Eight things you need to know for a successful eclipse chase
Are you prepared for August 21? With these simple tips, you will be
1 – Don’t compare % of eclipse – get to the Path of Totality
Totality is the ball-game, it’s everything. It’s 100% or bust. If you think a 99% partial eclipse is just 1% less impressive than a Total Solar Eclipse, you’ve misunderstood what Totality is. It’s a gazillion times better.
2 – Book a campsite or RV parking space
Ignore the lazy media reports about the eclipse being a sell-out. There are hundreds of places to camp – get yourself a copy of the USA Eclipse 2017 Camping & RV Guide.
3 – Download eclipse maps
You can use this amazing Google Map, find state-by-state eclipse maps for free from NASA, or an eclipse road atlas.
4 – Prioritise clear skies, not duration of Totality
Make your choice on where the clear skies are. Seeing totality at all is WAY more important than how long totality is – if you also get to decide how long you want totality to be, well, you’re extremely lucky! Once you’re in the Path of Totality, the weather forecast is more important than the map.
5 – Keep weather apps to your cellphone
This web app is handy, and this eclipse weather map from NOAA will be helpful for checking on the location of clear skies.
6 – Stay mobile
Deciding to swap locations may be a tough, but necessary decision depending on weather. Check your location’s forecast from Saturday afternoon onwards, and move to clearer skies on Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Don’t plan to move on Monday, but if you need to, do it. But try not to stray outside of the Path of Totality because if traffic is bad, you may not get back in!
7 – Forget about using your cellphone for calls and internet
Just like being in a stadium or a huge concert, there will be too many people trying to post on social media. Forget about it.
8 – Get emergency food, water and a full tank of gas on Sunday, August 20
Will there be traffic chaos? Perhaps. Either way, you don’t want to queue for something you don’t need to. Pack for a few days and attempt a drive-in, drive-out camping trip.