As I posted a couple of days ago, I once again pulled the trigger on a cow hunt. If I am counting correctly, this will be my 7th trip between 15-17 days. I have a couple of 10-day trips on my resume too, and I guess that this subject...packing efficiently for a multi-day trip can apply to any trip of three days or longer. In my case, though, I am thinking about the trips that target giant tuna and wahoo down at the Hurricane Bank and near Clarion. Those who fished with me on my very first 15-day on Intrepid will remember that I had literally no cow fishing gear of my own. I went with three borrowed outfits, a couple of jigs, some fluoro, some hooks, etc. Basically, I was prepared to flyline. It was probably the only long trip I have ever taken where I didn't over pack on tackle. Every trip since then, I have added to my arsenal. Another combo each time, reel and rod, more jigs, more lures, more hooks, more leader, more sinkers, more accessories. And each year I remembered what I discovered that I needed and didn't have the previous year. Of course conditions were different each time, and a new tactic worked best...almost always one that I hadn't learned before, and for which I was unprepared. So each new trip I at least made certain I had all of my bases covered for the tactics I had learned on previous trips. My collection of tackle increased exponentially, of course, in both weight and volume. Over the course of six trips (if I am counting correctly, my upcoming trip will be my seventh to cow town), I went from being one of the lightest packers to one of the heaviest. Although each time I have tried to be very judicious in my packing, when trip time arrived, I always threw another 10 packs of hooks in one box, big spools of heavy mono (that I knew at the time I wouldn't need) in my duffle bag. Dykes? Three pairs. Backup wahoo reels? Never had one of my Daiwas fail, but I bring four backups anyway. Etc. And it really got out of hand. As a pretty big guy who likes to wear clean clothes every day, that too became an issue. Medicine. Cigars and lighters. Even snacks I really didn't need and shouldn't have eaten. A diabetic 53-year old man with a fatal weakness for lemon drops? Give me a break. ASIDE: I've got the clothes packing thing under control as best I can. I still need to have clean clothes, but using packing cubes I can get all of my clothing into quite a small space. So ever since my last long trip in February of this year (I took my nephew on a 3-day in August, but that doesn't count), I have been looking at my packing list from a different perspective. It seems like I have seen and applied most all of the different methods and tactics I might want to use. Obviously there will be something new again this time, but I am confident that with what I will bring with me, I will be able to adapt to whatever conditions we find when we get there. And if not, the boat will be able to help me rig. My new approach is not precisely to go "minimalist." I am going to bring just what I think I need to fish in all the ways I expect to fish...but I am going to make a sharp analysis of what that requires, and try my best to limit myself to only what I need. Even with this, I am quite sure I will end up using much less than what I bring with me, but that is not so much the point. What I can say for sure is that I am going to bring much, much less than what I brought last time...not necessarily in variety, but definitely in volume. The beginning of my new approach starts with knowing and understanding tactics. I won't go into detail here. I may describe my thought process about that in a different thread if anyone seems interested. What matters is not rods and reels though...others will certainly bring more than I do. There have always been a couple of anglers who had more outfits than I did on every trip I've ever taken. No, what matters here is the auxiliary tackle that I need to rig each rod the way I want to. It is all the "other stuff" that has made my packing on recent trips such an overdone disaster. This applies to fluoro and spectra, hooks and swivels, wire, sinkers, jigs and bombs, materials for making top shots and kite leaders, tools, everything along that line. I'll have exactly the backup and emergency materials I think I really may need...and no more. Again, I am convinced that I won't come close to using all of what I bring, but I will bring far less than I have in years. Most of all, I will not bring anything that is not on my inventory list. No sudden "maybe I should bring that too" moments. The good news for me is that I have already made up that inventory list. I have considered, reviewed, and revised it multiple times. Yes, it is still quite a list! Many people would say (with some justification) that I am still overpacking, and could easily get by with much less. Yes Harddrive, this is you. Ken Bush too. But I repeat, as much as I plan to bring, it will still be so much less than before, and I am satisfied with that. But I find I have problem. I know, pretty much down to the last swivel and sandal, exactly what I want to bring on the trip. What I don't know is exactly how to pack/store/transport it. For many things, I am already prepared. Yes, I have a nice tackle bag (getting worn now, but still very serviceable), and a lot of things will go there. I have a portable file case that turns out to be absolutely perfect for pre-made leaders of all kinds, from wahoo bait to heavy kite. I have an awesome jig bag, too. But for the other stuff, I need better boxes. Very strong, sturdy, preferably reasonably water repellent (more or less...they won't be on deck but in my stateroom), clear plastic boxes that are the correct size (give or take) for the items I want to carry in them. I need a box for hooks. I need a box for my crimping supplies. I need a box for my top shot-building materials. I need a box for the (very small) collection of tools I plan to bring. On my last trip, I discovered that the cheap-ass plastic boxes I've collected over the years in which to store my tackle in my storage closet are just not good enough for boat use. Two of them cracked apart when they fell just a short distance, and the lids wouldn't stay locked into place on most of them. So here it is, and I need guidance. I am not a great "hobbyist." I don't know where to look or what to buy, but I very definitely need to get a few very sturdy storage boxes of various sizes in which to store the items I plan to bring. Compartmented would be excellent in a couple of cases. If smaller boxes could "nest" into a bigger box, that would be extremely useful too. I've bought hardware store stuff, from Ace to Home Depot, I've gotten some from Target, too. A couple have been really good, and I will keep using them. The rest needs to be replaced. Can anyone suggest a place to find what I'm looking for? Brick and mortar in and around San Diego? Internet source? There is an awful lot on my list that is small but important. Clever storage is going to reduce the size of my load, hopefully the weight too. It will make it more accessible, which is important. Help me out here, folks!