After several seasons working in rugged, remote areas of North America, these are my go-to items that I will carry in the field:
- Rite in the Rain all-weather geological field book #: 540F
- Steel wire brush from Home Hardware (excellent for removing dirt, lichen, or drying wet rock)
- Sticky tack on the back of my scale card (keep it stuck in the index of your notebook and it makes it easy to place on a rock to take photos)
- Binoculars (invest in a good pair, it’s worth it!)
- Light MEC portable tarp (great for rainy, windy days…it will make your lunch break that much warmer)
- Camelbak (I use a 3L)
- Waterproof neoprene gloves (I got mine for cheap from MEC)
- A roll of pink winter flagger
- A good pair of sunglasses
- Pencil crayons, thick and thin tip Sharpies, pens and pencils
- A pointy scratcher/magnet (a pointy one is much more accurate/easier to use than the regular round ones)
- Spare hand lens (because you just never know)
- Brunton (I’ve got the waterproof aluminum one) and Silva compass (the Silva is my spare and I use it to mark oriented samples so I don’t get permanent marker all over my Brunton)
- MEC waterproof first aid kit to which I’ve added several emergency shelter blankets, lighters, T3s (once you break a leg you’ll never not carry them!), and my wilderness first aid pocketbook.
- My SPOT and/or Delorme InReach (the SPOT is easy, but the Delorme gets a signal in even the worst of weather and is overall a little more reliable)
- Field camera: I’ve got a Nikon Coolpix that is waterproof, shockproof, dirtproof, full HD with GPS and a built-in compass…in my opinion the ultimate field camera.
- My GoalZero Nomad 3.5 solar panel charger with the Switch8 (so when its sunny, or even cloudy, I can charge up the Switch8 to keep my camera, iPod, and Suunto charged up in the field)
- A field guidebook! In my opinion these are extremely important to have since the Rite in the Rain books only have so much information in their geological notebooks, and when in doubt look it up! I’ve got The American Geological Institute Geoscience Handbook 4th edition I obtained at GSA last fall. It’s an excellent reference book with great mineral charts and rock classifications.
- A Sealine 10L dry bag with alpaca wool socks, extra shirt, down jacket, and extra fleece gloves