A Few Essential Tips When Packing For A Site Visit

Packing For A Site VisitPacking for a site visit

Packing for a site visit depends on the number of days you are going. Site visits usually is a one-day affair, a full one day. However, I am writing for one full-day site visit and visits that are more than three days. A site visit can be to a site a few hundred kilometers that I can drive or if need be, fly. Whatever the mode of transport, there are two key items that I must bring – a safety boot and a safety helmet.

Bag For Safety Boots/Helmet/Glasses

So, as part of my packing for a site visit, a separate bag must be provided to cater for this two bulky items. I must anticipate the sequence of events from the moment l leave the house, to my place of accommodation up to my arrival at the site. A suitable bag and luggage are required for my walk to the taxi or my car, the lifting factor to get into the car and getting off at the first destination. I have to visualize the site’s layout plan. The offices at a construction site are usually temporary cabins scattered all over. A site already in operation would have a permanent office building, and mostly, with stairs. If it is a rig, it is an entirely compact space and movement is limited. So, I have decided to separate these items into three (3) categories.

Luggage Categories

Category One (1)Packing for a site visit

It would be the important work files, technical and commercial documents, drawings, specifications, and manuals.  Apart from that, I have the laptop computer and its accessories. At times, I did come in with small electrical spare parts or some other engineering items, like small valves.  For this category, my luggage must be secured and close to me at all times. For this, my first choice is a briefcase or a rolling suitcase. Most of the time, I would use a pilot case because it has a wider space and useful compartments. Technical documents, commercial documents, and specifications are usually in a one-inch binder, it can consume a lot of space. For drawings which is usually in A3 sizes, when folded, needs to be in a thicker binder. So, a pilot case or a rolling carry-on luggage is suitable.

Category Two (2)

In packing for a site visit, I must know the clothes needed for the whole duration. I have an option of wearing my Safety Boots from home if I drive but if I fly, I am more inclined to wear my pair of office shoes. On my pants, again, two situations, smart casual office attire or jeans for the walk-around at the site. I have an option to wear a pair of work pants, an office shirt with a normal pair of shoes.  At times, a site visit can just be a meeting and a project briefing. Other times, a site visit followed those meetings. So, I am always ready for the two situations. I would usually carry a medium-sized rolling luggage for my clothes or a duffel. As a minimum, I would have three pairs of pants, three shirts and three pairs of undies.

Category three (3)Packing for a site visit

It would be the site work-related items such as the safety boots, safety helmet, safety glass, ear-plugs and sometimes a cover-all. An oil and gas cover-alls is bulky and quite heavy. However, for some sites, we must be in cover-alls. It is always good to have it packed, just in case I needed it. For this perishable items, I would usually use a normal, slightly larger polyester duffel bags. This type of polyester duffel bags is quite cheap and the items in it are not that valuable. The luggage is not locked. It can be a soft-sided rolling luggage too. I can part off with this luggage. If I fly, I checked it in as checked baggage.

Number Of Luggage

In deciding on the number of luggage in my packing for a site visit, I have to consider two things – duration of stay and the activities at the site. For a one full-day site visit, I would need three (3) pieces of luggage – a briefcase, a shoulder duffel, and a soft-sided rolling luggage. With this combination, I will have one free hand. Remember, we should always try to travel with having one free hand. It gives us an extra edge to open car doors, pay the taxi or make a call. In cases where I would stay more than three days, only the category two luggage needs to be a bit bigger. In general, the number of luggage remains at three.

If I stay more than three days, I would usually stay in a hotel nearby and goes to site daily. On a rig, I will be in my cover-alls only and the only time I change is when I go to bed in my living quarters. In both cases, I can send my clothes for washing. However, at the end of my visits, I would usually have one extra cheap tote for items I bought as a souvenir. I did mix business with pleasure, especially when it is a new city or overseas. After all, life is more than just work, right? We need to check out the town, at night too!


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