This is the top question I get asked when people learn I skydive. And the answer is a resounding, yes – actually I prefer to.
In the skydiving world, some people make spare cash or even have full time jobs as packers. Meaning, they pack main parachutes all day for tandems, sport jumpers, coaches and students. If you are willing to follow the good weather and turn out LOTS of pack jobs a day, it actually pays okay.
As a sport jumper, with a full time job outside skydiving, I prefer to save my money and pack myself – more jumps for me that way! I also like to do it myself. I have a parachute that has a tendency towards “fussy” openings, so I like being able to pack it my way. Although most packers would likely do a amazing job anyways!
The next question is usually: so what if your parachute doesn’t open? Well, reserve parachutes are packed by certified riggers every 6 months. They are meticulously packed over several HOURS and are closed with a rigger’s seal. If you don’t have a rigger’s seal and signature on your reserve card – you will not be jumping! This is important because steps like this make skydiving very safe.
At first packing may seem daunting, but all skydivers completing an A license must learn to pack and have 12 pack jobs signed off. Once you learn the process though, its pretty easy!
Ever wondered what it looks like? Well watch the time lapse below of me packing before an upcoming vacation (it might be a bit boring for skydivers).