to look into a flashlight with a good tight throw pattern for distant game viewing. Lots of different choices. You may want to go to a flashlight specific forum such as CandlePowerForums.com and do some research.
For clothing, I have found Railrider brand to be very functional for outdoor use...though sometimes a bit pricey. Look for sales.
Just make sure when you are out and about that you or someone else has something like a .375 H&H handy that knows how to use it just in case the local wildlife happens to get an attitude.
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Sounds like a pretty cool opportunity. I volunteered to go to Djibouti for a deployment, but it was too soon for me to go because of foot surgery. Hopefully I will get around to somewhere in Africa though. Trying to get an assignment/deployment to every continent during my career (even Antartica if there was an opportunity). Good Luck!
Ok! two more things you may need, a good survival tin, like one from BestGlide and a Advanced Trauma First Aid Kit, basically this has alot of stuff to stop major bleeding to include quickclot, why because of animal attacks or gun shots, being able to control major bleeding may save your life or another workers life.
Last thing, I would get a good Travel Journal Kit from Rite in the Rain so along with digital pics and movies you can notes of things that happen and some of your gear that worked well for you.
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Well the largest gear change should be your cloths. It may surprise you that Africa is a lot warmer than Alaska so don't bring your parka. In addition they have a lot more aids in Africa so pick your sexual encounters wisely.
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