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Packing List: Solar Eclipse

April 06 2024

Packing List: Solar Eclipse
Packing List: Solar Eclipse

Experiencing a solar eclipse is nothing short of monumental. Some of the Matador team had the pleasure of witnessing the last full eclipse, so we quizzed them on what to pack and why. If you’re planning to chase this astronomical phenomenon, traveling light and efficiently will let you focus on the experience and less on the burden of packing too much. Here’s what our team suggests an efficient traveler should pack to ensure you have everything you need in a single, lightweight backpack.


Solar Eclipse Glasses: Don't look at the sun without ISO 12312-2 certified glasses, or risk permanently damaging your eyesight.

Portable Seating: A compact camp chair or Pocket Blanket; something that won't weigh you down but will keep you dry and off the ground during the wait.

Lightweight Backpack: You will need a way to carry your essentials as you zero-in on the perfect view point. We suggest the Refraction Packable Backpack or the Freerain22, especially if you expect some inclement weather.

Layered Clothing: Be prepared for any change in the weather with lightweight layers. It's not summer quite yet.

Sun Protection: A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen will guard against sun exposure, before and after the eclipse... especially if you're hiking to your viewing spot. 

Water Bottle: Opt for a collapsible design to save space and weight.

Food/Snacks: Pack energy bars, nuts, or dried fruit for a quick and easy boost. Or make a day of it and pack a fancy lunch. 


Smartphone: Download an eclipse tracking app to know exactly where to look and when. And don’t forget a portable battery charger.

Camera: A compact camera with a solar filter can capture the moment without the bulk of larger setups. If you don't want to carry a camera, your phone should do the trick. If you do bring a camera, make sure to have a simple camera case that provides quick access and sufficient protection. 

Field Notebook & Pen: For those who like to jot down their thoughts or sketch the changing landscape. Or if you're setting up a photo, keep notes of your timing needed to nail the perfect shot.

Red-light Flashlight: Keep your night vision intact during those crucial moments before totality. Also be respectful of other eclipse viewers and photographers by not shining a bright white light in their direction. 

Basic First Aid Kit: Because it’s better to have it and not need it than the other way around.


If you are a seasoned eclipse chaser, or simply want to get the most out of your first try, here is a list of some optional items that can take your viewing experience to the next level:

High-Quality Solar Telescope: Equipped with a solar filter for safe viewing, these telescopes allow for detailed observations of the sun’s surface, prominences, and the corona during totality.

Dedicated Solar Filters: For both cameras and telescopes, allowing for safe and detailed imaging of the partial phases.

Image Stabilized Binoculars: For a more detailed and stable view of the eclipse without setting up a tripod.

Custom Viewing Chair: Comfortable, portable seating that can be adjusted for optimal viewing angles throughout the event. Think recliners...


Packing for a solar eclipse doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With this minimalist guide, you can ensure you have everything you need to make the most out of this awe-inspiring experience without the weight of unnecessary items slowing you down. Remember, the focus is on the eclipse itself, not what you bring to view it. Pack smart, travel light, and prepare to be amazed by one of nature’s most spectacular displays.


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