You can see our whole packing list here. We’ve provided some links to suggested products to save you time as you pack. Please note, purchasing items from the links below will help support IFS as we get a small percentage of the purchase price. We recommend using biodegradable, environmentally-friendly brands especially when it comes to sunscreens.

When packing, remember important weight limits for small charter flights. Try to keep the weight of your luggage under 40 lbs. You are allowed one carry-on bag weighing 10 lbs or less, and it must abide by baggage size regulations, 12”H x 6”W x 14”L. All carry-on baggage must have a Western Air carry-on baggage tag. Baggage that exceeds 40 lbs will be subject to overweight charges of $1 per additional pound, and any excess /oversized/overweight bags will be sent on the next available flight.

Forfar Field Station is located in a humid environment with exposure to corrosive salt air ‐ electronics do not like this! We are not responsible for items that are damaged, lost, or stolen. There is a safe on station where some valuables (such as money and passports) can be kept.

The US dollar is accepted everywhere. The amount of cash you bring may vary; however, some potential costs include Baskets ($10‐30), Androsia Batik Factory ($15‐100), dinner out ($15‐20), snacks ($1‐5), hair braiding ($2 per braid), and Forfar Field Station shirts ($20-40).

Most importantly if there are questions about the packing list or what to bring, please ask! or 614.268.9930.


Passport - This needs to be a passport book. A passport card will not get you into the Bahamas!

Money - Bring small bills like $20, $10, $5 and $1’s.

Sunscreen - Do NOT bring spray sunscreens you will not be able to use them at Forfar!  We recommend at least 30+ SPF. Zinc Oxide mineral based sunscreens are much better for the coral reefs than those containing chemicals such as oxybenzone. Read our blog post for more details.

Bug repellant - Bring what works for you (Natural or Deet based), however, Deet based repellents can’t be sprayed while on the boats (eats away the paint)

Aloe vera - Aloe vera lotions/gels that contain lidocaine help sore sunburn

Water bottle - Needed for all trips. 32oz is recommended

Sunglasses - We recommend inexpensive polarized sunglasses

Sun hat - Something that can be secured when riding on the boat

Towel - Microfiber towels are much smaller, dry quicker, and take up much less space and weight than a traditional towel


Ample underwear & socks - Long socks are great for bug protection. Sand flies love ankles!

2+ Bathing suits

T- Shirts - Up to one a day

Long sleeve T-Shirts - 2+ for sun and bug protection

Lightweight shorts - 2+ pairs

Lightweight/ Long pants - 1+ pairs for bug protection

Sweatshirt or fleece - nights can get cooler

Rain jacket - Lightweight - Used for both land trips or on boats

Water shoes/ Sport sandals or Dive Boots - Tougher sole will be needed to walk on sharp rock and slippery surfaces/ shallow waters (Teva/Chacco/ Keen/Merrel). Something that can be worn all day

Flip flops - For general day-to-day wear

Athletic or hiking shoes - Closed-toe shoes are necessary for land trips


Shampoo/ conditioner - Please try to source environmentally and biodegradable brands such as: Yes To!, Burt’s Bees, Jasons Naturals, Natures Gate, Dr. Bronners, Alba etc.

Soap - Dr. Bronners, Burt’s Bees, Kiss My Face, Alba etc.


Feminine products - Ample supplies as needed


Hairbrush or comb

Winter: Additional/Warmer Items

Sweatshirts/ fleece

Long Pants


Winter hat - It can get down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit and there is no heat

Optional Items

Camera and/or Waterproof Camera

Dry Bag - Useful to keep items and extra clothes dry during boat trips

Composition Notebook/ Notebook - Check your course requirements

Flashlight or headlamp

Binoculars - Great if you are interested in the birds found on Andros

Plastic bags/Ziplock bags - Good for carrying home shells, wet clothes, muddy/sandy shoes, etc.

Snorkel/Dive Gear*

We highly encourage all participants to try on their snorkel/dive gear on prior to the trip to make sure everything fits well and won’t take away from your experience in the water. Check your local scuba shop for high quality gear.

Mask - Please ensure that the mask fits well before your trip



Dive Boots - Depending on your choice of fins, boots may be necessary

Long sleeved rash guard - You may also want to consider shorts to wear over swimsuits bottoms when snorkeling for extra sun protection

Gear bag - Big enough to carry all snorkel gear together

Mask Defogger - For your snorkel mask

BCD - (Provided at no charge at Forfar)

Full regulator set - Primary and Secondary Regulator, Pressure Gauge and Depth Gauge (Provided at no charge at Forfar)

Dive light - Required for night dive (Available for rent for $5 from Forfar)

Wetsuits - Optional for warmer months but recommended if you get cold easily

*Snorkel Gear

Forfar Field Station has a limited quantity of snorkel gear available and we do not have enough to provide everyone with rental gear. Students should purchase snorkel equipment before their trip and test it for fit and comfort before arriving at the field station. In case of equipment failure, we do have backup equipment available.

*Scuba Gear

Forfar Field Station has SCUBA gear available for rental. We have enough for most group sizes but please ensure you call ahead and check that there is enough gear to cover your group size before arrival. This is very important to do!