Monday, May 21, 2012

Packing for scouting

I get a lot of questions about what I bring out with me when I do fieldwork (which hopefully will be starting in a week). It's hard to tell people precisely, so I just decided to get my pack ready for a typical day of scouting in the Kansas chalk.

This is all the equipment I haul around in my pack. It weighs in at 15 pounds, without fossils. I also don't count any of the other gear I am wearing or carrying (such as our "walking shovels").  The Swedish Fish are for luck, the Sour Patch Kids are just tasty. The only thing I forgot to put in the photo is also one of the most important: a pre-flattened roll of toilet paper (flat so yo don't have to chase it downhill with your pants around your ankles when bearcaving). Nobody wants to see that.


  1. Wow - I must SERIOUSLY overdo it!

  2. Now I'm curious, Mark. What kind of crap do you usually drag with you? Keep in mind, if I need to make a jacket, it's back to the truck because, well, hauling plaster and burlap and water around all day is not my style. Though I guess it would help tone my legs.

  3. When I checked it out again I found that there's a lot of "just-in-case" material in there and far too much steel. Oh and a fold away shovel! I must confess that on the latest field trip last week, although I still took everything, I stripped out everything that was non-essential, left it with the bandages as you said, and off I went. Made for a much more pleasurable experience!