Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What to Pack for a Day at the US Open Tennis Tournament

Every year, as we prepare to head off to the US Open I find myself scrambling to get our gear together. A day watching tennis at the Open typically brings heat exhaustion during the day, nippy temps at night matches and the possibility of waiting out downpours. It also means putting up with their quirky what-can-I-bring-on-the-grounds rules. Take rule #1: No Backpacks. Seems simple. Yet you're greeted with this sign at the entry point:

Which clearly shows string-backpacks and purse-backpacks are allowed, and some other bag types are off limits. One pastime while waiting in line is to ogle folks carrying backpacks and wonder just how many will get through security. Most do.

Other rules are clearly enforced, for example aerosol sun-screen will be taken away. On the plus side, they're good about letting you bring in food, water and umbrellas onto the grounds.

Rather than trying to re-construct from memory what worked in past years, I'm recording what worked this year. Below are two snapshots, the first of my gear, the second of Shira's. And here's a few notes on each.

Along with the items pictured, I bring the contents of my man-bag. The rules state you can bring in a single bag, though I saw many with multiple bags walking the grounds. So next year, I may bring my man-bag and use another bag to carry the items below. Or maybe I'll do what I did this year, and cram everything into the single tote.

If they're not calling for rain, I'll leave the umbrellas and ponchos at the hotel. The inflatable seat is an absolute win. This year I got by with a single 16oz water bottle by refilling it. Armstrong and Grandstand stadiums have water-bottle refilling stations, while in Ashe you need to make do with a drinking fountain. Still, carrying extra water or paying top dollar just to avoid tap water makes no sense to me. I'm glad to save my money for curly fries.

I didn't get much use from the photo-clamp shown below, yet it holds promise. It's strong enough to hold my DSLR and means that I can take tripod-required photos and videos without a tripod.

You can see Shira's prepared for colder night temps, which despite the heat of the day, do typically make an appearance. She's also not down with drinking sketchy stadium water, so it's larger, extra water bottles all the way for her.

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